Eighth song on Scarlet's Walk by Tori Amos (previous - next)

don't make me come to Vegas
don't make me pull you out
of his bed
I am vigilant
that it will not be you
on the menu
he's serving up
for his friends

Don't make me come to Vegas is a groovy little song, driven by rolling beats on small drums which to me symbolize the competence of the main character. Scarlet is a mature woman by now, she has experienced the good and bad sides of life, and is now called on to help others.

It is like the album is making its first full circle from Amber waves. Once more, a girl is lured off by a man who's not good for her. Once more, Scarlet is called on by the sisterhood of women. However, this time it's not the girl herself who's calling for help.

and the Jacaranda tree
is telling me of the
trouble you're in
just by the way
She bends
remember dancing and
wondering as you were swaying
what kind of woman you'd be
"what will be will be"
over my dead body

According to the Scarlet's Walk Bio, this is what happens in the song: Scarlet has a niece who lives in Las Vegas. She is eighteen years old. Her mother discovers she is involved with a nasty specimen, and calls her sister for help. Scarlet really wants to save her "niece-i-poo", but she doesn't want to become entangled in her own slimy creature of the past, who also lives in Vegas.

my old flame was a
jester and a joker
and a dealer of men,
they called him
the prince
Prince of Black Jacks and
of women and of anything
that slipped into his hands

Don't make me come to Vegas is a song about the weakness and strength of women. First of all, let's repeat the fact that can't be repeated often enough: History repeats itself. Just because you made a mistake, doesn't mean anyone else learned from it. In fact, the way to handle personal relationships seems to be inheritable.

Yet this song is not a tale without hope. We let ourselves fall so easily, Tori sings, but just one guardian angel will be enough to pull us back up. The trick lies in solidarity, in noticing and caring. The creep in our life may have all the good cards but we have the hearts. There's no such thing as fate if a strong-willed woman decides to challenge it.

Scarlet proves her growth in this song - she does not go back to the man who was bad for her once. She wrestles through it, hopefully saving her niece along the way. She is allowed to continue her journey, and the song ends up not in Vegas, but in Austin, Texas, and a celebration - perhaps - with some sweet sangria.

don't make me come to Vegas

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