"Winter" as written by Edward C. King, Gary Robert Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant, Warren Zevon, Robert J. Ritchie, Leroy P. Marinell, Robert T. Wachtel and Matthew Shafer....
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 hands in my father's glove
I run off where the drifts get deeper

Sleeping Beauty it drips me with a frown
I hear a voice you 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 come pleading for the sun
Years go by and I'm used to waiting
With a ring with some snowman's
Mirror mirror where's the crystal palace
But I can only see myself

Skating around the truth who I am
But I know 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 gray and the fire is burring
So many dreams on the shelf
You say I wanted you to be proud of me
I always wanted that myself

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

Never change
All the white horses


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by adelaster, azenji

"Winter" as written by Tori Amos

Lyrics © SWORD AND STONE PUBLISHING CO.

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Winter song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentI get something slightly different out of the song actually. To me "Winter" by Tori Amos is about a father telling his daughter that he is going to die and that she has to live life without him. "Winter" is a song about the death of a dad.
    In the beginning she emphasizes that she is very close to her dad and that she needs him and his way of protecting her. - "I put my hands in my father’s glove.."
    the whole chorus is like a dialogue between father and daughter. the dad says she needs to realize who she is and she needs to understand what a great person she is. this , however, also shows her lack of self-esteem and her dad tries to fix it by saying "When you gonna love you as much as I do"
    "Cause things are gonna change so fast"- he won't be able to be with her for the rest of her life. things will change when he is not around anymore.
    "All the white horses are still in bed" is the most significant expression of the song to me. the white horses are a symbol for his death. if I picture white horses, i see white horses running at night. horses are associated with running, therefore with "leaving". the fact that the horses are not black though underlines the tone of the song. you could call it the beauty of a tragedy even though that is something people do not realize or atleast it takes a while to realize that the death of your father changes your life and if you want it to be, it can be for the better because indeed you need to start believing in something or you will be broken for the rest of your life. the love you feel for your father is overwhelming and even though you might think now it is not worth anything anymore, you realize at some point that a feeling as strong as this cannot be useless.
    the second verse is obviously about growing up and in the end she says "
    But I know the Ice is getting thin" which means to me that she knows the older they both become, the closer death is.
    when she sings -"Hair is gray and the fire is burrnig so many dreams on the shelf" she basically says again that she is aware of the fact that her father is getting older and that all the dreams he has and maybe both of them have won't come true since his time is running out.
    "You say I wanted you to be proud of me I always wanted that myself"
    sounds to me like he tells her just how important she is to him. and if she says "I always wanted that myself" it is as if she'd say "I wanted you to be proud of me" to her dad. so it doesnt mean that she wanted to be proud of her dad, but that she wanted her dad to be proud of her. that way it makes a lot more sense. infact it only underlines their relationship and how close they are.
    in the end the white horses are no longer "still in bed";
    "All the white horses have gone ahead" means he left this world.
    in the very end she sings "never change": things might change and he is not around anymore but her love cannot be taken away. that way, things change but her feelings and memories do not change. ever. death cannot part people, it can even get them closer to each other even though it hurts that the person you lost is not around anymore.

