There is a song called "Crucify" by Tori Amos from the album Little Earthquakes, where the following part caught my attention:

I know a cat named Easter
He says, "Will you ever learn?
You're just an empty cage, girl,
If you kill the bird."

What does the phrase "I know a cat named Easter" mean in this context? Is there a subliminal message, say, referring to Cheshire Cat from "Alice in Wonderland" or anything else?

closed as off-topic by StoneyB, shin, Em., James K, ColleenV Jul 10 '17 at 19:02

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    ELL is for specific questions about English, not for interpretation of poetry or lyrics. That tends to go in the "bad subjective" direction. If you want to know what it means beyond understanding the slang she's using, you'll have to ask Tori :) – ColleenV Jul 10 '17 at 15:20
  • @ColleenV You are right, this is too subjective, my bad. Could you please re-post your comment as an answer as it actually makes sense to me, and I didn't know about this definition. I wish I could ask Tori, but I remember she wasn't very happy when people were asking about "pretty hate machine" in "Caught A Lite Sneeze" and "Skeeter" carved in the woods appearing in the "Spark" video. I don't want to disappoint her with my poor English knowledge. – andselisk Jul 10 '17 at 15:31
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    Willie And The Hand Jive Lyrics start with I know a cat named Way-Out Willie. I'm sure Tori Amos would have been familiar with that at the time. – FumbleFingers Jul 10 '17 at 15:48
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I agree with ColleenV that this is LitCrit, not language. It's a very complex metaphor which (just to begin with) equates the bird with the singer's soul and the cat with Jesus as at once the bird's predator in the natural order; by His own crucifixion (so different and from the crucifixion the singer finds herself performing on herself), its surrogate; and by His resurrection at Easter its liberator. – StoneyB Jul 10 '17 at 15:50
  • @FumbleFingers Nice observation, thank you! Looks very plausible, as Tori also explicitly mentions Judy Garland in "Happy Phantom", and probably there are more. – andselisk Jul 10 '17 at 15:57

As ColleenV mentions in her comment, in this song "cat" is probably slang for "guy", as in *"I know a guy whose name is 'Easter'"*.

Why he's called "Easter" you'll have to figure out from the context of the song -- assuming there is a meaning. Tori Amos uses a lot of metaphor in her songs, not all of which is significant.

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    Or rather, metaphor not all of which is meaningful to anyone other than her. I think a lot of artists have a hard time explaining what a particular collocation means because it isn't really able to be expressed unless you can live inside their brain :) – ColleenV Jul 10 '17 at 16:12
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    @ColleenV very true. I was immediately reminded of the Sheryl Crow song "Every Day is a Winding Road" which includes the lyrics: He's got a daughter he calls Easter / She was born on a Tuesday night / I'm just wondering why I feel so all alone / Why I'm a stranger in my own life. The Easter reference makes no sense to me, but I'm sure it's meaningful to Sheryl. – Andrew Jul 10 '17 at 18:57

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