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Tea with the Waitress


Cloud on My Tongue

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Someone's knocking on my kitchen door
Leave the wood outside
What all the girls here are freezing cold
Leave me with your Borneo
I don't need much to keep me warm and

Don't stop now what you're doin'
What you're doin' my ugly one
Bring them all here
Hard to hide a
a hundred girls in your hair
It won't be fair
if I hate her
if I ate her
You can go now
You can go now

You're already in there
I'll be wearing your tattoo, yes
You're already in there

Got a cloud sleeping on my tongue
He goes then it goes and
kiss the violets as they're waking up
Leave me with your Borneo, I said
Leave me the way I was before, but

You're already in there
I'll be wearing your tattoo, yes
I'm already in

Circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and circles again, well


Someone's knocking on the kitchen door
Leave the wood outside
All the girls here are freezing cold
You can go now
You can go now
You can go now
You can go now

You're already in there
I'll be wearing your tattoo
You're already in there

Thought I was over the bridge now
I'm over the bridge now, yeah
I'm already in

Circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and

Got to stop spinning
Circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and circles again, well

Circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and

Got to stop spinning
Circles and circles and circles again
The girl's in circles and circles and circles again, well



Tori Quotes

I crawled up in a flower when this one was being written. It was safe there, and I wasn't ready to let this one in too deep. It was already too close. [Under the Pink songbook]

There's a wonderful acceptance in "Cloud on My Tongue," an acceptance of being in circles and circles again. That's its whirlpool vat. It all leads to that.

"Cloud on My Tongue," dealing with Eve... dealing with feeling inferior, that somebody else has something that you want. [B-Side - May/June 1994]

I travel a lot around the world, and I went to all sorts of places, and I ran into different people. Borneo had something that I didn't have. It was a very free, hot, jungly place, and the people that, or a person that came from there, had something that I didn't have that I desperately wanted, which was no rigidity. When I say, "Leave the wood outside, what, all the girls here are freezing cold, leave me with your Borneo." Or don't leave me with your Borneo, because I've had it before, and that's why I need the wood, because it just - you can go now, you're already in there, whether it's pregnant or whether it's just infused. You don't even have to hang around and watch me disintegrate, because you've already done your job. You've already accomplished what you wanted, which was another scalp on your belt, and you did it. That's not one of my favorite men songs. [Baltimore Sun - January 1994]

My only problem was, I said "You can go now" after he was already in there. I mean, it had done -- it was already planted, so whatever it was, that's where I think "Cloud" balances out "Baker Baker" a bit, because it's the Shadow side. She's not ignorant. She knows exactly what's happening.

In "Cloud on My Tongue," I put all my power in this other person. I think that they have something that I don't have. Well, of course we all have things the other person doesn't have as far as abilities. But we ALL have emotion that's capable of being complete for each one of us. But you can't be complete for me. We know this in the head, but to really apply it is another thing. Because when you feel inferior, you feel inferior. Sometimes I feel inferior to men who have this raw wolf energy. I just got to this recently. It doesn't mean that I still don't, like, snake around and leak all over the place when I'm around one of them. I kinda go, "Oh, God, here it is again. What am I gonna do?" What's happening is that I cut that part out of myself a LONG time ago. Because I judged it to be bad, and I was afraid of it. I was afraid I wouldn't be respected if I got in touch with that. I'm not talking strictly about sex. That's like a form of generating that energy, but just because you're having sex doesn't mean you're generating that energy. Do you see what I mean? But there are other ways of trying to get to it. Like music. Creativity tries to get you to that expression. That kundalini energy. I do it when I'm playing but I've really had a hard time bringing it into my life. I sit there sometimes like all the knobs have all been turned off. And I'll see something with the knob turned on and I go, "How did they do that?" [Creem - March 1994]

So um, this is a bit of a strange story. Um... I was in a strange place in the Pacific and this um, guy, showed up. This was many, many, many, many, many years ago. And he said to me, "I've just come from Borneo, and I've come to take you away with me for a few days." And I said, "Well, that's just fucking great, because my boyfriend's here, and you know I have a boyfriend and you had a chance with me a few years back." And isn't that always the way that they come... [Atlanta, GA concert - August 21, 1999]

This guy has permeated her force field. Even if they've never physically touched -- he exists within her. Her hope seemed to be that he would value that she had him orbiting -- that he would understand what that meant instead of seeing this relationship as a conquest. It was just the beginning of us creating a solar system together, but he saw it as the end game. She truly valued being someone's other, and he valued many others at the time -- that was his fulfillment. She realized that even though she had let him in, she had to get him out because he couldn't value being in such a sacred position. It's kind of tragic, actually. [Under the Pink Deluxe Edition liner notes - 2015]


Live Versions

"Cloud on My Tongue"
August 25, 1994 - Los Angeles, California
Later with Greg Kinnear



"Cloud on My Tongue"
November 3, 2001 - Dallas, Texas



"Cloud on My Tongue"
April 10, 2005 - Hartford, Connecticut



"Cloud on My Tongue"
May 6, 2009 - Vienna, Austria
Radiokulturhaus - FM4 Session



"Cloud on My Tongue" (with quartet)
September 28, 2011 - Helsinki, Finland



"Cloud on My Tongue"
September 24, 2012 - Belgium
The Kruitfabriek Session



"Cloud on My Tongue" (with orchestra)
October 2, 2012 - Brussels, Belgium



"Cloud on My Tongue" (with octect)
October 5, 2012 - New York, New York
NPR Live at Le Poisson Rouge



"Hyperballad" / "Cloud on My Tongue" / "You Spin Me Round"
July 23, 2014 - Los Angeles, California



"Cloud on My Tongue"
November 4, 2017 - Upper Darby, Pennsylvania




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