Lyric of the Day #67: Top 100 Lyricists #80

17 Nov

Hey guys,

Amanda here, I’m a new blogger for the Music Court. I’m a college sophomore from Far-Rockaway N.Y. and I love writing and music. Booyah!

So this week’s next top lyricist is Tori Amos. You may not have heard of her, but trust me, she’s pretty awesome.

Tori Amos, born Myra Ellen Amos, is not only a gifted songwriter, but an incredible pianist. She was pretty much a child prodigy, playing piano at 2 and composing original pieces at 5. When I was 5, I was lucky if I could spell my own name right.

Tori’s career rose in the early 1990’s, a time dominated by alternative, angry, and dare I say, testosterone-fueled rock. She bravely countered the status quo, authoring songs that challenged gender roles and accepted social norms. Tori’s lyrics are potent and electrifying; unapologetically and unabashedly honest. She gained direct inspiration from her own romantic relationships, as well as from a brutal sexual assault she experienced early in her career. Amos is the cofounder of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, a national crisis hotline.

At 46 and with a prolific, two-decade long career, Tori has made a permanent mark in the music world. One of my favorite songs is “Cornflake Girl”, from her fourth album Under the Pink:

Never was a cornflake girl
Thought that was a good solution
Hanging with the raisin girls
She’s gone to the other side

Yeah you might think a song written about cereal is a little obscure, and you’re probably right. But “Cornflake Girl” resonates with generations of woman. The song is about the internal resentment and tension between individual groups of women. To Amos, the “cornflake girls” are simple, narrow-minded and complacent (think of your Paris Hiltons and Tara Reids). On the other hand, the “raison girls” are creative and unconventional (think of your Alanis Morissettes and Regina Spektors). Just like the ratio of cornflakes to raisons in your cereal box, the raison girls are outnumbered by the cornflake girls. “Cornflake Girl” is a social commentary, but not on the pressure that women receive from men or the media, but from other women. Tori is a self- proclaimed “raison girl”, far too bold to conform to an accepted standard of female behavior.

My other top Amos song is “A Sorta Fairytale”. It was Tori’s most commercially successful song, and also, has a very bizarre cameo of Adrien Brody in the music video.

And I’m so sad
like a good book
I can’t put this
Day Back
a sorta fairytale
with you
a sorta fairytale
with you

The song’s about the ups and downs of love; a relationship that evolves from an idealistic, fairy-tale vision to something real and imperfect.

Tori Amos is an amazing musical artist, and if you haven’t already, I suggest you check her out.

 

2 Responses to “Lyric of the Day #67: Top 100 Lyricists #80”

  1. Bambi November 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Fun Fact about Tori Amos –

    She started her music career in the late 80’s with a Synthpop band named “Y Kant Tori Read.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y_Kant_Tori_Read

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