a new song, the thing about things.

April 8th, 2013 7:39PM: We had a lot of people requesting a download for the song, and…why not?
You can now download it for free+donation if you’d like at Bandcamp.

i wrote this 3 days ago, at bard college.
it came to me in the morning, while i was still in bed, and i was lucky, neil had left, i woke up alone with the rattle.
i went downstairs to the kitchen of the house we were renting in red hook and wrote down the lyrics.
i instagram’ed a picture.

i got coffee at murray’s, then drove to bard and went to the little room with the piano and wrote the chords (but i pretty much already knew what they would be).
i played it the next night at my show in northampton, and again the night after at me and neil’s show at bard itself, a few feet from where i wrote it.

i can still write songs. that makes me happy.

i used to worry about saving songs when i wrote them.

like saving money. or something.

i thought it was important to not share things and hold them and hoard them and wait until maybe it was the right time to record them in a studio and put them on a record and hope that the record would make money and and and and and and

as of today, honestly

fuck it.

i wrote a new song three days ago.

then i played it and i let people record in the audience, come what may.

one of those people was a teacher named Andrew Geha and he put it up on tumblr this morning.

i texted sean, and sean reached out to him and asked if we could use it, and he said yes. (because pretty much everyone who would attend/record my shows is inherently awesome like that.) sean did a little bit of quick EQ’ing and cleanup, and voilà.

i don’t want to wait anymore, and put it in a pile, and tell anyone to take it down and not share.

i just want you to have it, so here.

listen, enjoy, and maybe someday i’ll put it on a record but maybe the ultimate message is records are fucking done forever.

i wrote a song and the reason i wrote it is i want people to hear and like my music and now that i can just let you hear it, i want to.

the end.

if you like it….donate to the blog (there’s a place at the bottom of this).

here are the lyrics.
the title is weird, neil, right after i played it, suggested i call it “the thing about things”.
that had been my first idea…but i had also been thinking about calling it “the ring”.
for now, neil wins.



i’ve loaned a lot of things to a lot of friends
like dresses and records and books
and some of the time i never see them again
and in a weird way i think that it works

because the thing about things is they start turning evil
when you start to forget what they’re for
and so if you’re not sure what you did with my sweater
i’ll just try to love you a little bit more

i had a ring it belonged to my grandfather
he was a mason
and gay
and he was distant and bitter for all of my childhood
and we never had much to say

he wasn’t the type to give tokens of affection
and so i stole ring when he died
and twenty years later when i lost it at a bar
i thought
that’s fine

the thing about things is that they can start meaning things
nobody actually said
and if he couldn’t make something mean something for me
i had to make up what it meant

i can carry everything i need in one collapsing suitcase
i can carry everyone i love in one phone application
built to optimize the facetime with the ties i’m bent on making
actually i want to be alone
to mourn the loss
of what this cost
i collected you but now you are all lost

i think it’s a poem and i think it keeps going
i’ve borrowed and lost lots of things
3 nights ago in the bar where i lost it a bartender gave me the ring

and i lie in bed
with my phone in my hand
what can i fix with this app

and i call my grandfather
and he doesn’t answer
and i have to make peace with that fact

because the thing about things
is that they can start meaning things nobody actually said
and if you’re not allowed to love people alive
then you learn how to love people dead

because the thing about things is that they can start meaning things nobody actually said
and if you’re not allowed

to love people alive

then you learn how to love people dead



p.s. my summer and fall of shows – some solo and some with the band – start this coming weekend in CT (a free show at my old school). if you haven’t checked out the tour dates yet, have a look in my my last blog. hope to see you out there.

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  • Rumpleteazer

    Does anyone know how to make this turn into an mp3? I’m not in a position to internet nearly as often as I’m in need of music.

    • http://twitter.com/indeciSEAN indeciSEAN

      There are browser plugins out there if you must, but please try and just enjoy it on here for now…I made sure it’s mobile-friendly, even. (it’s already a low quality audio file, I really don’t want to see it get passed around and degraded even further)

      • Rumpleteazer

        Fair enough. I can work with bookmarking the page and listening once a week. (My mobile makes phone calls… and that’s it.) Thanks for the reply. :)

      • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer


  • http://www.facebook.com/Ant.Antonelli Stephen Antonelli

    the thing about losing our virginity
    is we didn’t know what it was for
    and now that we lost it and can never find it
    we only can love each other a little bit more.

    the song is great!. i cried when i heard it in Northhampton and did again hearing it here.

  • http://twitter.com/lauraannham Laura

    wow this is beautiful. and definitely food for thought – consumerism really has us by the neck these days. we have to remember what things really are.

  • Dancing Chicken

    The thing about things…in Spring, the time for purging/renewal. I’m inspired to let go & live now.

  • Chey

    I love how emotionally honest Amanda is in her songwriting. Above all other artists I adore, I connect the most with Amanda’s work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuel.grandt Samuel Aaron Grandt

    I was at this show, and it was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced in my life…I felt like I got to see history in the making when you performed this song, and Neil made a great suggestion that it be called “The thing about things”, but your idea to change “bathing suit” to “sweater” or anything else and then name it accordingly each time you play it is also a great idea, as well.

  • http://twitter.com/exorcistasy Piper Shepherd

    This song is strangely relevant to my life currently.. A couple months ago I packed up all my favorite things and went on this road trip across the country that lasted six weeks. When I was in Portland, OR I found out it was legal to be completely nude in public in the entire state of Oregon. So I stripped off all my clothes, and I ended up losing my favorite shirt, which was a Theatre is Evil tour shirt I bought at the Atlanta show.. I was terribly attached to the shirt but then my friend told me, “Well, you lost an Amanda Palmer shirt celebrating public nudity laws in Portland.. that’s definitely not the worst way to lose your favorite shirt.” And after that I went on to lose many things on the road, but now I just enjoy wondering what may have happened to all of them. Maybe someone found my shirt in Portland and discovered your music through it.. I don’t know, but the thought of all the new meanings that could be given to my things once they were lost keeps me entertained. I miss my shirt, but I really hope it’s off serving a cool purpose somewhere.

    • http://twitter.com/WittyUnderling Witty Underling

      I love this story. I bet your shirt is having an awesome time.

      My junior year in college, I left my favorite jacket in a classroom after rehearsal, one night. I came back the next morning and it was gone. I checked lost and found. Nothing. I even called campus police to see if they’d seen it. Nothing.

      A year later, I walked into the same classroom for the same group rehearsal, and there was my jacket, missing the belt now, but with my initials still sharpied on the tag.

    • Lani

      Damn, I live in Portland. Where did you loose the shirt? I want to scour the city for it.

