Alanis Morissette – “These Are The Thoughts” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Alanis Morissette’s “These Are The Thoughts” is a deep dive into the chaotic web of introspection. It captures the singer’s reflection on personal dilemmas, societal issues, and the struggles of communication. The song is about the inner turmoil of trying to find clarity in a world filled with doubts and questioning one’s decisions and place. It portrays the universal human experience of overthinking, self-doubt, and the search for authenticity.

Curious about the raw, unfiltered emotions behind Alanis Morissette’s intricate lyrics? Wondering how her musings on a quiet Sunday afternoon can resonate with so many of us? Read on and find your own thoughts echoed in her words.


“These Are The Thoughts” Lyrics Meaning

From the outset, Alanis draws us into her personal space, painting a vivid picture of solitude on a Sunday afternoon. She’s alone, with nothing but her thoughts for company. This sets the stage for the profound introspection that follows.

“Is he the one that I will marry?” she muses. Relationships, commitments, and the future weigh heavily on her. Like many of us, she grapples with understanding her place in her own life and in relation to her partner.

The line “why do I feel cellularly alone?” is powerful. It’s not just a fleeting feeling of loneliness, but one that’s deep-seated felt on a cellular level. It’s the kind of isolation that feels almost genetic, rooted within.

Alanis addresses societal concerns as the song progresses: “Where does the money go that I send to those in need?” Her thoughts waver between personal introspection and a broader reflection on societal issues, indicating a mind that cares deeply both about self and the world at large.

The phrases, “why do you say you are spiritual yet you treat people like shit?” and “why do I say I’m fine when it’s obvious I’m not?” show her frustration with hypocrisy and the masks people, including herself, wear.

Toward the end, she delves into self-awareness and mindfulness, “why is it such work to stay conscious and so easy to get stuck?” She highlights the human tendency to get complacent and the difficulty in staying truly present.

The final lines, questioning her place between her roots in Canada and her current life, show a yearning for understanding and clarity, both in terms of location and in relationships.

The Story Behind “These Are The Thoughts”

Alanis Morissette has always been known for her candid, raw, and introspective lyrics. When “These Are The Thoughts” was penned, she was in a pivotal phase of her life, both as an artist and as an individual. The song hails from a time when Morissette was grappling with sudden fame, personal relationships, and a quest for self-awareness.  This track feels less like a structured song and more like a diary entry, revealing her thoughts uncensored and in real time.

At this juncture in her life, Alanis was navigating the pressures of the music industry, the glare of public scrutiny, and personal relationships that were under strain. Her questions about love, “Is he the one that I will marry?”, reflect genuine uncertainties faced during her early years in the spotlight.

Furthermore, the Canadian singer’s mention of possibly moving back to Canada indicates her longing for familiarity and the comfort of home during tumultuous times. This sentiment isn’t just about geography; it’s symbolic of her desire to find a space of authenticity and grounding amidst chaos.