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Wildwood

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Wildwood
poppies
Wildwood
touch me

behind the birches whirl
the bongo boys in their summoning
the sound seeds now
in the fingers of the eastern breeze
where sleepless wait
for her ascent from the perilous pit
she said "the only way to change our fate
is to make it rain"

Wildwood
poppies
Wildwood
touch me

past the Alders and the Oaks
through the Willow Grove snakes Ivy's gift
which taught you can't escape anguish
but how to live with it
then reports from the robins
form in you an inner radiance
it's as if they fused with a spirit you knew
who's come back again

Wildwood
poppies
Wildwood
touch me

off the pilgrim's path
with the talisman he placed in my hands
with its magic mapped from winter's past
it leads the way

after 3 long months endured with her absent
over dragon lines we walked the current
a labyrinth
with little green corn shoots
now in abundance
as the forest celebrates
she says "make it rain
Wildwood
poppies
Wildwood
touch me
touch me again"


Tori Quotes

The Robert Graves Greek Myths was by my side during the writing of Native Invader. "Wildwood" is very much the story of Persephone's return after being in the underworld. Because I'm a minister's daughter, maybe I ran to myth, just needing some kind of different perspective, and then I ran to the gnostic gospels and trying to get early Christianity before it became overtaken by a patriarchy. We're seeing the word freedom being harnessed by American oligarchs, authoritarians, and women can be a part of that, but that has been really the force behind Native Invader -- to reinvade these words, like "freedom." Like "heritage." We're reclaiming these words, but for ourselves, as sovereign. Freedom is sovereignty. It doesn't get to be owned by a party. It's something that each of us has to reclaim for ourselves, and seeing these words getting twisted, like "liberty" ... It's been traumatizing. [Consequence of Sound - September 7, 2017]

Of course we're dealing with the Persephone myth all over [the] record. From "Climb" to "Wildwood," it's there. Whether the mother is there, as she is in "Wildwood," waiting for Persephone to come back from her abduction by Pluto -- plutocrats, Hades from the underworld -- or whether, in "Climb," the mother's not there. Is she gone? Is she dead? Is she not looking? Is she choosing not to see what's happening to her daughter? There are all these things happening in the record, this authority that seems to be making decisions about America's resources, our Constitution -- things are changing right before our eyes, and the record is tracking that.

Some of these things have been in place for decades. We can't get distracted by the master showman who's got the levitating lady here and the rabbit out of the hat. [Tidal - September 8, 2017]


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