Cornflake Girl

Last updated

"Cornflake Girl"
Tori amos cornflake girl us cover.jpg
Cover art for U.S. editions
Single by Tori Amos
from the album Under the Pink
  • January 10, 1994 (UK)
  • February 14, 1994 (Australia) [1]
  • May 5, 1994 (US)
RecordedMay 1993
  • 5:06 (album version)
  • 3:54 (edit)
Songwriter(s) Tori Amos
Tori Amos singles chronology
"Cornflake Girl"
Audio sample
"Cornflake Girl"
Music video
US version on YouTube
Music video
UK version on YouTube

"Cornflake Girl" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the first single from her second studio album Under the Pink , on January 10, 1994, by EastWest Records in the United Kingdom, and on May 5, 1994, by Atlantic Records in North America. Singer Merry Clayton provided backup singing and sang the "man with the golden gun" bridge.


Peaking at number seven on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, "Cornflake Girl" also experienced commercial success worldwide. It peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart, number nine on the Irish Singles Chart, and number two in Iceland. In Australia, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands, it reached the top 40.

Inspiration and meaning

The inspiration for "Cornflake Girl" came from a conversation Amos was having with a longtime friend about female genital mutilation in Africa, specifically how a close female family member would betray the victim by performing the procedure. Amos has said that growing up, the name they gave to girls who would hurt you despite close friendship was cornflake girls. [2]

The reference to corn flakes and raisins comes from their distribution in a box of breakfast cereal, implying that "raisin girls" are much harder to find than "cornflake girls". Amos has spoken in interviews about being referred to glibly as "the cornflake girl" due to the song's title being applied to her, when she considers herself a "raisin girl". Moreover, she specifically states in the first line of the song: "Never was a cornflake girl." Atlantic released a series of Corn Flakes boxes with pictures of Amos on them to promote the single, which are now collectible items. [3]

Amos appeared in a commercial [4] filmed in 1984 [5] [6] for Kellogg's Just Right, made before her widespread fame. Just Right includes corn flakes and raisins (in addition to dates), so the song and the cereal are related either through coincidence or intent.

The term "cornflake girl" also appears in the lyrics of the Billy Bragg song "Body of Water" on his 1991 album Don't Try This at Home with the line "Oh, to become a pearl / In the wordy world of the cornflake girl". [7]


Two separate "Cornflake Girl" CD singles were released in the UK. The first, released on January 10, 1994, contains three original b-sides: "Sister Janet", "All the Girls Hate Her" and "Over It"; the latter two being part of a Piano Suite. The second, released on January 17, 1994, was a limited edition picture CD housed in a digipak, containing cover versions of the songs "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell, "If 6 Was 9" by Jimi Hendrix and "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday. The first CD single was replicated for the German and Australasian release, and its b-sides were re-used for the US "God" and "Cornflake Girl" releases. Other than "A Case of You" appearing on a US promotional CD compilation and a limited 2-CD Australian tour edition of "Under the Pink", the three cover versions on the limited UK "Cornflake Girl" CD single have not been released on any other title to date, and are not available to purchase through digital retailers. As such, this CD remains a collectible item.


Ned Raggett from AllMusic described the "contemporaneous" song as "a waltz-paced number with an unnerving whistle and stuttering vocal hook." [8] Larry Flick from Billboard noted it as a "bouncy, piano-driven single". He added, "As always, Amos weaves lyrics that push you to think as well as hum" and "this could be the big hit Amos has been waiting for." [9] Cashbox wrote, "More painful confessional from Amos, a gifted singer-songwriter with a knack for making childhood pain perfect top-40 fodder. Reminiscent of early Kate Bush, this track will look to alternative and college radio for acceptance first, with rock outlets hopefully responding as well. Thematically, a bit depressing for hits stations, but an affecting, important release nonetheless." [10] Music & Media stated, "Amos is no musical Tory; she's as progressive and challenging as can be. But then again, this cornflake girl wouldn't have been what she is without having eaten from Kate Bush's cereal." [11] John Kilgo from The Network Forty called it "trademark Tori Amos from the lyrics to the grassroots cadence." [12] Mark Frith from Smash Hits gave it two out of five, describing it as a "melancholy tune that doesn't go anywhere." [13] Keeley Bolger commented in the 2010 book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, that it "could sound depressing in the wrong hands, but Amos's charm conjures up a song that is as otherworldly as its subject. The piano cascades, soft percussion, and ghostly chorus set it apart from the plod of Britpop and post-grunge dominating transatlantic charts at the time." [14]

