Album: Rites Of Passage (1992)
Play Video


  • This song was written by Emily Saliers, who along with Amy Ray, makes up the Indigo Girls. Says Saliers: "That's a song that's about someone who haunts you forever. It uses archetypal images, like Achilles Heel, and the Mississippi River and all of its grandeur, but starts really, really small. And that's the way a love can begin, so small, like a little pinprick, and then the next thing you know, you're flooded with emotion and attachment. It's obviously about a separation between two people and the person who's speaking in the song is absolutely still in love with the one that she lost, and it seems like everything reminds her of that person. It's a very sad song - there's no relief to it, really. It's a person who's drowning in loss, and haunted by either the memory or the knowledge that the person's still out there in the world somewhere, but they're not together. Very emotional song."
  • Saliers says that this was not based on a specific person: "That was just drawing from, well, personal experiences, but then what other people have gone through and talking to people, or films, or books, or whatever it is. It wasn't just written about one person, but I just have an empathy for heartache, I think, and I'm able to get to heartache and what it feels like and why it happens, for whatever reason. I think that's why I write a lot of songs about it." (Check out our interview with Emily Saliers. The official Indigo Girls website is


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

Yoko Ono

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" Album

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" AlbumSong Writing

In the summer of 1990, you could get arrested for selling a 2 Live Crew album or performing their songs in Southern Florida. And that's exactly what happened.

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."