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Tori Amos: Lyrics intro

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the songs are alive. they sleep sometimes, but they are very much alive. I guess knowing that they are all souls that have just chosen to form in the structure of a song has kept me from ever feeling truly alone in this world. also the concept of death and where do we go when we leave this place??? it has always fascinated me that no matter what technology we have access to, we cannot begin to locate our loved ones once they leave the planet. where do souls go when they die... [no one can answer that definitively but we know we are drawn to people and places and these people and places seem familiar]. knowing that the next time I run into my mother, I won't have any recollection of this life, there won't be a photo album - the times we played hop-scotch, shared cuddles, tears - when everything went wrong she was there to hold me... what she is and was to me, and I won't know her as 'mother,' but I believe I will be drawn to her, whatever form she takes or I take... am I mother of these songs? on some level, yes. they are pieces of me, but I guess there is a piece of my mother in me, as it seems there is a small piece of me in my daughter Natashya. the songs. they teach me. do you remember ever playing with a prism??? every time you hold it differently in the light, you find a whole new world. sound. that is a world. wow. the ancient Egyptians believed in the power of the tone. the tone of a word. so, not just the definition of the word, as in Webster's, but the resonance, the bloodline of the word. combinations of words bring up pictures... with the song lyrics, I always try and pull back and see how the word makes me feel... languid, covert, direct, coded, honeysuckle, roses, wood, horses, sweat, stale - these words are universes - we could follow the family tree of a word, like we could follow a ski trail down a mountain there are offshoots - some get harder to traverse, there are obstacles to overcome, there are challenges, a word can blow open doors that you didn't know were trapdoors in the floor. so o.k. death - actually an easy one, I think. that particular subject is so rich and is at the core of our internal questioning - whereas saying the wrong thing to someone - misunderstandings, how to express that in a song, writing 'saying the wrong thing' right now that's tricky, when you say that thing that starts an argument, and have no idea - how did you offend this person that you really really like... and you can't take it back. words are like guns.

they do wound... as we all know. sometimes I truly believe it's the space between words that matters. as some would say, the way you say a word and what you pair it with - changes its meaning. that's when the magic happens, when the combination of words and tone hit a bull's eye from your kundalini chakra through your heart chakra - shocks your circuits and is able to converse with your unconscious - where so many stored sleeping parts of oneself hibernate. that is probably the thing you are hunting for as a writer, the way through the prism. hunting. word and tone hunters, tracking the perfume of a word and a sound. sometimes the pairing seems illicit, sometimes it causes friction, but when it works, it makes one's body respond in some way. a lyric book is only part of who these girls are because they all have sound with them as their subtext. whereas poetry does not have music, music is its own language and the two go hand in hand. I hope you enjoy this layer of the cake.

as always

from Tori Amos: Lyrics
Omnibus Press, August 2001
US ISBN: 0.8256.1692.1
UK ISBN: 0.7119.7626.0

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