Datura (song)

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"Dātura"
Song by Tori Amos from the album To Venus And Back
Recorded Cornwall, 1999
Genre Alternative rock, electronic, baroque pop, piano rock
Length 8:25
Label Atlantic
Writer Tori Amos
Producer Tori Amos
To Venus And Back track listing
"Riot Poof"
(8)
"Dātura"
(9)
"Spring Haze"
(10)

"Dātura" or "Datura" is a song written and recorded by American singer Tori Amos. It is the ninth song of Amos's fifth record To Venus and Back, which was released in September 1999. It is included in the first disc of the double album subtitled "Orbiting" that contains eleven original studio recordings. The song lists the names of the plants found in Amos's garden and was created during the recording sessions of To Venus and Back. The song's title refers to datura, a plant known for its toxic and hallucinogenic properties. Amos has never performed the song live due to its complex structure and time signatures which makes it hard to reproduce with a live band. However, in 2011 Amos incorporated the "room in my heart" bridge when performing "Take to the Sky" during her concert in Brussels on October 29, 2011 Video on YouTube. She also performed the song in a similar fashion throughout the Unrepentant Geraldines Tour.

History and Background[edit]

In interviews promoting "To Venus and Back" Amos has stated "Dātura" was created fully in a studio setting, almost as an elaboration of an improvisation. It was written and recorded at Martian Engineering, Amos's studio in Cornwall, England. The lyrics are derived from the plants that were found in Amos's garden. A list of the plant names was handed to Amos by her gardener. Apparently, most of the plants in her garden had died, except for datura, which Amos found striking since it is known as a hallucinogen. Amos was in the studio with drummer Matt Chamberlain when the song was created.

Eventually the song, which is over 8 minutes long, was included on To Venus and Back, causing another song Amos was still trying to fix, "Zero Point", to be cut off the record.

Structure[edit]

The basic structure of the song is ABAC, of which A is the most prominent theme.

The song starts with a complex bass riff accompanied by some right hand chords and Amos citing the plant names. She also yells out "Get out of my garden". The time signature of this first and third part is most interesting, since it consists of a combination of 6/8, 7/8, 8/8 and 9/8 bars, creating a rather complex structure that is rather hard to reproduce. This part is written in the key of B flat major.

The bridge of the song is in simple 4/4 and in the key of D flat major. It is the most melodic part of the track in which Amos sings: "Is there room in my heart for you to follow your heart and not need more blood from the tip of your star?"

The coda of the song starts as almost halfway and is in D flat major again. In it Amos slowly and solemnly sings of "Dividing Canaan, piece by piece".

Personnel[edit]

  • Tori Amos - vocals, piano, synths, production
  • Matt Chamberlain - drums/percussion
  • Jon Evans - Bass
  • Steve Caton - guitars
  • Andy Gray - additional programming and additional drum programming
  • Jon Astley - mastering
  • Mark Hawley - recording and mixing
  • Marcel van Limbeek - recording and mixing
  • Rob van Tuin - assistant recording and mixing