Quiz about Tori Amos Strange Little Girls
Quiz about Tori Amos Strange Little Girls

Tori Amos' 'Strange Little Girls' Quiz

'Strange Little Girls' was a 2001 covers album released by Tori Amos, in which she sang twelve songs by male artists, from the points of view of various female characters. Match the song (and its original artist) to the character Tori played.

A matching quiz by Kankurette. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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5 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Apr 24 22
# Qns
Avg Score
6 / 12
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. 'New Age' (The Velvet Underground)  
A police officer
2. '97 Bonnie and Clyde' (Eminem)  
A dominatrix
3. 'Strange Little Girl' (The Stranglers)  
Thanatos, the personification of death
4. 'Enjoy the Silence' (Depeche Mode)  
Jodie, a drifter
5. 'I'm Not in Love' (10cc)  
A French resistance fighter
6. 'Rattlesnakes' (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions)  
An androgynous figure
7. 'Time' (Tom Waits)  
A researcher
8. 'Heart of Gold' (Neil Young)  
A murdered mother
9. 'I Don't Like Mondays' (The Boomtown Rats)  
An ageing Vegas showgirl
10. 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' (The Beatles)  
A pair of twins who are also spies
11. 'Raining Blood' (Slayer)  
The murdered mother's daughter, now grown up
12. 'Real Men' (Joe Jackson)  
A prostitute

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 'New Age' (The Velvet Underground)

Answer: A researcher

The character representing 'New Age' is a dark-haired woman with granny glasses, accompanied by the headline 'All your tomorrows start here'. Amos said that she is a researcher and a writer with fetishes, who works for a New York publishing house and enjoys documenting life, and both she and Neil Gaiman - who wrote the backstories for the characters - described the character as 'passionate', and worrying about what the 'New Age' was going to be. On the 'American Doll Posse' tour, Amos played this song in the character of Isobel, one of the 'dolls' and an intellectual photographer; many of the songs she performed as Isobel were political in nature.

'New Age' originally appeared on the Velvet Underground's 1970 album 'Loaded'. An alternative version appears on the 1997 reissue 'Fully Loaded'.
2. '97 Bonnie and Clyde' (Eminem)

Answer: A murdered mother

The character representing '97 Bonnie and Clyde' is a blonde woman with heavy make-up - presumably to hide bruises, as Gaiman's backstory for her mentions that she suffered regular physical violence - holding a birthday cake. The headline accompanying the picture is 'she wonders what her daughter will do'. Amos was disturbed at the lyrics of the song and the depiction of the narrator murdering his girlfriend and dumping her body while their daughter watches, and decided to sing the song from the murdered wife's point of view to 'give her a voice'. Although the original song is a rap, Amos performs it as a spoken-word piece and sings 'just the two of us'.

'97 Bonnie and Clyde' appears on Eminem's 1999 album, 'The Slim Shady LP', and was the most recent of the songs chosen. It also appears on 'The Slim Shady EP' as 'Just the Two of Us'. Eminem was reportedly unhappy with Amos' cover, although Amos has declined to go into details for legal reasons.
3. 'Strange Little Girl' (The Stranglers)

Answer: The murdered mother's daughter, now grown up

The character representing 'Strange Little Girl' is a goth girl with short black hair, dangly earrings and a top with 'Satin Worship' on it, accompanied by the headline 'Whenever it rains you think of her'. 'Strange Little Girl' is the only single to be released from the album. Amos imagined the character as the daughter of the murdered wife in 'Bonnie and Clyde', now grown up, and Neil Gaiman portrays her as traumatised by her past and constantly on the move.