The song reached number four on the UK Singles Chart and was Amos' most successful international hit at the time. The single peaked within the top 10 in Ireland [15] and Iceland, [16] and within the top 20 in Australia. [17] It was placed at number 35 on the Australian radio station Triple J's 1994 Hottest 100 poll, [18] and ranked in Blender magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born at number 433. [19]

Music video

There were two different videos for "Cornflake Girl". The UK version was directed by Big TV!, two directors from the UK. Amos said that is based on The Wizard of Oz , except that Dorothy goes to Hell instead. Amos stated that she wanted there to be "two different visual expressions" of the song. [2] The US video features Amos driving a truck full of women around a typical American desert.

Track listings

The United States "Cornflake Girl" CD single is housed in a digipak case.

UK 7" single

  1. "Cornflake Girl"
  2. "Sister Janet"

UK CD / Australian / German CD single

  1. "Cornflake Girl" – 5:05
  2. "Sister Janet" – 4:00
    Piano Suite
  3. "All The Girls Hate Her" – 2:23
  4. "Over It" – 2:11

UK Limited Edition CD single

  1. "Cornflake Girl" – 5:05
  2. "A Case of You" – 4:38
  3. "If 6 Was 9" – 3:59
  4. "Strange Fruit" – 4:00

US CD single(with different artwork)

  1. "Cornflake Girl" (Edit) – 3:54
  2. "Sister Janet" – 4:00
  3. "Daisy Dead Petals" – 3:03
  4. "Honey" – 3:47


Cover versions

The song was covered by post-hardcore band Jawbox as a hidden track on their self-titled 1996 album, [33] as well as by the band Tapping the Vein on the Tori Amos tribute album, Songs of a Goddess. [34] In 2007, after Amos had to pull out of an appearance on the Australian comedy program The Sideshow , musical comedy trio Tripod performed the song in her place. [35]

On March 25, 2010, British electronic musician Imogen Heap covered the song live in Australia. The performance was done per request by the winner of an online charity auction who paid about US$4000 to win the item "VIP Experience Meet Imogen Heap + A Song Just For You". [36]

On September 19, 2018, the British band Florence + The Machine released their version of this song, exclusively for Spotify.

A cover version performed by Jeff Russo and Noah Hawley was used for the soundtrack to season 2 of the Legion TV series.

Related Research Articles

Professional Widow 1996 single by Tori Amos

"Professional Widow" is a 1996 song written by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It is a harpsichord-driven rock dirge and was included on her 1996 album Boys for Pele. The eponymous "professional widow" is widely rumoured to be Courtney Love, lead vocalist of the band Hole, whom Trent Reznor blames for the destruction of the friendship between himself and Amos. In 1999, Reznor's band Nine Inch Nails released a single called "Starfuckers, Inc.", with "Starfucker" being a word that appears in "Professional Widow".

<i>Under the Pink</i> 1994 studio album by Tori Amos

Under the Pink is the second studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Upon its release in January 1994, the album debuted atop the UK Albums Chart on the back of the hit single "Cornflake Girl", and peaked at number 12 in the US.

Ill Be There for You (The Rembrandts song) 1995 single by The Rembrandts, theme song of the television sitcom "Friends"

"I'll Be There for You" is a song by American pop rock duo the Rembrandts. The song was written by David Crane, Marta Kauffman, Michael Skloff, and Allee Willis as the main theme song to the NBC sitcom Friends, which was broadcast from 1994 to 2004. The song was originally offered to American rock band R.E.M., who turned it down, so Warner Bros. Television selected the only available band on Warner Bros. Records to record it: the Rembrandts. In 1995, after a Nashville radio station brought the song to mainstream popularity, Rembrandts members Danny Wilde and Phil Sōlem expanded the theme song with two new verses and included this version on their third studio album, L.P. (1995).

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm 1993 single by Crash Test Dummies

"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" is a song by Canadian rock band Crash Test Dummies. It was released in October 1993 as the lead single from their second album, God Shuffled His Feet. Despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics, it was very successful around the world, peaking at number one in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also became a top-five hit on both the UK Singles Chart and the all-genre US Billboard Hot 100, but in the band's native Canada, it stalled at number 14 on the RPM Top Singles chart.

