Benjamin

Album: Native Invaders (2017)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In January 2017 Tori Amos' mother, Mary, suffered a stroke that left her unable to speak. The singer told Billboard that she experienced "a penny-drop moment" while driving to visit her, when it became clear that in the same way that her mother's body had been under attack, so also were such American ideals as freedom and liberty.

    This angry song in which Amos Tori Amos brands "the men on the hill" as "those pimps in Washington... selling the rape of America," became a central theme of Native Invader.

    "I'd been getting messages through people I know from people I don't know that were telling me that I needed to pay attention," Amos explained. "They wanted to know, did I know what as going on? Did I understand who was going to be appointed, for example, at the EPA? Those types of things. I call them the Benjamins, whether they're our lady Benjamins or the male Benjamins. That's the song 'Benjamin,' where I was getting pointed at and sent things to look at to make me aware of what was really going on. As I was sitting in the hospital with Mary, by her side for hours, I would be doing the research, and the album started to come fast and furious."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Oliver Leiber

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Long before she was judging contestants on American Idol, Oliver was producing Paula Abdul. Here's how he helped turn this unknown choreographer into a star.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.