    this song reminds me of my dad. i wish he would have had the chance to tell me these things. everything happened too fast and totally out of the blue and..just too early. every time i listen to this song, i see both of us walking through a forest at night.
    mary_joon May 14, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General Commentthis is by far my favorite tori amos song. she starts out in the song as a young girl who adores her father, and he tells her that she needs to be her own person and follow her dreams. she tells him that she "always want him near" and he gently tells her that "things change." he predicts what happens in the second verse. she grows up and gets wrapped up in her life, trying to make her father proud of her. but she soon forgets about the dreams they shared and starts living for herself. she loses the vision of the "crystal palace" and only sees herself. this takes its toll and she then remembers the words of her father. "grey hair" symbolizes her father's age...and the dreams that they shared are still on the shelf, untouched and unlived. she talks to him and discovers that while he wanted her to be proud of him...it was what he wanted from him all these years. it is my belief that the father dies. the "white horses" symbolize heavenly angels, and in the first part of the song, they are still in bed, sleeping...waiting. then at the end, they've "gone ahead." this plainly means that they've taken him with them. this is a lamentation on the wasted years that occured. things did change, so fast...and they lost themselves in their search for the other's approval. in the first chorus, the father says "when you gonna love you as much as i do" and in the second chorus, the daughter says this. this leans toward the idea that they were both wrapped up in their own life at one point. and lastly, in her grief, tori states at the end "never change" in reflection of the wasted years. (i realize all of this information is jumbled up, however, i feel i have a few valid points).
    EmbracingMediocrityon May 17, 2002   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI love this song!! This is my favorite song of all time. It has so much meaning, just like a fairy tale warning. My interpretation is she never does grow up or develop. Worse than that, she has no protectors. Often in fairy tales, all the kings’ men, armies, knights, or horses are your protectors. The heroine’s job in many fairy tales is to learn to rescue herself symbolically through an agent that is really again herself. In winter, the white horse are first asleep, and then, too late. They have gone ahead. That individual has not learned how to stand up for themselves, trust themselves, or protect themselves. Who knows why. Perhaps because "daddy" has said one thing but really, you remain "daddy's little girl" to keep his love, forever. Boys left behind. Living in perpetual winter with no promise of another spring. The promised changes never having occurred. So many dreams on the shelf.
    sillywabbiton June 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSong about a "daddy's little girl" who ends up as a spinster (the grey hair refers to her) because she never grew up enough to see the World outside the childish domain that she grew up in.
    thenarratoron August 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think that the words 'you say i wanted you to be proud, i always wanted that myself' have a different meaning. She always wanted others (and that includes her father) to be proud of her, but she never was herself. So, she is saying that she has a lack of self confidence. At least, that is my opinion on this. I really love the song, the lyrics and the music are both great.
    eve22girlon May 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn the song I see the Daughter talking in the beginning about winter and such. She begins to journey on her life and her father notices the changes. He informs her she must learn to be stronger because he wont always be there and she wont always want him around. He's trying to teach the daughter that it's time to realize her potential and take the path her life has for her. The white horses being the other children whether just children in general or the girls siblings it's your take, they are in bed because they know what they must do so they will rest and prepare. The daughter says "I'll always what you near." she's obviously young and naive thinking that her dad will always be there and always be the constant. He tells her things change and that people change.

    The daughter grows "boys get discovered as winter melts". Learning the attraction to the opposite sex, what comes when winter melts? Spring, the season of matting. "Flowers competing for the sun" is girls competing for males.
    The child continues to grow but she's put off so much that she should have done. She waits for it to be handed to her but it never will be. She tries to find to find her life once more, but she can only see what she is now not the big picture her father always spoke of(the crystal palace).
    "Skating around the truth who I am, but I know dad the ice is getting thin."
    She tries to figure her life out, but the time is wearing thin and her father worries. He reiterates what he said before, she needs to make up her mind, take her destiny and do what she needs to. Make choices and grow because the rest of them have, so when will she discover herself and what she wants/needs to do?
    She still wants her father by her side to hold her hand but things change my dear. :)

    "Hear is grey and the fires are burning so many dreams on the shelf."
    The father is old, the daughter may or may not have done as she should/would.
    "You say 'I wanted you to be proud of me'."
    The father tells the daughter he just wanted her to be proud of herself, her family and father. Not to shun what they are or what she is.
    "I always wanted that myself."
    The daughter wanted them to be proud of her as well, accept her even if she didn't grow as she wanted to.
    Even if she didn't go with the "white horses"
    :)

    That's my take.
    ^_^
    IrishBlackRosieon December 24, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is the only Tori Amos song i have ever heard yet it is possibly the most beautiful song i have possibly ever heard. I imply with everyone else its about her and her father. telling her to stand up and focus on her life, and that he will love her for whatever the reasons.

    I remember this being played during wind down during wrestling practice, the song took all anger and agressivness out of everyone, and instead feelings of calm and soothing followed.

    Deffinatly a great song
    therichfoxon February 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my absolute favorite Tori song ever... every song has a different meaning for every person, but I see this as havign so many dreams and not having life living up to that. And also, not loving yourself as much as you deserve as seen through the eyes of someone else. My favorite line? "When gonna love you as much as I do?"

    Aaaahhhh... Tori...
    LindzyMarieon May 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the few songs to actually give me chills. I think everyone has this kind of relationship with their fathers, which is why it's so sad, and truthful. Tori is a genius, and songs like this make me wish i could play the piano
    TusseyTheTerribleon July 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the line "the ice is getting thin" is a metaphor. It means time is running out. That if you keep going in circles "skating" in the same place,instead of moving ahead you will fall through "the ice".
    Shock_Resistoron August 19, 2002   Link

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