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Song: Me And A Gun earthquakes

Artist: Tori Amos

Album: Little Earthquakes

Release date: October 21, 1991

Why this song was chosen: This song is a given. It recounts the story of Tori Amos being raped in Los Angeles when she was 21. A patron of the bar at which she had just performed asked her for a ride home, and she agreed. Although the song mentions a gun, she was actually raped at knifepoint. Years later, she wrote this song on the way to another performance after seeing the movie Thelma and Louise, and she performed it a cappella that evening. The song is recorded a cappella as well, which adds to its haunting and chilling nature. Tori Amos went on to form RAINN (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), which is the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States.

What the artist has to say about the song: In a late 90’s interview with Irish music magazine Hot Press, Tori said “I’ll never talk about it at this level again but let me ask you. Why have I survived that kind of night, when other women didn’t? How am I alive to tell you this tale when he was ready to slice me up? In the song I say it was ‘Me and a Gun’ but it wasn’t a gun. It was a knife he had. And the idea was to take me to his friends and cut me up, and he kept telling me that, for hours. And if he hadn’t needed more drugs I would have been just one more news report, where you see the parents grieving for their daughter. And I was singing hymns, as I say in the song, because he told me to. I sang to stay alive. Yet I survived that torture, which left me urinating all over myself and left me paralysed for years. That’s what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violation through sex. I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and that now I’m trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability”. (Source: The Dent)

How do you think this song contributes to the conversation on sex crimes?

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Read the lyrics here.

Possible trigger warning. As with all of the content we post, the songs in the Every Day In May campaign should be listened to at your own discretion. Some may make you feel uplifted and others may make you feel angry, disturbed, or disgusted. The songs should also be considered not safe for work.

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