      • LoveIsLikeACannedHamSometimes

        I had to tell my ex-girlfriend to take a hike because I couldn’t stand her lies and hiding important stuff from me anymore. It was a very hard thing to do since I knew her for such a long time, but it was finally time to let go of bad baggage and as very caustic friendship. I was always helping her emotionally with all kinds of problems that would routinely happen after our relationship together, but I found out she was trying to keep tabs on me and would hold stuff over my head to continue to enjoy making me feel bad about myself during our relationship. If I was going to write a song about it; I probably wouldn’t try to, considering how many great country songs already exist about this subject. And there is always plenty of great self-destructive anthems from the 90s that could help with the pain I feel today. Although, I think a song that compares letting go of people we used to love with taking a gigantic poop (like the kind of gigantic poop if you ate an entire canned Ham by yourself the previous night?); a vicious poop that relieves every damn part of your soul – and could help with the pain while humorously comparing a recent ex-girlfriend to a big huge poop of deceitfully sweet canned ham. I don’t know what the lyrics would be like, but I want an ending that sounds like an evil version of an old spike jones and the city slickers chorus and I would probably title it, The Poops about Poops

      • http://twitter.com/exorcistasy Piper Shepherd

        I lost it at the cheapest hotel in the city, according to Yelp. I don’t even remember the name of it, but I think it was on Couch St. Also, I’m moving to Portland in a few months! We should meet each other.

    • theredwriter

      That is an awesome story. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i love losing things and fantasizing that they’ve gone off to have BETTER LIVES.

      i had a favorite jacket … a black stretchy pinstripe one that i bought for $5 in a thrift shop.it went missing from the backstage of a dresden dolls gig in atlanta.

      i searched high and low and high and wound up convinced that someone took it. i was pissed and sad.

      it had GIANT pockets and yet managed to make me look cool and even somewhat skinny all at the same time.

      it was a magic jacket.

      i was just thinking about it like four days ago.

      i lost it ten years ago.

      some things you just never stop missing.

      • IEG

        I usually am very shy about commenting online. But I want to tell you about some things I have found.. like this one ring.. I found it and loved it… and then lost it again… and it gave me so much joy while I had it. But I think the ring had an energy that I had charged myself full of and it moved on to someone who needed it more… that to me is the thing about things.. they have a life of their own! And they move on when they are good and ready… just like people do. Thank you Amanda for being such a beautiful artist.

      • loveandloathe

        This resounds with me.

        I was given a book called ‘The Little Prince’ in french after I spent a 3 month exchange over there by a really inspiring teacher of mine. It had a touching message inscribed on the inside of the front cover and I can remember reading the book on the plane home and crying my eyes out because it was so relevant to me.

        Over a year ago I lent it to a friend. A few months later I asked for it back but he assured me he had already returned it, and I was convinced he had too. So I turned my house over a few times searching for it but I didn’t find it.

        I was quite sad and frustrated at first but I slowly began to realise that the book itself was unimportant, the messages within were and I could never forget them.

        Last week this same friend came up to me, apologised, told me he had found the book and returned it. Oddly, I was upset about having it back. I was so because I had come to terms with having lost it and had grown from it.

        It’s strange how part of the process of being given something can be losing it.

        I’m not going to lose the book again any time soon though.

        And there is hope for your jacket still

      • http://twitter.com/exorcistasy Piper Shepherd

        Your jacket does sound magic. I have a collection of neat jackets like that and one day I would like to give you one. It’s one of my missions to sit down and talk with you in real life. I still miss my shirt. I’m moving to Portland in a few months and hoping I’ll find it and discover what happened to it. I hope my shirt and your jacket are having the kind of lives we could never give them.

    • Quin

      I left my math notebook in a lab one night when I was scanning homework. Went back two days later and it was still there. Turns out, no one wants your damn math homework.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ant.Antonelli Stephen Antonelli

      I like to share things. I went to the Northhampton, MA show. It was beautiful. I had not seen Amanda play in 10 years. I cherish the insights and life gifts she gives in her work, what value there is in her shows. I speak for me at least. I am an artist and I set up wherever I feel the need. Before the show, in my town of Brattleboro, VT, I went street artist and did a random gypsy-style spontaneous sale of my art on a card table in front of an abandoned building to have pocket money for show merchandise. I sold things I put my heart into making to be able to get things from another, who I believe put her heart into making as well. I did not know any people in Northhampton, but before the show, I met clerks working at a convenience store who loved Amanda but could not go to the show because they were working to make a living. At the show, I bought Dresden Doll shirts with the money I made from my spontaneous street sale. After the show, I ran to the convenience store and gave the shirts to the people working. And then I quickly left. One girl was speechless and near tears. Now they have things from a random stranger and these things represent Amanda’s music and work and what it means. I am just a messenger and a grateful punk to be able to do that.

      • http://twitter.com/exorcistasy Piper Shepherd

        This story is so awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/lyingrain Coraline

    ok, this makes me cry (but everything makes me cry this time….)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gypsythatiwas Gypsy T

    It’s very true. It’s so very true.

  • Alex

    I listened to this song on youtube the other night and ended up crying my eyes out, alone in my bed.
    recently lost my grandfather, well I say recently but it’s been almost a
    year now; it feels like it was yesterday when I could call him to tell
    him how my new adult life is going, or having my phone ringing because
    he wanted the wish me good luck for my exams.
    He was the most amazing
    man you could possibly imagine, funny, loving, caring and handsome.
    Everyone loved him. He was like a father to me and he decided it was his
    duty to be a parent to me when my father was absent and distant, just
    shy of walking out on my mother and me. He always said he was “My father
    twice”. Damn right, he was.
    When he died my grandma gave me his
    watch. It’s old, with a tattered leather strap and a small crack on the
    glass, but I wear it every day, pushed up on my arm because it’s too big
    on my wirst, and it leaves a mark on me every time I take it off at the
    end of the day. It’s the last tangible thing I have of him. I don’t
    even have a grave to talk to, since I live so far away.
    And I would like to call him, but I can’t ever do that again and I have to make peace with that fact. But I can’t. Not yet.

  • lentower

    Well done! Thank you.

    And maybe record’s time have come.
    The Internet has made them unnecessary.

    Hmmm, can you start a career without one?

    • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

      I disagree–records offer a level of intricacy, art, work, and beauty that you just don’t get from some internet singles.

  • http://twitter.com/megatonponch megatonponch

    wow, this is intense. I need to take a break and listen to it more later.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.mchoulderosa Julie McHoul DeRosa

    I was in the audience at Bard and I was so fortunate to hear this song live and in person. It was also my first time seeing you, Amanda. My husband got us tickets for my birthday which is in a week. I love you, I love the song, Thank you for one of the best evenings I have had in such a long time. Thank you for sharing this beautiful song. Just thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/Cara_1969 Cara

    Thank you, Amanda. This was food for thoughts, indeed. Great song! I immediately had to support you with $10,- although it is worth much, much more.

