Quotes About the Album

     "After Y Kant Tori Read,, I had a huge dose of what it's like to be on the precipice and then Zola Budd [1984 South African
     Olympic runner who collided with America's Mary Decker, forcing them both out of contention] comes and knocks you off.
     Bloody hell. I had no idea that Little Earthquakes would get heard. It was such a dose of humility." 
               From "Tori Amos: The Sacred and the Profane," in the Illinois Entertainer, September 1998, by John Everson. 

     I lived on the other side of this hill in this little apartment and wrote Little Earthquakes. So it's kinda funny, being on the
     other side of the hill, isn't it girls? I don't mind so much being on the other side of the hill." 
                                                              From the Los Angeles concert, June 28, 1996. 

     RDT: What about the capital letters? [in the lyric sheet for LE]
     Cindy [Palermo]: Oh, I just picked out the ones I thought would look good in capital letters. In fact, we did it over the
     telephone. I asked Tori to sing it so that it if somebody was trying to follow it, it would help them relate. Then I'm afraid I
     moved it around a bit, according to where it came typographically. Where there was an emphasis on the word, or a word that
     you really heard... it really does work. 

     Describing how "all the songs on her upcoming album represent 'all my fifty different personalities back home and melted into
                                                                              From "All These Years" 

     "I was a rock chick for years. About a year after that, I ran into this journalist who wrote this big 'expose.' I said: 'Why
     couldn't you give me credit for putting those snake pants on of my own volition? What did you think the words on Little
     Earthquakes were about? I whored myself, and it horrified me. After that record [Y Kant Tori Read] I threw out
     everything. My piano, even. I chucked it!' But not because of the clothes. There's nothing wrong with snakeskin trousers and
     hairspray. It was because the music wasn't honest." 

     "Um, it's kind of like trying to stay alive. At that point, Little Earthquakes was my first, um, attempt at getting out of the egg.
     You know that little chicken that kinda kicks out the egg (imitates chicken) and says, "OK, um, what have I really not been
     saying all these years?" You know you can wear the plastic snake pants and put 15,000 holes in your body, which is fine.
     Enjoy it (laughter). But what am I saying? I'm just saying absolutely Nothing. So I started to think about... what is the most
     powerful thing I can do for myself. The Truth is actually the most shocking thing you can do because nobody really hears it
     much. So when you start saying things truthfully, and I mean truthfully, there's no greater .. (sighs) .. Freedom than that, and
     I was really dying. So I had to find out, I had taken on all of these belief systems. Whether you go from .. Christianity, to
     Buddhism, to God, .. I'm going to be one of those Mary Magdalenes, YES (raises arms). I mean, to finally say, "No, wait a
     minute, I'm just, who's this redhead?" Dyed of course. But, you know, what are my beliefs? Not what you want me to
     believe. Or what I should believe. But what do I Really, Really believe? And if there are a million people telling me I'm out of
     my mind, that should really be inconsequential. Because it's not your truth, it's gotta be mine. And same with you, you know?"

     "I don't find my record depressing. There are moments of incredible acknowledgment of when I've been not true to myself -
     when I listen to everybody else. But I gotta take responsibility for that." 


     "Bells started going off every time I wouldn't stick up for myself. I
     accepted Quasimodo was a squatter in my cerebral area. A rhythmic
     pattern kept chasing me around. I dug out the drum machine and put
     the pattern down. I would leave that pattern on for hours while I just
     sat and argued with myself about stuff. The first music to get put to the
     pattern was the 'B' section, 'I've been looking for a saviour'....a door
     opened and the demons started to show up." 
                             From Little Earthquakes piano score. 

     "This is for all you Christians." 
                         From the Austin TX concert, June 16, 1996


     "The beginnings were composed on an old upright piano in Virginia [at
     her parents' farm]. It's horribly out of tune, which is one of the things I
     love about it. The chorus was written but that's about it. I threw it
     down on tape and forgot about it. Months later, I was cleaning the
     house (truly a happening) and was throwing tapes away. Eric
     intercepted this one out of a pile. I was chopping onions in the kitchen,
     he brought it in and said, 'Listen' - I did." 