'Strange Little Girl' was the Stranglers' final single for Liberty Records; although it was released in 1982, they had actually written it in 1974, and it had been on a demo that they sent to EMI. It was released as part of a severance deal (incidentally, 'Strange Little Girls' was released under similar circumstances, as it was Amos' final album for Atlantic).
4. 'Enjoy the Silence' (Depeche Mode)

Answer: An ageing Vegas showgirl

The character representing 'Enjoy the Silence' is a heavily made-up woman with black hair, tanned skin and a jewelled headdress, accompanied by the headline 'Thirty-five years a showgirl'. She is a showgirl called Isis who performs in Las Vegas. In Neil Gaiman's story, she is about to become a grandmother and has previously performed with a live lion and had an affair with a rich news anchor. Amos imagined her as a maternal figure, nurturing younger showgirls and being protective towards them.

'Enjoy the Silence' is one of Depeche Mode's most famous singles, and is the second single off their 1990 album 'Violator'. It has also been covered by the Italian metal band Lacuna Coil.
5. 'I'm Not in Love' (10cc)

Answer: A dominatrix

The character representing 'I'm Not in Love' is a woman in a lacy black dress with a black bob cut and dark lipstick, accompanied by the headline 'She forgets him utterly and forever'. She is a dominatrix, inspired by the film 'Betty Blue' and various dominatrices that Amos had met. Amos imagined her liking Japanese tea in her memoir 'Piece by Piece', and fittingly, the song was stripped down to a vocal and the barest of backing tracks because Amos wanted it to sound like a Japanese ritual dance. In Gaiman's story, she calls an old flame's private number to ask for her underwear back.

'I'm Not in Love' was a Number 1 hit for 10cc in the UK in 1975, and was their breakthrough single in several countries. It appears on the band's third album, 'The Original Soundtrack'.
6. 'Rattlesnakes' (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions)

Answer: Jodie, a drifter

The character representing 'Rattlesnakes' is a woman with long white-blonde hair, wearing a Kiss leather jacket, accompanied by the headline 'She rides rollercoasters but never screams'. Jodie is the name of the woman in the song. In Gaiman's story, she found the jacket at a party, and does not read, watch TV or make love, but only listens to music. On the 'American Doll Posse' tour, Amos played 'Rattlesnakes' in the role of 'Clyde', the 'doll' representing her more fragile side, based on the Greek goddess Persephone. She imagined the character as an enigmatic figure and a wannabe actress who lives in a fantasy world, and is friends with several porn stars. Jodie also sees Eva Marie Saint (who is mentioned in the chorus) as a mentor figure.

'Rattlesnakes' is the third single from the debut album of the same name by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. It was released in 1984.
7. 'Time' (Tom Waits)

Answer: Thanatos, the personification of death

The character representing 'Time' is a woman with braided blonde hair, wearing a high-necked white jacket, accompanied by the headline 'One day you will open your eyes and see her'. According to Amos, she has a Swedish and Victorian aesthetic. She is the personification of death, known as Thanatos in Greek myth. Gaiman portrays her as a figure who exists outside time, and when she comes to claim souls, she does it kindly and gently. When Amos was asked in an interview which 'Strange Little Girls' character she'd go to if she was in trouble, she chose the 'Time' character.

'Time' is a song from Tom Waits' 1985 album 'Rain Dogs'.
8. 'Heart of Gold' (Neil Young)

Answer: A pair of twins who are also spies

The characters representing 'Heart of Gold' are a pair of women in striped jumpers, one with long black hair holding a gun, and the other with short, curly red hair and a pink corsage on her shoulder, accompanied by the headline 'It's not glamorous...it's just business'. Neil Gaiman's backstory speculates that their actual relationship is unknown, as the birth certificates they use are fake. They also share clothes and wigs. Amos describes them as 'economic espionage girls' who infiltrate corporations and fight against the destruction of the world's natural resources. Accordingly, the song has double-tracked vocals. On the 'American Doll Posse' tour, Amos played this song in the role of 'Pip', another 'doll' and an aggressive warrior woman based on the Greek goddess Athena.