  • Jacqueline

    Beautiful song. And I like ‘the thing about things’.
    I get the whole keeping your creations to yourself thing. I write, have written since I was in my early teens, but have always wanted to keep hold of my work, terrified that other people would find reasons to criticise me. It would have been like someone taking me apart.
    Only now I have reached thirty have I become brave enough to let it go. I’ve just completed the first module of a writing degree. The grade I got was good. Knowing that other people found me good was incredibly painful, as if I had let go of something I had been cherishing for too long.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=157400537 Sara Crow

    I certainly hope records aren’t passe. Records do some really amazing things that you can’t achieve with singles. As one example, a complete record allows you to create consecutive tied-in art that speaks to the songs themselves and to ideas that may permeate the recording as a whole in the liner notes. You can include “cover art” with singles, but the booklet that accompanies a full album (which you can even get with digital downloads, btw), has a lot more opportunity to meld image and audio.

    Also, full records present the opportunity for “concept albums,” an idea that can’t be properly expressed with a disjointed series of released singles. The concept album is to music what a novel is to written lit, and I think there are too few of these floating around right now. The classical composers had it right–you can express some great depth in a stand-alone poem or song, but to really hit a home run, an entire series of interconnected pieces hits its mark even better. It can be a pain in the ass to pull off songs that work alone AND as a part of a concept album, but when done well, the payoff is worth the pain. And, again, you can include art that weaves the whole thing together into one cohesive and powerful piece (“Who Killed Amanda Palmer” would be a good example, right?).

    When I buy physical albums, these are two major factors that I take into consideration as I make my purchase, and I’m more than happy to shell out for a really well-done full record that manages to pull of compelling examples of one or both of these factors. I’ll buy really solid singles and digital copies of music, but I do sometimes miss the amazing art piece that a full album can pull off.

  • Beth

    Thank you for sharing your new song. It is amazing. I love you.

  • http://goshuar.tumblr.com Josh Gosh

    Ouch… hurting…
    I think this song is going to help me let go of a lot of things.
    Thanks Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/dwyercd Christopher Dwyer

    You used to be the person I wish I’d become when I grew up. Now you’re the person who’s inspired me to be that person anyway by starting music lessons again, from the beginning, with counterpoint. So thanks for that.

  • http://twitter.com/_TeDiouS_ Tom Steiger

    I was impressed with how much this song progressed from Friday to Saturday. They grow up so fast!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518993464 Nicky Mitchell

    absolutely beautiful, thank you for your wonderful music

  • http://www.facebook.com/komies Robyn Grey

    I lost my armwarmers from that same show, but it was before I ever left the venue. I went back to look and they were nowhere to be found- I guess someone got a nice present, at least. :)

  • http://www.jaegerjensen.com/ jaegerjensen

    What a beautiful song! I love it! I have always had a fascination with thing that disappear.. in fact I wrote a short story about it…

    Sometimes thing disappear because you forget to look at them – Could someones existence be erased just by people forgetting you? http://jaegerjensen.tumblr.com/post/47464258868/the-chinese-that-wasnt-there

    Thank you again for the wonderful song AFP!

    ∞ Mjj

  • kay

    I love this song so much, but I think I prefer it with sweater instead of bathing suit.

  • Derek_anny

    Youtube search results (with interstitial commentary) for those who can’t see tumblr.

  • Lani

    I find it amazing how your music comes to me when I need your voice, no matter what you’re saying. I can always find what I need in your songs. I moved out a couple days ago, away from my family, my family I’m incredibly close to. My mom is my best friend and she’s sick and leaving her feels like I’m a terrible daughter. My emotions are all over the place lately and this song was so grounding. I don’t even know what I got out of it yet but I’m sitting in this cafe listening and crying a little and I feel like I’m going to be okay for the first time all week. So thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/angieporfavor angie

    hey dear,
    i’m so grateful you decided to share this song right now. I just spent the whole evening packing my stuff, i’m leaving my house on Friday. After that i’m going abroad for one year, and i should be able to carry everything i need in one collapsing suitcase…

    and this song HELPS.

    I spent the evening classifying what to throw away and what to give to others and what to keep in boxes, waiting for me to (maybe) come back one day.

    Documents and love letters. My favorite boots and my favorite books. Diaries. Gifts from people that no longer love me. Souvenirs. Six (six!!) t-shirts that used to belong to various friends/lovers, that i only wear to bed. A toaster. I just threw away the receipt from the hotel where I fell in love. I kept every bus ticket from my 1-year-long-distance-relationship. The criteria is totally random, i guess, but it just feels right.

    Such a serendipity to hear this song today. I’m singing it along right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    and also, thanks for the lyrics, they make things a little easier for all of us whose first language is not English :)

  • http://twitter.com/desiraegun Desirae Stewart

    I love this! I am so happy that you keep a blog. I woke up this morning thinking about “things” that I had from people who are dead and gone, and for some reason, I had this rattling around in my head. I wrote it down right away:

    ARE YOU?
    Some creatures cry out when they have nothing, some cry out when they have everything.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Some have no mother, some have no father, some tonight will be tucked in safely.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    We talk about each other, we talk about ourselves.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Offer a shoulder, you have two-better yet, how about your arms?
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Change of heart, change of mind, change of tubes, change of friends.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Ever wonder why you don’t have to ask what’s wrong? Ever wonder why you have to ask permission before you hear the response, “feel free”?
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    You try on someone else’s shoes. Remind me again, why it is so bad to be weak.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Send flowers swiftly, and insert get well soon, sorry for your loss. You don’t have the words to say? Maybe it takes none.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    I see no difference, I hear no difference, I say there’s a difference. Quick! Someone’s next to you, pretend they’re not there!
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Don’t tell me the truth, tell me what’s in your heart.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    Some slip away into the night without so much as a word. Some went away screaming, but we didn’t hear it.
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    It has been said; with death comes life. Where is the struggle, without the knife?
    Why are people so lonely? Are you?
    After these beers, and after these tears, we’ll go on anyway. We’ll have enough another day.
    Why are people so lonely?

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      totally emily dickinson.


      thanks for sharing. beautiful.

  • M

    Thank you for making your music available. It means alot.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      you’re welcome. thank you for saying that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OWspicywatermelon Nicole Xao

    It was magic to hear a song the day after you wrote it, while it was still raw and wriggling. I sang with you even though I didn’t know the words. It became our song that you were playing for us – that you wrote for us. Thanks for sharing <3

  • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

    The Thing About Things is definitely a better title. “The Ring” seems too concrete for this song and it’s not really what the song is about. And “The Thing About Things” has the same kind of haunting mystery feeling/mood to it as the song. And I love you. And this song. Thanks, yet again for channeling my heart and story…

  • heatherbennett38

    Amanda, you’ve written a song about my mum. She died when I was one year old. I never knew her, and I was too young and selfish to love her. I only learnt what love was and what it meant long after she was dead. So when I learnt what it was I took her things and I told myself what they meant to me, how they reminded me that I loved her and missed her and that she loved me and was proud of me too. But I’m realising now that they’re just things. Just ‘Things’. A box of pennies she collected is just a box of pennies. A necklace is a metal trinket from a store. It isn’t a sign that she loves me and she’s with me and she’s so proud of what I became. I wanted to believe that they were, because maybe then I could feel like I love her and that because she loved me there’s some kind of mutuality in that. But there isn’t. I couldn’t love her. Not at one year old. And I can’t miss her, because you can’t miss what you never had. So I am learning now that giving things meanings won’t bring me any closer to her, and that just because she’s dead now her clutter and junk is no more profound than my clutter and junk is in my own room which I barely even look at day to day. I learned to love her dead; the only way I can. And that’s okay. I can stop trying to fill in the blanks I can never fill now. That is okay, that is what I have to do.

