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In press materials for Boys For Pele, Amos said of this song: "It's really about a relationship. And she's kind of given herself away, so she's trying to get pieces back in any way she can. I mean, whoever works at that point. And if it's Inana or whoever. And if it works calling her in the church, to evoke a little ass, then you go for it."
As you can tell, Tori is evasive regarding who specifically inspired the song, if anyone. The likely candidates are:
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who had a quick affair with Tori. When Tori mentions "My own Pretty Hate Machine," it's a reference to the first Nine Inch Nails album: Pretty Hate Machine.
Her former producer Eric Rosse, who she dated and went through a painful breakup. She uses the sneeze as a metaphor for the idea that he was her soul mate, and she begins to think that perhaps he wasn't after all: "Sometimes men like to think they're the flu, but sometimes they're just a h'achoo!" (thanks, Sara - Fareham, United Kingdom)
This was the first song ever made widely available on the Internet. Amos offered it as a free download. (thanks, Josh - Pittsburgh, PA)
Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos
Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
When he was asked to write a song for the Singles
soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.
Rupert crafted hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.