A few weekends ago, I browsed the always-reliable Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel, looking for interesting examples of classical music for Classical Sunday.
At that time, I found an orchestral rendition of the Eno/Roedelius/Moebius electronic-rock piece, “By This River.” I also found a piece by alternative rock singer-songwriter Tori Amos (whose music I have featured twice before: her covers of Tom Waits’ “Time” and the Stranglers’ “Strange Little Girl”).
I’ve long been an admirer of Amos’s music and have several of her CDs: Under the Pink (1994); Boys for Pele (1996); Strange Little Girls (2001); the 20-track, self-described “sonic autobiography,” Tales of a Librarian (2003); and American Doll Posse (2007). Amos also sings a mysterious and sparse but gripping cover of “Famous Blue Raincoat” on the multi-artist compilation, Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1995).
Reading up on Amos a little this morning, I learned that she was classically trained. When only five years old, she had already begun composing piano music. She was the youngest person to be enrolled in Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute but was kicked out at age 11 for “musical insubordination” (as reported in a 1998 interview by Rolling Stone magazine). In a way, I think that sums up her musical career and style; bold, independent, and pushing boundaries — qualities society often does not encourage or reward when exhibited by women.
“Carry” comes from the album Night of Hunters (2011), Amos’s 12th release, and her first classical-styled album. It is a concept album Amos describes on her website as, “… a 21st-century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years.” The sound is unmistakably Tori Amos and illustrates her versatility as a musical artist.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official music video for the song from the Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel:
Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.