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Tear in Your Hand

Lyrics by Tori Amos

all the world just stopped now
so you say you don't wanna stay
together anymore
let me take a deep breath, babe
if you need me
me and neil'll be
hangin' out with the DREAM KING
Neil said hi, by the way
I don't believe you're leaving cause me and Charles
Manson like the same ice cream
I think it's that girl
and I think there're pieces of me you've never seen
maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen, well

all the world is, all I am
the black of the blackest ocean
and that tear in your hand
all the world is DANGLIN'
... danglin'...danglin
for me DARLIN'
you don't know the power that you have
with that tear in your hand
tear in your hand

maybe I ain't used to | I ain't
maybes | used to
smashing in a cold room | crying
cutting my hands up | you still
every time I touch you | sometimes
maybe | use me
maybe it's time
to wave goodbye now
time to wave goodbye now

caught a ride with the moon
I know I know you well
well better than I used to
HAZE all clouded up my mind
in the DAZE of the why
it could've never been
so you say and I say
you know you're full of wish
and your baby baby babies I tell you
there're pieces of me you've never seen
maybe she's just pieces of me
you've never seen, well...

Tori Quotes

Emotionally, all these songs come from experiences that trigger them. I haven't chosen to talk much about that side of the songwriting -- the seed for all these songs. On the technical side, I heard the music as a steady motion, no change really from verse and chorus, only the bridge that leads straight back like a loop to the same toll booth where you threw in some change to go around only to end up surrounded by the place you left. The only difference is by taking the loop ride you can see the place you left exactly as it is; some sadness, a whole lotta corn field, and a puddle. [Little Earthquakes songbook]

"Scarborough Fair" was a big blueprint for "Tear in Your Hand." I remember John Lennon talking about listening to songs that he loved, then changing them to make them his own versions. He would say, "God, I love this song. I wish I'd written this song." Then it would come out totally different. You might not even know what song it is that inspired you to do something, but there is that ingredient. Sometimes I do think that we're really just rewriting songs. There are only 12 bloody notes, you know. [Keyboards - November 1994]

Written back in Maryland, Rockville. [It's] bittersweet, I think, always going back, when you're that age for the holidays because you're not so far away from leaving your parents' house to have your own life, separate from all those people you went to high school with. So I think "Tear In Your Hand" is very much about feelings I had for certain people and lots of nostalgia coming up at that time. [Rolling Stone - December 18, 2009]

Live Versions

"Tear in Your Hand"
November 8, 1992 - Albany, New York

"Samurai" / "Tear in Your Hand"
April 10, 1996 - Gainesville, Florida

"Tear in Your Hand"
June 27, 1998 - Pilton, England
Glastonbury Festival

"Tear in Your Hand"
September 1, 1999 - Wantagh, New York

"Tear in Your Hand"
November 3, 2001 - Dallas, Texas

"Tear in Your Hand"
November 14, 2002 - New York, New York
Scarlet Sessions

"Tear in Your Hand"
August 20, 2014 - Durham, North Carolina

"Tear in Your Hand"
October 5, 2017 - Manchester, England

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