So you heard I crossed over the line
Do I have regrets?
Well, not yet

There are some, some who give blood
I give love
I give

Soon, before the sun
Before the sun begins to rise
I know that I, I must give
So that I, I can live

There are some, some whose "give"
Twists itself to take their mistake
Who, what? what made up the line?
Some say it was pain
Or was it shame?

Soon, before the sun
Before the sun begins to rise
I know that I, I must give
So that I I, I can live

Some, some who give blood
I give love, I give

Soon before the sun
Before the sun begins to rise
I know that I, I must give
So that I, I can live

Lyrics submitted by stentorian

Give Lyrics as written by Tori Ellen Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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  • +2
    General CommentI think it relates to sex, but I don't think it's prostitution. To me, this is a character who has begun to seduce men, trawling bars late at night on her own to pick guys up. She has crossed the line, almost becoming a bit of a hunter. The line 'some whose give twists itself to take' makes me think of people getting into casual arrangements and then wanting more - affairs etc develop into wanting the other to leave their partner. This is straighforward sex, no strings, no complications. Some people go out and give blood, they fight or take drugs or self-harm compulsively, whereas she seduces. The video with Santa really gives me that impression. The only way she can live is to give herself. I wouldn't term it sex addiction, but it's definitely drawing her in.
    daneypopson June 09, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI don't think this song is about prostitution at all. The haunting vibe and sexy swing surrounding it, I think, is because she's trying to create a sort of sonic opening act that should remind all listeners of horror film music. When I hear Give, I get this instant visual of Tori as a vampire in a graveyard, knowing that the sun is about to rise, and knowing she doesn't have much time. She's back from the dead after leaving her old label, so she knows she was given another chance. But then she realizes, that she is not really a vampire like the rest. She gives love, creativity, and inspiration.

    She has said over and over in interviews about this album "I wanted to really investigate how we're controlled by the threat of despair. I wanted to look at power – how we think and how you can reclaim the right to think for yourself, to uncover what you believe in as a spiritual, sexual creature...What I am exploring with this record is power, and giving it away with your thinking. How do we become controlled?"

    Being a vampire means stealing or taking blood (power) from another being to live on yourself. Tori has always said there is something sexy about vampires.

    The general idea of this song, is that this entity singing realizes that although she likes the idea of vampirism, she knows she does not need to suck the power out of another entity in order to live a healthy life. She is reclaiming that power in her own being saying, "Wait a min, I know that I don't need to take to be powerful. I can gain power all by myself by giving this love and creativity out"

    I was on a walk the other day as I listened to this, and it made me realize how everything in this world must GIVE in order to somehow continue living on. Trees give us oxygen, bees polinate, there is a huge circle of life where each being has to give positive peices of themselves away so that they can live on in some way. Sure, they all die eventually. But if they Give to this planet

    If you carefully re-read the lyrics to this song, she mentions “crossing the line” to get away from Pain and Shame as a human being. Pain and Shame are how humans can be controlled and manipulated. At the beginning, she's saying she crossed over the line. (this also implies crossing the line between death and life after leaving her label...but) Near the middle of the song, she's asking who made up this “line” she had to cross - Pain or Shame? She is consicously crossing the line of Pain and Shame as a human and leaving. Does she have regrets? Well, not yet.

    The answer is people create this deep line of Pain and Shame in the world that other people in society need to understand and hopefully find strength to overcome in order to become a whole, healthy, happy human being. While it has undertones of her coming back from the dead after leaving her major label, she’s relating it to crossing the line between life and death, almost how a vampire is still alive yet dead. But most vampires expect people to give them blood, or they will steal their power and blood from them so that vampire can survive and procreate. She realizes she is the opposite of what a vampire is, while she does possess some of those same traits. Instead of needing to suck life from others to survive, she has to give love in order for her to live happily. She is not the type of person who is giving just to get something back — she is giving because it makes her feel more alive to love and to give creation rather than to hate and take.
    parasolon September 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationhi = i think this song is about s and m. Look at the photo shoot of tori with a whip. It is about giving vent to a different sexuality in a relationship -"I crossed over the line". No turning back...think about how sexual her voice sounds..i give...i.e punishment = love .and the references to blood being drawn.It is about a dominatrix who spends the night with her lover who is subjected to her.In the morning she sleeps.
    Any comments?
    quartz2007on October 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI’m here in 2021 loving the vampire vs prostitution vs s&m debate
    shirleyp5bon May 15, 2021   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is definately about S&M! The song plays with the idea of giving yourself to sexual desires. In this instance Tori is singing about how the idea of pain and punishment allows herself to be sexually free. Some examples are:
    "I crossed over the line / Do I have any regrets / Well not yet"
    "Some say it was pain / others say it was shame"
    "Some give blood / I give love"
    To me these lyrics convey how pain and pleasure are the same thing to her; that with pain she gets pleasure. Others lines like: "Soon before the sun/Before the sun begins to rise" make me think of sex and how this lifestyle has to be lived in the darkness where other people cannot judge.

    And the title itself conveys the right emotion on S&M: GIVE. You gotta give yourself to it or else you cannot experience it.
    red vs. whiteon April 23, 2010   Link
  • -1
    Song MeaningSounds like it's about prostitution to me. Or vampirism.
    angstiosis_againon May 04, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentProstitution sounds about right to me, especially given the theme of the album. Amazing song, great opener to the new record.
    missmeon May 12, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite tracks! Definitely about prostitution. Haunting.
    rollyanton May 20, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentGive is absolutely about vampirism
    At least that's what I thought until I read quartz's post....interesting take
    anna1003on November 23, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI think it's about Capitalism.
    Take into account that the video and the lyrics
    were written by different people. As such they
    have different meanings.

    "There are some,
    Some whose give
    Twists itself to take
    They mis-take
    Who, what made up the line?
    Some say it was pain
    Or was it shame?"

    It is about vampirism and vampirism is a form of greed.
    If you live in excess you have 10 cars and 3 houses
    and you see a person that works with isolation and their
    family is starving because he is not paid enough to feed
    them. He works 60 hours a week while the bills pile up.
    Hoping that someday there will be some sort of relief.
    And then you feel the "pain," the guilt, the "shame"
    because you know by living this excessive lifestyle you
    are effectively contributing to his plight and so you
    give to him because you want to ease your conscience.
    Basically she gives to live by giving she can live her
    excessive lifestyle and do it guilt free. All of this
    song's lyrics are a metaphor for that. She has just
    realized what her lifestyle is costing the rest of
    the world so she feels a pressing need to give as soon
    as possible, because she can't live with the guilt anymore.
    Analiethiaon January 14, 2011   Link

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