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Lyrics by Tori Amos

look I'm standing naked before you don't you want more than my sex I can scream as loud as your last one but I can't claim innocence oh god could it be the weather oh god why am I here if love isn't forever and it's NOT THE WEATHER hand me my leather I could just pretend that you love me the night would lose all sense of fear but why do I need you to love me when you can't hold what I hold dear I almost ran over an angel he had a nice big fat cigar IN A SENSE he said you're alone here so if you jump you best jump farů

Tori Quotes

A hole opens sometimes that I fall through a bit like the madhatter. I guess where memories coughing in loose molecules come and chase me around for a while. I felt like I had lived 20 different lifetimes from birth through death during the writing of this song. When I looked up from the piano and at the clock, thinking I was late for someone, it had only been 8 minutes. [Little Earthquakes songbook]

"Leather" is really one of the ones on the record that was written in one sitting... That's uncommon, because I always go back and tinker. I mean, I have to go, the map gets... It's like a body. It's almost like... a chunk of clay gets dropped in my lap and then you have to go back and you start molding it. But with "Leather" somebody just... got me so off that I sat and just did this one. [World Cafe - May 18, 1992]

I've never told this story. People think um, that this next song is about wild sex. And I think... well, it isn't. And um, it is for you, probably, that's fine. I mean, I, you know, whatever your experience is, you've probably had much more fun with this song than I have. But um, I've never had fun with this song, but I sing it all the time. I do adore this song because it reminds me of the time that this bitch came over to my house. And I lived in this hovel in um, Hollywood. And I don't remember what my manager called it, but it was a pit. And um, when you walk in all my clothes were strewn, you know, peanut butter and banana, all that stuff. I know, gross. But anyway, you get to my piano, right, and my fish tank, and I had dead fish in the fish tank. Because I forgot to feed them, but I couldn't throw them away. And so I was sitting there at my piano, right? And this girl comes over there that is very very very very very close by - not mentioning any names. And so she comes over... So she comes and goes, "Can I have some sugar?" And I said, "Yes." And uh, she goes, "I hear you wrote a new song." I said, "Yes." And um, I played it for her, and it was one of the songs that went on Little Earthquakes, I won't mention it. And she says to me, "Well, you know... I really think you better get a new writing style, because that's like, not catchy." And so I say, "Obviously you have the sugar. Good day." So... The next eight minutes of my life... [Dew Drop Inn tour - 1996]

Little did I know that ladies that work in the other entertainment industry would listen and dance to it around their poles. And people stop me all the time. Even very recently I was getting wine not far from here, and somebody said, "I teach pole dancing classes to your music," and "Leather" was one of those songs. So I think there was a side to me that was trying to -- in the shedding -- to also really collect my shadow portions. And I would go visit them and take these sides that I had judged. And one side that had been very crucified was the sexual side that did not yet understand erotic spirituality, did not know how to bring this into being. Very far away -- years away from this. Little did she know when she was writing "Leather" that we would be years and years away from knowing how to integrate that. [Rolling Stone - December 18, 2009]

Live Versions

June 14, 1992 - Rotterdam, Netherlands

November 8, 1994 - Montreal, Canada
Under the Pink Live in Montreal

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

March 6, 2005 - Breakfast with the Arts

May 6, 2009 - Vienna, Austria
FM4 Radio Session

June 11, 2010 - Manchester, Tennessee
Bonnaroo Festival

"Leather" (with quartet)
November 2, 2011 - London, England

"Leather" (with orchestra)
October 2, 2012 - Brussels, Belgium

"Leather" (with octet)
October 5, 2012 - New York, New York
NPR Live at Le Poisson Rouge

June 15, 2014 - Moscow, Russia

November 8, 2017 - New York, New York

t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive