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Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Impeccable peccadillo
You are off your guard
Pussy willow calls there by the church,
"don't go in if you are abnormally attracted to sin"
Abnormally attracted to sin

She may be dead to you
But her hips sway a natural kind of faith
That could give your lost heart
A warm chapel
You'll sleep in her bell tower
And you will simply wake

Abnormally attracted to sin
Abnormally attracted to sin

Impeccable peccadillo
I know who you are
Tales of longing sway
Lost without a verse
Hymns of swing lay low
there by the church,
"don't go in if you are abnormally attracted to sin"

Tori Quotes

How we've been programmed to define sin... is really what I'm fascinated by. What the patriarchy has judged as sinful and we say, "Okay! All right!" The power that the patriarchy has had on our self-worth is so insidious and to me it's why there are so many affairs. Because once you walk into marriage --some kind of commitment with somebody -- then the illicit, natural side of our nature gets amputated. If you're trying to be a good parent, then there's the idea of, "What happened to that side of me that used to be a passionate creature?" [Out - May 5, 2009]

We judge ourselves based on our patriarchal view through a faith system. It intrigues me how their perceptions of sin and definitions of power are just something that we take on board without ever pulling back for a minute and saying, "Hang on a minute, that's demeaning!" So why have we defined erotica as something that has to be demeaning? Why can't erotica be in bed with spirituality? As a minister's daughter, I was really brought up in the idea that sex is in the regions of the devil. And if it's going to be in the regions of anything other than negativity, in the realm of the profane, it seems it would have to be only in the realm of procreating. There are all these rules for you to not feel, later, shame about it on some level. It's almost like you have to choose "fun" and really following what I'm feeling or a spiritual path. That just seems to me to be the most controlled concept that we were given and have been following for a long, long time. Which busts up relationships and marriages and why you have these illicit affairs. Why can't I have an illicit affair with my husband? I mean I'm having one! But it took me awhile in life to see how divided I was amongst myself and how the institutions of religion keep the masses under control. [American Songwriter - May 15, 2009]

"Abnormally Attracted to Sin" is a line from Guys and Dolls. I hadn't put you down as a fan of corn-ball musicals.

I saw it recently and I thought, "As a minister's daughter I know just what to do with the phrase." You see, this is a time when women are choosing to be in relationships with abusive men, but in the west you have other choices. We have to redefine for the woman that this is not a powerful man. He is small on every level. [Irish Independent - May 15, 2009]

Your album title, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, comes from Guys and Dolls, but it's sung by the religious character, not the blowsy showgirl.

Yes, she's a repressed religious girl. I know those very well. It was a jumping-off point; when I saw Guys and Dolls again, and I heard that line, I stopped and I knew. I just knew. I've just gone into another dimension of what this means. I believe that the world has been imprinted by the definition of sin by the patriarchal church fathers. I think that's pretty factual. I am fascinated about how people define sin for themselves. [Time Out - May 28, 2009]

I don't consider myself Christian any more. I consider myself a citizen of Earth. I don't think Christ would consider himself Christian either -- not the way conservative organised religion presents it because they've edited most of his message out. That's a problem that goes way back to the way the New Testament was put together. Patriarchal religious authority's definition of sin divides people from each other and themselves. Theirs was the greatest sin... one without love or unity or tolerance. Women in particular have had a difficult time. Religious authority has attempted to divide our sexual self from our spiritual self. [Sunday Mail - September 20, 2009]

Live Versions

"Abnormally Attracted to Sin"
October 7, 2009 - Berlin, Germany

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