Not mutually exclusive.
According to wikipedia, it was inspired by a different Walker novel, Possessing the Secret of Joy, but lately I've had some revelations about how a lot of my favorite songwriters growing up wrote a lot more literally than they seemed to have, so the cereal commercial could totally have figured in. One of the great things about lyric-writing is that you're allowed your inside jokes, and if the metaphor comes through the cloud of nudge-nudge as universal, it works out."If you need me, me and Neil'll be hanging out with the Dream King, Neil says 'hi' by the way," could, for instance, have been inspired by this conversation:NEIL GAIMAN: How's it going?TORI AMOS: Great! I'm writing a song that I'm mentioning you in, is that OK?NEIL GAIMAN: Absolutely! Tell everybody 'hi' for me. TORI AMOS: OK, great. See you at the reading later.
What would I do without google? There's a whole webpage dedicated to Tori Amos interviews involving cornflake girl here:http://www.yessaid.com/talk/8cornflakegirl.htmlHer memory seems a little faulty and up until this interview she's always said it was based on Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy. As for the commercial, she says, "I must admit, by the way, that long ago, I played the role of a bar pianist in an ad for Cornflakes [<span>actually it was for Kellogg’s Just Right cereal</span>]. I flattered myself with the thought I was the Trojan Horse there: a raisin girl amid cornflake girls."Of course that last bit could be revisionist history on which one came first.
I blew the 10 year old's mind by playing that song in the car while she was reading The Graveyard Book. "She knows NEIL?!?!?"