Toi Amos reaches out to a lonely young woman in the maternal "Strange Little Girl."
Modest drums and a frank wurlitzer start the single, setting a rebellious tone.
Amos sees a young girl, dressed in fishnets and lace. She notices the heavy eyes and torn mouth. She wonders what happened in the girl's life for her to be melancholy. She takes the time to talk with her. She finds out the girl ran away from home. Amos cautions her of the town's dangerous spots. However, Amos is comfortable with her exploring the city to learn more about herself.
" One day, see a strange little girl look at you/One day, see a strange little girl feeling blue/She'd run to the town one day, leaving home and her country fair/Just beware when you're there, strange little girl."
Amos recalls the day the girl decided to go back home. Amos is proud that the young girl's spirit remained intact. She matured and grew up within the short time she was there. However, the people in the town were jaded and unforgiving. They wouldn't give her a chance. The town took advantage of her naivete and spit her out.
"She didn't know how to live in a town that was rough/It didn't take long before she knew she'd had enough/Walking home in her wrapped up world, she survived, but she's feeling old/'Cause she found all things cold."
Amos asks her in the chorus if she has any dreams or hopes. She tells the girl she is capable of better things. She does not need to stay in the town.
"Strange little girl, where are you going?/Strange little girl, where are you going?/Do you know where you could be going?"
Amos knows of the girl's confusion and understands it fully. She adds soothingly, "I know you weren't sure"
The first verse and the chorus are sung again.
"Walking home in her wrapped up world, she survived, but she's feeling old/'Cause she found all things cold."
The chorus is sung three times to end the single.
Amos' cover of "Strange Little Girl" is protective and motherly. Amos has been living in the disillusioned town for years. She has put up with the status quo. However, she informs the young girl she doesn't have to - she does not want the young girl to be afraid to speak up for herself. She can get away now while she can, unlike Amos who cannot leave without repercussions.