"Petals" as written by Courtney M Love, Eric T. Erlandson and Billy Corgan....
Tear the petals off of you
And make you tell the truth
All the darling buds of May
They fall with no sound
They carry you down
They carry you down
All the lilies bloomed and blossomed
Wilted and they're shivering
I can't stop their withering
Oh this world is a war

Lyrics submitted by ShiverForMe, edited by scottdoesntknow628

"Petals" as written by Eric T Erlandson William Patrick Corgan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Petals song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI think the song is about how girls are treated by guys once they hit puberty. Suddenly they’re these sexual creatures and men think they can do whatever they want to them, treat them however they want. It’s essentially about how disrespected women are by men in today’s society. This then reflects on the women, the men tear the petals off of you, meaning your innocence, not in that they rape you but they make you feel dirty just by the way they look at you. The next line, “Make you tell the truth” forces women to have a look at themselves and their behaviour, as if saying they’re the ones who provoke men to act in such ways. It’s as if women are cornered into this ideal role of being pure and such and anyone who strays from that is, for example, a “sl*t”.

    It’s like it’s a man’s world and women are just here to serve men. Look at all the commercials with women displayed in a sexual manner as opposed to the ones on men. Very different.

    “All the lillies bloomed and blossomed
    Wilted and they're shivering
    I can't stop their withering,
    Oh, this world is a war”

    These once innocent girls who had such dreams and aspirations are now dead beaten by how society treats them, second to that of man. The world is a war to women as they have to fight for everything and it looks like there is nothing anyone can do about it.
    LunaGirlon February 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's about sex and virginity. And perhaps yearning for the time of child-like innocence when you didn't know what 'truth' was. It's one of my favourite Hole songs.
    zeroglitteron April 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti wish ppl would stop trying to make this song out to be about sex

    its just not!simple as that

    and how can u relate ''i miss the sweet boys in the summer of their youth'' to rape?
    asktheangelson December 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo, I don't think this song is about rape. I think it was about her life at that current time. There are references to Kurt, Frances Bean, and the dark side of being a celebrity.
    have2mintson December 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnotice the simliarities in the lyrics of this song and asking for it.

    asking for it: I will tear the petals off of you, rose red i will make you tell the truth

    petals: tear the petals off of you, make you tell the truth

    coincidence? doubt it.
    bruisevioleton August 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that there are some dark undertones to this song, which might be about rape, but I think it might be about how the media treated Kurt and 'tore the petals' off of him and in a way she blames the media attention for leading him to suicide. And I also think that the bit about innocence is about Frances and how she worries that the media will do the same things to her that they did to Kurt. Especially the 'She's too pure for the likes of this world, this world is a whore.' I really love this song.
    Scarlettblueon September 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song reminds me of rape. "tear the petals off of you"= being deflowered in a violent way.
    ladyboygrrlon May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits probably is about sex or wateva now u mention it, but i like to think of it as a way of reflecing on how much easier things were as children with innocence and not caring and stuff, and then when your older you become fake and altered, and decorate your self with a false aesthetic ('petals')

    But when it comes down to it, tear the petals off and ur exposed as who u really are ('make you tell the truth') and not what the world or wateva has changed you 2 b. so it could also be something to do with the whole ''fake hollywood'' thing agen but i hope not cuz celbrity skin is enough for that.lol

    oh yeh, may be wen shes saying ''shes to pure for this world''etc, i xpect shes talking about frances bean. but may b thats a bit dam obvious.sorry
    asktheangelson June 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure what it was written about but it means something to me...i guess you could say i made my own meanings up. My own meaning is in relation to sex that is forbidden between two people who aren't supposed to be together. The first verse reminds me of somebody close to me.
    Reading the lyrics again, it probably is about rape, the metaphors have suddenly become clear. But it's a great song anyway. I think it's probably one of Hole's best songs.
    Licion October 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWasn't this one of the ones that was co-written by Billy Corgan? Awesome song...just...I always loved it...:shrugs: Dunno why, really...
    crimsoncrushedroseon December 10, 2004   Link

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