Crucify (song) 1992 single by Tori Amos

"Crucify" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the fifth single from her debut studio album Little Earthquakes, on May 12, 1992, by Atlantic Records in North America and on June 8 by EastWest Records in the UK. In Australia, it was released on July 20, 1992.

Big Yellow Taxi 1970 single by Joni Mitchell

"Big Yellow Taxi" is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970, and originally released on her album Ladies of the Canyon. It was a hit in her native Canada as well as Australia and the UK. It only reached No. 67 in the US in 1970, but was later a bigger hit there for her in a live version released in 1974, which peaked at No. 24. Charting versions have also been recorded by the Neighborhood, Maire Brennan, Amy Grant, Bob Dylan, and Counting Crows. The song was also sampled in Janet Jackson's "Got 'til It's Gone" (1997).

Im Every Woman

"I'm Every Woman" is the debut solo single by American singer Chaka Khan from her debut solo studio album Chaka (1978). It was Khan's first hit outside her recordings with the funk band Rufus. "I'm Every Woman" was produced by Arif Mardin and written by the successful songwriting team Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The single established Chaka's career outside the group Rufus, whom she would leave after their eighth studio album Masterjam was released in late 1979.

Lightning Crashes 1994 single by Live

"Lightning Crashes" is a song by American rock band Live. It was released in September 1994 as the third single from their second studio album, Throwing Copper. Although the track was not released as a single in the United States, it received enough radio airplay to peak at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart in 1995. The song also topped the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart for 10 weeks and the Modern Rock Tracks chart for nine weeks. Internationally, the song reached No. 3 in Canada, No. 8 in Iceland, and No. 13 in Australia.

Most Girls (Pink song) 2000 single by Pink

"Most Girls" is a song by American singer Pink, released as the second single from her debut album, Can't Take Me Home (2000). It was released on June 6, 2000, and, after spending 16 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaked at number four on November 25. The song also reached number one in Australia, where it was certified platinum, number two in Canada and New Zealand, and number five in the United Kingdom.

Slide (Goo Goo Dolls song) 1998 single by Goo Goo Dolls

"Slide" is a song recorded by American alternative rock group Goo Goo Dolls. It was released in September 1998 as the first commercial single release from their sixth studio album, Dizzy Up the Girl.

Fade into You 1994 single by Mazzy Star

"Fade into You" is a song by rock group Mazzy Star from their album So Tonight That I Might See. The song was written by lyricist Hope Sandoval and composer David Roback, who also served as producer. It reached number three on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1994 and is Mazzy Star's only single to make the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 44. The song also charted at number 48 on the UK Singles Chart and number three in Iceland.

God (Tori Amos song) 1994 single by Tori Amos

"God" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the fourth single from her second studio album Under the Pink. It was released on February 3, 1994 by Atlantic Records in North America, on May 2, in Australia, and on October 3 by EastWest Records in the UK. The song reached number 44 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also became Amos' first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 72.

Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow song) 1994 single by Sheryl Crow

"Strong Enough" is a song by Sheryl Crow from her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. The song reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks, number three in Australia, and number one in Canada, becoming her second chart-topper there following "All I Wanna Do". In Australia, the song received a Platinum certification for shipments exceeding 70,000 copies.

Tori Amos discography

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer-songwriter whose musical career began in 1980, at the age of seventeen, when she and her brother co-wrote the song "Baltimore". The song was selected as the winning song in a contest for the Baltimore Orioles and was recorded and pressed locally as a 7" single. From 1984 to 1989, Amos fronted the synth-pop band Y Kant Tori Read, which released one self-titled album with Atlantic Records in 1988 before breaking up. Shortly thereafter, Amos began writing and recording material that would serve as the debut of her solo career. Still signed with Atlantic, and its UK counterpart East West, Amos' initial solo material was rejected by the label in 1990. Under the guidance of co-producers Eric Rosse, Davitt Sigerson and Ian Stanley, a second version of the album was created and accepted by the label the following year.

Pure Massacre 1995 single by Silverchair

"Pure Massacre" is a single released by Australian rock band Silverchair in 1995 and is the second single from their debut album Frogstomp, which was also released in 1995. It was a successful follow-up to the band's debut number-one single, "Tomorrow", peaking at number two in both Australia and New Zealand. It also reached number 17 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart and number 12 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The song was performed on Saturday Night Live.

