Song Analysis


Thursday 8 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

(coming soon! In the meantime, read Tori’s quotes about the song.)

"I think it’s finding that little piece of magic. I miscarried, about a year and half ago and I think I was really trying to find the spirit of this baby." - Red Dragon Radio UK, 4/6/98

"She’s very close to the edge, but she’s not over the edge yet." - Boston Globe 4/24/98

"’Spark’ is about when I miscarried, in 1996. I was three months pregnant and very excited. All of a sudden I woke up one morning and started to feel bad. The songs started coming soon after. I was really angry at God. Going into a shopping mall and seeing some woman knock the head off her child, I’m going - ’So this is fair?’ I don’t know where the spirit went, whether she picked another mummy, like, ’OK, choose her, then! Hope you’re tone deaf!’" - Deluxe, 5/98

"That’s why in Spark, I say, ’She’s convinced she could hold back a glacier / But she couldn’t keep baby alive.’ You just start going insane. There’s nothing you can do, so you surrender and then start again." - Q Magazine, 5/98

"There’re a few (characters) that live in that song. More than anything, that girl is having a really bad day. She doesn’t know how or if she’s gonna see the end of that day. But there is this sort of action girl that comes out of her, refusing to not strive and stay on the planet. She realises that she really doesn’t want to leave the planet. That she will take her problems with her if she leaves this planet." - Pinkpop Festival, 6/1/98

"When I miscarried, I really, I was very connected to the baby, the spirit of the baby. And so, that loss was very, it hit very, very deeply. ’Spark’ has a thread of that story. And yet, I didn’t want to give you a play-by-play of my life, cause the song is more than that, it isn’t just about my experience. But it is about a woman who’s had to pull on this inner strength, not knowing how she’s gonna get out of this situation. And she doesn’t know in the end if she’s gonna get out." - MTV Europe, 6/98

"Somebody asked, ’You say you don’t want it again and again/But you don’t really mean it’ - ’Is that about date rape?’ Whoa! What kind of sins are you trying to wash over your hands! Hey! If that’s your experience...but I wasn’t getting that from any level of the song. But this is a free-thinking world." - Alternative Press, 7/98

"Even though there’s a lot of symbolism in it, there are moments when I turn around and I say something like, "she’s convinced she could hold back a glacier/but she couldn’t keep baby alive." Really clear. There are moments when it gets really clear and it goes back into symbolism again-"ballerinas that have fins that they’ll never find." Which makes a lot of sense to me, because it’s obviously a mermaid reference, but it’s more than that. Maybe you’ll be a mother and you’ll never have that physical experience-like you’ll never have the experience of being a mermaid. But even though you might not be a physical mother, it doesn’t mean you can’t have that kind of maternal love." - Rolling Stone, 8/12/98

"When I sing things like ’she’s convinced she could hold back a glacier but she couldn¹t keep baby alive.’ I think that’s really clear. To not be honest about it...well, it would drive me insane to do hundreds of interviews and backpedal about it." - Illinois Entertainer, 9/98

(ice cream assassin)
"Well, people have been praying to him for a very long time and more wars have been fought in his name. The big guy. Think about it." -Rolling Stone, 8/12/98