Electronics

Tanita Tikaram – Twist in My Sobriety Lyrics

“Twist in My Sobriety” is a song written and recorded by Tanita Tikaram. Released as a single in 1988 from her debut album, Ancient Heart, it was Tikaram’s biggest international success, achieving top 10 placings in several European countries and is probably her best-remembered song.

The first line of the song, “All God’s children need traveling shoes”, is the title of a book by writer/poet Maya Angelou.

Speaking about the somewhat obscure and enigmatic lyrics, Tikaram has offered different views on their meaning, but said it’s mostly about the particular relationship with the world one feels when entering adulthood. “the song is really about not understanding – when you’re 18, you’ve got a very particular emotional relationship with the world, you feel very isolated, and everybody else is so distant and cold. And I think I was singing about not feeling anything or not being moved by things around. I think this is a strong feeling when you’re just after adolescence.”

Malcolm Messiter plays the oboe on the song, which is featured prominently on the song’s chorus, as well as being used on instrumental solos throughout the song. A rarity on pop songs, the use of the oboe was favourably remarked by several reviewers, citing that it made the song unique and distinct from other charts hits of the time.

Released as the second single from her debut album Ancient Heart, the song was edited for its single release, eliminating the last verse of the song. Despite heavy promotion, the single was a moderate hit in the UK, peaking at #22, and to date it is Tikaram’s last top 40 hit in her home country.

The song was a bigger success when released in Europe, and was a top 10 hit in several countries, including Ireland (#10), France (#6), Norway (#6), Germany (#2), Switzerland (#6) and Austria (#2). It mostly charted within the top 40 in other European countries and was a big airplay hit all around Europe in 1988-89. The single was Tikaram’s only chart hit in the USA charts, peaking at #25 on the Modern Rock charts, and was a hit on college radio stations. The song featured prominently during the 1988 Miami Vice episode “The Lost Madonna”.

Tanita Tikaram - Twist in My Sobriety Lyrics

Tanita Tikaram – Twist in My Sobriety Lyrics

All God’s children need traveling shoes
Drive your problems from here
All good people read good books
Now your conscience is clear
I hear you talk girl, now your conscience is clear

In the mornin’ when I wipe my brow
Wipe the miles away
I like to think I can be so willed
And never do what you say
I’ll never hear you and never do what you say

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

We just poked a little empty pie
For the fun that people had at night
Late at night, don’t need hostility
Timid smile and pause to free

I don’t care about their different thoughts
Different thoughts are good for me
Up in arms and chaste and whole
All God’s children took their toll

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

Cup of tea, take time to think, yeah
Time to risk a life, a life, a life
Sweet and handsome, soft and porky
You pig out ’til you’ve seen the light
Pig out ’til you’ve seen the light

Half the people read the papers
Read them good and well
Pretty people, nervous people
People have got to sell
News you have to sell

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety