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Tea with the Waitress

Space Dog

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Way to go
Mr. Microphone
Show us all
what you don't know
secret societies
He's our commander still
Space Dog

So sure we were on something
Your feet are finally on the ground, he said
So sure we were on something
Your feet are just on the ground, girl

Rain and snow
Our engines have
been receiving your
eager call
There's Colonel
He'll distract her good
Don't worry so

And to the one
you thought was on your side
She can't understand
she truly believes the lie

Lemon pie
He's coming through
Our commander still
Space Dog
Lines secure
Space Dog

Deck the halls I'm young again
I'm you again
Racing turtles
the grapefruit is winning
Seems I keep getting this story
twisted so where's Neil when you need him

Deck the halls it's you again
It's you again
Somewhere someone most know the ending
Is she still pissing in the river, now
Heard she'd gone
moved into a trailer park

So sure we were on something
So sure those girls now are in the Navy
Your feet are finally on the ground, he said
Those bombs, our friends, can't even hurt you now
So sure we were on something
And hold those tears cause they're still on your side
Your feet are just on the ground, girl
Don't hear the dogs barking
So sure we were on something
Don't say you know we've gone
Your feet are finally on the ground, he said
Andromeda stood with those girls before
So sure we were on something
The hair in pairs it just got nasty
Your feet are just on the ground
And now those girls are gone

Tori Quotes

"Space Dog" -- we've worshiped everything else, why not him? [B-Side - May/June 1994]

I can see how "Space Dog" is tricky... "But Space Dog" is a mushroom trip.

Yes, that song is dedicated to Patti Smith and when I sing, "Where's Neil when you need him," I'm talking about Neil Gaiman, the author of the Sandman strip, one of our greatest writers. I also talked about him on Little Earthquakes. Of Patti Smith I especially admired her energy, her life-power. Jimmy Page helped me through my time at the conservatory by showing me there was also something else. [Oor - January 29, 1994]

Who is the Colonel?
"The Colonel." These are all friends of mine. [BAM - March 11, 1994]

Talking about Dog Star and the information that has come through some of the medicine people about Orion and the wars that have happened there. [Upside Down #5]

In "Space Dog" when I make the reference to Neil Gaiman and Patti Smith, or when I say "deck the halls," this is going into the past where I had visions of how I thought things would turn out. Always coming back to you the people that haunt you. "It's you again, it's you again" or "Is she still pissin' in a river, heard she'd moved into a trailer park," meaning didn't carry the torch as far as she could. The song is about giving your power to someone else -- passing the torch. [Upside Down #5]

As far as "Space Dog" goes, it was a drawing on a mud wall in New Mexico. It was a shape, and it really was, if I could take a picture and show it to you sometime, the whole record was recorded in mud, mud walls, adobe and wood ceilings, wood floors, because Eric really loved the sound, which is why it sounds like it has that warm womb thing. Well, in one of the rooms, there was this -- it's "Space Dog." A feather on his head, and it's this sharp nose. It just really is. That's how so many of these songs came, in this Under the Pink world. If you rip all your skin off, we're all pink, and it's about what's underneath that. That's how I see it, anyway. "Space Dog" would come and visit me, just as my alternative deity, so to speak. The idea that everybody puts their faith in, I don't know, this yogi or this channel or this god or this saint or this whatever, well, "Space Dog" was like, hey, it's my deity.

I was flying over Chicago. Before I got into the city, I was flying over, and I just felt this scene happening by this 7-Eleven I could see way in the distance. It was a very cold night. It was in March, and I was going in for a signing at Rose Records. I was flying in, and I felt this young boy, 13, 14 years old, with his family. He's eating peas. His family is like, some of those people that show up on Oprah Winfrey sometimes, that you just go, My God, if I had to go home with them, I would contemplate, like, eating Pledge. And I just felt his presence. I felt him just opening himself up to another possibility, because his world was just so closed. The best thing he had near him was the 7-Eleven goddess. I was just watching from the - I was in the window seat, and I was just watching, like, way down. I felt Space Dog. I've been talking to him, and I felt "Space Dog" going, "Lemon pie. Coming through, lemon pie." It was very Agent 99. I kind of felt like Agent 99 going, "Oh, Max." And this young man responded. There is something out there.

