Song Analysis


Monday 19 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

Coming soon! In the meantime, read Tori’s quotes about the song.

“Marianne represents the death of the girlhood.” (Baltimore Sun, January 21, 1996)

“Marianne is based on a girl that I went to school with. I mean, actually, she’s a lot of people, but there was a Maryanne that I knew; that they say killed herself. And the thing about when Maryanne passed was that um, when she looked in your eyes, you saw you better than you’ve ever seen yourself. Just the way she would look at you. Um, I never in my life saw a nasty thing come out of her. And she was the coolest, I mean, she was the coolest girl. But she never put that out so when she passed, you see, the thing that reflected the best part of you, had passed. And that was part of the grieving that happened with Maryanne, cause nobody could find a good piece of themselves for a very long time after Maryanne passed.” (WNEW, February 5, 1996)

“Maryanne came to visit me. The spirit of Maryanne. And Maryanne Curtis was a girl that I went to school with. And some say she killed herself, some say she died over an OD. I choose to believe that Maryanne just um... to me she was kinda like a young Mary Magdalene. She, it just wasn’t, the world couldn’t hold her anymore. They couldn’t um, understand her energy. I think anybody who knew Maryanne would tell you that she reflected the best parts of you back. So when you’d look into Maryanne’s eyes - yes, of course she was beautiful, but you felt beautiful because Maryanne never hated anything, anybody. And so when she died, you felt like this thing that reflected the best part of you had died. So for Maryanne to come back again was um... It was like the second coming, for me, really.” (WHFS, February 12, 1996)

“Part of you has to die, and in Marianne it’s the whole Mary Magdalene reference, a young girl who I knew that died. There’s the whole idea of that part of woman that has been dormant, who’s been dead. ‘The quickest girl in the frying pan,’ the priestesses who showed her they were one with the knowledge and the, get rid of them!” (BSide - May/June 1996)

’Tuna/Rubber/A little blubber in my igloo...’ For me to say that line in another way would just make it really gross and crass. Sometimes it’s just about how something makes you feel. You’ve got to go there, you’ve got to be willing to take that trip. And images, tastes, smells, objects... it’s associations. To me, these things are concrete. Some were a little more layered than others, no question about that. But I think from beginning to end it’s about a woman’s journey; and it’s a really emotional journey.” (Keyboard, April 1996)

“Maryanne Curtis is a girl I went to school with in junior high. She was the kind of person everyone adored, she was just magical. I had written a song about her years ago which I used to play in the bars sometimes. It never went any further than being performed, I didn’t record it. Since then I have always wanted to have Maryanne in a song. She died from a drug overdose when she was 15. It is not known, but I don’t believe it was suicide. I think she took the wrong things together. She is very special to me, and comes to visit in my songs sometimes.”