Those Demi Gods: Reflections on Tori Amos's Lyrics and Influence

lyrics from precious things tori amos
Lyric from "Precious Things" by Tori Amos

Coping with the Demands of the Culture's "Precious Things"

He said you're really an ugly girl
But I like the way you play
And I died
But I thanked him
Can you believe that
Holding on to his picture
Dressing up every day
I want to smash the faces
Of those beautiful boys
Those Christian boys
So you can make me come
That doesn't make you Jesus

These precious things
Let them bleed
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break
Their hold on me

~ Lyrics from "Precious Things" by Tori Amos, off her debut solo album "Little Earthquakes," released in 1992 know what I haven't thought about in a while, but am thinking of a lot in the past weeks now—and thought about often when I became a high school teacher, learning that all the students had pain & struggles & needed our compassion (from the dorkiest little mousy waif to the handsome popular jock)? It is that all the types of people suffer from the pressure of the "precious things" Tori is addressing in this song.

Life is tough on all of us. Finding positive, healthy ways to cope is essential to survival. My guess is I'm not alone when I say I was—that a lot of the "Ears with Feet" (devout Tori Amos fans) were—able to break the hold those so-called precious things held on us. We were able to forge our own independent way, with integrity, though maybe not popularity, thanks to this anthemic song, and others like it from Tori, especially early Tori.

Some people, though, truly struggle to find a good path. You never really know what someone is going through, even the beautiful boys, the demigods. No one has it easy. Every year on Tori's birthday (August 22), I reflect on my gratitude for what her work has taught me, and this year was no exception, particularly after receiving shocking news about a high school classmate having passed away. Can't help but go way back to the music I played on repeat as I survived high school, and play it on repeat again, as I cope with and process the difficulty of the present.

Tori Amos performs "Precious Things" on Late Nite with David Letterman, 1994