10 Tori Amos Songs To Remind You Why You Stay Single

Hello world! Efrain here from Drive All Night: The Songs of Tori Amos Podcast. It’s that time of year again, Valentines Day. We are willing to bet that whether you are single or partnered, you have an opinion on Valentines Day! These opinions often pit friend against friend, sister against sister. Well fear no more! This year we are offering sister playlists for you. Whether you are Crazy in Love or a Single Lady, there’s a batch of songs to fit your mood. And remember, these playlists are meant to be listened to, so click a link below and start feeling yourself (or your partner). Also, while you’re at it, check out our Tori Amos Podcast and please consider making a contribution to support the work we do!

Ten Tori Songs to Remind You Why You Stay Single on Spotify
Ten Tori Songs to Remind You Why You Stay Single on YouTube

A Sorta Fairytale
We open this playlist with one of Tori’s most recognizable and radio friendly tunes from the 2002 road novel Scarlet’s Walk. This song speaks so eloquently about heartbreak and regret, that you can’t help but accept your mistakes as you sing along with it. By the end of the song, when you’ve put the car in gear and you’re driving on your way, you are ready and able to honor loss as just another part of the journey. You see your flame fading in the rear view, but you’ve lived through it. And you’ve learned. (Key lyric: and I ride along side / and I rode along side You then / and I rode along side till you lost me there in the open road)

Blood Roses
Our first entry from the 1996 masterpiece Boys For Pele, and a critical jumping off point for this playlist. Blood Roses sees our heroine finally fighting fire with fire. Men are coming at her left and right, and with a snarl and a growl, she’s picking them up and tossing them head first into the flame. Can you smell the burning hair and charred flesh? There is no warning here, and it doesn’t matter who you are. You do not want to fuck with her today.  We all have those days where if we knew how to play the harpsichord we could do some serious damage. Because sometimes we give our hearts and our bodies to people who don’t appreciate it, and sometimes we have to slaughter them afterwards in order to regain our spirit.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Men can be dicks. (Key Lyric: you gave him your blood and your warm little diamond / he likes killing you after you’re dead)

Sometimes it is so easy to lose yourself in someone else. However it manifests, when you’re in a relationship with someone it’s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in the other person that you forget who you are without them. You’re catering to them, tending to them, until one day you stop and think wait, what happened? I have my own interests. I have my own needs. The second track from Tori’s debut album Little Earthquakes hit us like a mantra. The hook so succinctly presents an idea that is as important to remember now as it was then. It’s no good to be with someone if you can’t be a whole person. So be whole. But be whole for yourself first. (Key Lyric: she’s been everybody else’s girl maybe one day she’ll be her own)

Let’s be clear. Choosing to stay single is not as much about other people as it is about yourself. There is great power and strength in recognizing you’re on a solo journey for the time being. You’re chasing self discovery. You’ve realized that you’ve been everyone else’s girl, but you still don’t know yourself very well. So what next? Well, you keep searching of course. Originally a bee side from Little Earthquakes, Sugar finally found her true self eight years later as an addition to the live disc portion of To Venus and Back. So take a lesson from Sugar…it may take you years to discover your true form, but when you emerge you will be a fucking force. (Key Lyric: You know and I know I don’t know me very well. / And I know me, you know. If they found me out…)

Baker Baker
When you’re on a journey of self discovery, sometimes you can learn things about yourself that surprise you. And if you’re honest with yourself, you have to confront them. You have to deal with them. This track from Under the Pink sees Tori exploring her own culpability in the demise of a relationship. This blistering honesty and willingness to confront the darkest parts of herself is undoubtedly at the root of why we adore this woman. She teaches us that while it may not be easy confronting your demons, it is necessary. And so we learn that relationships are hard work. And we learn we have to nurture as well as be nurtured in return. And so we stay single until we are ready to love again. (Key Lyric: Well I ran from him in all kinds of ways / Guess it was his turn this time)

