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Caught a Lite Sneeze

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Caught a lite sneeze caught a lite breeze
caught a lightweight lightningseed
boys on my left side
boys on my right side
boys in the middle
and you're not here I need a big loan
from the girl zone

tumbling down
didn't know our love was so small
couldn't stand at all
Mr St. John just bring your son

the spire is hot
and my cells can't feed
and you still got that Belle dragging your foots
I'm hiding it well Sister Ernestine
but I still got that Belle
dragging my foots

tumbling down
didn't know our love was so small
couldn't stand at all
Mr St. John just bring your son

right on time you get closer
and closer
called my name but there's no way in
use that fame
rent your wife and kids today
maybe she will
maybe she will

caught a lite sneeze
dreamed a little dream
made my own pretty hate machine
boys on my left side
boys on my right side
boys in the middle and you're not here
boys in their dresses
and you're not here
I need a big loan from the girl zone

Tori Quotes

"Caught a Lite Sneeze" is about wanting to do anything to keep a relationship going, knowing that it's over, knowing that it's slipping through the hands. [The Baltimore Sun - Jan 21, 1996]

"Caught a Lite Sneeze" specifically has nuns on it. More, more than nuns. Nuns invoking this myth of the female god energy.

It's really about a relationship. And she's kinda given herself away, so she's trying to get pieces back in any way she can. I mean, whoever works at that point. And if it's Inanna or whoever. And if it works calling her in the church, to evoke a little ass, then you go for it. [Boys for Pele press kit video]

It's definitely the bad side. It wasn't the one that won. My point of view was not the side that won in this song. I think where it shows up on the record, and the whole reason "Sneeze" is where it is is because, well, obviously, it was definitely malaria. It's one of those things where you know this isn't good for you. You know that anything any of your friends say to you just doesn't mean anything. "Don't do this Tori. You're crazy. Don't do this. Why are you doing this?" You just look at them and say, "Oh, I know exactly what I'm doing. Don't worry. Everything's just fine." [WXRT - Feb 1, 1996]

Then we go on to "Caught A Lite Sneeze" and she's still vampiring, she needs that boy blood. You can say you are beautiful, you are enough; when are you going to claim it? You are on the hunt. He doesn't give a fuck about you; he might have cared about some parts of you but this is not about you. He doesn't want to work this out with you, your neediness is disgusting him, and you sit around going, "Oh, no, no, no, I've gotta have it. It's out there, he has something." Anything to just keep it going. [B-Side - May/June 1996]

I can write from an emotional level -- knowing instinctively, the craft of sensing when a melody doesn't work. In "Caught a Lite Sneeze," I wanted to take the whole rhythm because we're moving [she sways on the couch] we're trying to get rid of the possession. The track just stops for a minute and it goes, [sings] "Right on time," and then right on time our rhythm comes back.

Just trying to negotiate on any level -- "Mr. St. John, just bring your son." You know you will not gain strength from this path. You know you will not get peace from this path. But you are addicted and on this path. You just know you need energy from an outside source because you don't know how to access it for yourself. Now, there's some energy that I did know how to access, and men would be drawn to me for that. [Musician - May 1996]

What was so huge about Pele is that I did that record in a church, and I sang, "Inanna, bring your son." To me, it was so essential that I claim the Mother God from the place that it had been circumcised, which was the Christian church. As a minister's daughter, Boys for Pele freed me. I could sleep with -- well, as I told you -- not only could I sleep with my own male essence that I needed to find, but I woke up and realized that Lucifer wore a white suit and high heels, and drove a nice, cute white truck. And she was very happy. [Spinner - Octoer 29, 2007]

[At the Peabody Conservatory] I ended up training under a nun, Sister Ernestine, who would, you know, bless her, was very kind, but was a much older lady, and was falling asleep during our lessons. And so, I went from studying with some of the most trained professors to a very dark time in my training... [Studio Q - December 2011]

This is the marriage of Christian myth with the ancient myth of trying to find yourself as a woman, desperately trying to find yourself after you've given yourself away. And I bring in the story of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess who visited her sister in the underworld. It was about not looking to men outside of yourself, but finding your male self. I needed to figure out who that was. I think my animus was a dandy. But maybe he played on both sides of the fence. He gave me a real talking-to: "Why are you trying to steal other people's fire? You need to light your own and burn with it until you transcend it. What are you looking for in all these men in your life? You won't find it in them, and you won't find it in me either. You have to find it in you." [Boys for Pele Deluxe Edition liner notes - 2016]

Live Versions

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
January 25, 1996 - Nederhorst den Berg, Netherlands
2 Meter Sessions at Bullet Sound Studios

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
February 8, 1996 - Los Angeles, California
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
April 11, 1996 - New York, New York
MTV Unplugged

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
January 23, 1997 - New York, New York
The Concert for RAINN

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
November 14, 1998 - New York, New York
Sessions at West 54th

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
October 31, 2001 - Houston, Texas

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
March 5, 2003 - New York, New York
Oxygen Custom Concert

"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
June 15, 2014 - Moscow, Russia

"Caught a Lite Sneeze" / "On the Boundary" *
September 9, 2017 - Ghent, Belgium

improv / "Caught a Lite Sneeze"
October 31, 2017 - Ann Arbor, Michigan

Caught a Lite Sneeze magazine ad
(UK), 1996

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