You are the original template
You are the original exemplary
How seen were you actually?
How revered were you honestly at the time?

Why pleased with your low maintenance?
You loved us more than we could've loved you back
Where was your ally, your partner in feminine crime?

Oh, mother who's your buddy?
Oh, mother who's got your back?
The heart of the house
The heart of the house
All hail the goddess

You were good, oh
You were "count on her 'til four AM"
You saw me run from the house
In the snow melodramatically

Oh, mother who's your sister
Oh, mother who's your friend?
The heart of the house
The heart of that house
All hail the goddess

We left the men and we went for a walk in the Gatineaus
And talked like women like women to women would
Women to women would
Where did you get that from?
Must've been your father, your dad
I got it from you, I got it from you

Do you see yourself in my gypsy garage sale ways?
In my fits of laughter?
In my Tinkerbell tendencies?
In my lack of color coordination?

Lyrics submitted by Lamia, edited by subram

Heart of the House Lyrics as written by Alanis Morissette

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Heart Of The House song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is so sad, and yet so beautiful. It reminds me of my relationship with my mother. She was so busy being a "good mother" that she forgot to mother us. The line "Where did you get that from?" makes me cry. The fact that your own mother could not see herself in her child is sad.

    nietzsche_66on May 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm so angry because so less people see Alanis' awesome talent in songwriting :-(...SFIJ is kind of masterpiece in songwriting: just read Baba. thank U, Sympathetic character, The couch, Would not come, Can't not, Your congratulations (!!!), One....That I would be good....

    AgathaKavkaon July 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I don't know...somehow I relate the song to Mother Theresa...?

    AgathaKavkaon September 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It is just a tribute to her mother, isn't it?

    Auroreon December 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree with Nietzsche, and that line moved me too. This whole song makes me picture Alanis sitting on her bed with a photo album, smiling yet woeful about what she can remember of her childhood and how her mother was. "We left the men and we went for a walk in the gatineaus" That has a very feminist feel to me, even if it wasn't intended, it's my favourite line. And at the end "Do you see yourself in my.." Makes me think of Alanis (or whoever the song may be about) viewing themselves and their ways and comparing them to what their mother used to do/be like. It's a beautiful song.

    WunderEnigmaon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is essentially about the front her mother puts up around her friends and family. While living up to this front, Alanis' mother completely forgets about her own daughter and overlooks her. The last part of the song is her mother not believing that she's abandoned her daughter for so long; she can't even tell that they inhibit the same characteristics. Also, the alternate spelling of women as womyn, is a feminist term because women is apart of the men and womyn is a standalone.

    paganpoetry005on March 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The song is definately bittersweet, but it's, of course, just one of Alanis' beautifully written masterpieces. I love the title of the song. It reminds me of how men are usually the "Heads of the house", so to Alanis, her mother is the "Heart of the house", which, to me, has a much more positive meaning. Thanks paganpoetry :] I was wondering what the alternate spelling meant. Now I think I'll use it in the future haha.

    TriNityForsakeNon October 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is about the relationship between a mother and her daughter, Alanis being the daughter. It is not so much about the fact that a woman wants to have the appearance of keeping appearances, as you lot said above, as it is about a woman's true devotion to her family. She is the heart and soul, the emotional core (if not the decision-making core) of the house.

    The line "how seen were you actually? " is about the fact that the work a mother puts into her household is not always acknowledged, and in fact, can be ignored.

    "you saw me run from the house in the snow melodramatically" discusses the fact that all members of the household are wrapped up in the thought that they must be the main character of the story, when really, it is the mother that is the hero.

    "all hail the goddess! " refers to the fact that the children of the mother wind up sarcastically acknowledging the importance of her role.

    "we left the men and we went for a walk in the gatineaus " is about leaving the house for marriage (the men) or for beauty (Gatineau Paris is a skincare company) or just to move to someplace new (Gatinaeu is also a town in Quebec).

    "talked like women to women " is simply about reflecting on your life with your mother, no longer as a guardian-to-a-child but as a friend-to-a-friend, which is all we wind up being in relation to each other.

    Fishfisheateaton April 19, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Mental Istid
Ebba Grön
This is one of my favorite songs.
Album art
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
No Surprises
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
American Town
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares a short story of reconnecting with an old flame on “American Town.” The track is about a holiday Ed Sheeran spends with his countrywoman who resides in America. The two are back together after a long period apart, and get around to enjoying a bunch of fun activities while rekindling the flames of their romance.