Trouble's Lament

Album: Unrepentant Geraldines (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Amos singing about the thrill of danger. The singer said that her Southern roots were influential when writing this tune. "Having been born in North Carolina, the South walks with me wherever I am in the world," said Amos. "I can't get it out of my DNA. I don't know if it's a genetic thing, because my mother's side, so far back, is from the Eastern Cherokee nation. So it's really in the blood. It's almost like you listen to the land speaking to you. And wherever I am, I can hear the South calling me."

    "I really like the idea that trouble was a young woman," she added. "I see her on my travels a lot. And maybe I knew her many years ago when I was in my 20s."
  • The line "I wager she got betrayed by her friend Despair" is a reference to English author Neil Gaiman's comic book Sandman series. Amos told Radio.com: "Neil's one of my best friends. My brother Neil, my spirit brother of over twenty years: he ends up skating through many of my songs. There's a shared love for mythology there. That's a real driving factor in our [respective] work. I always wanted to."

    Sandman fan Tori Amos became friends with Gaiman after making a reference to "Neil and the Dream King" on her 1991 demo tape. He included her in turn as a talking tree in his novel Stardust. Amos has continued to mention Gaiman in her songs, one example being in "Space Dog" where she sings "Where's Neil when you need him?"
  • Released as a digital download, this was the sole single from Amos' 14th solo album and finds her returning to the pop/alt-rock fold after a foray into classical music with her previous two albums.
  • In the music video, we meet Amos at a London diner where a plot is unfolding to steal information from two businessmen. Amos appears to just be an observer until the end, when she provides passports for the female perpetrators.

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