Tom Waits “Alice”

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It’s dreamy weather we’re on
You waved your crooked wand
Along an icy pond with a frozen moon
A murder of silhouette crows I saw
And the tears on my face
And the skates on the pond
They spell Alice

I disappear in your name
But you must wait for me
Somewhere across the sea
There’s a wreck of a ship
Your hair is like meadow grass on the tide
And the raindrops on my window
And the ice in my drink
Baby all I can think of is Alice

Arithmetic arithmetock
Turn the hands back on the clock
How does the ocean rock the boat?
How did the razor find my throat?
The only strings that hold me here
Are tangled up around the pier

And so a secret kiss
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I’m dead in my grave
Set me adrift and I’m lost over there
And I must be insane
To go skating on your name
And by tracing it twice
I fell through the ice
Of Alice

And so a secret kiss
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I’m dead in my grave
Set me adrift and I’m lost over there
And I must be insane
To go skating on your name
And by tracing it twice
I fell through the ice
Of Alice
There’s only Alice

Written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan

22 Comments

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  1. Man I wish more people “got Tom”. Not that he needs them to, but I would love to just share his genius with everyone.

    “The only strings that hold me here
    Are tangled up around the pier”

    DGOAD

  2. Are you serious? This is the song of the week? You know if the only people who can decipher a song and/or understand it are the songwriters themselves or somebody high on some very trippy drugs then I think the song has serious problems. The only way to describe this song is just flat out weird!! And for those who say “Oh you just don’t understand” I would say your absolutely right and I don’t even think the song writer completely understands this song! He probably confuses himself as he reads it over again when he’s sober!

  3. Lyrics to Alice, Walting Mathila, Martha all speak … but a snipit from SHORE LEAVE really does the trick … ” … I sat down and wrote a letter to my wife, I said: Baby, I’m so far away from home … and I miss my baby so … I can’t make by myself … I love you so …” –

  4. I love Tom and I see why so many people follow him. However, these lyrics are weak and sophomoric. They really say nothing to me. You want some meaty lyrics? Choke on Leonard Cohen’s song “Stranger”.

  5. Tom Waits has written so many beautiful songs , that it’s hard to choose the best. I think it comes down to your own favorite and what it says to you personaly. I love so many of them but, if I have to choose , then it’s SHIVER ME TIMBERS ! As far as answering Mik, All I can say is, Sorry about your luck, but it’s your loss!

  6. Mik – I guess that Waits, Kerouic, Vonnegut, Bukowski, ee cummings, & so many others are too far a stretch for you to comprehend. Poetry only needs to evoke a response, an emotion. One only needs to remain open to the possibilities of the words and images in order to find it’s meaning – which at its best is mutable. There is beauty – should you chose to look for it.

  7. Mik, seriously

    the skates on the pond, they spell Alice..

    …by tracing it twice, I fell through the ‘ice’ of ‘Alice’.
    Geddit?

    Its cold, lonely, quiet, not another soul for miles, he’s skating on the pond with only one thing on his mind. Now read it again.
    Still not there?

  8. My name is Alice and I was an extra in the film “bearskin” that was filmed in Portugal near Lisbon. I was living in Colares (near Sintra) with my ex at the time. Saw the casting call in the Anglo-Portuguese paper and was called in for a day’s filming. I laughed at actor in the bear suit at first and then I felt very sorry for him because it got so hot in the club where they were filming. Anyhow, I am also a singer-songwriter from Va. Beach, Va. and hope to down-load 14 of my original very soon.

  9. If I had to pick a single favorite of all his music….for me it would be Kentucky Avenue….but of course there’s Tom Trauberts Blues–(waltzing matilda)–and Jitterbug Boy….and Wish I was in New Orleans…
    but having listened to Kentucky Avenue 1.4 zillion times….and still loving it. Not sure why.

  10. “A murder of silhouette of crows I saw” is the line that evokes some great imagery. A group of crows is called a “murder”. But the narrator isn’t looking at the crows, instead he has his head down in melancholy and onlysees only the shadows of the birds cast in the snow. Brilliant! I wish I could write like this guy. MY favorite Tom Waits lyric of all time? “Time is just memory mixed with desire” from “The Part You Throw Away” off of Blood Money.

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