The idea, again, with "Pretty Good Year," there are a lot of triads in this whole record, and "Pretty Good Year" and "Space Dog" kind of kiss each other, where -- let me focus my thought. In the bridge, "Deck the halls," going back again, to, again, not having resolve. "I'm young again. Somewhere, someone must know the ending. Where's Neil when you need him?" You know, that's all in that. "Is she still pissing in the river now?" Patti Smith. "Heard she'd gone, moved into a trailer park." Concept being, somebody that had all of these beliefs, and then just numbed themselves.

And Space Dog's philosophy is, well, together, when I'm hanging out with him, it's, "So sure we were on something. Your feet are finally on the ground, he said." That's Space Dog's philosophy. And in the counter-vocal in the end goes, again, the betrayal stuff, mostly girls, and yet, if I'm in the present, and I'm on something, which is on the earth, on the ground, then I have total opportunity to decide what my reaction will be. I can't decide anything else, but I can decide if I'm going to let something totally take over my life, which it did in "The Waitress." But by "Space Dog," I'm going, I do have a choice. It's part of the growth. [Baltimore Sun - January 1994]

I wrote this record in New Mexico and there was this drawing on the mud wall where we were staying. And it was of this, I thought it was a dog anyway. And I would look at this dog all the time and I thought it was saying stuff to me. I got on a plane to go to Chicago... and you know, most people think that I'm nuts. But the truth is, these things just like happen to me, I don't like dream them up. I was busy reading a romance novel, I was way more interested in what was going on in my book. And all of a sudden I hear this voice. It's this dog talking to me. And it goes, "Tori, check out the guy in Chicago." I said, "What guy in Chicago?" "Listen to that kid down there." I'm like, "Huh?" And I'm like listening, right. And I hear this guy thinking, I hear him going, "I am not sitting here with these people. They are not my parents. I'm like, totally grossed out by these people," and was like, talking into his peas. And he's going, you know, "Get me outta here, get me outta here, these people belong on Oprah Winfrey." And um, he's like, "Lemon pie, do you read me, do you read me?" And I'm like, "I read you, buddy." [Maastricht, Holland (concert) - May 7, 1994]

Flying over Chicago from New Mexico, I heard him -- him who lives near the 7-eleven, fork in hand at a dead dinner table, staring at the peas on his plate going, "come in lemon pie do you read me do you read me? Beam me up, get me out of this place, I can't have their genes in me. Come in lemon pie." -- I read you buddy. [Under the Pink songbook]

I began looking at the constellations and looking at the Dog Star thinking of a relationship that didn't feel as if betrayal existed -- it was just acceptance. I was confiding things in my Space Dog -- which is the Dog Star -- and it seemed like if I could do that, then any bomb that got detonated, I would have placed my faith in relationships that were based on some kind of integrity. Sometimes you have to stand up and go out to a place where you can see the stars, and you say, "Wait a minute -- I don't need a backstage pass to get here. I'm welcomed." And anyone is welcome. That's what I love about the energy of the Dog Star -- it's always there for you, and it's always there for me. [Under the Pink Deluxe Edition liner notes - 2015]

Live Versions

"Space Dog"
July 25, 1994 - Baltimore, Maryland

"Space Dog"
May 11, 1996 - New Haven, Connecticut

"Space Dog"
June 23, 1998 - Frankfurt, Germany
radio broadcast

"Space Dog"
November 13, 1998 - Poughkeepsie, New York

"Space Dog"
August 29, 1999 - Saratoga Springs, New York

"Space Dog"
April 27, 2003 - Houston, Texas

"Space Dog"
October 10, 2009 - Warsaw, Poland

"Space Dog"
June 11, 2010 - Manchester, Tennessee
Bonnaroo Festival

"Space Dog"
May 25, 2014 - Hamburg, Germany

"Space Dog"
October 5, 2017 - Manchester, England

"Space Dog" / "Back to Life"
May 22, 2022 - Cleveland, Ohio

"Space Dog" / "Billie Jean"
July 11, 2023 - Indianapolis, Indiana

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