Tear in Your Hand

Album: Little Earthquakes (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • Amos told Rolling Stone about this song: "Written back in Maryland, Rockville. It's bittersweet, I think, always going back, when you're that age for the holidays because you're not so far away from leaving your parents' house to have your own life, separate from all those people you went to high school with. So I think 'Tear In Your Hand' is very much about feelings I had for certain people and lots of nostalgia coming up at that time."
  • Amos took some inspiration from Simon & Garfunkel while she was writing this. "'Scarborough Fair' was a big blueprint for 'Tear in Your Hand,'" she told Keyboard magazine in 1994. "I remember John Lennon talking about listening to songs that he loved, then changing them to make them his own versions. He would say, 'God, I love this song. I wish I'd written this song.' Then it would come out totally different. You might not even know what song it is that inspired you to do something, but there is that ingredient. Sometimes I do think that we're really just rewriting songs. There are only 12 bloody notes, you know."
  • She sings, "If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the Dream King." This is a reference to author Neil Gaiman, who wrote about the Dream King in his graphic novel series The Sandman. A friend provided her with the comic books during the making of Little Earthquakes. When Gaiman got wind of the tune, he and Amos started corresponding and struck up a friendship. She includes several nods to the author in her songs, including "Space Dog," "Hotel," "Carbon," and "Not Dying Today," among others.

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