“And I’m so sad
Like a good book, I can’t put this
Day back
A sorta fairytale with you.”

Today I had the brilliant stroke of Pandora-induced luck to discover the demo version of “A Sorta Fairytale.” I think I’ve listened to this song three quarters of the mornings in the past month, the version from “Scarlet’s Walk,”  which is a stunning and moving tale of soulmates gone awry. It’s among my favorite tracks from 2000s-era Tori. But this version, with the solo piano, and the first draft of the lyrics, is much more intimate. And what are soulmates, if not that?

So, today, I heard this, and I danced in a parking lot. I waltzed and balanced with my headphones in my sandals, because it was empty of others and I was wandering and I felt like I was hearing something just for me just when I needed it. Especially with the tone of her voice on a line brand new to me – “this thing we created” – this, which encapsulated all the fretting and pain of the original verse, plus some, and so I broke into a thousand pieces and danced about it, because I was validated that yes, I knew what this tune was all about.

I would write more what I think this song is about, but instead I’ll use this quote from the writer herself, included in “Scarlet’s Stories:”

“I think that there is a place where she [Scarlet] realizes that people come in and out of your life. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for longer. And all of them make you what you are. You can’t separate these people out of you. They form who you are. Even the ones that you kind of say well… you know, I don’t know if I wanna be formed by them anymore. (laughs) But you are in some way. You are. That’s why, maybe, you don’t have to look at them so harshly because they have affected you. At the end, though, you know… it’s us as individuals with our… mm… with our love for the land. For something intangible, that when soulmates come and go, you’re never alone even when you’re standing just you in your shoes, because you carry them with you.”

“On my way up north
Up on the Ventura
I pulled back the hood
and I was talking to you
and i knew then it would be
a life-long thing, but I didn’t
know that it could
break so well and clean

and I’m so sad
like a good book
I can’t put this day back
a sorta fairytale with you

Said that day up on the 101
you would be someone
you tried to downplay it
but i knew we had come
face to face with this thing we created

and I’m so sad
like a good book
I can’t but this day back
a sorta fairytale with you
I could pick back up whenever I feel…

 And I was riding by
riding along side for a while
til you lost me and i was
riding along side til you lost me
til you lost me in the rearview

til you lost me, i said

Way up north, i took my day
all and all, was a pretty nice day
and i put the hood right back where
you could taste heaven perfectly.
feel out the summer breeze
didn’t know when we’d back and i
i don’t, i didn’t think we’d end up like,

like this.”
~A Sorta Fairytale
Tori Amos, A Piano: The Collection