Tori Amos - "Crucify"

I was just discovering Tori Amos around the time of my father's death. I still remember when he bought me The Beekeeper. It's an album that so many Toriphiles show very little love for but it will always be meaningful to me because it was one of the few Tori Amos CDs he was able to give me, besides Little Earthquakes and Strange Little Girls. He asked me to write out a list of all the albums in her discography that I wanted and I did. After he died, I found that list among his belongings. I held the piece of paper and sobbed.

I still remember the day I told him about my experience of listening to Little Earthquakes. I quoted that line from Crucify --"got enough guilt to start my own religion"-- to him because I thought it was so powerful. He listened to me, like he always did, as I rambled on about this fierce, redheaded, spellbinding woman who was starting to possess and transform me.

Over the years, I've collected all of Tori's albums on my own and it is these albums that have comforted me through my grief and devastation. I used to write in my journal late at night, it was this trance-like writing and I'd listen to Tori. I'd listen to Cornflake GirlTake Me With You, Precious Things, and Caught a Lite Sneeze and my hand would move to the rhythm of her music. This was how I survived.

A few days ago, when my mind was deteriorating because of grief and stress and fear, I watched a performance of Crucify that has always moved me.


I sang the lyrics at the top of my lungs because the house was empty and I needed to shriek and cry and let go. Tori's words became a chant, an incantation:

I have crawled my way back
I have crawled my way back
I have crawled my way back
And I am never going back again
to crucify myself

My voice was raw and angry and guttural. It was the voice of a fatherless daughter who is still on her knees, still lost, still terrified and traumatized. But I am here. I am here. I am here. I do not have him but I have music and, sometimes, when I'm listening to Crucify, I almost feel at peace. Almost.