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Unrepentant Geraldines

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America

Lyrics by Tori Amos

the other America
you can find her Sunday
sitting by a stream
on her own
all alone

the other America
might show up on Tuesday
at your kitchen door
she will ask politely
"is anybody home?

or did they all lay down
to sleep through the now?
and if they all lay down
I'll be waiting for them
at the river bed
once they wake from their rest"

the other America
takes herself to night school
to understand the law
she may bring you questions
when she finds the flaw

"why did they all lay down
to sleep through the now?
and if they all lay down
I'll be waiting for them
at the river bed
once they wake from their rest"

we could be opening a doorway globally
but that's okay
once upon a time you had faith
you would not be swayed
by fools untouched by clairvoyance
and you swore that we'd be brave
well not today
no not today

because we all lay down
to sleep through the now
and if we all lay down
she'll be waiting for us
where the rivers cross
once we wake from our rest

"all the best," the Other America


Tori Quotes

It is a letter, and we were trying to figure out the soundscape for it in order to, um, infer that there's a Native American energy with the other America, as well as a futuristic other America. And how she's ancient, and yet, she's all of us. So creating that character and a space for her to tell her story and sing her song through her letter was our big challenge -- finding that, that soundscape. And we were playing with the piano acting like a banjo, so that was what we were going for -- banjo/piano -- because the acoustics were doing their job as acoustics, and, we didn't want the Bösendorfer to come across as a classical-sounding instrument, so we spent a lot of time working on the parts, back and forth -- the conversation between guitars, piano, and midrange.

There are a couple vocals that are supporting the lead vocal and we were working on, I'd say, the bridge first, so we approached that and all its vocals before we went back after the chorus, haunting vocals. Sometimes, for me anyway, I like to know where the song is taking us, where it needs to end up, and the bridge is an explosion -- um, obviously inspired by all those Beatles records I've listened to all my life, as well as for Mark and Marcel; they were listening to those through their life -- and it all came together, I guess, in the bridge. So therefore, once we knew what that bridge was, then we could do some backtracking. [Spotify commentary - 2014]


Live Versions

"America"
August 5, 2014 - Chicago, Illinois



"America"
November 22, 2017 - Portland, Oregon




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