    • Abigail Rose

      This made me cry. In a good, healing way.

  • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

    For some reason, reading the lyrics by themselves today hit me harder than when I listened to the song a few days ago. I like to think I just wasn’t ready yet.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeOfShadows Joe Shadows

    I have a ring I need to throw away. I gave it to myself, because at the same time I gave an identical (but smaller) one to the woman who would become someone that doesn’t talk to me anymore.

    It sits on my dresser and I don’t look at it anymore. I take things off that dresser and put them back down on it at least twice a day, and I haven’t seen that ring in months- my eyes slide around it like your mind slides around the blind spot in your eyes.

    Every time I think about it, I immediately start to think that I should throw it away, which means that I almost immediately stop thinking about it, because I don’t think I can do that just yet. She’s not in my life anymore, but sometimes I can still feel her not-there, just like how even though I don’t wear that ring anymore, I sometimes feel it being not-there. The ring doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, except for the fact that I can still feel the meaning it used to have being not-there.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaireShrugged Claire Targaryen

    Earlier today, I bought Theatre is Evil a second time on bandcamp (I backed the Kickstarter), along with other pay-what-you-want downloads, because I wanted to show you support. Perhaps I jumped the gun, but at least it all goes straight to YOU. Purchased your new song too.

    I do love you, Amanda Fucking Palmer.

  • Kristina

    I couldn’t work out why I was tearing up listening to this.

    Then I realised it’s because on a high shelf in my room there is a small twisted piece of plastic, snapped off the bicycle helmet of the person I’m inextricably in love with. They slipped it into my bag for a joke, and I found it that night and held it in my hands and smiled, and I never quite managed to throw it away.

    They really do start meaning things nobody actually said. Thank you for verbalising that fact, AFP.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      when i was about 15, i remember being at a cast party or something at the house of a senior in my high school. a nice, quiet theater guy, maybe named dan.

      and i remember dan was pulling his room apart to leave for college, and he had a poster of robert smith and siouxie sioux that i freaked out at. and he just gave it to me. he was like “here, i don’t need it”. and i remember being really flabbergasted.

      i had never once in my life seen someone just GIVE something away like that.

      my sister and i were always engaged in a ongoing war, mortal COMBAT, over THINGS.

      posters were MINE or YOURS and nothing was shared and nothing was gifted. it was really sad and fucked up when i look back on it.

      i remember a few years later, at college….a similar thing happened.

      again i was hanging out at a house and an older guy named zach was leaving for japan. he had all this stuff he “didn’t need” and he just gave it to me.

      i’m a hoarder. the idea that someone could Part With Their Stuff really blew my domepiece.

      both of those guys were teachers, looking back.

      i wish i could thank them.

      • Kelly Shea

        A number of years ago, my dear friend Gillian from Ireland was visiting me in NJ. One night we went out on the town and she wore the coolest dress – I remarked how much I liked it and how cool it looked on her. A few days later, after she had left to go back home, I walked into my bedroom and was surprised to discover that she had left the dress for me to have. I ended up wearing it the first time I met Amanda Palmer after a show of hers in Brooklyn. :)

        I remember also being very possessive of “my stuff” when I was a kid. Though my daughter, upon hearing that you held a fondness for My Little Pony, insisted that she give one of hers to you at the Bard show this past weekend. What also warmed my heart was that her initial disappointment at not seeing you after the show was not because she wouldn’t meet you (her getting something), but because she was sad she couldn’t give you the pony (her giving something). When @southships assured her that he would deliver the pony safely to you, she brightened up simple tell and was utterly thrilled to know that you would get her gift. Thank you so much for tweeting the photo – it made her night, and mine.

        Love love love

        Kelly (and Rory)

        • Kelly Shea

          Ugh autocorrect! I don’t even remember what was supposed to be where “simple tell” ended up. C’est la vie

      • http://www.facebook.com/primat01 Cansu Turgut

        This January, I went to swimming to the local swimming pool on a freezing day, and after the session, it turned out that I’ve forgotten my towel. I was so cold after the shower that I was literally shaking. Then I saw a little girl with her mother in the changing room; they were about to leave. I asked for a towel and said that I would wash it and bring it back to the help desk. The mother frowned and just said “no”, as if I was a filthy beggar on the street. Next 3 days I couldn’t get out of bed bcause of the cold and fever. It was just a damn towel, something which everyone has, like, 30 of it at their homes and that woman did not spare one for a person who needed it in order not to get sick.
        I pitied a lot for her little daughter, who would never experience the joy of sharing and giving things away.
        Anyways, if you visit my country for a ninja gig, I would happily lend you my piano, guitar, amps, my house etc. as a proud kickstarter backer and a dresden dolls fan.

        • http://www.facebook.com/primat01 Cansu Turgut

          I also gave my mandolin to someone who said he liked it. I gave it away wishing that it would inspire him, because he was such a talented singer. We weren’t even closed or something. Does it make me a fool?

  • http://twitter.com/GalInTheGreyHat CMPowers

    First I read your blog whenever it happens to be updated. But I’ve never posted because I don’t know I guess I feel nervous to comment on how wonderful you are and how amazing and touched I am by your music. I’ve had your song The Thing About Things stuck in my head since you posted it to Twitter Sunday maybe? I’m happy it’s still there. I don’t want it to leave.

    Please keep being the amazing singer/songwriter you are and as connected to your fans as you are. Hands down you are on my top five people to meet before I kick the bucket. You know it’s comments like this that are the reasons I never post here. :p

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      fuck you for waiting for so long.


      • http://twitter.com/GalInTheGreyHat CMPowers

        Lesson learned.

  • http://twitter.com/faroop Angela V-C

    “i thought it was important to not share things and hold them and hoard them and wait until maybe it was the right time” — this I do with everything. I used to keep candles and never burn them because if I did they’d be gone. I keep ideas and don’t share them because I worry about them off on their own. I keep the last few olives in the jar in my refrigerator because I might want to eat olives later.

    So, thanks for sharing, and I liked the song!