                             From Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "Now I don't want to say that electronic instruments are anything bad.
     For example: the electronic arrangement for Girl is mine. Eric made
     the sounds on the Kurzweil and programmed everything, since I don't
     have a clue." 

Silent All These Years

     "I tried to write songs for Cher but they did not want them, I tried to
     write songs for Whitney Houston, but they did not want them. Finally I
     had written a song for Al Stewart, but then they told me I should just
     keep this one." 
                   From the Los Angeles concert, September 24, 1998. 

     "The bumble bee piano tinkle came first. This one evolved slowly but it
     stayed an obsession until it was finished. I entered boxer occupation -
     part of me not wanting to hear what 'I' was saying, the other part
     fighting off 'The Brain Drain.' I finally distracted THE BRAIN DRAIN
     with the task of filing chocolate cake recipes." 
                           From the Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "It's about realizing, painfully, you've kept that voice inside yourself,
     locked away from even yourself. And you step back and see that your
     jailer has changed faces. You realize you've become your own jailer." 
                 From the E-Online star board interview, ca. June 1998. 

     "In most people's songs men are always potent, women never have
     their period, rape's unexistant and orgasm vaginal or faked. They're
     Barbie doll songs, songs without pubic hair or obvious genitals; they
     don't fit anatomically. My songs come rather from my womb than from
     the heart. You know, there's some fucking going on in other people's
     songs, but no-one ever gets into an unwanted pregnancy. I sing: 'Boy
     you best pray that I bleed real soon (in Silent All These Years).'" 

     "I am not the kind of woman who takes things sitting down. I wrote
     Silent All These Years because you can have a big mouth and not be
     saying anything. I didn't know how to say 'fuck you' to the people who
     knew every answer about how I should live my life. I would find myself
     sitting with my hand on a fork [her hand clutches hers violently], and I
     don't know why I wanted to go for the jugular of the person across the
     table. I didn't understand: What buttons is this person pushing in me?" 


     About a performance she did on The Jonathan Ross Show, in the

     "I almost ruined the whole thing. I was looking at that girl on the T.V.
     screen and thinking, if I stop, will she keep playing? If she stops, do I
     keep playing? It was all live, and for three seconds I froze in the middle
     of Silent, and I thought I was never going to get it together again. I just

Precious Things

     "I do believe that we all are, fundamentally, divided creatures," she [Tori]
     says picking up the thread. "Emotions split from intellect, spirit from flesh
     and far too often sexuality is disconnected from what we feel, and are, as
     total human beings. But how, for example, can anyone have an
     understanding of the virgin if they don't also have an understanding of the
     prostitute, the saint and sinner in one body? Attempting to reconcile these
     opposing forces in my own nature is my goal and what I write about in
     songs like Precious Things, and all the songs on the album."

                             From Hot Press magazine, by Joe Jackson.

     "Heavily into the Sandman comics by now, the nights were late, candles all
     over the house dripping where they would. Wax is a bit more fun to play
     with than bubble gum. The doors were open by now. I could resist, but
     there's always air suction." 

                                 From Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "I was always the girl who had friends but did boys like me? Not the boys I
     liked! They'd say, 'She's nice and she plays really good piano but she's also
     Sandy Luman's friend, can we get her number?' (laughs) I hadn't blossomed
     so I was seen as a rather nondescript nice girl, I guess." 

     "No. . .no, I've sung Precious-fucking-Things every night. I'm not doing it.
     She's in the bathtub tonight, you got Crucify instead. She came with all
     kinds of wood and nails." 
                       From the Jacksonville FL concert, August 11, 1996. 

