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Lyrics by Tori Amos

go go go go now out of the nest it's time go go go now circus girl without a safety net here here now don't cry you raised your hand for the assignment tuck those ribbons under your helmet be a good soldier first my left foot then my right behind the OTHER pantyhose running in the cold mother the car is here somebody leave the light on green limousine for the redhead DANCING dancing girl and when I dance for him somebody leave the light on just in case I like the dancing I can remember where I come from I walked into your dream and now I've forgotten how to dream my own dream you are the CLEVER one aren't you brides in veils for you we told you all of our secrets all but one so don't you even try the phone has been disconnected dripping with blood and with time and with your advice poison me against the MOON I escape into your escape into our very favorite fearscape it's across the sky and across my heart and I cross my legs oh my god first my left foot then my right behind the other breadcrumbs lost under the snow...

Tori Quotes

"Mother" came on a bit like a dream sleep. It was early morning when I made the way to the piano. I knew that "they" were trying to show me something. A memory of "the fall." Not the one we've been taught, but the other side of the story, which is the belief of certain ancient mythologies. "Mother" changed me because I began to remember, where I believe, we come from. [Little Earthquakes songbook]

I love that song, "Mother." It's not just a song about a mother-daughter relationship, it's so much more.


Like... [she takes a pause to think] Like how it was in the past, aeons ago, when we weren't made of flesh and blood yet and our free spirits were floating around. There was no good or bad expression, just free expression. I have a certain idea about the deluge/flood that differs from the accepted interpretation. My vision has to do with the disagreement in yourself. The way you can split up yourself, which means the way you judge a certain part of yourself. [With a lot of dramatic effect:] Why is Caroline's green so much better than mine? Instead of this you can also see the expression of others just as a message and stay true to yourself. The deluge/flood had to do with judgements. Some kind of energy is taking power over you when you start blaming yourself and condemn yourself. "Mother the car is here" means: arriving on a place like earth, where that energy is very dark and attractive and sensual. That's also a part of us. If you try to separate those things strictly, like light and dark, like those New Age people do, then you are acting superior. Then your hands are so clean, no filth under your nails, no wisdom. You have to unify those two things, that's what I tried to do in "Mother." The idea of: If I like it, I hope I can remember. Maybe it happened a billion years ago... [Oor - March 7, 1992]

He [pointing to co-producer Eric Rosse, across the table] was there when some of the songs were being written. Mother was written at 6:30, 7:00 in the morning. We were on a futon in the little place I had at the time in Hollywood, and I got up really early and started meandering on the piano. I meandered for about 25 minutes and I started to get this... [hums the intro to "Mother"] ... and I hear this voice from the futon, "What's that!" And I said, "Oh, it's shit. Forget about it." And he yells, "Play it again!" What happens with each one is that there will be a word that comes with the melody. Then a bridge section will start to work and I'll know it wants to be there. And then maybe I can't figure anything else out so I'll put it aside. Three months later, I'm walking down the street and I'll come up with four notes, and that's what I'm going to build the next section on.

Do you write your ideas down on paper before putting them aside?

Well, I'm not very good at writing things down sometimes. Maybe it'll be on the back of an envelope, a bill, a magazine, or I might record it on a ghetto blaster. [Keyboard - September 1992]

I knew that "Winter" needed to be written, which represented not just the father, but the grandfather -- Poppa, my mother's father. So the positive male energies in my life, and also moments with men, with their disappointment in themselves and how that plays out. I wanted -- I needed -- the polar opposite, so I felt like this needed to go beyond the human mother. This needed to go back to ideas of Creatrix and that God is not just male, but of the Creator being female and male. So this is the feminine story coming down to earth, leaving this soul space and saying goodbye to Mother Creator as I go to Mother Earth. And the last thing is somebody leaves the light on. [Rolling Stone - December 18, 2009]

Live Versions

interview / "Mother" clip
June 14, 1992 - Dutch TV special

August 16, 1992 - Miami, Florida

May 11, 1996 - New Haven, Connecticut

October 13, 2001 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 25, 2003 - San Antonio, Texas

July 16, 2010 - Dublin, Ireland

October 15, 2011 - Eindhoven, Netherlands

May 17, 2014 - Paris, France

October 5, 2017 - Manchester, England

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