  • insignifikunt

    this song pretty much explains the relationship i had with my nan. she could be a cold hearted bitch when she was alive. when she died we found out it was probably due to the illness she was suffering from that eventually killed her. i felt horrible for thinking horrible things about her after that.

    when she died i held onto some knitted coat hanger covers she made. i cried when i found them. eventually though, they became meaningless, and i got rid of them. things mean nothing… feelings mean everything.

    in terms of albums being dead…. NEVER!! YOU MUST KEEP MAKING THEM!

  • http://twitter.com/OpusImpromptu Ariadna Kryazheva

    Thanks, Amanda… thank you for these lyrics… As a song-writer, I imagined your process of creation of this piece, and it is always inspiring to get a glimpse of an artist’s creating, and is a reminder to not step away from it myself… Oddly, this song relates to my relationship with my grandmother, who raised me, and who resembles my own personality so much… And she loves me, but is all but accepting, and expresses her affection by things and care, more so than any sort of attempt at understanding… Which is hard to understand. So who am I looking at as look to her for answers? And acceptence. And understanding…

  • insignifikunt

    …. ALSO

    when i was in hospital without many of my favourite things… i felt free. when i came home i felt like the walls containing all of my favourite things were closing in on me.

  • Priscilla Monteiro

    This song helped me thinking about so many different aspects of my life, specially about the time when my grandfather died. I wasn’t really close to him, but I kind of liked him, after all he was my grandfather and seemed to be sort of shy, sort of distant, but a nice old man. Then when he died all my family was really sad, I remember my aunt was crushed, my cousins were all so down and my father was trying as much as he could just to stay strong and to seem strong so the family would find some streght by looking at him. But I didn’t even care, I remember thinking that there was no point cause I didn’t really knew him and stuff. I had all this indifference because by that time I was so focused, so devoted to this girl, that I just could not care about anything else. During the whole service I was texting her because she was the only thing that mattered to me. The funny thing is that she doesn’t even speak to me anymore and I don’t really understand why. And listening to the song I remembered all that and it made me feel so sorry that I didn’t care about my grandfather’s death, I mean, I didn’t cry, I did not care at all, I was fucking texting someone the whole fucking time. He was my grandfather, my family was in need for support and I wasn’t really there. I’m just so sorry. I think it’s not really what this song is about but that’s what it made me feel and think, and I’m thankful that I came to realise this shit, Thank you, Amanda. (this is my first comment ever, I hope I’m not totally out of subject)

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.dekle Samantha Shulamith Dekle

    The way you sing, “Actually I want to be alone.” has left me devastated
    for two days. I don’t know what you did when you wrote this song but it
    has awoken something in me. Thank you. <3

  • Elizabeth Grammaticas

    “If you’re not allowed to love people alive , you learn how to love them dead “. I think that statement is a large reason why I am an artist. There are too many dead people in my life for my age,and I am spending a good chunk of my time indirectly learning how to still love them in a meaningful way.

    I study media /biographies of long dead epic people to learn how to connect with the everyday people that have epically left my life .

    P.s. I think Casey accidentally gave you my Dolly Parton sweatshirt .

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      HOLY SHIT that’s your sweatshirt?????

      i love that sweatshirt.

      do you need it back?

      • Victoria Ostrovsky

        Hahaha! The irony is too delicious. After hearing THAT song, who could possibly ask you for their sweatshirt back?

      • Elizabeth Grammaticas

        Ahaha if it’s being loved then I can part ways with it.

        So the answer is no, I don’t need it back, which is honestly not the answer I thought I would have. A year ago I was upset it was out of my posession. It was my favorite sweatshirt … It reminded me of San Francisco, where I got it and fell in love with the city. There’s something special about a sweatshirt with an almost guilty but really just comforting pleasure on th front-Dolly Parton. It’s all comfort. I missed if for a year because it had represented comfort and security and I lost it. It didn’t represent those things anyway . It represented carelessness and that I can’t love things…you think they will be more permanent than people or life’s other fleeting things but they too slip away.

        I am writing this on my phone at an airport in San Francisco. The magic of the city was still there , sweatshirt or not. I’ve since also been given another warm fuzzy semi-guilty pleasure sweatshirt. It’s serving its purpose. The phone I am writing this on is new. I lost my previous phone 2 weeks ago. This phone is really no more or less special than my previous phone; much like the new fuzzy pop culture sweatshirt it’s serving its purpose. …..yet the lost phone still bothers me and the sweatshirt doesn’t . Here’s why- I don’t know if my phone is being loved like I loved it. Knowing what you lost is being loved makes it no longer lost and fragmented. It’s continuing a journey, and that’s really what we want for anything we love . It just so happens that the sweatshirts journey is no longer with me. It’s okay, our time is done. It can’t ever represent what it at one point did to me, nor do I need it to. Sometimes you lose something and realize when given the option .. ..you don’t want it back. It can feel kind of great.

        its a thing, and it’s off doing its own thing. In the meantime .., you’ve been making do without and doing your own things. Thingssssss.

        IN SHORT OMG DOLLY IS NOW YOURS. Take care of her, and if you lose her .. I hope the next person loves her too.

        • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

          maybe i will wear nothing but that shirt on tour.

          • Elizabeth Grammaticas

            DO IT. You have my full support…and probably Dolly’s too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/samuel.grandt Samuel Aaron Grandt

          Now THAT’S love. :-)

  • Kate

    A guy I was dating reached into his coat pocket and found a broken zipper. He gave it to me. He never gave me things.

    I kept that zipper for years after we stopped dating. I kept it even after I realized that he had manipulated me and never loved me like I loved him. Part of it was that I wanted something to remember him by, but it also just seemed like such a good symbol. He had jokingly, unknowingly given me something that summed everything up. A broken zipper with the paint chipped off- that was our relationship.

    I got rid of it a couple of months ago. It belonged in the trash.

  • KatC

    Thank you, Amanda. I have hoarder tendencies and fantasize about the opposite, in so many ways. Your lifestyle of gifting has been so inspiring to me, and lines up with what I’ve observed and experienced for years – the artists especially (and people in general) that I admire most and seem the most “successful” are also the most generous. It is hard for me to give up what I have created, especially when it feels so personal, but I see you do this over and over again. I have been very ill for a long time, and it is getting worse, and I wrote something that makes me cry and made my doctors cry and friends want to share, and I have not wanted to let it go, it seemed so raw and vulnerable. I’ve decided to do so anyway, largely because of what I’ve seen in you. If something has a life of its own, if it can do some good out there, I choose to set it free. A piece of my heart will always be in it, but I can be whole and generous at the same time, even if it feels like a paradox. Thank you for being honest about the vulnerability of living this way. It is not easy, and it is absolutely worthwhile.

    (ok… and here it is, with my whole name:

    “An Odd Sort of Love Note

    I love this body, that has proven stronger than anyone could guess and survives still to carry me through the days and nights.

    I love my lungs, that in spite of being full of clots, still manage to pull oxygen in and send carbon dioxide out.

    I love my heart that in spite of having a *huge* body to support, works hard and efficiently every minute of the day and night.

