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Tori Amos: rare & unreleased

Jackass and the Toad

(unreleased song)

Lyrics by Ellen Amos

I'm walkin' down the road
with a jackass and a toad

and I thought everything was fine
'til I lost my own little mind

'cause I'm walkin' down the road
with a jackass and a toad

sometimes I'm a frog
I told him that day
I told him that day
and he quickly ran away

now I'm walking down the road
with a jackass and a toad

Some people say I'm crazy
the way I choose my friends

'cause I'm walkin' down the road
with a jackass and a toad

Tori Quotes

Tori first mentioned "Jackass and the Toad" in a November 1994 Keyboard magazine interview.

Q: But going even further back, was there ever a time when something in you said, "I want to make my own notes and words"?
T: I was seven. I already knew what I was going to do. I was seven, a done deal. I was already writing. I didn't know how good or not good I could be. I knew that I could probably figure it out musically, but word-wise I was writing the "Jackass and the Toad" song. But I've always been a bit of a romantic. I'd be five years old, lying in my bed, with the afghan over me, squeezing my legs together and thinking, "Something should go here one day." I wanted to run away with all those guys, with Zeppelin and Jim Morrison and John Lennon. I told Robert Plant that I really wanted to pack my peanut butter and jelly and my teddy, and my trolls and come find him.

Tori sang a bit of "Jackass and the Toad" a capella during a KABC radio interview on February 24, 1995.

Q: So, you were playing the keyboards at two, you were composing at four. What's the best you've written?
T: Hmm...This one song called "Jackass and the Toad"...
Q: "Jackass and the Toad"!?
T: I was nine. And I don't really think I topped that...
Q: Jackass! You don't remember that by any chance?
T: Yeah! (begins singing...)

Tori also mentioned the "Jackass and the Toad" song on Canvas Television in Belgium on July 1, 1998.

"I was composing at a really young age but just more music than lyrics. It was more piano-compositions. And then, I think around eight or nine, I started making up stories like... you know, stupid stuff like the "Jackass and Toad" song meeting, I don't know, some animal on the street and having a conversation with it, just wacky. Like mushroom trip stuff, but when you're young you live in this strange fantasy world where inanimate objects can talk to you, so my songs were about ketchup talking, I don't know, just weird."

Tori mentioned the "Jackass and Toad" song again during an All Music Zine online chat in October 1999.

Q: Your first song...
T: No, but it was instrumental. Not words, just music, for those first few years. Then I came up with "Jackass and the Toad" song. That had words.
Q: How old were you then?
T: I don't know, maybe nine or ten. [sings] "I'm walking down the road with a jackass and a toad. Some people say I'm crazy, the way I choose my friends..." [laughs]. That's because I had a purple monkey friend named Clunky. And Timmy, who was a boy, and Mr. Spaghetti. The monkey comes up a lot for me still.

Live Versions

"Jackass and the Toad"
clips from KABC radio, 1995
and Modern Rock Live, 1996

t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive