"Virginia" as written by and Tori Ellen Amos....
In the lush Virginia hills
They kept her as long as they could
Cause they knew when the white brother
Found white shell beads
Wrapped around her skin --
A life giving river --
Her body open as will his hand
And with a "goodbye" there she goes

She may betray all that she loves
And even wait for their savior to come
And in some things, maybe he'll be right
But as always the thing that he loves
He will change from her sunrise to clockwise to soul trading
Still she'll lay down her body
Covering him all the same

So hundreds of years go by
(the red road carved up by sharp knife)
She's a girl out working her trade
And she loses a little each day
To ghetto pimps and presidents
Who try and arouse her turquoise serpents
She can't recall what they represent
And when you ask, she won't know

She will betray

Oh Virginia
Do you remember
When the land held your hand
Oh Virginia
She will let you back in
Oh Virginia
You can't remember your name


Lyrics submitted by merchantpierce, edited by Iago1604

"Virginia" as written by Tori Ellen Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Virginia song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about the land that is America, the actual continent itself, the people that have inhabited it... and the bloody history that is has suffered through. From the slaughter of Native Americans and the European take over - "the Red Road carved up by Sharp Knife" (the bloody trail of war and Inidian blood that lead to their takeover) - to the present day - "ghetto pimps
    and presidents."

    The Native Americans who wanted to make peace - "She may betray all that she loves" (America, as the Native American people, betray themselves) - and the broken promises of that peace made by the white man - "But as always, the thing that he (the white man) loves he will change from her sunrise, to clockwise, to soul trading (the white man's back and forth attitude about assuring the Native Americans their homes, peace and freedom... the things they love changing from peace to want of the land they promised away.)"

    The song is aptly named, because Virginia was the first state (where all the conflict and change began,) and it is a feminine name, thus bringing in more connections to the usually female associated Earth/land (Gaia, etc.) The name, obviously, also has a virginal meaning; the land that is America was a clean virgin while in the hands of the Native Americans, and when the white man came, they "raped" the land for all it's worth.

    The lines "Oh, Virginia, you can't even remember your name" and "And she loses a little each day, to ghetto pimps and presidents, who try and arouse her turquoise serpents... She can't recall what they represent, and when you ask, she won't know." are about what has come of the white man's take over and how America can't seem to find it's true identity or even its former self when the Native Americans lived with the earth. It's like asking what it was all for, and was the end result worth it? Filled with people with little respect for the planet and the land (America) that they live off of... where corruption and greed is in both (political corruption and greed/self-interest with presidents, greed for sex and money with ghetto pimps) ends of the "social spectrum," and Virginia can no longer find meaning in these things that make her up because it's hard to tell what is truly "good" and "evil." The lines "Oh Virginia, do you remember when the land held your hand?" go back to when Virginia (America/the Native American people) knew who she was and she lived simply with the earth. Now, Virginia can't remember her old name that was given to her before the white man came, the names also representing who "she is/was."

    Phew, sorry about the length. But, this song is definitely one of my favorite Tori song's ever.
    Kagerouon August 10, 2006   Link

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