I have listened to this song for approximately 12 years and I did not understand the meaning until today. I watched this performance and heard not only the song, but the artist’s story, connecting to it and understanding the reasons for telling it.

Here is another performance of the same song from 20 years later. Once the orchestra intro subsides, the audience applauds at the familiar melody. She is singing from a different place now. The wounds that once bled out the song’s initial inspiration are no longer fresh. Yet they are memorialized here, justly and elegantly so. The words and tones are as precise as ever, supplemented with the lushness of strings, gallantry of horns and delicately placed ornamentation. Dynamics of this strength are mastered by a truly in-sync group of accomplished musicians, who are not only listening to each other but feeling the physical rise and fall of the song.

“Snow can wait
I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose
Get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart
When I think of winter
I put my hand in my father’s glove
I run off
Where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice
“Your must learn to stand up for yourself
Cause I can’t always be around”
He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and I’m here still waiting 

Withering where some snowman was
Mirror mirror where’s the crystal palace
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know, dad, the ice is getting thin

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Hair is grey
And the fires are burning
So many dreams
On the shelf

You say I wanted you to be proud of me
I always wanted that myself

He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change
My dear

~Winter
Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes