Alanis Morissette

About Flinch

"Flinch" is a song recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette for her fifth studio album, Under Rug Swept (2002). The song, written, arranged and produced by Morissette herself, is inspired by an old flame she previously dated when she was younger. Lyrically, "Flinch" is about feeling ashamed and embarrassed after seeing an ex-boyfriend, and how much he still affects her, with the protagonist claiming that she will eventually grow up and will not even flinch at his name. The song was released in Brazil as the album's third single, after being onto the soundtrack of the Brazilian soap opera "Desejos de Mulher" in 2002. Critics were divided with the song; some praised its lyrics and Morissette's vocal performance, but others felt it was not as good as her other ballads. The song charted on Brazil's Hot 100 chart, reaching the top-forty. Morissette has performed the song live numerous times, including on her "Toward Our Union Mended Tour" (2002) and her "Live at Montreux 2012 CD/DVD". 


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What's it been over a decade?
It still smarts like it was four minutes ago
We only influenced each other totally
We only bruised each other even more so

What are you my blood? You touch me like you are my blood
What are you my dad? You affect me like you are my dad

How long can a girl be shackled to you
How long before my dignity is reclaimed
How long can a girl stay haunted by you
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name

Where've you been? I heard you moved to my city
My brother saw you somewhere downtown
I'd be paralyzed if I ran into you
My tongue would seize up if we were to meet again

What are you my god? You touch me like you are my god
What are you my twin? You affect me like you are my twin

How long can a girl be tortured by you?
How long before my dignity is reclaimed
And how long can a girl be haunted by you
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name

So here I am one room away from where I know you're standing
A well-intentioned man told me you just walked in
This man knows not of how this information has affected me
But he knows the color of the car I just drove away in

What are you my kin? You touch me like you are my kin
What are you my air? You affect me like you are my air

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Alanis Morissette

Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian and American singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actress. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records Canada. more »

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Written by: Alanis Morissette

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Song Origin
"Flinch" is a song by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. It appears on her fifth studio album, "Under Rug Swept," which she released in 2002.
Morissette took on the roles of both songwriter and producer for "Flinch." This album was the first time she held total creative control over her music, without a co-writer or co-producer.
The impressive lyrics of the song are said to reflect on past experiences and personal growth.
Music Video
Unlike several other songs from the album, "Flinch" did not receive a music video.
Album Success
"Under Rug Swept" reportedly sold more than a million copies in the United States and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.
Tour Performances
"Flinch" was performed room only during the "Under Rug Swept" tour and has not been performed live since.
Song Meaning
The song reportedly tells the story of running into an old flame and experiencing flashes of the past. It's said to represent the resilience and strength in moving forward from a painful relationship.
Past Lampooned
Morissette, known for her raw and emotional lyrical content, does not shy away from directly addressing her past experiences in "Flinch."
Live Acoustic Version
An acoustic version of "Flinch" was included in the Jagged Little Pill Acoustic album, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of her breakout album.
Contrasting Sound
While the lyrics of "Flinch" are quite emotional, the instrumental arrangement is rather subdued, showcasing Alanis's ability to infuse various moods into her rich songwriting.

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