The Waitress

Album: Under The Pink (1994)

Songfacts®:

  • In this unsettling album track from Tori Amos' second solo album, the alt-rock songstress - singing from the perspective of a waitress - calmly explains how she'd like to murder her co-worker. "If I did it fast, you know, that's an act of kindness," she reasons. Even more disturbing is that it was based on a real incident after the singer had a bad experience with a nasty server. The resulting song provided a dark element that was missing from the album. Amos told Blender in 2002: "At one point, engineer Paul McKenna said to me, 'You know, Tori, this record's missing something.' I said, 'Oh, okay.' And within 48 hours, I had this horrible argument with a waitress. I'm not kidding. She was the devil. She was Satan. She was a meanie. She became the embodiment of a few women in my life that I was having it out with, and 'The Waitress' got written. And Paul said, 'The record's complete.'"
  • Amos was shocked by her violent reaction to the waitress, but she wasn't sorry. She told the St. Louis Dispatch in 1994: "'The Waitress' is about the agony of admitting that you really have no remorse about ripping this girl's head off. It's a very scary thing to not have any remorse about wanting to kill someone, especially when you think you're a peacemaker. So that song is not just about wanting to kill her. It's about the feelings of wanting to kill her, and what that brings up. I should feel terrible, but I don't. Uh-oh."
  • This shares a similar theme with other tracks on the album, such as "Cornflake Girl" and "Bells For Her," of women betraying women. "I've had this idyllic view of the sisterhood that has been shattered over the past year," Amos said in a promotional interview with Hot Press, "that they would never betray each other. But I was wrong and that's what I write about in some songs on the new album."
  • Amos first broke through in the UK with her debut solo album, Little Earthquakes. Her followup, Under The Pink, helped her gain traction in the US, where it peaked at #12.

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