'Heart of Gold' is one of Neil Young's most well-known songs, and his only Number 1 single in the USA. It was released in 1972 and appears on his fourth album 'Harvest'. It has also been covered by James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and, bizarrely, Boney M of 'Rasputin' fame.
9. 'I Don't Like Mondays' (The Boomtown Rats)

Answer: A police officer

The character representing 'I Don't Like Mondays' is a red-haired woman in a Texas Ranger's uniform, accompanied by the headline 'She found the first body in a stairwell'. Amos felt it would be inappropriate to play the role of Brenda Spencer, the teenage killer who inspired the song, so she chose the role of a policewoman attending the scene of a school shooting (presumably not the one that inspired the song, as it took place in San Diego, California). In Amos' version of events, the character shoots the killer dead after finding the bodies of her victims, and in Gaiman's backstory, she worries that her job is desensitising her to violence.

'I Don't Like Mondays' is the Boomtown Rats' most famous single, from their third album 'The Fine Art of Surfacing'. It reached Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1979.
10. 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' (The Beatles)

Answer: A prostitute

The character representing 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' is a woman with long, curly highlighted brown hair, wearing a sparkly dress and dangly earrings, accompanied by the headline 'The smell of cordite always makes her think of the fourth of July'. The song samples a news reporter reporting the murder of John Lennon, speeches about guns by the then US President George W Bush, George HW Bush, and the Reverend Edison Amos, Amos' father; it also omits some of the original lyrics. The character is a prostitute who enjoys shooting guns at a rifle range, and who fell out with her mother. More specifically, she is the prostitute who Mark Chapman reportedly hired before he killed John Lennon; he had asked her to be completely silent while with him. Amos wanted to perform the song from her perspective. She imagined the character as being an abused woman who is understanding towards her clients, but has boundaries.

'Happiness is a Warm Gun' is a track on the Beatles' 1968 self-titled album, also known as 'The White Album' due to its all-white cover (and incidentally, it's my favourite Beatles song). It has also been covered by the Breeders.
11. 'Raining Blood' (Slayer)

Answer: A French resistance fighter

The character representing 'Raining Blood' is a brown-haired woman in a black dress and beret, holding a cigarette, accompanied by the headline 'Actually the Gestapo picked her up'. She is a French resistance fighter whose sister was killed by the Nazis, and Neil Gaiman presents two scenarios: in one, she moved to America and became a grandmother, and in another, she was forced to dig her own grave and shot by the Gestapo while pregnant. Gaiman leaves it ambiguous as to which story is the real one.

Amos associated the song with blood, especially blood shed by two violent regimes: Nazi Germany and the rise of the Taliban, who had come to power in Afghanistan around the time the album was released. She said in interviews at the time that when she was working on the song, she imagined a giant vagina raining blood on the Taliban. She had also previously suffered from a miscarriage, which she described as a 'personal experience with bloodletting', while promoting 'To Venus and Back', and which had heavily impacted her physical and mental health. Of all the songs on 'Strange Little Girls', 'Raining Blood' is the most drastically different to its original version, having been reinvented as a dark funereal dirge.

'Raining Blood' is a song from Slayer's 1986 album 'Reign in Blood'. Slayer were big fans of Amos' version and sent her Slayer T-shirts as a present.
12. 'Real Men' (Joe Jackson)

Answer: An androgynous figure

The character representing 'Real Men' is a person of unknown gender, dressed in white, with short black hair, accompanied by the headline 'All of these things are true'. In 'Piece by Piece', Amos said that the character could either be a butch lesbian or a transgender man (Gaiman interpreted them as a man). Amos also described them as being 'like a seahorse', and combining the masculine and feminine, or the 'anima and animus'. They have the shortest story, consisting of only four sentences: "Some of the girls were boys. The view changes from where you are standing. Words can wound, and words can heal. All of these things are true."

'Real Men' is the lead single from Joe Jackson's fifth album 'Night and Day', released in 1982. Jackson is openly bisexual, and 'Real Men' was written as a way of exploring his sexuality.
Source: Author Kankurette

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