    I love my brain, that despite floods of cortisol over years and years, despite a good sized tumor growing tucked between the frontal lobes, still manages the body and the cognitive things that need managing, and I am still me, with memories and humor and enough smarts to get by quite well.

    I love my liver, the champ that has withstood toxic medications for years, all sorts of Cushing’s related ills, and remained un-damaged, along with my kidneys. Thank you!

    I dearly love my ears, my eyes, my mouth, that along with my brain and nervous system, let me experience the world and communicate, and so much more.

    So many parts of this body work the way they should in spite of the assaults of disease, and even those that don’t work so well, still survive. We are walking miracles all, but I think I can give some extra kudos to this body for surviving so very much.

    I pledge to care for it as best I can, to be grateful instead of hating, to be angry at the circumstances when that is the honest truth, but to also be an ally with my body in fighting the disease.

    I spent too many years hating this body, and now, with my health at its worst, I find myself so grateful to it that I choke up. It’s a beautiful miracle, in a way; and disease, though tragic, can also be fascinating and ridiculous.

    That’s where I choose to live today. No more hate.

    – Kathryn Cole” )

  • Kyrie

    For me, this song reminded me about my dad. My parents are on the verge of divorce but I’ve moved out. He collects antiques and I think in a few years, no matter where he is, all of the things he’s found will literally begin to form piles. And I can’t help but think about where all of the antiques have come from, because they’re usually of good quality or replacement value, but he finds them abandoned at goodwill. He’s filling a broken home with things from other broken homes, and that’s the thing I have against things.

  • Anne

    This kind of make me thinks of the latest Doctor Who. Withthe things that mean histories that were, that could have been.

    (But actually, I love the song. As a hoarder who has her friends carry her stuff around every year, I should really detach myself from things. But I always feel like I’m throwing away a relationship with someone when I throw out an object.)

    • http://twitter.com/megatonponch megatonponch

      I agree! I love the market and the concept of using emotional attachment as currency.

  • http://twitter.com/megatonponch megatonponch

    Once I sent a friend a link to one of those blue canary night lights. He said it seemed like “a terrific waste of energy”. I don’t think he knew how much Birdhouse In Your Soul meant to me, but I couldn’t explain it because of previous communication problems. We used to be best friends and I haven’t spoken to him in years. I still can’t listen to that song without hurting too much, but I can listen to this. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/bintykins dani abram

    I am sat in another country, which I moved to for love. My ex kept my house and all my things. And I have been raging about this for nearly 2 years! 2 YEARS! Of raging! Then this song… (I mean, I was getting there anyway right? this song just pushed me over the brink…?) FUCK THE THINGS! Who cares?! (we’re all gunna die! :D) I’m surrounded by love now! I have just kissed a big fat FUCK YOU to that expensive knife set that I picked – and the best vacuum cleaner we could afford – my favourite wok… It’s so ridiculous it’s hilarious. I have only known you since the KS campaign AFP, but count me in for the ride. Thank you so, so, so much.

  • Anne Ratigan

    I’ve never donated or commented before but I just donated $5 for that song. It really made me feel something complicated and deep and important about how we try to assign emotions that were never expressed to objects. My grandfather was very distant and I never really connected with him. I got all his paints and art materials after he died and that made me feel connected to him, though the truth was he never hugged me or said he loved me, I assigned those unsaid things to my possession of the things he did love. Amazing song, thanks Amanda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.paes.7 Stéphanie Paes

    Hey! Thank you for sharing the song! :)
    And I agree with Neil that “The thing about things” is a good name. It has a rhyme – a repetition – in it. And rhymes do a movement that’s similar to the one of a loaned thing: go and return. This movement reminds me of the movement of waves and it’s curious because fishmen say that the sea always gives back what doesn’t belong to it. :)

    Ok, I may be tripping way to far, but I find it interesting even when it’s contraditory to what you say. xD

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreaism Andrea M. Niceschwander

    “There is so much to lose that we haven’t lost.”—Cecilia Woloch

    And now I’m crying. How relevant this song is right now when I’ve just come to terms with all the things I’ve made up about people to make them better than they were. And I have an oddly similar story about a ring that relates to my Freemason grandfather. I feel all of this. And alone. But now I know I’m not entirely alone in this or anything. This life is so fucking strange.

  • Fernanda Prado

    Hey Amanda. Since I’ve been following you I’ve beeen writing in your blogs posts about how i have a uncle sick with cancer and how Antonys story was just like my uncles. He died yesterday, at 4pm.
    He was a present person, soo it wasnt hard to love him at all, although I dont have many things to remind me of him, is something from modern society, we dont take many pictures anymore, no souveniers. A funny coincidence, he was a mason (not gay but still, a mason like your uncle).
    To be true I dont quite believe he is gone, I saw the video of your song on my way home from the crematory, when I’ve arived I fell asleep a little bit, got up and started doing this, writing for you. Even if you dont read this I want to put it out there. Two weeks ago I was talking to him, he seemed fine even though he had made his third head surgery of the year. Cancer is a bitch, the sunday after I saw him he lost the movement of his legs, and the doctors sugested for us to not see him anymore, he would get sedated the day he died. I guess is for the best, he wouldnt want to be a vegetable. I cant, I just cant believe it was him on those ashes.
    Hope Antony is still strong with his battle, btw yesterday, the day my uncle died, was the international day of the fight against cancer, ironic, isnt it.

  • insignifikunt

    i also love that lola is in the background in the picture

  • http://twitter.com/JWebbArt Jessica Webb

    I use to live in TX with a person that was clearly Not the right person for me to be with. And I was finding comfort and solace in Things. Hoarding definitely is an attribute that I learned from my family. Well, about 5 1/2 years ago I rekindled a friendship (online…Thanks interwebs) with an old friend that I had grown up with & after a couple weeks I started getting rid of Stuff. Just lots and lots and lots of stuff that had accumulated. Things I didn’t even look at but was unable to bring myself to part with. I finally just said fuck it and started selling or donating stuff. After about a month, It was time to move on from that asshole. So I got my own place. which was nice, but I still had a lot of stuff. Well, the rekindled friendship turned into much much more, and he traveled across the country to live with me in TX. Several months later we were ready to leave TX. and the thing about things is, it’s quite the experience when you have to decide what to take when you can only take what will fit in your car. It was super painful at the time. I even ended up crying over some of the things that I ended up not being able to hold on to. But I think somewhere inside something clicked. I haven’t gotten nearly that bad since. I am always going back through my things now to weed out what I don’t need. It’s liberating to let things go.