The River of Dreams 1993 single by Billy Joel

"The River of Dreams" is a song by American musician Billy Joel. It is the title track and first single from his 1993 album River of Dreams. The song was a hit, peaking at number 3 on the United States and UK charts, making it Joel's best charting single of the decade as well as his final top ten in either country to date. It also hit the top spot in Australia, New Zealand, and on the Canadian and US Adult Contemporary charts. The song was produced by Joe Nicolo and Danny Kortchmar.

Caught a Lite Sneeze 1996 single by Tori Amos

"Caught a Lite Sneeze" is a song by Tori Amos, released as the first single from her 1996 album Boys for Pele. It reached number 60 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 20 on the UK Singles Chart and Canada's RPM Top Singles chart. Despite being one of her higher-charting singles, it does not appear on her best-of collection, Tales of a Librarian.

<i>Hey Jupiter</i> 1996 EP by Tori Amos

"Hey Jupiter" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It was the fourth single from her album Boys for Pele and was her first EP since Crucify in 1992. Hey Jupiter features a remixed version of "Hey Jupiter" followed by four live tracks recorded during her Dew Drop Inn Tour of 1996. The song is also featured on the double-A CD singles released in the UK and Australia.

Chains (Tina Arena song) 1994 single by Tina Arena

"Chains" is a song by Australian singer Tina Arena from her album Don't Ask. It was composed by Arena, Pam Reswick and Steve Werfel and produced by David Tyson. "Chains" peaked at number four on her home country's ARIA Singles Chart, number six in the United Kingdom, and charted well throughout Europe, earning her numerous awards in the process. The power ballad was also a hit in North America, peaking at number 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 20 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart. The track was re-released featuring Jessica Mauboy and The Veronicas following a rendition of the track at the 2015 ARIA Awards where Arena was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Pretty Good Year 1994 single by Tori Amos

"Pretty Good Year" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, taken from her second album, Under the Pink (1994). It was released as the second single from the album in Europe in March 1994 and as the fourth single in Australia on November 7, 1994. It was not released in North America. "Pretty Good Year" became Amos's second single to reach the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number seven.


  1. "New Release Summary – Product Available from: 14/2/1994 > Singles (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 209 – Week Ending 13th February 1994)". ARIA . Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "NME > Tori Amos – The Story Behind 'Cornflake Girl – Classic Song". Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  3. "Cornflake Girl". Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  4. "tori amos just right cornflake commercial" . Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  5. "Q&A: Tori Amos Talks in Tongues". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  6. "Tori Amos' Real-Life Stint as a Cornflake Girl". Mental Floss. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  7. "Lyrics: Body of Water".
  8. Raggett, Ned. "Tori Amos – Under the Pink". AllMusic . Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  9. Flick, Larry (June 18, 1994). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard . p. 51. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  10. "Pop Singles: Reviews" (PDF). Cashbox . p. 7. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  11. "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media . January 22, 1994. p. 9. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  12. "Mainstream: Music Meeting" (PDF). The Network Forty. June 10, 1994. p. 22. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  13. "New Singles". Smash Hits . January 5, 1994. p. 53. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  14. Dimery, Robert, ed. (2011) [2010]. "10,001 Songs You Must Hear…". 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN   978-1-84403-684-4.
  15. 1 2 "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Cornflake Girl". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  16. 1 2 "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (24.03.1994 – 30.03.1994)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). March 24, 1994. p. 20. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  17. 1 2 " – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  18. "Hottest 100 > 1994". ABC . Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  19. "Blender Magazine – 500 Greatest Songs From 1980–2005 (Music Database :: Dave Tompkins)". Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  20. " – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  21. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2421." RPM . Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  22. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2443." RPM . Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  23. "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media . Vol. 11 no. 6. February 5, 1994. p. 21. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  24. " – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  25. "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 9, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  26. " – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  27. " – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  28. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  29. "Tori Amos Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  30. "Tori Amos Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  31. "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  32. "Árslistinn 1994". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1995. p. 25. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  33. Hajari, Nisid (July 26, 1996). "Music Capsule Review: Jawbox". Entertainment Weekly .
  34. "A Tribute To Tori Amos – Songs Of A Goddess".
  35. The Sideshow, Episode 15. September 15, 2007.
  36. "Broadcast Yourself". 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2012.