“Spark” by Tori Amos
Song of the Day
“She’s convinced she could hold back a glacier,
but she couldn’t keep Baby alive.”
“Spark” by Tori Amos was released as the 1st single from 1998’s album, From the Choirgirl Hotel.
Tori has written about the personal nature of this song. She wrote “Spark” after suffering a miscarriage, and the hardships that she experienced post-trauma.
In a 1998 interview with Deluxe magazine she spoke on this saying:
“Spark” is about when I miscarried, in 1996. I was three months pregnant and very excited. All of a sudden I woke up one morning and started to feel bad. The songs started coming soon after. I was really angry at God. Going into a shopping mall and seeing some woman knock the head off her child, I’m going – ‘So this is fair?’ I don’t know where the spirit went, whether she picked another mummy, like, “OK, choose her, then! Hope you’re tone deaf!”
She went on to say to Q Magazine, in 1998:
“Y’know, once you’ve felt life in your body, you can’t go back to having been a woman that’s never carried life. The other thing is feeling something dying inside you and you’re still alive. Obviously when it was happening, it was already over, but in my mind, you don’t know that it’s over yet. You’re doing anything, thinking, ‘Oh God, maybe if I put a cork up myself, maybe it’ll keep this little life in.’ That’s why in ‘Spark’, I say, ‘She’s convinced she could hold back a glacier/But she couldn’t keep baby alive.’ You just start going insane. There’s nothing you can do, so so you surrender and then… start again.”
The songs “i i e e e” and “Playboy Mommy” from the album, From the Choirgirl Hotel, deal with the subject of miscarriage, as well.
For me, “Spark”, as well as “Playboy Mommy” would break me and piece me back together when I went through my own miscarriage. “Spark” (and “PM”) still bring me to tears, but sometimes we all need that kind of release.
I know that I clung so tightly to those songs when I was trying to face such a loss, finding the smallest solace in at least knowing that I wasn’t alone. “Spark” is so raw and beautiful, albeit so very heartbreaking.
There are volumes and chapters, and possibly entire books worth of emotions and memories that I’ve connected at times to this song. Not just for the above, more obvious reasons, but for others, as well, that this song signifies to me. I used to be such a skilled escape artist. It was my way of surviving, my kind of cure. I became a grown-up girl with a gypsy soul who tries very hard to hide her scars.
But sometimes they are impossible to hide. The weather may be too warm for long sleeves, or someone, or something, unknowingly scratches at them, leaving me bleeding internally, and swallowing hard to blink back tears.
It is then that I feel like my arms are tied, along with my heart, and all the past hurt. It is then that my tendency is to run like hell. But really, all I need is to find myself again and hang on tight to her. To breathe and stay and survive.
To find my spark again.