     "Little Earthquakes is all about celebration. Celebrating the ability to laugh,
     weep, and scream, particularly if you have been silent for years. And so it's
     about celebrating sexuality in the widest sense, including the elements of
     revenge. As in Precious Things where I say to the guy 'So you can make
     me cum/that doesn't make you Jesus'. Just because I'm with a man and
     because I'm creaming for a man doesn't make him a master, doesn't even
     necessarily make him worthy of love, of my love. And I now realize, maybe
     for the first time in my life, that my capacity for love is incredibly deep and
     that for me to give this to a man he has to fully understand, and respect
     what that means. Too few do. They're into pillaging, rummaging around,
     doing a little Viking stuff! But most women these days realize that's not
     enough, boys! And if some women don't then I hope songs like Precious
     Things will help open their eyes. And, just as importantly, help open the
     eyes of some men." 
                     From Hot Press magazine, interviewed by Joe Jackson


     "My father's here tonight. I remember he took me for this walk in the
     mountains, and it was snowing and [and she says in little toodles voice]
     it got inside of my boots and made my feet cold. But i'll never forget it
     because it was the first time in a long time that we had connected. I
     wrote this for him." 
                          From Ft. Lauderdale concert, 18 April 1998 

     "I wrote this song for my Dad when he was ill." 

     "If I play Winter, I'm going to melt ... If Winter comes out, she is going
     to be Frosty the Snowman and melt." 
                       From the Dayton Ohio concert, August 3, 1996. 

     "Summoned to the piano, this Russian music box round played me over
     and over til I was wrapped in a blanket with the memory of cinnamon
     apples on my tongue and boys that didn't. 'We' Went back to where I
     felt no time - it was all happening again, presently." 

                            Happy Phantom

     "When the songs began showing up I wrote their names on separate
     envelopes and made a faery ring in the middle of the house. I'd sit in
     the middle of the ring to focus on a song's direction. All of the songs
     seemed to work toward the completeness of the other. They decided
     we needed to hang out with death for awhile." 

                             From Little Earthquakes piano score.


     "The fifths in the bass represent the beginning of an ancient ceremony.
     This ceremony took me to China, took me to the kitchen table where
     most wars get nurtured. I've always felt China and secrets are good
     friends. This song was the first written on Little Earthquakes." 

                              From Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "I usually don't do this, but somebody is going through something
     terrible. It seems someone very close to them died today ... So Tara,
     this is for you..." 
                        From the Kansas City concert, June 13, 1996


     "A hole opens sometimes that I fall through a bit like the madhatter. I
     guess where memories coughing in loose molecules come and chase
     me around for a while. I felt like I had lived 20 different lifetimes from
     birth through death during the writing of this song. When I looked up
     from the piano and at the clock, thinking I was late for someone, it had
     only been 8 minutes." 

                             From Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "This next song I wrote in like, um not a lot of time, because this girl
     was so horrible ... and she lived above me. We lives in these tiny little
     places in east Hollywood ... and she said something to me, she was
     listening to my music one day and she said um ... I was just beginning
     to write Little Earthquakes, and I hadn't written this one yet, and she
     said [Tori's voice goes higher and using a smart-assed type tone] 'You
     know you should really do something like the Indigo Girls.' And I was
     going ... 'Well why do you think I should do that?' and she goes, [in that
     smart-assed tone again] 'Well cause you know it's like really good
     music and stuff and I can really understand what they are saying' and
     I'm like but you're an idiot!' And the thing is I like Amy and Emily, they
     are very nice, but this girl um ... is just ... yanno ... she's ... she's ...
     she's ... smegma. That's not a cuss word Tim [radio station DJ], I
     know they can put that out, I know they can put that out. The
     Christians can't get me for that one." 
                    From the End Sessions, KNDD (107.7) in Seattle. 

     "The person that I sang this song to for the very first time I played it is
     here tonight and I haven't sung it to him since almost that night ... So ...
                   From the RAINN benefit concert; January 27, 1997. 


