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Sweet the Sting

Lyrics by Tori Amos

with a strut into the room
with his hat cocked sure defiantly
he said "I. I have heard.
that you can play the way I like it to be played."
I said, I can play. anyway that you want.
But first I want. I want to know

Baby is it Sweet Sweet
Sweet the Sting
is it real this infusion-
can it heal where others before have failed?
If so then somebody
Shake Shake Shake
me sane
'cause I am inching ever closer
to the tip of this scorpion's tail.

He said "I laid my weapons
down with my pistol
fully loaded, a hunted man
to my root, will it end
or begin in your cinnabar juice?"

is it Sweet Sweet
Sweet your Sting
is it real your infusion
can it heal where others before have failed?
If so then somebody
Shake Shake Shake
me sane
'cause I am inching ever closer
to the tip of this scorpion's tail.

Love let me breathe
breathe you in
melt the confusion
until there is
there is you - union

Baby is it Sweet Sweet
Sweet your sting
is it real your infusion
can it heal where others before have failed?
If so then somebody
Shake Shake Shake
me sane
'cause I am inching ever closer
to the tip of this scorpion's tail.

Baby is it sweet, now now
Baby is it sweet, boy
Baby is it sweet


Tori Quotes

This can be a place of being able to confront something that's out of balance. And it's an ancient practice that the bee shamans have been working with for thousands of years. They work with a tradition that forces you to look at those places that may need to be stung. And in order for you or for I to gain the sweetness... wisdom does not come without the sting. [toriamos.com - January 31, 2005]

Yesterday I spent hours on "Sweet the Sting"; from playing the piano riff over and over to listening to it on my crap tape recorder, to masking changes and incorporating them. The story started evolving soon after the B3 Hammond organ, whom I have named "Big Momma," was delivered. Everytime I entered the room in the morning to begin my practice time, Big Momma would be humming. Yes, of course her power had been left on, but I'm talking about the kind of humming you detect in a girlfriend after she's had a romantic evening. Turns out Big Momma has a boyfriend. Another organ, specifically another B3 organ. This romance led me to the story of two B3 players, one female, the other male, whose erotic dance revolves around each impressing the other by how well they play their own organ. [Tori Amos: Piece by Piece - 2005]

The Beekeeper, in one word, was about "Sinsuality." Really trying to marry the Biblical female archetype with the pagan archetype. So you go back to Mesopotamia, and you read about the Great Mothers that come from the line of Inanna and Lilith, and then Biblically you have the Great Mother, Eve. The Beekeeper was really about looking at religious mythology as well as classical mythology that isn't included in the Bible. The one song that I think really embodies the sovereignty of Woman in her flesh -- the physical body, her mental body, her emotional body, and her spiritual body -- for me on this record was "Sweet the Sting." I desired Afro-Cuban rhythms, the Hammond organ, as well as the gospel choir as a triad, as a pyramid shape.

It was really inspired by Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise." As a young girl I would listen to that record, naked feet reaching deep down into rich, red earth. It made a lot of sense to me to plug in through this raw essence that Stevie was able to channel when he played and composed, to really be able to harness the vortex of sexuality and spirituality. I always thought that he was very close to a raw spirituality when I would hear his music. I wanted to bring that into our assimilation of the modern woman as well as the ancient mythological undertone before it was subjugated by the patriarchy and demeaned.

It was really a marriage. I'm talking about on this record, the marriage of the Magdalene and of the Mother Mary, what I call marrying the Marys. That's what it is within a Christian context. In the Judaic or a wider sense, it would be the marrying of the Lilith and Eve, so that they're not competitive or severed, but they each become sovereign, whole. All women can embody all of these female archetypes, maybe to different degrees because of what you're drawn to. That's what The Beekeeper was really about, the secrets of the hive that have been with us but suppressed for thousands of years. "Sweet the Sting" was really an exercise in growing, learning, and becoming whole; sometimes you have to first be disembodied before you can transform these disjointed parts of the self so that they come together as a mosaic and not left eternally dismembered. [A Piano liner notes - 2006]


Live Versions

"Sweet the Sting"
September 12, 2005 - Los Angeles, California
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno



"Sweet the Sting" (as Santa)
November 24, 2007 - Dallas, Texas



"Sweet the Sting"
July 29, 2014 - Dallas, Texas




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