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 a Songfacts 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: 2

  • John Bates from VancouverThis story is patently untrue. I wrote the lyrics myself and it was inspired by a difficult relationship I was going through. I used metaphors liberally throughout but there was no unstable girl in Montreal.
  • Ozzy Osgood from St. Petersburg, FloridaWho was the actress playing Alison in the video?
see more comments

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