UNDER THE PINK - In Tori's Words...



Quotes About the Album


     It's definitely an abstract piece of work. It was a conscious choice not to write another diary like Little Earthquakes. I'd
     revealed so much I truly believed anything I revealed in that manner so soon after Little Earthquakes wouldn't be enough,
     and I couldn't put myself under the microscope again so soon. It's like when you're falling in love for the first time - the
     newness, the getting to know each other - even if they eat onions everything is O.K. I mean, peeing is romantic. The surprise
     is the romance, the vulnerability. Little Earthquakes was the romance phase between me and the listeners. I knew I had to
     change direction because it was like, 'Yeah, we've already seen you naked; now what do you have? Skinless?' So with
     Under the Pink, I put some clothes on. 


  
Pretty Good Year

      "I get a lot of letters from boys who have troubles with girls, and a lot
      of them draw pictures of themselves. There not proud; they're usually
      standing there [stands with her hands crossed looking innocent]
      looking, well like, nerds." 
                  From the Houston TX concert (early), June 17, 1996. 

      "I've told 100 guys I've written this for them, haha." 
                        From the Oakland CA concert, July 11, 1996
  
God

      In an interview with Performing Songwriter five years ago, you said
      that writing God was one of the most important things you've ever
      done. Do you still feel that way?
      "Well I think at the time I felt that. I think I felt that because I was
      separating myself from a belief system on a way that I was brought up
      to worship this patriarchal deity. And when people say to me 'Why are
      you saying that God is a man?' and I say 'Hang on a minute - we're
      talking about the Christian God, first of all, and I didn't write "Our
      Father Who Art In Heaven". And if I did, can I please have the
      publishing rights?' Obviously the whole religion is based on God the
      Father and a human mother, and obviously there was no sperm and she
      was a virgin. So they've taken away what women do, which is carry
      the seed from a male, and with her egg make life. Well the whole
      process of what we do, to me, was so lessened by that experience
      because of the way that men were shamed for desiring women, the
      whole celibacy thing, the whole thing about making Jesus celibate, the
      whole thing about women being ashamed to have babies, you know?
      We are not virgins if you guys want to come onto the planet, you know
      what I mean? So everything was dishonored, I find, by the way they set
      the religion up.
      "Jesus has always intrigued me as a teacher, and history has proven
      that so many of his teachings were manipulated. However, when I
      wrote God, it was really important as a human woman to draw my lines
      with that patriarchal deity. And to me the Christian God is a deity, he
      has a gig, he knows things that I don't know, and I know things just
      being this redheaded person that he doesn't know because he's not in
      my body. That doesn't mean I know any information, I just know how I
      feel about certain things, and how I feel is that I don't want him in my
      bedroom, in my bathroom. There was a level of questioning this
      supreme being. I don't feel the Christian God is the supreme being. I
      feel there is a divine father and a divine mother and the Christian God is
      not my fantasy of what that is. I think he's a fragment, as is to me,
      Buddha, Mohammed, all of those people. They're elements, fragments,
      you know what I'm saying?
      Yeah, elements of the universal consciousness.
      Yeah. And so I really needed to draw my lines with a patriarchal God
      that hasn't honored divine feminine. And that was really what that song
      was about." 
                                   From Performing Songwriter 

      Tori feels the song is "theologically very sound." 
                                        From "All These Years" 
  
Bells for Her

      "We detuned it [the piano] and smashed the soundboard with hammers
      and muted strings and changed tunings." 
                                              Eric Rosse 

      "This next one is for a girl who asked for two, but they'd completely
      wear me out - kinda like playing [some sport] then going home and
      being expected to have sex." 
                    From the Portland, OR concert (late), July 21, 1996. 

      "We kind of deconstructed pianos. I wanted to create an atmosphere
      with the internal working of pianos and record them in an interesting sort
      of way, because for me it was a representation of what goes on inside
      of her." 
                                              Eric Rosse from 

      "Whenever they [women] would seemingly instinctively attack men, or
      whatever, I'd have to say, I don't automatically feel that way. I'm trying
      to rise above such feelings. Hatred for men, en masse, is as poisonous a
      feeling as shame. And Bells for Her is the scream of 'no' before you cut
      the chord and let them go. The song Yes, Anastasia also has lots of that
      stuff in it." 

        From "The Hurt Inside", Hot Press Magazine, February 23, 1994, by
                                                 Joe Jackson 
  
Baker Baker

      "Baker Baker is kind of tragic in a way, because - I've had to look at
      how I treated men, and on this record, I think with 'Baker Baker,' to
      deal with a man that truly loved me, but that I wasn't emotionally
      available for. You know how women always say men aren't
      emotionally available. Well, a lot of women aren't emotionally
      available. It's like, if you're vulnerable, we say, 'Look, we need you to
      be sensitive.' So you become sensitive, and yet we go, 'You've got no
      fuckin' backbone,' and we kick you in the face and run off with a ski
      trainer." 
                                    From Baltimore Sun, 1994

Cornflake Girl

      One thing being oppressed teaches you is how to oppress others.
      "Yes. It's been - again, it's the victims become the abusers, it's that
      whole - which is explored in Waitress, too, where I become the one
      who wants to slice this person's head off. But the thing is, it's been, it's
      so disappointing for me when I feel betrayed by another woman. So
      Cornflake Girl is that disappointment. 'This is not really happening, you
      bet your life it is. Never was a cornflake girl, thought that was a good
      solution.' Cornflake being white bread, closed. 'Hanging with the raisin
      girls,' you know, whole wheat, multicultural, open, a little more going on.
      'She's gone to the other side, giving us the yo heave ho. Things are
      getting kind of gross.' I think that's clear. 'And I go at sleepytime, this is
      not really happening. You bet your life it is.' The second verse, it just
      supports that whole thing. 'Rabbit, where'd you put the keys, girl?'
      Rabbit, in certain Indian traditions, it represents fear. 'Rabbit, where'd
      you put the keys, girl? And the man with the golden gun thinks he knows
      so much.' Well, those are my God references again." 

