in which tori amos covers one of my favorite songs of all time

so, i think i’ve mentioned before that when i was in my undergrad years in college, tori amos was pretty much my muse. i knew every word, every note off of little earthquakes and under the pink. i bought every single i could get my hands on, imports included. i played a huge amount of money (for a poor college student) for y kan’t tori read (and for anyone who has heard it, you know that means devotion). but, as these things often naturally happen, i outgrew tori and for years didn’t listen to her at all.

recently, though, i dug out some of my old cds and gave them a listen again and marvelled at how good tori’s early stuff was (when it wasn’t being obscure for the sake of being obscure). she’s a pretty fab piano player, and that’s part of what drew me to her (having been a piano nerd for most of my life myself).

i swear, this isn’t a non sequitor – but for years and years (even during those college years when i was worshipping tori’s music), my favorite song was U2‘s running to stand still. it totally spoke to me. i saw it as the greatest anthem for anybody trying to find themself in what can be a confusing world – until, that is, my U2 obsessed boyfriend (and now husband) flatly declared: IT’S ABOUT DRUGS. that, of course, is his answer to any song i say has deep meaning (“DRUGS. HEROINE. COKE. DRUGS.”) to the point i have to wonder, WHAT SONG IS NOT ABOUT DRUGS? but the truth is, i don’t care if running to stand still is about drugs, even though i can see that now, lyrically. i’m standing pretty firm on my interpretation on how it’s about someone deperately trying to navigate growing up because that’s how i saw it. and that’s the beauty of music. it may mean one thing to one person, but a totally different thing to another, and THAT’S OKAY.

i recently stumbled across tori amos doing a version of running to stand still (see? connected!). and i like it. i really, really like it. i think had i heard it in college, i just might have listened to it somewhere around five hundred times. the quality of the recording isn’t the best – it’s live, and there are people talking (WHY DO PEOPLE TALK IN SHOWS LIKE THIS? stay home and listen to the cds, peeps, if all you want to do at a show is gossip with the people you came with). but it’s worth your listen. maybe even a few of them. me? i’ve got it on repeat.

and so she woke up
and so she woke up
and so she woke up from where she was, lying still
and said “i gotta do something about where we’re going.”
step off a steam train
stepped out of the driving rain, maybe
run from the darkness in the night
singing, “la la la de de, ah la la la de, ah la la de”

sweet the sin
bitter taste, in my mouth
i see seven towers but i see only one way out
you’ve got to cry without weeping
talk without speaking
scream without raising your voice
you know i took the poison
from the poison stream
then i floated out of here
singing, “ah la la la de de, ah la la la de de, ah la de de”

she runs through the streets with her eyes painted red
under black belly of cloud in the rain
and through the doorway she brings me
white gold and pearls, stolen from the sea
she is raging, she is raging
and the storm blows up in her eyes
oh, she is raging, she is raging
and the storm blows up in her eyes
suffer the needle chill
she’s running to stand

(mp3) running to stand still (live U2 cover) by tori amos

check out tori performing the song:

One Comment on ““in which tori amos covers one of my favorite songs of all time”

  1. PuppyLovePrincess

    i did an analysis of this song for a creative writing class in 10th grade and drugs never once crossed my mind. in fact, i remember discussing the lyrics with you! that conversation must have been like a scene from the movie clueless…

    honestly, i don’t like hearing the backstory of most songs anymore because it seems like 80% of the time it just semi-spoils them for me…

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