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Lyrics by Tori Amos


For those on the Right
you need to build a bridge
For those on the Left
you must build a bridge
For those in Washington
there is only one question
Is Stalin on your shoulder
Stalin on your shoulder
as he was with his composers

Time to wake
Activate our Native Invader
Warriors of the Earth
it's getting late now
Time to face
those who take
more and more
from our Great Mother
the Mother we call home

Is Stalin on your shoulder

Tori Quotes

Freedom is a fascinating word that's getting used a lot right now, but we have to invade it, because it's being twisted into something that's for a few people, and then everybody else is subjugated, and some of us don't even know we're being groomed. As they say, not everybody knows they're working for the Russians when they're working for the Russians, hence the song "Russia," on the record. [Consequence of Sound - September 7, 2017]

[This song] was brewing for a few months, I guess, because...well, it's around us. [I heard a story that] that Stalin in the '40s was known to be "on the shoulder of Shostakovich," one of his composers. ... That was sort of the key that led me into Russia as songwriter. Seeing it from a composer's perspective, that a great writer, Shostakovich, was there, having a dictator trying to get him to put the dictator's ideology into the structure of the songs he was building.

I guess you could say with certain marches you could maybe build certain energies into certain rhythms -- if you look at the Third Reich and you look at some of the music and how it was played. And Nationalist-type music that gets written to stir that spirit. I can see how you can do that. But I can also see how you can plant booby traps within a structure to create caves of freedom. You plant things in structures whereby people can pick up resilience.

The phrase "native invader" shows up here in "Russia." ... They seem like two words that can't live together, but they can. Particularly one form, which in its heartbreaking form is a stroke. Mary's stroke is that. But also Tash was that, when she was timesharing in Mom for nine months -- free of charge.

Perhaps some of our ancestors came from Europe. Some might have come from Asia. Some might be Native Americans. They are who they are. But as Americans, it was shocking to me that there seemed to be a group of people that were deciding that because they were European American, full-blooded -- that they had some kind of access to the songlines of this land. Now they didn't put it in that form, but I'm putting it in that form. Without even recognizing and acknowledging the first people, the first nations.

Well, the songlines don't accept that. They're acknowledging the first nations, of course, and also that people did come from here. And there are people that came from here that want to protect our resources and acknowledge that their ancestors were immigrants here and that they really care about equal rights and are looking at the American oligarchs that are hijacking words like "freedom" and "liberty." [Tidal - September 8, 2017]

Live Versions

September 29, 2017 - Germany - ZDF Morgenmagazin

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