"Precious Illusions" is a song written and produced by Alanis Morissette, and recorded for her fifth album Under Rug Swept (2002). It released as the album's second and final international single in mid-2002 (see 2002 in music); 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 romanticoptimism 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 20 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.