How can I be drunk?
You strike with dry poison
I am possessed
Still engaged in some kind of advanced shackling

Girl you got to find you the man who
can smoke this out, Bad Medicine
Girl you got to find you the man who
can smoke this out, Good Medicine would say ---

You got you a Fast horse darlin'
But all you do is complain it ain't
a maserati.
You had a soul that you left back in Memphis
but your mama ain't New York she is pure
Tennessee

On a desrt High-way
I am struck by my own rage
Time-bomb in his palm a finger-apple
augments this advanced shackling

Girl you got to find you the man who
can smoke this out, Bad Medicine
Girl you got to find you the man who
can smoke this out, Good Medicine would say ---

You got you a Fast horse darlin'
but all you do is complain it ain't
a maserati.
You had a soul that you left back in Memphis
but your mama ain't New York she is pure
can't you see your mama ain't New York
she is pure Tennessee
Tennessee


Lyrics submitted by stentorian

Fast Horse song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationThis one gave me a bit of pause. Specifically the line referring to a finger-apple. But I thought back to Police Me and the Blackberry Storm reference and I thought this might be a reference to the iPhone. An Apple product that uses a finger touch interface - a finger-apple. This, I think, is a song about a woman who loves the absolute wrong kind of man. The controlling, "where are you" call every five minutes type of guy. Her shackling is advanced for a couple of reasons, a) its the 21st century and women are STILL shackled in many relationships b) its a technological shackling, by way of phone, pager, etc. c) if viewed in terms of a sickness, this "shackling" is very progressed in her system, potentially terminal. Everyone knows someone in that one relationship where all the friends look at each other and go, "Is she NUTS? Why can't she see that he's poison?" Its because she's possessed by him. Physically and mentally. She needs to find a medicine man to smoke out the Bad Medicine. The other aspect of this song is that she left her home in the south to be with this man. I think the actual physical location is more metaphorical. The South representing a more religious, simpler lifestyle while New York is everything new and complex. That's why she complains that her "Fast Horse" "ain't a Maserati." Her body may be with this man in a New York flat wearing Gucci and Louis Vitton but her soul is back in Tennessee in a Sundress and flip flops.
    TomSkanderon June 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this is about marriage and a woman who is engaged to be married to the wrong man. "I am posssessed, still engaged". She is his possession, engaged to be married. "Time bomb in his palm, a finger apple" might refer to the engagement ring, a time bomb waiting to explode on the day of their marriage, a ring in his palm, put on her finger, like the apple in the garden of Eden it promises good things but doesn't deliver. "Advanced shackling" - a physical shackle is used to hobble an animal like a horse to stop it from running away. She is potentially a "fast horse" who can run away from this unhealthy situation, but because she is mentally shackled she doesn't leave him.
    Romeon July 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think of this as the flip-side to Jamaica Inn. In this one, the guy in the relationship no longer values the female character and what makes her unique, but unlike Jamaica Inn (where she fears him leaving her for this other woman) now it just enrages her and she can see that the fault lies on his part.

    'You got you a fast horse darlin', but all you do is complain it ain't a Maserati' - he is with this woman who is a person, who has wonderful attributes and strengths, yet all he can see is what she isn't. (This is another link to Jamaica Inn with the 'he says she reminds him of me, when we first met in those early days' part) He's always comparing her to other people and seeing her flaws rather than her beauty.

    I think it's also about him constantly putting her down, her actions and her own appearance. I'm not sure but maybe NY is a metaphor for glitz, in-your-face physicality, whereas Tennessee is meant to represent something more soulful and less immediate. She's saying that just because she may not be dressed up all the time, she's still worthy of someone who respects her. He used to, when he was Memphis, but now he's changed.
    An interesting song.
    daneypopson October 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove, love, love this song! The intereptations are great. Personally this song to me represented a girl about to marry but she feel pressured and internally doesn't really want to marry. Everyone says she has a great guy but she feels there is better out there. But after I read daneypops intereptation the song makes more sense.

    The first verse starts it off:
    "How can I be drunk?
    You strike with dry poison
    I am possessed
    Still engaged in some kind of advanced shackling"


    How can I be drunk...drunk in love, she's not in love.

    You strike with dry poision...there is no liquid no substance, dry poision no mushy lovey feelings.
    goldenthreadson February 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor some reason, the first line makes me think that the guy said "You love me? What are you, drunk?" right before. And then the song begins.
    Marjosaon February 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI cannot know exactly what this song is about. It seems music is so magical that it can mean whatever we personally need it to mean. We're going to make sense of lyrics in a way that is flattering to our present understanding of things. That's why music, esp Tori Amos music, is so important. It is our belief in it. It's the one right religion.

    Anyway, for me, and most likely very much because I'm intensely insecure inside relationships, that's essentially what it is about. Insecurity ie. jealousy, social anxiety, and self-critical consciousness, as bad medicine, and it is. Because we nourish our insecurity by indulging the emotions they trigger in us and by acting on these emotions which seems the only way to make ourselves feel better (kind of) or at least less helpless, because it really does feel like helplessness for a while. But this indulgence that provides a coping mechanism, unhealthy as it is, is facilitating the insecurity, giving it a reason to stick around. People around nourish them when they accommodate for them or simply do not recognize them as irregular symptoms of dysfunctional insecurity.

    These lyrics speak directly to me it seems in this regard. Insecurity as bad medicine, good medicine might say: "you got you a fast horse darling, but all you do is complain it ain't a maserati. You had a soul that you left back in Memphis, but your mama ain't new york. she is pure Tennessee."

    These lyrics are helpful to me. they're quite candid with me. I'm a smart girl, I'm quite attractive, I'm talented and more than capable, but most of my energy is funneled into wondering whether im smart or pretty enough, if my boobs are big enough, if my bf is looking at other women and wondering how badly he truly wants to be with or touch them, and me of course. I have jealous feelings of a cartoon horse. honestly, right? Anyway, I'm totally ruining my relationship and my potential. I have a fast horse and all I do is complain it's not a maserati. As for the new york/tennessee line. I understand it to mean stop being dishonest and unfair to yourself by comparing yourself to things that you aren't and won't be. Learn about what you are and love it. Stop trying to be something you're not and probably don't even truly want to be. For me, it means stop punishing myself for things just because they're not the mainstream hollywood ideal. I know it's a simple message, but a lack of it is obviously pretty consequential.

    A final reason this song registers with me is that I have this incredible man in my life who is so many things i demand in most men and cannot find. He recognizes this bad medicine of mine and did immediately. He knew he was going to have to smoke it out, and I think he can. Good medicine definitely tells me what Tori says it should.
    shanelion April 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also wonder if the New York/Tennessee thing is to do with fake/natural. Just because the character's not a 24 hour party girl, dressed up all the time - she's more natural, soulful. The guy maybe doesn't appreciate this, and compares her to women who are fake and always putting on a show.
    daneypopson January 05, 2012   Link

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