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Scarlet's Walk

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Leaving terra
Leaving terra
Leaving terra

If you're a thought
you will want me
to think you
and I did
invited a Guest
up until
you announced
you had moved in

"What do you plan to do
with all your freedom"
the new sheriff said
quite proud of his Badge

You must admit the land
is now in good hands
yes, time will tell that
you just lift your lamp

I will follow
her on her path
Scarlet's Walk
through the violets
just tell your Gods for me
all debts are off this year
they're free to leave
yes, they're free to leave

Leaving terra
Leaving terra

There was a time
when I thought that
Her destiny
should've been mine
Big Brave Nation
but instead
her Medicine
now forgotten

"What do you plan to do
with all your stories"
the new sheriff said
quite proud of his Badge

We're weaving through
every rocket's red glare
and huddled masses
you just lift your lamp

I will follow
her on her path
Scarlet's Walk
through the violets
just tell your Gods for me
all debts are off this year
they're free to leave
yes, they're free to leave

Leaving terra
Leaving terra

If you're a thought
you will want me
to think you
and I did
and I did





Tori Quotes

On "Scarlet's Walk" she traces the footsteps of the early European settlers along the east coast and passes through the capital of the Cherokee nation.

In the song, America is a young girl looking over the water at another young girl, who may be called France or Spain or England. She's curious so she invites them over. Pretty soon, they've moved in and taken everything -- the husband, the house and the job -- and the new sheriff is in charge.

The walk also picks up the story of the grandfather of Amos's grandmother, a full-blooded Cherokee. [Scarlet's Walk bio]

I think she's ready, now. I think that she's been preparing for this, and breaking herself down, letting herself sore, and shedding ideas and ways of being, to be able to take this in. You know, this is a climax for her. Well she's been through St. Augustine, which was one of the early settlements from the Spanish, and she's walked those streets. And um, she's been to the early settlements in Massachusetts and she's been on the cape and she knows the influences and their trials. And so now that she is working her way up, you know, through Savannah, and there's a balmy sweetness she has with Savannah. She moves into Charleston and she's picking up the threads of the early settlers that came and... what their needs were. And she's trying to find compassion for all that as she then goes to walk the walk, which is, yes, a breeze through Jonesboro.

And she then moves up through the Cherokee sacred land, what was their capital, and she moves through where the Trail of Tears began for the Cherokee people. And this is explored in Scarlet's Web. And I think that as she walks this walk and is able to feel it with every step and in her cells, there is a humbling of soul and there is a commitment that she makes to a voice, whether you call it the ancestors, to a belief, to a spiritual path, just something that is ringing true for her. She couldn't follow Sweet Sangria, she couldn't follow his path, but this is something that is true to her... this walk in "Scarlet's Walk." This is her map. He found his and was living it, and she is finding hers and is ready to live it. In a way, there is an honoring of my ancestors in this, that escaped the Trail of Tears - well I should say survived it, nobody escaped it, but survived it -- and put their roots down around the Smoky Mountains and from Chattanooga to the Carolinas. And I think that the stories that got passed down through the generations, they have taken root inside of my self. And there is a coming home with this song, there is a deep coming home.

And there is also a commitment to being a night watchman for the sacred land and this place that we call America. Being a caretaker along with many many many other people that are being called this time to light the torch within themselves, to know that what we do now in these... very troubled times, what we do in them will affect the next generation in such a complete way. It doesn't mean there's not time for giggles or anything else, you can do that. But it is something that takes her... right through her skin, through her organs, through her bones, and it grabs her and shakes her and holds her and says, "Do you know where you stand as you walk?" [Scarlet Stories]

"'Scarlet's Walk' is a song written to expose the stealing of Native American land through the Indian Removal Act. The act was supported by many Anglo-European immigrants, called settlers, who wanted to take Native Tribal Lands for themselves. The U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act and it was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. The result was a deadly forced march of the Five Civilized Tribes from their ancestral lands and is referred to by the Cherokee Nation as 'The Trail of Tears.'

"As an American, whether your ancestors were part Anglo-European and/or part Native American, this part of our history is an old but relevant wound and has not been taught properly in our educational system.

"The Water Protectors at Standing Rock, now in 2016, are shining a light on the corruption that continues to be supported by some of those who are in office in our U.S. Government. If ever we needed songwriters to sharpen their pencils and hear the calling of a world in pain and write about the issues that speak to them, the time is now." [Elle.com - December 15, 2016]


"Scarlet's Walk"
October 2, 2002 - Paris, France - Music Planet 2Night
broadcast November 26, 2002



"Scarlet's Walk"
May 14, 2014 - Nottingham, England



"Scarlet's Walk" and "Virginia"
May 31, 2014 - Zurich, Switzerland




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