Today while listening to Slacker Radio, I heard a piano melody that made my heart feel this very particular longing for high school which is extremely unusual for me. The song Silent All These Years by Tori Amos was playing. I haven’t heard it in years and years. I could remember how it felt to play and sing that song sitting side by side at the piano with my choir teacher and now dear friend Jodie in 9th grade. It was just she and I alone in the music room during lunch break, singing this very obscure song that absolutely no one in my high school would have known and I felt very… different. Different from my peers for sure, and the tiniest inkling of respect from my teacher whom I thought was so brilliant. It was a moment of grown-upness that I won’t ever forget.
That’s Jodie on the left giving me instruction before a performance senior year and my 3 best buds in the background. The guy on the right (Shad) will probably be your president someday.
My cousin Kelsa had been listening to Tori Amos since I was a little girl, about 10 years old. She admired her and it was really the only thing I remember her ever listening to with the occasional crush on Smashing Pumpkins when she wanted something a little rockier. She would drive me places and babysit me and Tori Amos’s music became a very integral part of who she is to me. The song Hello Mr. Zebra is peculiar for lack of a better word, and beautiful too. My 10 year old mind was sure it was a funny song for children, and I still remember every word of it. I remember all the other (often irreverent) words to her songs too, which I’m sure worried my mama when I was so young.
By junior high school I was buying my own CDs, and Little Earthquakes, her greatest album of all from 1992 with both of the above mentioned songs was one of the first in my collection.
I sang those songs in my car, at the piano, while applying mascara in the morning. I loved it. In fact, I did a mosaic collage of the album art my senior year that still hangs in my mama’s kitchen:
I lost that CD somewhere along the way and couldn’t believe how visceral the memory of it was just hearing this one song. In short, I downloaded it today. Oh man… I’m going to have to start practicing the piano again.