Precious Things is a song from Tori Amos' debut album "Little Earthquakes" in which the singer-songwriter tells us about painful events that happened to her during her teenage years. The text basically paints the picture of a girl experiencing intense cruelty among a group of adolescents. She wrote the song in her early 20's, looking back on this chapter of her life, trying to find ways to realease her pain. Here we have both the girl's and the young woman's point of views expressed. Tori Amos named it 'Precious Things', ironically, because this song isn't meant to express pleasant memories.
Tori briefly describes what hurt her in this period of her life :
A boy with whom she seems to have been in a some kind of sexual relationship with called her, "an ugly girl", but he liked the way she "played". Despite the fact that it caused her sadness, he was thanked for his actions. When getting dressed every day, she would look at his portrait. It was almost as if she needed his approval or was trying to prove him wrong.
She also sings about being a victim of viciousness from other girls. She describes them as "demi-gods with nine inche nails in little fascist panties tucked inside the heart of every nice girl".
As a grown up person continuing to suffer from these experiences, she tries to let go by "letting it bleed and wash away".
She sometimes sang the song live with additional lyrics such as "Wash me clean Daddy, wash this thing Daddy." The Live Rainn version of this song is where she included these lyrics.
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