    I also do a lot of art. I’ve always been into painting and creating things ever since I was a child. I could never imagine selling or giving away any of my art. In fact I had done a watercolor for someone as a housewarming gift, and ended up framing a photocopy of it for that person instead of giving them the original. Recently I’ve decided to say fuck it and send my art out into the world. The first piece of art that I had actually given up freely to someone was oddly enough to Neil during the unchained tour. It was a sugar skull interpretation of death on a record cover. With a note written on the vinyl. Since then, I’ve sold another of my “sugar skull” covers and I’m in the process of finishing gifts for others and getting things together to sell as a side business. Scared but excited. Scared people will hate it, scared I will fail….but excited at the idea of succeeding.
    None of this would have happened if it weren’t for that friendship that I rekindled 5 1/2 years ago.
    I married that friend 3 months after we rekindled our old friendship.
    Just last week our little boy turned 4.
    I’ve come to realize that love is WAY better than things!

  • http://twitter.com/Nihilo888 R.C.

    I haven’t listened to the song yet…but read the lyrics first so I can get the full impact of AFP’s poetry and I got The Feels. A few weeks ago my sister sent me some old stuff in the mail I used to have during my high school Goth days that were taking up room in her house: black patent pants, black velvet purse, black velvet gloves, red (not black!) velvet mask…and a few other things I totally forgot about. Made me think about how ragingly insecure I was, hoping that things would just work out somehow when I grew up for real, and about how skinny I was (but thought I was fat of course and yes the pants don’t fit anymore)…and as I put these Things in drawers and shelves, I began to wonder why throwing these Things away seems like a violation of some kind. Blame it on the psychic energy radiation (from the Things), but I began thinking that if I died soon, SOMEONE would have to deal with ALL my Things. The high school Things, last year’s Things, my books, my stuffed Gizmo and the backpack I got at Target last week. These Things feel vital to ME somehow, and if it doesn’t get “saved,” parts of me will be lost. This is why I have NOTHING of my past relationships because I believe in full purging of others. But of me? How do you throw yourself away? Just because it’s in the past, it’s suddenly expired and no good? Ask Buddha, then, what is the proper fate then of my 1st grade book I illustrated and wrote called, “The Purple Monster”?

  • Nick

    So touching and relevant. “and if you’re not allowed to love people alive, then you learn how to love people dead.” I’ve felt this way so many times about friends and family. Sometimes it’s easier to put our own meaning into someone/something than face the truth that’s there.

    Your music is so honest, and has helped me so many times.

  • http://twitter.com/laharrington LeeAnn Harrington

    Hi Amanda. You hit the nail on the head with this song. Thank you. Things and the meaning we give them sometimes shout louder than what we want to hear…at least that has been true for me. Your poetic capture of this reality has helped me take action with some things I need to let go. Hugs.

  • http://twitter.com/lizebomb Liz Zee

    I received a necklace, from a friend when I was fourteen.
    It was a pentagram, on a simple silver chain.
    I loved it, and wore it every moment of every day.

    Then one day in p.e. class, I took it off for some reason. Usually I would just leave it on under my gym shirt. But I didn’t, I left it in my locker.
    When it was time to change, I opened my gym locker and saw that it was gone. I looked every where in that stinky locker room, and even a couple of friends helped me look. I was convinced someone in class stole it. I was extremely angry.
    Then, after school I went home, and we had to go paint the inside of the new house we were moving to. The room I had picked had built-in shelves, the kind you could hang up anywhere, and they were already in the house when we bought it. I had been to the house only once before we went to paint.
    I walked into my room, and what do you think I saw hanging from one edge of one of the shelves?
    My fucking necklace. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I screamed aloud, out of sheer I-don’t-know-how-this-is-possible-ness. Later in life, I moved away to college and lost track of the necklace.
    A year ago, my now-boyfriend was walking through our parking lot towards our apartment, and he bent over to grab something on the ground.

    It was the same fucking necklace, I hadn’t even seen it in around 2 or 3 years.

    I cannot lose this thing. This thing has to be evil, or good. I’m not sure.

  • http://twitter.com/Maru45 j maruskin

    There are some great stories here. I’ve lost a wife and several girlfriends over the years (fortunately not to death), and friends, and relatives. I’m 67 and i think a lot about letting things go—especially those emotional things that weigh more than furniture on your soul.

    Years ago, going through a divorce, I was living in an old farmhouse converted into two apartments. My whole emotional state was in disarray. One night I was out walking the dog and I looked back at this decrepit old building, with the attached garage that was full of firewood, and a guy who smoked pot on the first floor and thought about fire. “What would I feel if everything went up in flames one night?”

    It’s really dark and peaceful out in the country, where I was and I walked and thought and suddenly realized that as much as i would regret losing the photos, the records and books, my entire artistic oeuvre, it wouldn’t be bad enough to destroy me, to stop me from moving on and enjoying life. keeping that moment in my memory has made a big difference in the way I feel about possessions.
    The only thing I could lose which would really hurt and maybe even destroy me is the love of my children and my friends.

  • Sarah

    I hear my life story in all your songs. This one in particular reminds me of so many people, My parents being the biggest ones. I still have a small wooden butterfly that my father, who left us when I was a baby and died when I was 16, work shopped and sent me for my birthday. One of the few he remembered. Somewhere in one of the multiple moves I made, while being homeless after my mother kicked me and my then fiance out, it was lost and when I finally found it one of it’s wings had broken off. I never realized how much the fact that he had always been absent from my life and had died before I got to really know him had effected me, until my world had been stripped down to nothing but a pile of boxes my life had been hurriedly shoved into and a crappy apartment we couldn’t afford. And I sat on my new bedroom floor, because we didn’t own a bed, holding the two pieces of broken wood and cried for I don’t remember how long, thinking about all the things it meant to me, until my fiance found me and promised me we could fix it, even though we both knew we couldn’t afford the glue. It was in that moment, years after he had passed and my disdain for him had become something I barely remembered, that I realized how much I had always loved him in some secret part of me, and how that piece of wood meant he loved me back. It’s still broken, and somehow that’s ok, I think it fits us better that way.

  • http://twitter.com/dizzydirtysweet Misty

    How can I begin to tell you how inspiring you are? You are so achingly honest, and it reaches this place inside me where I can be truthful to myself. And reading your blog & twitter, listening to your music, I think that maybe, maybe I can start being myself, and showing myself to the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/unicornfrippery SophieTheUnicorn

    I have all of these things that belonged to my best friend, Stephie. She was sixteen when she passed away (two years ago) of a brain malformation that no one knew she had. She was flown to a hospital three hours away one day when I was running late for school and didn’t get to see her, and three weeks later she was gone.

    And I have candles she gave me and a toy I gave her in the week before she died and books she lent me and a car she gave me and all of these things. And it’s so hard to realise that they’re empty and that they’re just things. And they mean so much more than that, but they’re just… things.

    I don’t know what I’m saying.

    Just, thank you, Amanda, for writing something that makes sense more than her death ever will.

    and if you’re not allowed to love people alive
    then you learn how to love people dead

  • Laura

    At first, I thought I didn’t have many stories or feelings that related to this. But then, I realise, of course I do. Everyone does.

