Tori Amos’ “Baltimore”

“Baltimore / Walking With You” single
MEA Records, 1980

Watch Tori sing “Baltimore”:

“It’s all kind of people/Familiar places smiling faces/I’m proud to say I’m a Baltimorean/But the ‘Birds are the best/The best of Baltimore.”

Born Myra Ellen Amos in North Carolina, Tori Amos moved to Baltimore in 1964 when she was two and by age five was enrolled at the Peabody Institute, where she was hailed as a child piano prodigy. According to Clare Croft, writing in the Baltimore Sun, “Legend has it that the Peabody faculty kicked her out at 11 for a radical songwriting venture, though her resistance to learning how to read may have also factored into the decision. As a teen, Amos stuck to her style of playing by ear and began touring the Baltimore and Washington piano bar circuit” (“Baltimore Rocks,” Baltimore Sun, 8/15/2005).

This rare 45 single was released in 1980 when she was 16 under the name Ellen Amos. The writers are Ellen and Michael Amos (Tori’s brother). There are reportedly only 10 of these in circulation. Only 500 copies were pressed by Tori’s father on MEA Records (the initials of Myra Ellen Amos) because, well…who knew their future kitsch value? The song “Baltimore” was written as part of a 1979 theme song contest for the Baltimore Orioles and displayed little of the “edginess” that would surface in her later work, like her cover of Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit.” Nope, Teen Tori’s spirit was quite glib, as if she was still growing into her future angst. But that was OK as far as the O’s and the City of Baltimore were concerned, as the Go O’s anthem was given a citation by the then Mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer.

According to Wikipedia, as of the year 2002, a copy of this record complete with original sleeve (which is not a picture sleeve) sells for $2,000-$5,000 dollars. A copy with an original resume for “Ellen Amos” could go for as much as $7,000.

“Baltimore” – Complete Lyrics:
It’s so nice to live here, I’m glad this is my home.
I’ve got a homestead on Baltimore Street, it’s someplace to call my
own…

It’s all kinds of people, familiar places, smiling faces.
I’m proud to say I’m a Baltimorian.
But the ‘Birds’ are the best, the best of Baltimore…

We like it here in Baltimore. There’s so much love in Baltimore.
Working hand in hand, to make this place a better land in Baltimore…
Love is what you’ll find, so stop and take the time.
I’ve got Oriole Baseball on my mind…

We like it here in Baltimore. There’s so much love in Baltimore.
Working hand in hand, to make this place a better land in Baltimore…
Love is what you’ll find, so stop and take the time.
To enjoy the brotherhood of Baltimore…

The sun sets across the bay. I’m glad I spend my day,
In a working American city, with all the people who make it that way.
It’s time to jump in a back seat for Thirty-third Street,
Knowing I’ll be watching those ‘Birds’ go, watching Weaver’s show…

We like it here in Baltimore. There’s so much love in Baltimore.
Working hand in hand, to make this place a better land in Baltimore…
Love is what you’ll find, so stop and take the time.
‘Cause I’ve got Oriole Baseball on my mind…

Related Links:
My City, ‘Tis of Thee

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One Response to Tori Amos’ “Baltimore”

  1. Dave Devan says:

    I found one of these years ago in a thrift store. It is original. It is so rare no one believes me. They think I am trying to peddle a fake but it is definitely authentic. I know from the circumstance of it.

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