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Unrepentant Geraldines

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Invisible Boy

Lyrics by Tori Amos

you are
are not just
an invisible boy
but if you want to be one
an invisible boy

you could go under cover
make your great escape
go where only eagles dare go
without needing wings
jump on a triumph like Steve McQueen
it's time you lived your dream
"but how can this be" you say
"won't it all fade away
if I'm only made out of clay
only made out of clay"

you are
are not just
an invisible boy
but if you want to reach her
as an invisible boy

you could sit down beside her
hold her as she cries
call upon your friends the cloud riders
to unlock the sky
then wave to the snowdrops skating by
catch the laughter from her eyes
"but how can this be" you say
"won't it all fade away
if I'm only made out of clay
only made out of clay"

you are
are not just
an invisible boy
but if you want to be one
as an invisible boy

you could cross over to the
Great Pub in the Sky
there you'll find him listening to a lost soul
pouring them a pint
then you'll know you have missed his advice
and he'll look you in the eye
"if you want to be" he'll say
"to be only partially a boy that's made out of clay
we're all made out of clay
but not you
you are my best invisible boy
and if you want to be this
an invisible boy
then only those who can see you
will be better off because they can
see and believe in
my best invisible boy
my best invisible boy"


Tori Quotes

Structure, um, began to reveal itself because it didn't all happen at once. I had to understand things about it at different times, and that it really wanted to be an ode, a song to, um, a sense of wonderment for men. Whatever "Invisible Boy" means to the listener -- some people think it's about somebody whose lost their father or, um, they're not accepted for what they do, so they're a loner, they're on the outside and, um, they're not being accepted for who they are or who they want to be. And once I understood that "Invisible Boy" is a sensitive person that isn't always able to show himself because his mates might think that he's not tough enough or masculine enough, so the fact that he's a romantic -- whatever, whatever his sexuality is -- the fact that he, um, has really good friends with women and cares about them, um, the fact that he does have these strong emotions but can't necessarily express them and is afraid that if he does, he could be bully or ridiculed, so he just doesn't share them. And I wanted the song to be for all those people that exist more than I think we realize they do. [Spotify commentary - 2014]

The Native Americans would talk about going to the elders and listening and that you didn't get to be considered a Wise Woman before you were 50. And I'm a baby in that category. Yet, these beings sometimes aren't seen. It's that consciousness that we need to begin to open to. Not all of them have done their work. Some of them have shut down and bitter, because they were invisible for so long, that they now live an invisible life. That's why the song "Invisible Boy" was very important, because a lot of men I was talking with felt as if they had a romantic self and a self that was maybe going to get criticized if they talked about their emotions. They don't just hang out like we do. It's not culturally the same where they can all talk about their emotions. If you're in a pub, my husband says, "Yeah you go down to the pub and start talking about your emotions. Right." And I thought, "fascinating." "Invisible Boy" became all men that I knew of every age and that they were the ones, in some cases, that had the romantic idea of beauty. Not the one that wanted to suppress the other person, but wanted something really beautiful, an exchange to happen. The idea of invisibility can happen to all of us and any of us... The song started to say, "You must look around you, you must listen to everyone. You don't know where you are going to get the next gold from. You don't." Just because somebody might not be as clever as they are, they say something from here [gestures to heart] and you think "I'm changed. I'm changed now, today." And that can happen today and the next day. And that's what unrepentant is. [Meet the Musician podcast - May 20, 2014]


Live Versions

"Invisible Boy"
June 6, 2014 - Vienna, Austria




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