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Unrepentant Geraldines

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Selkie

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Selkie unzips her skin finally determined
through a window in the dark
there he sits all alone
I've been waiting on the love of my life to find
he's been waiting on his Selkie to come back
he said "I know these shores are not like yours
but will you make your home in my arms?"
Selkie battled tide and wave just to gaze upon his face
hiding behind rocks to learn
if he found a new love

Loralie sings the song for Lovers
who were torn apart then left broken hearted
Loralie hears the cry of Lovers
who the Sea of Fate has separated

Selkie puts her hand in his
he knows the gift she gives
there inside his cabinet
folded safe her seal skin
I've been waiting on the love of my life to find
he's been waiting on his Selkie to come back
he said "I know these shores are not like yours
but will you make your home in my arms?"


Tori Quotes

"Selkie" has her own little story, because she might not have been written if the muses didn't interfere, which I kind of think they did. I reckon I was, um, I was looking out on the Indian River, and something can happen at dusk when you almost think you see things in the water, and you really believe you do. Now there are all kinds of things in the water; it's, um, brackish water, so it's part salt and part fresh, and it's been known that some crocs can make their way up there -- a long time ago, but it's been known, people talk about it -- um, and of course the manatees are very much there, which, which when they, when you think you see them and you think you might be seeing a seal, and there are dolphins that are there -- so there are all kinds of creatures that come up on the Indian River, and I was out there looking, convinced that I was seeing something that I hadn't seen before. And I had been reading about the seal women who have dual lives: seal family and then a human family. And it so happens that one of my best friends, Johnny, uh, was off to go get dinner, to get stuff to make dinner, and he just didn't come back. And hour after hour after hour -- and I stopped thinking about -- I know this can happen, though. I reckoned he'd be fine because he loves to drive, and... I just got taken on, into this story.

And he walks back several hours later, and as he walks in the door, "Selkie" was done, I mean, within a few minutes. And I said, "Where have you been?" And something happened to him whereby he got on, um, the Turnpike, the Florida Turnpike, and he couldn't get off for miles and miles and miles, I mean, miles and miles! He had to go up north; he got pulled away. He said, "I was being pulled away, not far from the ocean, so that I couldn't get back. I had to go all the way up, turn around, come back." And he said, "And I came straight back," and by the time that he walked in, it was done. And would I, would I have been able to decipher the riddle? I don't know; I can't tell you I would or I wouldn't, but there many songs that never get finished. There are many songs that are sitting there over the last twenty-five years that, that's it -- and they just sit there like relics, and I can't, I cannot finish them. So, that clear path went to her; she had other plans. [Spotify commentary - 2014]


Live Versions

"Selkie"
April 28, 2014 - New York, New York - WFUV Studio A



"Selkie"
August 2, 2014 - CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions




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