On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl (1994)
” Cornflake Girl” is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the first single from her second studio album Under the Pink , on January 10, 1994, by EastWest Records in the United Kingdom, and on May 5, 1994, by Atlantic Records in North America.
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but leaving California to make our way to Newton in North Carolina. Tori Amos began her music career in a short-lived band – Y Kant Tori Read – before pursuing a solo career in the 1990s. We join Amos in 1994 with the release of her second album – Under the Pink – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Cornflake Girl.
Cornflake Girl came to life when Tori Amos was speaking with a friend about the controversial subject of female genital mutilation and the incredulity that mothers could acquiesce to this being done to their daughters. From there, Amos’ song morphed into the idea of two distinct groups of women – the cornflake girls and raisin girls. Cornflake girls was a term Amos knew growing up and referred to girls who would let you down or hurt you when you perceived them to be friends. Raisin girls were the opposite, friendly and loyal to the end. The problem is that cornflake girls are more common than the raisin girls and Amos laments the betrayal of the bigger crowd against their peers.
Tori Amos and Cornflake Girl are terms I have been familiar with most of my life but I do not recall ever hearing this song before, even though it was a UK Top 10 hit in 1994. The background to the track I found fascinating and the metaphors used extremely clever. Ironically, Amos once appeared in an ad for Kellogs’ cereal in the 1980s and her image would be used by the company for a limited time on boxes of Corn Flakes. Amos’ career has endured and now in her fifties, she continues to perform.
Favourite songs so far: