Where’s Neil when you need him?

A few years ago I was browsing the sci-fi/fantasy section at Barnes and Noble and stumbled across a book called Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.  I was instantly attracted to the cover art and when I flipped it over to read the summary, I was doubly intrigued.  The Stephen King blurb was the final selling point and I decided to give it a shot.  The book was fantastic and I adored Gaiman’s writing style.  neverwhere

Since then I went on to read American Gods (my favorite), Stardust, Anansi Boys and Good Omens, co-written by Terry Pratchett.  Gaiman’s unique characters and stories transport you into whatever world he’s created in the pages.

By the time I read Neverwhere I had been in love with the music of Tori Amos for almost ten years.  I’m absolutely enthralled by her voice and songwriting ability and after a while I noticed a name that kept popping up in her lyrics from album to album.  earthquakes

I always thought to myself, who is this Neil person anyway and why does he keep getting mentioned in all these songs over the years?

Well, I finally found out, on accident, when I was looking up more info online about Neil Gaiman.  Lo and behold, Tori’s Neil was my Neil whose writing I had just discovered! 

That just struck me as one of those funny little coincidences that make you smile.  It turns out that their work has been rather intertwined for many years (he made her a talking tree character in Stardust, she wrote a song for his anthology, and they’ve both written for each other’s projects including tour books, album theme stories and book introductions).  I recently saw Tori perform at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and I noticed that every time she sang a lyric that included Neil’s name, a group in the front row cheered loudly so I thought he must have been in the audience.

Here are some of the Neil-afied lyrics from Tori’s songs…

“If you need me, me and Neil’ll be hanging out with the dream king.  Neil said hi by the way.”  (Tear in Your Hand)

“Seems I keep getting this story twisted so where’s Neil when you need him?”  (Space Dog)

“And if there is a way to find you I will find you.  But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?”  (Horses)

“Get me Neil on the phone, no I can’t hold.”  (Carbon)

“Neil is thrilled he can claim he’s mammalian, ‘but the bad news,’ he said, ‘girl you’re a dandelion'” (Not Dying Today)

Have you ever discovered any similar connections?

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1 Comment »

  1. Dominique Said:

    That’s so funny! And odd! 🙂


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