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Lyrics by Tori Amos

snow can wait I forgot my mittens wipe my nose get my new boots on I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter I put my hand in my father's glove I run off where the DRIFTS GET DEEPER sleeping beauty trips me with a frown I hear a voice you must learn to stand up for yourself cause I can't always be around he says when you gonna make up your mind when you gonna love you as much as I do when you gonna make up your mind cause things are gonna CHANGE so fast all the white horses are still in bed I tell you that I'll always want you near you say that things change my dear boys get discovered as winter MELTS flowers competing for the sun years go by and I'm here still waiting withering where some snowman was mirror mirror where's the crystal palace but I only can see myself SKATING around the truth who I am but I know dad the ice is getting thin hair is grey and the fires are burning so many dreams on the shelf you say I wanted you to be PROUD of me I always wanted that myself he says when you gonna make up your mind when you gonna love you as much as I do when you gonna make up your mind cause things are gonna change so fast all the WHITE HORSES have gone ahead I tell you that I'll always want you near you say that things change my dear...

Tori Quotes

I wrote this song for my Dad when he was ill. [Down Under the Pink, disc 2]

I was leeching off the men in my life; don't get me wrong, they were leeching off me, but I didn't like who I was. So my Dad and I were walking out in the old farm, my grandmother's farm, she really wasn't a nice person. Now my Dad, he's like James Dean or Billy Graham, though there's no real difference there. I was telling him how bad I felt cause of the first album being so bad and Dad said to me -- he'd never said it before -- "Tori Ellen, When are you going to accept you are good enough for you?" [VH1 Storytellers - October 24, 1998]

Summoned to the piano, this Russian music box round played me over and over til I was wrapped in a blanket with the memory of cinnamon apples on my tongue and boys that didn't "We." Went back to where I felt no time -- it was all happening again, presently. [Little Earthquakes songbook]

It's always shifting. When I sing "Winter" now, I don't necessarily get the same pictures I did on the last tour or the tour before or the tour before or the tour before. When I was writing that song, I was considering a relationship between a girl and her father, or a grandfather. Or any male who held that space. Because as we know, some fathers don't hold that space. My perspective isn't always about a girl and her father. "When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?" There was a moment for me when those lyrics were referencing Kevyn Aucoin. Especially when he died, that was my need. The song allows me the space to have my perception of it as I go through my changes, and yet I still hold the integrity of a girl and her father when that songs enters my body in live performance. But I, as Tori, will feel what I feel, and see the pictures I see, and the songs have always allowed me that as long as I retain their DNA integrity.

It can even come back to parenting. I will do something, say something to Natashya, and I'll just realize I have created a space that I did not want to create for her to walk into. Say she was very naughty and I said something like (and I am cringing as I write this), "Because you did this, this is why Mommy's going to London this weekend." So then she thinks that when Mommy leaves it's because she's naughty. I saw that happen once, and it was as if a thousand prisms were shattered -- I began to see in my own being how the tape plays, what I hear when somebody makes a rhetorical move like that. I did something that I'm going to have to deal with and work with now a lot, whenever I leave her. So when I sing "Winter," sometimes now I see a girl walking over that hill with a mommy. Yet the pictures can still be of my Poppa, and my father. It's not always an either / or when I'm singing a song live. I can liken it much more to snapshots or Polaroids that I can flip through in a book, that tug and pull on my emotions with every turn of a phrase. But now other experiences affect me when I sing, "When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?" [Tori Amos: Piece by Piece - 2005]

Someone said, "Bury the strings in 'Winter' because it won't be commerical." And now I'm trying to preserve what was on tape, not necessarily what got released because of a decision that was made in 20 seconds at the time. [Los Angeles Times - September 21, 2003]

[The "White Horses" are] your dreams. That doesn't really say it. Opportunities? Roads that you thought you would go down and haven't experienced, and all these potential experiences are gone now. Those doors are closed. And imagination -- the belief that your imagination can take you to places. The magical world having gone from your world, which to me there's nothing more painful than that -- when you can't access your magical world. There was a moment when I thought I was too young to not be able to access that anymore. But I've noticed over the years that a lot of teenagers feel locked out of that world. They don't know how to get back anymore because in trying to become an adult you feel like you have to circumcise the magical world. [Rolling Stone - December 18, 2009]

Live Versions

July 3, 1991 - Montreux, Switzerland
Montreux Jazz Festival

October 14, 1992 - Night After Night

January 23, 1997 - New York, New York
The Concert for RAINN

December 1, 2003 - Los Angeles, California
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

December 18, 2009 - Sirius XM

"Winter" (with orchestra)
October 3, 2012 - London, England

October 4, 2017 - London, England

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