Song Analysis

Gold Dust

Thursday 22 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

"’Gold Dust’ is very much about being other people and feeling how they feel and feeling how you felt at another time when you’ve been another place. And it really isn’t your past because somehow these frames are written on your body and they’ve made you what you are. Nothing is gone... it’s just, on your body map. And this project has been very much about finding, I guess, my body map.

I think if you’re going to um, really write a work about a road trip and about America and who she is, then you have to go see her in, um, all her glory and all her uh... bad fast-food joints and good truck stops and everything in between. You know, you can’t just go to the coast and then fly, do the fly-over-country trip. You really have to experience it. And the crazy thing about it is, the gold that we found, you find it so much when you’re not even thinking that you’re in it. And you turn around and you see this pair of eyes and somebody puts a bowl of chili in front of you and... it’s Heaven, it doesn’t get any better than that." (Scarlet Stories CD)

Last year, Tori gave birth to a daughter, and at the end of her journey, so does Scarlet. On the birth of her child in "Gold Dust", she is finally able to see the map she has lost. "From being the woman of adventure, she now has another life dependent upon her. And she sees that which is permanent and that which is transitory in a new light. When the Twin Towers went down we realised that what is permanent rests in your heart." (Scarlet’s Walk bio)

"Natashya is at that age where so many people were telling me to enjoy it, savor it, hold it. Everyone tells me that - all the mothers in the play group. Right now she loves crawling up on Mommy and Daddy’s laps, and there are so many cuddles and kisses, and there isn’t any embarrassment; it’s still okay to be lovey-dovey. In some ways I still can’t believe I’m a mom. But it has really become a major part of who I am." (Women Who Rock Fall 2002)

"I found that people were burning with memories - almost like a photograph that had frozen in their mind’s eye, and they could walk into it. People wanted to treasure the things that made an impression on them, that made them feel something. That’s what I found while I was out there going from place to place. Most people seemed to start seeing things in a different way for the first time. There was a rumbling, and there was a searching. It was a fascinating time." (Alternative Press November 2002) * she doesn’t speak nomatively about the song in this interview but quotes some images she uses in the lyrics.

"People were maybe relating to each other in ways they normally wouldn’t. Barriers were dropped that normally wouldn’t be dropped. The masks were down. So I think that maybe time seemed to be accelerated and it seemed to be almost as if you could go back in time and go forward in time, because people had pictures of things that were permanent, mainly because if something like the twin towers isn’t permanent, if that can shatter, then what is permanent? I think people were questioning that. So what became permanent were pictures, moments in time that were emblazoned on peoples’ hearts. That’s what people brought with them." (Florida Today November 8, 2002)

"Scarlet then walks to the nation’s capital as a different woman that has listened to the Great Mother and seen the Great Mother’s love for all her children, shedding tears of love, for settler and Native American, in her state of compassionate equanimity. I, myself, was even surprised at the denouement of Scarlet’s Walk. The Great Mother chose to confront the patriarchy that has pimped her out and left American Mothers weeping for the loss of their children, a loss that cannot not make sense of or justify this current river of blood. The Great Mother does something that Scarlet could not even have predicted. The Great Mother seeds herself and is reborn in the conciousness of all the babies being born in the early 21st century. Resurrection comes in different forms. Through ’Gold Dust’ Scarlet holds the Great Mother as a newborn, in all her sovereignty, knowing that all old men who make war eventually leave this plane as the sands of time continue to close in on the unstoppable truth that a generation will rise.” (A Piano booklet, p.39.)