Alison Hell

Album: Alice in Hell (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a girl who thinks she is being terrorized by an evil spirit. She asks her parents for help, but when they ignore her pleas, she slowly goes insane.

    The song is based on a true story about a girl in Montreal who was in the news in the early '80s. In our interview with Jeff Waters of Annihilator, he explained: "She had a mental disorder and her parents would lock her in her room because she was waking up with these nightmares about the Boogeyman and things like that. And the parents did this for a few years. The kid was really young, and she went into some kind of full-on mental breakdown and had to be institutionalized.

    I read that and for some reason, as a teenager, I thought that was neat. Looking back it obviously wasn't, but it became our biggest song."
  • Alice in Hell was the first album by the Canadian hardcore band Annihilator, and it was funded by a Factor Grant, which the government provided for bands that they are starting off in an effort to help developing acts in Canada. The album title is a joke on "Alice in Wonderland." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cody - Kansas City, MO
  • Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters wrote this song with John Bates, who was the group's original lead singer. He left the band in 1985, but stayed in touch with Waters and occasionally wrote with him. He later recorded as a solo artist using the appellation "Big John Bates."
  • The song takes a sardonic look at Alison's true story, but the band understands that it is a serious subject and has empathy for her plight. At the beginning of the video, they disclaim: "Annihilator wish in no way to implicate those involved in this particular incident; merely to portray a speculation of evolving psychological events. This song is narrated by Alison's progressing insanity.

Comments: 1

  • Ozzy Osgood from St. Petersburg, FloridaWho was the actress playing Alison in the video?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?