Song Analysis

Hey Jupiter

mardi 27 septembre 2011, par Cécile Desbrun

Coming soon ! In the meantime, read Tori’s quotes about the song.

"The most important thing to me as a songwriter is the breath. The most important thing I could ever say to somebody is, ’Sometimes I just breathe you in.’" (Keyboard, November 1994)

“’Hey Jupiter’ was especially hard. I’d made 13 calls from all over the world. I was getting ready to catch a plane from Phoenix to do the Vegas show, and I rang his [Eric Rosse’s] number again, but no one was picking up. And in that moment, after all the... you know, the fiery red head behaviour, drawing my lines, making my threats...I was lying there alone, feeling incredibly weak. Feeling like there are not enough sold-out shows, like it doesn’t matter that every American show is sold out, because I’m only alive when I’m on a stage with a piano. The rest of the time I’m just this shell. So, when I wrote Hey Jupiter, it was like, how could we have been so cruel ? Because when we started out, there was so much love. Real caring. And I sit here hating someone who I had been head over heels in love with. Taking jets to meet up for four hours and then flying back to do a show the next night.” [Time Out, December 20, 1995)

“The album going into ’Hey Jupiter’... is the point where she knows it’s over with this particular relationship, or ships, and it’s not ever gonna be what it was again. It is never going back. That’s where the whole record turns on its axis.” (BSide – May/June 1996)

“On ’Hey Jupiter’, she knows the way she has looked at relationships with men and put them on a pedestal is over. There’s a sense of incredible loss because I knew that I would never be able to see the same way again. It’s freeing, and yet there’s a sense of grieving with that.”

Although “Hey Jupiter” finds Amos singing “and I thought I wouldn’t have to be/With you as something new,” the lyric sheet renders the couplet as “and I thought you’d see with me/You wouldn’t have to be something new.” What happened ?

“It kept coming back that way,” she says of the lyric sheet. “I kept correcting it. Seventeen times, revision after revision, it kept coming back. I looked at it, and said, ‘[It] needs to hold both of them. The girl needs to be saying it while the other voice is saying it differently, because they can’t communicate anymore.’” (The Baltimore Sun, January 21, 1996)

At VH1 Storytellers in 1998, Tori was asked what the song was really about by someone in the audience and felt incomfortable about answering (well, she told times and times again in 1996 that it was about her break-up with Eric Rosse). She then had a lot of fun to tell the following story :

“Well, I was really in a bind because um, I was doing some bad things and I was in a love triangle with these uh I don’t even know if they were real now, I’m confused about the whole thing. So let’s see I was lying in bed. Strange things happen to you on tour, like strange Englishmen start sitting at the end of your bed, apparitions of dead guys. And they start singing songs to you. And this guy was definitely dead. And he was definitely singing to me. Um so I’m confused about the copyright laws. I’m not sure if I need to call his ex-wife and give her part of the song or not. But why should I do that ? She’s rich. She’s not nice. So anyway I um, kept the copyright. And the guys forgot who I was and the song is mine.”

She also told the following story during the recording of the show (that bit wasn’t aired) :

“I was going through something in my life, and I felt the presence at the end of my bed of a ghost of someone I recognized. I was in a hotel room in Arizona during the Under the Pink tour. I followed this ghost into the bathroom. I turned on all the water...the shower... I let the room steam up...the water became part of the sound, almost like an orchestra...and this ghost drew a picture for me in the mirror in the steam. The way I interpreted the picture was that earth and Jupiter were in love billions of years ago, then they were separated, and now they are billions of miles apart, and this is earth’s love song to Jupiter.”