Hands Clean
Lyrics Alanis Morissette

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If it weren't for your maturity none of this would have happened
If you weren't so wise beyond your years
I would've been able to control myself
If it weren't for my attention you wouldn't have been successful and
If it weren't for me you would never have amounted to very much

Ooh this could be messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this

You're essentially an employee and I like you having to depend on me
You're kind of my protege and one day you'll say
You learned all you know from me
I know you depend on me like a young thing would to a guardian
I know you sexualize me like a young thing would and I think I like it

Ooh this could get messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
I've more than honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this

What part of our history's reinvented and under rug swept?
What part of your memory is selective and tends to forget?
What with this distance it seems so obvious?

Just make sure you don't tell on me
Especially to members of your family
We best keep this to ourselves and not tell
Any members of our inner posse
I wish I could tell the world cuz
You're such a pretty thing when you're done up properly
I might want to marry you one day
If you watch that weight and keep your firm body

Ooh this could be messy and
Ooh I don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

Song facts

"Hands Clean" is a pop-rock song performed by Alanis Morissette, featured on her 2002 album Under Rug Swept. It released as the album's first single on 4 February 2002.

The narrative voice of the song alternates, verses and bridge from the perspective of an older man, chorus from the perspective of a woman reminiscing the behaviour of that older man in her teenage years. She reportedly said in an interview to US Weekly that the song is about an affair she had with a man when she was 14.

Some people have speculated that the relationship referenced is the same one that served as the basis for her earlier hit, "You Oughta Know".

An acoustic version of "Hands Clean" was released as a b-side to "Precious Illusions", the album's second single, and included on the Under Rug Swept rarities collection Feast on Scraps.

"Hands Clean" did well with U.S. radio, peaking at number three on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart and number twenty-three on the Billboard Hot 100, and helping Under Rug Swept go platinum in the U.S. Considered a comeback single for Morissette at the time of its release, "Hands Clean" is Morissette's second-most successful post-Jagged Little Pill single, after 1998's "Thank U".

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