Song Analysis

Mother

Sunday 7 August 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

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

"’Mother’ came a bit like dream sleep. It was early morning when I made my way to the piano. I knew that they were trying to show me something, a memory of the Fall, not the one we’ve been taught, but the other side of the history which is the belief of certain ancient mythologies. ’Mother’ changed me because I began to remember, where I believe we come from." (Little Earthquakes songbook)

“I love that song. Mother. It’s not just a song about a mother-daughter relationship, it’s so much more.”

Like?

“Like…” (she takes a pause to think) “Like how it was in the past, aeons ago, when we weren’t made of flesh and blood yet and our free spirits were floating around. There was no good or bad expression, just free expression. I have a certain idea about the deluge/flood that differs from the accepted interpretation. My vision has to do with the disagreement in yourself. The way you can split up yourself, which means the way you judge a certain part of yourself. (With a lot of dramatic effect:) Why is Caroline’s green so much better than mine? Instead of this you can also see the expression of others just as a message and stay true to yourself.

The deluge/flood had to do with judgements. Some kind of energy is taking power over you when you start blaming yourself and condemn yourself. ‘Mother the car is here’ means: arriving on a place like earth, where that energy is very dark and attractive and sensual. That’s also a part of us. If you try to separate those things strictly, like light and dark, like those New-Age people do, then you are acting superior. Then your hands are so clean, no filth under your nails, no wisdom. You have to unify those two things, that’s what I tried to do in Mother. The idea of: If I like it, I hope I can remember. Maybe it happened a billion years ago...” (Oor, March 7, 1992)

"I knew that ’Winter’ needed to be written, which represented not just the father, but the grandfather — Poppa, my mother’s father. So the positive male energies in my life, and also moments with men, with their disappointment in themselves and how that plays out. I wanted — I needed — the polar opposite, so I felt like this needed to go beyond the human mother. This needed to go back to ideas of Creatrix and that God is not just male, but of the Creator being female and male. So this is the feminine story coming down to earth, leaving this soul space and saying goodbye to Mother Creator as I go to Mother Earth. And the last thing is somebody leaves the light on." (Rolling Stone.com, December 18, 2009)