Tori Amos :: A-to-Z :: My Top 5

Tori Amos

A-to-Z of Music :: The Letter A
My Top 5 songs from Tori Amos

1. Northern Lad
from the album, From the Choir Girl Hotel (1998)

“‘You change like sugar cane’,
says me northern lad.
I guess you go too far,
when pianos try to be guitars.”

There are break-up songs, and then there are songs that fit in that space of you know it’s time to break-up, but you are not sure how to, and this song fits into that latter category. It is a tough place to be in, that overwhelming sense of unhappiness and restlessness, mixed up with the guilt and fear of actually going. This is a song that has been so hard for me to hear at times in my life, but also a song that has saved me, and given me strength.

2. Precious Things 
from the album, Little Earthquakes (1992)

“I wanna smash the faces of those beautiful boys,
those christian boys,
so you can made me cum,
that doesn’t make you Jesus.”

1992 was the year that changed everything in my life, the moment of significance where I had to grow-up in ways that I never had to before, and somehow find some peace with my past. It wasn’t instantaneous though, as we spend our lives moving forward and making sense (and peace) of the past, but there was things I had to wrestle with, that year, in order to become a stronger version of me (and someone’s mother). The entire album of Little Earthquakes was my savior and my lifeline and my confidante, perhaps this song most of all.

3. Silent All These Years
from the album, Little Earthquakes (1992)

“But what if I’m a mermaid,
in these jeans of his with her name still on it,
hey but I don’t care,
cause sometimes,
I said sometimes,
I hear my voice,
and it’s been here,
silent all these years.”

Another from the same album, and another that was life-changing and affirming, and like a buoy thrown out to a girl who was drowning. I’d never found an album, or a song, that I understood so deeply, to my bones deep, and also felt so understood within. I clung to this song for dear life at age 23, and now, at age 46, I still feel it, and understand.

4. Jackie’s Strength
from the album, From the Choir Girl Hotel (1998)

“Make me laugh,
say you know what you want,
you said we were the real thing,
so I show you some more and I learn,
what black magic can do.”

And every time I fell in love I believed that this time it was the time, that I’d found the one, that this was the magic I’d heard about, and wished for. So certain I was, and oh so determined, that I turned myself inside out and upside down trying to be what I thought would make the love, and magic stay, losing myself completely in the process. A dangerous game to play that cost me so much, more than I can say, and this song, it always felt like it got that, related and reminded me, of what I’d lost, and who I’d become (and maybe how to rescue myself, too).

5. Gold Dust 
from the album, Scarlet’s Walk (2002)

“How did it go so fast?
You’ll say,
as we are looking back,
and then we’ll understand,
we held gold dust
in our

This one makes me cry every single time I hear it. It reminds me of people I’ve lost in this life, certain people who are forever gone and that sometimes their absence is such an ache inside of me. It reminds me that life is rare and people we have with is are precious and fleeting, and that it can all go by so fast; it reminds me to appreciate and really live.


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