"Happy Phantom"
Tori-Amos Little-Earthquakes
Song by Tori Amos from the album Little Earthquakes


Little Earthquakes




Alternative rock




Atlantic Records


Tori Amos


Davitt Sigerson

"Happy Phantom" is the sixth song on Tori Amos's 1992 debut album Little Earthquakes.

Background Edit

"Happy Phantom" was written and recorded during the first phase of creating Little Earthquakes. This period also yielded the songs "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Winter", "Leather", and "Mother", all of which were recorded at Capitol Records and produced by Davitt Sigerson.

"Happy Phantom" was included on both a cassette tape Tori submitted for copyright in June 1990 and the original rejected version of Little Earthquakes in December that year.

In the Little Earthquakes songbook, Tori noted that "when the songs began showing up I wrote their names on separate envelopes and made a faery ring in the middle of the house. I’d sit in the middle of the ring to focus on a song’s direction. All of the songs seemed to work toward the completeness of the other. They decided we needed to hang out with death for awhile". In 2012, she explained to Rolling Stone that "to talk about death was really important on Little Earthquakes because there was a part of me had to die. The image that I had created for whatever reason, had to die".[1]

Remastered versions Edit

Remastered versions of "Happy Phantom" appear on Disc A of the 2006 box set A Piano: The Collection and the 2015 reissue of Little Earthquakes.

Live performances Edit

The first recorded performance of "Happy Phantom" was at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1991, and Tori has played the song solo on the piano during almost all of her tours.[2] Live performances of the song are included on the 2007 Legs & Boots concert bootlegs and the second disc of the Little Earthquakes reissue in 2015.

Lyrics Edit

Lyrics adapted from the Little Earthquakes album booklet.

and if i die today i’ll be the HAPPY phantom

and i’ll go chasin’ the nuns out in the yard

and i’ll run naked through the streets without my mask on

and i will never need umbrellas in the rain

i’ll wake up in strawberry fields every day

and the atrocities of school i can forgive

the HAPPY phantom has no right to bitch

woo who the time is getting closer

woo who time to be a ghost w

woo who every day we’re getting closer the sun is getting dim will we pay for who we been

so if i die today i’ll be the HAPPY phantom and i’ll go wearin’ my NAUGHTIES like a jewel they’ll be my ticket to the universal opera there’s judy garland taking buddha by the hand and then these seven little men get up to dance they say confucius does his crossword with a pen i’m still the angel to a girl who hates to SIN

oo who the time is getting closer oo who time to be a ghost oo who every day we’re getting closer the sun is getting dim will i pay for who i been 


or will i see you dear and wish i could come back

you found a girl that you could TRULY love again

will you still call for me when she falls asleep

or do we soon forget the things we cannot see 

woo who the time is getting closer 

woo who time to be a ghost 

woo who every day we’re getting closer 

the sun is getting dim 

will i pay... for who i been 

and if i die today... and if i die today... and if i die today... chasin’ the nuns out in the yard

Personnel Edit

Credits taken from Little Earthquakes liner notes.

  • Acoustic piano, vocal, backgrounds – Tori Amos
  • Finger cymbal, keyboard programming – Phil Shenale
  • Percussion – Paulinho Dacosta
  • Dulcimer – Eric Williams
  • Recorded by John Beverly Jones
  • Assisted by Leslie Ann Jones
  • Mixed by John Beverly Jones
  • Produced by Davitt Sigerson

References Edit


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