     "Mother came on a bit like a dream sleep. It was early morning when
     I made the way to the piano. I knew that 'they' were trying to show
     me something. A memory of 'the fall.' Not the one we've been taught,
     but the other side of the story, which is the belief of certain ancient
     mythologies. Mother changed me because I began to remember,
     where I believe, we come from." 

                          From the Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "You'll never guess what the next song is. I haven't played it in over a
                   From the Philadelphia concert (early), May 3, 1996. 

Tear In Your Hand

     "Emotionally, all these songs come from experiences that
     trigger them. I haven't chosen to talk much about that side
     of the songwriting - the seed for all these songs. On the
     technical side, I heard the music as a steady motion, no
     change really from verse and chorus, only the bridge that
     leads straight back like a loop to the same toll booth where
     you threw in some change to go around only to end up
     surrounded by the place you left. The only difference is by
     taking the loop ride you can see the place you left exactly as
     it is; some sadness, a whole lotta corn field, and a puddle." 

                   From the Little Earthquakes piano score.

     "Okay, I'll tell ya, one of those girls is coming from Little
     Earthquakes right now (audience continues to shout out
     names - Tori makes a buzzer sound) Wrrrr ... next player on
     the Jeopardy Game. Sorry." 
                   From the Toronto concert, May 27, 1996. 

Me And A Gun

     "I'll never talk about it at this level again, but let me ask you. Why have
     I survived that kind of night, when other women didn't? How am I alive
     to tell you this tale when he was ready to slice me up? In the song I say
     it was 'Me and a Gun' but it wasn't a gun. It was a knife he had. And
     the idea was to take me to his friends and cut me up, and he kept telling
     me that, for hours. And if he hadn't needed more drugs I would have
     been just one more news report, where you see the parents grieving for
     their daughter. And I was singing hymns, as I say in the song, because
     he told me to. I sang to stay alive. Yet I survived that torture, which left
     me urinating all over myself and left me paralyzed for years. That's
     what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violence through
     sex. I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night
     and that now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through
     love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open
     again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my


     "Someone asked me to do this one tonight ... and, well, I used to do this
     one a lot, but sometimes you stop singing songs for a reason and this is
     one of them, but we'll see..." 
                   From the Los Angeles concert, September 22, 1998. 

     A person yelled out, "Lose the song" (in ref to MAAG).. At first, Tori
     responded by singing "me and a gun, and a man-or-a-woman on my
     back..." Tori then talked, "I can't believe you'd come to one of my
     shows and expect that I wouldn't play this song." Tori continued singing.
     After someone in the audience said "she's a lizard" in reference to the
     woman who had yelled out the comment , Tori stopped singing and said,
     "No, she's just uncomfortable. I understand that, because I used to be
                         From the Philadelphila concert, May 2, 1996. 

     "I went to see Thelma & Louise, alone, on a whim, and my life
     changed. When Susan Sarandon killed the would-be rapist, I breathed
     for the first time in seven years." (Two hours later she wrote Me and a


     "Me and a Gun has been my flashlight; the thing that has taken me by
     the hand and led me down a very, very, very long recovery path." 
                               From Quote of the Day; unsourced. 

     "In America some radio stations didn't want to play Me and a Gun
     because of 'too feministic' and 'too realistic'. I sing: 'Yes, I wore a slinky
     red thing. Does that mean I should spread for you?' That's the way it is,
     yes? 'But mister judge, she was hitchhiking in a mini-skirt!' Bullshit!" 


     "Which one is this? What is she doing? Is this new?" 
      Newbies at the Los Angeles concert, September 22, 1998, sitting behind Leigh.

Little Earthquakes

     "My eye twitches sometimes. I was surrounded by the thoughts I
     smash. They decided I would be a good dinner. I decided I wanted
     3 bridges in this song." 

                         From the Little Earthquakes piano score.