This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #472: Silent All These Years by Tori Amos (featuring Leonard Cohen).
One of the most satisfying things for me is to come upon lovely writing. This song is a tour de force when it comes to how perfect the scenes are that are being painted by these two talented writers.
Leonard Cohen is the pride of Montreal. He is recognized around the world as being one of the best poets, authors, singer/songwriters and musicians of all time. In “Silent All These Years”, Cohen provides an introduction that consists of two small verses that say so much about the value we place upon our dearest relationships and the depth of our fear of losing them.
When Cohen’s poem, spoken in his deepest baritone, concludes, the song transitions on the lightest of piano notes from Tori Amos. “Silent All These Years” is as delicately constructed a song as you will hear; all whispery lyrics and crisp notes that hang in the air, wavering, shimmering.
“Silent All These Years” is the all too familiar story of a relationship where one voice is lost under the weight of another. It is about a lifetime of dreams unrealized, thoughts unspoken and opinions unshared. It is about struggling to remember who you used to be and who you wanted to be before you became someone who someone else thought you should be. It is a song made more powerful by the most impressive of lyrics and musicianship that Tori Amos provides.
“Silent All These Years” is a song from her debut album, “Little Earthquakes”. The song was released in 1992. This song, also, inspired one of the most powerful and popular episodes in the history of the tv show, “Grey’s Anatomy”. The episode in question was entitled “Silent All These Years” and told the story of the trauma of rape. The episode reached its conclusion with a scene where the survivor was being wheeled into surgery, passing by an honour guard, consisting entirely of female hospital employees. The message to survivors of sexual assault being that they were not alone. Music can change lives in many ways. “Silent All These Years” tells a story that gives voice to many who feel powerless to speak. Tori Amos has been active her whole life in causes related to feminism and sexual assault. I will provide links below to the US cause she is champion of, R.A.I.N.N. (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network), as well as, a national link for Canada and a local link for my friends here in Cobourg.
Please give this beautiful song a listen. The writing is so exquisite but, the story being told is even more important. I came here as a fan of the writing. But, I stay as a supporter of those for whom this song speaks.
The link for the music video of Silent All These Years by Tori Amos (Featuring Leonard Cohen) can be found here.
The link to a live version of Silent All These Years by Tori Amos can be found here.
A link to R.A.I.N.N. (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) can be found here.
A link to the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (Near Cobourg, where I am posting from) can be found here.
A link to the video from Grey’s Anatomy that entitled, “Silent All These Years” can be found here.
Tori Amos has her own website which can be found here.