    I’m a sucker for making meaning out of things that, really, aren’t important without context. That’s what I think this song is about- context. What we deduce from our relationships with friends, family, lovers, and, quite simply, things. I think it’s been done for a long time- religion, to me, is essentially making meaning of the world and the ‘things’ within it. It’s important to attach yourself to things, this happens in different ways and to various degrees. I don’t know if this makes sense, it doesn’t really make sense in my mind to be truthful.

    I find myself attaching myself to words, insignificant blurs that I tend to exaggerate, and my attachments almost always end in tears.

    This song combines emotion, honesty, beauty, regret, sadness. . .It’s everything I personally love about Amanda Palmer.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudiusClver Claudius Clüver

    You have given a song writing challenge about losing things at some point. This is a great entry. I doubt that i would be able add something.

    Now i want to go into my basement and look for something (anything) i had as a child.

  • pickle

    I keep a folded tootsie pop wrapper in my wallet that was given to me by a guy 15 years ago. I remember every detail of the night we hung out together. We never had sex, we never hung out again. Just a really great night.

  • Anonymous, this time

    It’s hard in the opposite direction too, when someone like an elder gifts something to you that means a lot to them and wants you to have it and enjoy it, and you’re like, meh. But you’re stuck with it because they need to see you feeling about it like they do.

  • A.B. Monk

    Hi Amanda Fucking Palmer, I’ve never posted on your blog before, but I thought this post of yours was really great and also wonderful timing for what I am going through in my life right now. I wrote a blog and posted the lyrics there, I hope you don’t mind. Here is the link if you are interested in reading it (it’s not long): http://spiniffy.com/comic/?p=3205

  • Ruby

    I have never commented before but I met you once, it was April 14th of 2010 (I think) and it was my best friend’s birthday, it was in NYC and you were on your way to see Nail do a talk at a collage. My name is Ruby, I was wearing a corset shirt with plaid sleeves. The point here is, that I bought a house for my mom and dad a few years ago and I have fighting with them more since then and it hit me, it’s because I forgot what this house is for. It’s not what I gave up to buy it, it’s not about me having power. It’s about giving my family a safe warm place. Nothing more, nothing less. So thank you for reminding me, and thank you for posing for pics with me, and thanks for being you in all the roles you fill for all the people who adore and admire you.

  • Ruby

    I have never commented before but I met you once, it was April 14th of 2010 (I think) and it was my best friend’s birthday, it was in NYC and you were on your way to see Nail do a talk at a collage. My name is Ruby, I was wearing a corset shirt with plaid sleeves. The point here is, that I bought a house for my mom and dad a few years ago and I have fighting with them more since then and it hit me, it’s because I forgot what this house is for. It’s not what I gave up to buy it, it’s not about me having power. It’s about giving my family a safe warm place. Nothing more, nothing less. So thank you for reminding me, and thank you for posing for pics with me, and thanks for being you in all the roles you fill for all the people who adore and admire you.

  • Ruby

    I have never commented before but I met you once, it was April 14th of 2010 (I think) and it was my best friend’s birthday, it was in NYC and you were on your way to see Nail do a talk at a collage. My name is Ruby, I was wearing a corset shirt with plaid sleeves. The point here is, that I bought a house for my mom and dad a few years ago and I have fighting with them more since then and it hit me, it’s because I forgot what this house is for. It’s not what I gave up to buy it, it’s not about me having power. It’s about giving my family a safe warm place. Nothing more, nothing less. So thank you for reminding me, and thank you for posing for pics with me, and thanks for being you in all the roles you fill for all the people who adore and admire you.

    • Ruby

      ‘Nail’? WTF spell checker! I meant Neil. And also on the topic of things having lives after you loose them, I once wrote a children’s book that a friend did paintings for called ‘Ralph the wayward pillow’ about a little girl’s fave pillow that gets lost and finds it’s way back to her. It was never published really we just made hand made versions and passed out them to people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuel.grandt Samuel Aaron Grandt

    Since you released this audio snippet, I’ve seen a bunch of video’s from that night popping up…Oh man, if there was a DVD of the entire show, I’d be an emotional wreck all over again…Just a beautiful night…Thank you two, seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MisterLN Leif Nordholm

    Hello Teacher! My excellent friend Katelyn posted the Art of Asking on a colLAB group. I found your site and heard this song with this story. I feel a connection between the thing about things and the story of the eight-foot bride. I keep stories. They’re hard to get rid of. They definitely mean things no one said. People, too. I had to post the TED talk on my blog and write about it. Wow. Write as much as you can. Your words are mesmerizing. Your music is spellbinding. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.hall.5895 Julie Hall

    I’ve known about you for a few years, but I’ve only really started to check out your artwork in the last week since seeing the TED Talk you did. Everything I’ve experienced of your stuff so far has touched me deeply and on a few instances cause me to see something in a whole new light. Your work is inspiring a new creative courage in me and I thank you kindly for it!

    This song is exactly what I’ve needed to hear today.

  • H

    I’m late commenting on this blog, so I doubt anyone will see this. I hope you get to read this, Amanda.

    I never listened to this song. Didn’t even read the lyrics. I kept meaning to, but I would make excuses or be too busy, it just never seemed quite right. I somehow knew it wasn’t ready to be heard by me yet.

    A few months ago I shared my story on one of your “bully” blogs. I wrote about a girl who hated me so much that she spent years talking shit about me online and didn’t know I was reading all of it. Eventually, she posted photos of me. The reaction from her online friends was to call me ugly, among other things, and eventually it was suggested that they should all just kill me. They had no real reason. I’ve never spoken to her and I never did anything aside form dating her boyfriend before her. But this lasted years. I took it to authorities but cyber bullying wasn’t a thing yet, no one knew how to handle it and nothing ever got done. I was strangely okay with this. I remember telling someone once, “I’m going to just let karma handle it. I may not ever see what happens, but I know this will come back to her.” It’s been 3 years. Yesterday, her 17 year old sister was murdered in her own home, probably by her baby’s father. I went into shock, and I cried. A lot. Something told me today to come back and listen to this song. I did. It’s exactly what I’m going through, almost line by line. I hated their entire family so much for putting me through what they did. None of them were innocent. I never thought I could possibly feel anything other than hatred for them, but now I feel so much, and none of it is animosity.

    I really don’t know why I’m telling you this story. For the last 24 hours I just kept thinking, “Amanda would understand” and I listened to this song. You always understand. Thank you for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MamersNotMame Ay-me Wok-er

    My dead father, an engineer, and a ten year old IBM ThinkPad he gave me five years ago, because he gave me nothing else. Message received.

  • Liberty

    I downloaded this and listened to it for the first time on the bus a couple weeks ago. I found myself with tears in my eyes, sitting on the 20. The song definitely speaks to me on an emotional level, just as pretty much all your songs do (INCLUDING THE FUCKING VEGEMITE SONG).

  • Libby :)

    Does anyone know the chords?

  • Marzipans11

    I think Neil’s title should win. I really like it. :)

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