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Putting the Damage On

Lyrics by Tori Amos

glue
stuck to my shoes
does anyone know why you play with an orange rind
you say you packed my things
and divided what was mine you're off to the mountain top
I say her skinny legs could use sun
but now I'm wishing
for my best impression
of my best Angie Dickenson
but now I've got to worry
cause boy you still look pretty
when you're putting the damage on

don't make me scratch on your door
I never left you
for a Banjo
I only just turned around for a poodle
and a corvette
and my impression
of my best Angie Dickenson
but now I've got to worry
cause boy you still look pretty
when you're putting the damage on

I'm trying not to move
it's just your ghost
passing through
I said
I'm trying not to move
it's just your ghost passing through
it's just your ghost
passing through
and now
I'm quite sure
there's a light in your platoon
I never seen a light move
like yours
can do to me
so now I'm wishing
for my best impression
of my best Angie Dickenson
but now I've got to worry
cause boy you still look pretty
to me
but I've got a place to go
I've got a ticket to your late show
and now I'm worrying cause even still
you sure are pretty
when you're putting the damage on
yes
when you're putting the damage on
you're just so pretty
when you're putting the damage on


Tori Quotes

This I started writing in Australia, during the end of the [1994] tour. And I couldn't finish it. This is one of those ones that, she just came and I had to like, keep getting to know her, every day, a little bit more. She would come and visit me every day, but sometimes no music would come. I mean, I'd just take a walk with her, I would sit around with her, I'd see movies with her, and she forced me to see things from a different perspective. And that's how I finally understood, "Oh my god, that's the only way that I can write this, if I start seeing him as beautiful. That he's beautiful after all that happened. He's still beautiful, even after no matter what he does." Now that can say a lot about me, or that can say a lot about him. [WHFS - Feb 12, 1996]

And of course "Damage" speaks for itself. The song, being herself damaged, it's trying to teach myself about graciousness, and I have such a hard time with that. I have a very hard time. "Damage" was so essential for me to sing, it's one of the most difficult ones for me. I can look and have love and feelings for some of these people but... [B-Side - May/June 1996]

Touring is so good for me because I collect a lot of songs while I'm out here, and "Putting the Damage On" was actually written while I was traveling in Australia during that time -- more than that song, but I played that last night and that, that's something I wanted to tell somebody. When I was playing I was thinking, "Somebody should know that I wrote, that the birth of 'Damage' is here." [SameSame (Australia) - November 17, 2009]


More info from Tori's friend Neil Gaiman:

Neil Gaiman has said things to Tori which, unknown to him at the time, would later appear in her songs. The example he gave was when he once told her a story about how Groucho Marx had told his daughter to go out shopping. She blatantly refused but, he insisted that she should go shopping. Eventually, under protest, she conceded and headed for the stores. Some hours later Groucho's daughter returned with a poodle and a Corvette and he vowed never to send her shopping again. This story stayed with Tori as it later appeared in the lyrics to "Putting the Damage On" from Boys for Pele. This seems to prove that while Tori's lyrics may appear baffling to some, they all have meaning and reason. Some just need a little more research. [Take to the Sky fanzine - Nov 1996]


"Putting the Damage On"
December 9, 1995 - Later... with Jools Holland




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