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Father Lucifer

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Father Lucifer
you never looked so sane
you always did prefer the drizzle to the rain
tell me that you're still in love with that Milkmaid
how're the Lizzies
how's your Jesus Christ been hanging

nothing's gonna stop me from floating
nothing's gonna stop me from floating

he says he reckons I'm a watercolour stain
he says I run and then I run from him
and then I run
he didn't see me watching
from the aeroplane
he wiped a tear
and then he threw away our appleseed

nothing's gonna stop me from floating
nothing's gonna stop me from floating

everyday's my wedding day
though baby's still in his comatose state
I'll die my own Easter eggs
just don't go yet, just don't go
and Beenie lost the sunset but that's OK | maybe she's hiding in a hot dog
does Joe bring flowers to Marilyn's grave | got a pig hiding in a truffle
and girls that eat pizza and never gain weight | wearing those purple garters
never gain weight never gain weight | and girl I got a condo in Hoboken

Father Lucifer you never looked so sane
you always did prefer the drizzle to the rain
tell me that you're still in love with that Milkmaid
how're the Lizzies
how's your Jesus Christ been hanging


Tori Quotes

I've always said that Lucifer understands love better than anybody. You know he's done a mean tango with Greta Garbo a few times. Really understanding love is the only way you get to that [the dark] side of things. [Keyboards - Nov 1994]

I've been taking tea with Lucifer. I mean I've truly spent time with Lucifer, the energy of Lucifer. So when I sing, "Father Lucifer, you never looked so sane," I truly went to those places. I'm talking about the shadow side, the secrets of the unconscious. It's about claiming in ourselves what we hate in other people. [Dazed & Confused magazine - 1996]

There were high spots, like my chat with Lucifer...You begin to face your fears -- that's what it's really all about. Being alone forces you to do that. There's nobody can make it go away. There's this incredible strength you can pull from a great love. So being alone is hard, but it was time to claim my woman. Its what I've begun to do... I made a choice with this record that I wouldn't censor it. I think when you hear the break in the voice and the fury and the piano, the undulating rhythm, its just me jumping off a cliff, a quest for freedom. But I couldn't have freedom without looking at my part in what happened, without seeing the sides I wanted these men to give me that I could only give myself... It was the transition of womanhood for me, and I had to go visit Lucifer to make a descent. We had to go have a cup of tea, cut a deal and the deal was: No Censorship. [Making Music - Jan 1996]

"Father Lucifer" is about needing to go to the space of shadow, to go where we hide. Not Satanism. A whole different plane. [The Baltimore Sun - Jan 21, 1996]

"Father Lucifer" is really about going to have a cup of tea with Lucifer, which I had to do. Now, when I say Lucifer, I'm talking about the feelings that we hide from ourselves [not something that's twisted and evil, like during the Inquisition when they used Christianity to torture people. That's Satanism.] I had to go in this record when I was trying to find parts of myself that I had not let scream and dance and have a tear. I went to go visit Lucifer to get my talisman, which means my little magic key that took me to the places that I hadn't let myself go. That's really about having a little tango, a little dance, with Lucifer. The idea that Dark is not a scary thing if you go in there understanding there is a purity in Darkness. There's also a lot of distortion in Darkness. It's a choice where you want to go, and I wanted to get to the truth, not to the drama and to keeping me from the truth. [Modern Rock Live - Feb 5, 1996]

I wanted to marry Lucifer... Even though I had a crush on Jesus. Lucifer was the brother holding the space for mankind/womankind to act out their fears and hidden secrets, things they won't acknowledge. That's what the shadow is, the side that's been denied, and once you don't deny your shadow anymore then it's not a perversion of that energy source. I don't consider Lucifer an evil force. We can all tap into that free-running current of distorted energy... Some of my girlfriends -- liberal London girls -- had a problem with the idea that I was writing a song called "Father Lucifer." One of them heard it and cried and said, "You made him so beautiful," and I said, "What if he is beautiful?" Shadow defines light. The shadow is where I hang out a lot because I like chasing and diving with those forces... Although I think my mom would like to tag along and have a dance with him because she's been a minister's wife for so long! But this is not Hollywood's view of Lucifer. [Spin - March 1996]

To visit Father Lucifer, to have a moment to dance... to go down in the dark, to visit with the dude! Not these Little prince of darkness wannabes... some of them are cute, but to visit the real energy force that has held the darkness: you go there with honor. And that takes a very big heart to hold the place of shadow. When I went to Lucifer I learned many things. But that whole thing of, "he didn't see me watching from the aeroplane, he wiped a tear and threw away our appleseed"... there's so much religious reference and metaphor coming back full circle from the myths. A part of her loved Lucifer, a part of her tried to find him in so many men that couldn't carry his energy... And I am not talking about Satanism... that's the distortion of those who can't really claim the dark so they become evil because they are not really claiming their shadow. So we claim our shadow, then we go and meet the Widow. Then we pick up pieces as we go. [B-Side - May/June 1996]

So, when I came home, I guess it was at Thanksgiving because I remember a bird and forks going down at the table, when my father said to me, "Tori Ellen, I can't believe you wrote this song about me." And I said, "I write everything about you, what are you surprised about?" And he said, "No, but I'm really hurt about this one." And I said, "Well which one is it?" And he said, "Well, you called me Satan." And I said, "No! I was taking drugs with a South American shaman and I really did visit the Devil and I had a journey." And he went, "Oh, Praise Jesus!" [VH1 Storytellers - 1998]


"Father Lucifer"
October 4, 1996 - New York, New York
Late Show with David Letterman



"Father Lucifer"
October 24, 1998 - New York, New York
VH1 Storytellers



"Father Lucifer"
October 15, 1999 - New York, New York
Hard Rock Live



"Father Lucifer"
December 10, 2011 - Chicago, Illinois



"Father Lucifer"
May 28, 2014 - Brussels, Belgium




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