            From the Baltimore Sun, January 30, 1994, by J.D. Considine. 

      "Everyone on the fucking internet knows that Cornflake Girl is next."
      After Tori had a request yelled for Cornflake Girl after Space Dog 

                           From the Peoria IL concert, July 29, 1996. 

      "I'm not doing that one [Waitress] right now, but here's one that deals
      with the same thing, girls that fuck you over." 

                       From the Louisville KY concert, April 19, 1996. 

      "This record is about the search for wholeness and clearly focuses on
      divisions, even in Cornflake Girl which is about Cornflake girls and
      Raisin girls and they represent two different ways of thinking:
      narrow-mindedness and openmindedness and how narrow-minded
      women betray the rest of us. That division is even there between
      women, which is something I've really had to come to terms with. It is
      often women who say I shouldn't express myself as I do and in that
      sense, women let each other down, not men." 

        From "The Hurt Inside", Hot Press Magazine, February 23, 1994, by
                                                 Joe Jackson 

      "The fact is that women have betrayed one another. I agree with Alice
      Walker when she talks about the cellular memory that is passed down,
      which all women have to come to terms with. Whether it is the women
      taking the daughters to the butchers to have their genitalia removed, or
      the mothers that bound the feet of the daughters, it is often women who
      betray their own kind, not just men. Likewise the mother who sells her
      eight year old daughter in Egypt, to the Saudi Prince, or, as I said,
      women who say I shouldn't express myself as I have chosen to. That's
      why I say Cornflake Girl is about how I came to terms with the naive
      notion that all women are the good guys and men are always the bad
      guys. That, obviously, is not always the case. I still feel so much love for
      my women friends, nothing is more sacred to me than that, except my
      relationship with Eric. So when we turn on each other it has to be
      devastating." 

        From "The Hurt Inside", Hot Press Magazine, February 23, 1994, byJoe Jackson 
 
                                                
 Icicle

      "I am a minister's daughter, for heaven's sake! So, of course, I can see
      why some would regard sexual fantasies about Jesus Christ as
      unacceptable. But that's part of what I'm saying in Icicle, when I tell of
      how I used to masturbate at home as a teenager, while my father and his
      fellow theologians were downstairs discussing the Divine Light. I was
      exploring the 'divine light' within myself.  And anyone who sees
      that as 'blasphemous' can go to hell! Like I said to you before, that's how
      women are paralysed, disconnected from their own power by religion.
      Talk about patriarchal power structures. For centuries the Church has
      slammed a crucifix between a woman's legs and even masturbation
      obviously is a way of dislodging that cross, of self-empowerment. And
      how dare anybody say that my honouring my woman-ness in that way,
      my relationship with my own body and my opening to this energy
      between my legs is a 'sin against God' is 'blasphemous.' That was my act
      of defiance, of asserting myself against the oppressive force of religion
      which has always made women deny their sexuality. The concept is that
      Jesus Christ, through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit experienced life -
      the human form. Well, what I find quite inexplicable is that he could
      suckle at a woman's breast yet not soil his dinky by having sex! How's
      he supposed to experience life at the level of his dick, for Christ's sake!
      That's the Church's core denial of sexuality, right there, alongside the
      idea that Mary could give birth without 'doing it'. It's absurd. So when I
      say I want to 'do it' with Jesus Christ it's not just that I want to sexualise
      Jesus, bring him down to our level, I want to breathe the earth into his
      lungs. He came from Heaven and we, as women, come from the earth.
      So it's the idea of soil beneath the fingers, the notion of, 'If this blood is
      sacred, then drink it'. That's what it's all about." 

        From "The Hurt Inside", Hot Press Magazine, February 23, 1994, by
                                                  Joe Jackson 

      "This place inspires me. It reminds me of my grandmother, who would
      burn every one of you to a fucking crisp....This is for all you tortured
      Christians." From the Las Vegas concert, September 24, 1998. 
                                                             
Space Dog

      flying over chicago
      from new mexico
      i heard him-- him who
      lives near the 7 eleven
      fork in hand at a dead dinner table
      staring at the peas on his plate
      going "come in lemon pie
      do you read me do you read me
      beam me up and get me out of this place
      i can't have their genes in me
      come in lemon pie"-- i read you buddy 
                           From the Under the Pink songbook 

      "I love Mork. I always did. This is for all the aliens out there ... I
      love you earthlings." 

                  From the Holmdel NJ concert, August 26, 1996. 


                                   

Yes, Anastasia

      "Thought I'd been through this, in 1990" 

           From one of Tori's drawings in the Under the Pink songbook.




back to interpretations