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Wampum Prayer

Lyrics by Tori Amos

In our hand
an old old old thread
Trail of Blood
and Amens
Greed is the gift
for the sons
of sons
Hear this prayer
of the wampum
This is the tie
that will bind us

Tori Quotes

There [in Tucson] Scarlet picks up the voice of the Native American ancestors on "Wampum Prayer" after visiting the site of a massacre of the Apache people.

She has a dream and follows the voice and prayer of an old woman who survived and whose song is woven into the land.

There's an obvious parallel with the songlines of Aboriginal folklore in Australia as Scarlet is propelled by the dream until she reaches Cherokee country and the ancestry of her own people. [Scarlet's Walk bio]

The Southwest has this affect on her where... she looks deeper into things, and she's able to hear the ancestors more clearly. And she's been to a place where, a long time ago, there was a massacre that happened to the Apache, to mostly women and children. And there's a voice that she begins to hear, of an old woman that's sitting by a fire. She's hearing it in her dreamtime and she's hearing it more and more with every day. And she starts to follow this trail, this voice, this story that she's picking up historically. So on some level, I guess, the aboriginal idea of songlines has begun to sort of... wrap itself around, that another culture is sort of supporting this concept, that a song... is determining where she goes. But if you don't know the song, you can't get in to the next... landspace. That's how songlines work. [Scarlet Stories]

Live Versions

"Wampum Prayer"
July 20, 2009 - Salt Lake City, Utah

"Wampum Prayer" / "Scarlet's Walk"
July 30, 2014 - Austin, Texas

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