Silent All These Years is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the second single from her debut studio album Little Earthquakes. It was originally released in November 1991 in the UK by EastWest Records. It was released in North America in April 1992 by Atlantic Records and was later used to promote awareness of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). In the UK the single was re-released on August 10, 1992.
Silent All These Years was written during Amos's search for self (and solo album material) after the failure of Y Kant Tori Read. According to her narrative during VH1 Storytellers, she originally wrote this song with Al Stewart in mind to sing it, and Eric Rosse, who was producing some other songs Amos had composed, heard it and told her, "You're out of your mind. That's your life story"; as a result, Amos retained it as her own recording.
In the Little Earthquakes songbook, Amos reveals that writing the song was a slow, evolving process and that the light piano riff during the verses came first. This "bumble bee piano tinkle," as she calls it, is one of the more emblematic and recognizable parts of the song.
Lyrically, Amos was inspired by reading Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid story to her little niece, Cody.
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