Precious Illusions
Lyrics Alanis Morissette

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You'll rescue me right? in the exact same way they never did
I'll be happy right? when your healing powers kick in

You'll complete me right? then my life can finally begin
I'll be worthy right? only when you realize the gem I am?

But this won't work now the way it once did
And I won't keep it up even though I would love to
Once I know who I'm not then I'll know who I am
But I know I won't keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was defenseless
And parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

This ring will help me yet as will you knight in shining armor
This pill will help me yet as will these boys gone through like water

But this won't work as well as the way it once did
Cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
And though I know who I'm not I still don't know who I am
But I know I won't keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was a kid
And parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I've spent so long firmly looking outside me
I've spent so much time living in survival mode

Song facts

"Precious Illusions" is a song written and produced by Alanis Morissette, and recorded for her sixth album Under Rug Swept (2002). It released as the album's second single in mid-2002; CD1 was released on August 5 and CD2 followed on October 29.

Its lyrics describe a conflict between idealism and realism, and its protagonist refers to her childhood fancies as "precious illusions" that she has distanced herself from with a feeling that reminds her of "parting with an imaginary friend". Nonetheless, she demonstrates that she has retained a rose-tinted sense of romantic optimism into adulthood, when she expresses a yearning hope for marriage ("this ring") and a husband ("you knight in shining armor"). Morissette said of "Precious Illusions", "As I evolve and as I grow older, a lot of the things I thought to be truths when I was younger just really aren't, and that's disillusioning. And there is a grief and a loss of sorts that happens when I segue from one awareness to another. And that's what I was singing about on that song."

"Precious Illusions" didn't receive as much radio airplay in the U.S. as "Hands Clean", the first single from Under Rug Swept. It peaked within the top twenty on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart, but garnered little Top 40 radio play compared to "Hands Clean" and failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached number four in Canada and the top ten in Chile. The single's video was directed by Francis Lawrence, who helmed the "Hands Clean" video. It was filmed in late May 2002 and uses a split-screen effect.

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