SISTER PLAYLIST: Top Ten Tori Songs For People In Love

Caught A Lite Sneeze
I mean, if we’re honest, we could have just put the entireBoys For Pele album on here and called it a day. Case made, stay single. But we limited it to three tracks, with the lead single from the album being our second entry. Tori has mentioned catching a light sneeze is nothing like catching the flu. And maybe he was just a sneeze, a blip, a footnote. It helps us to remember that sometimes, when we’re in the thick of our misery, coughing up phlegm and wallowing like sick, sad, lonely babies. This song always reminds us to drink lots of water and to take lots of Vitamin C so that nothing but the flu will ever knock us down again. (Key Lyric: Building (noun)tumbling down / didn’t know our love was so small / couldn’t stand at all)

Another Girl’s Paradise
As Tori once stated, Desire will do what Desire will do. And what she does is make you desire what isn’t yours. So with that in mind, we’re back to Scarlet’s Walk for this entry about covetousness and longing. If everything were perfect we would realize there’s enough out there for everybody, and competitiveness and jealousy are wasted emotions. We could celebrate each other’s joys and mourn each other’s losses. But everything is not perfect. Doubly, just because we are on a journey towards a higher plane of consciousness, it doesn’t mean we’ve transcended our human tendencies just yet. (Key Lyric: Does it all come down to the thing one girl fears in the night is another girl’s paradise)

Northern Lad
With this track, we visit the 1998 album From the Choirgirl Hotel. Tori has stated about this song, “it’s very much about thinking you were loved for who you were, and realizing you weren’t and realizing maybe you don’t love yourself.” Well dear readers, I feel that quote so deeply and I can’t help but suspect that there are others reading this that feel the same way. And yes it’s cliche to say, but time does heal all wounds. And if you’ve gotten to the point of healing where you can look back and realize that maybe it was just the rain that got you wet, maybe it was a light sneeze, then you’re already well on your way. Because if you’re going to be soaking wet, shouldn’t it come from inside? (Key Lyric: girls you’ve got to know when it’s time to turn the page / when you’re only wet because of the rain)

That Guy
Here at Drive All Night Headquarters, we traffic in Tori’s entire body of work. It’s important to us, when we compile these lists, to include a smattering of tunes, young and old. We like to pair songs from the wild 90s right beside songs from the sophisticated 2000s and see what exciting contrasts arise. And we do love That Guy from 2009’s Abnormally Attracted to Sin. In fact, we love that guy so much that sometimes we still wake up to cuts instead of kisses. Because let’s be real with each other, it’s a life long lesson. There is not a golden key that presents itself and suddenly you’re unlocking enlightenment. Sometimes a monster rears it’s ugly head at a completely unexpected time, right after you thought you’d defeated it. It’s a long road that begins where you began and will end where you will end. Life. Love. Loss. Lessons. And Love again. (Key Lyric: That Guy Cannot seem to see / there’re no other guys but the one he used to be)

And so we too end where we began (almost), with our third and final entry from the Master Breakup Playlist itself, Boys for Pele. We couldn’t have made this playlist without this song because as we all know, sometimes the fog lifts and suddenly, as clear as day, you can see exactly what you did wrong. And you can see what the other person did wrong as well. And there’s no blame, and there’s no anger, there is just a deep understanding.  And you can see that maybe you needed too much, or you didn’t need enough. Or didn’t give enough. Or took too much. We believe Doughnut Song comes from that place where deep understanding meets honest acceptance, and only when these two things meet can true forgiveness come. (Key Lyric: you told me last night you were a sun now / with your very own devoted satellite / happy for you and I am sure that I hate you / two sons too many too many able fires)
Come on. Did you think we’d forget Tear, From Tori’s debut album Little Earthquakes? Not every song can be included in this list, but there would be no list without this song. I would refuse. I would walk out. (Key Lyric: maybe she’s just pieces of me you’ve never seen, well)HONORABLE MENTION: Bachelorette
Okay, obviously we set the rules just so we could break them. Having two honorable mentions is FINE with us. And let’s be real, there is a sexy side to being single that we completely did not go into. This bee side from From the Choirgirl Hotel encourages us to get drunk, get wild, wear something tight and see what happens. One drink is fine, but how about two? Three? Even better! This song confidently states, “Sure I’ll go home with you tonight, but I’ll be gone by the morning because my only obligation is to myself.” And so it is Bachelorette. And so it is. (Key Lyric: You can turn dust into champagne / You even remember his name)
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