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Thread: Song of the week: Icicle

  1. #1

    Song of the week: Icicle

    A day early, but I'll be out of town tomorrow so thought I'd post it now instead of completely forgetting about it!

    lyrics


    Before I start: I just love, love, LOVE the piano all through the song. I’ve listened to this song for over 10 years now, and I still get goosebumps from it whenever I listen to it, and I sometimes even get teary eyed. It’s so simple, so pure and just so, so gorgeous…

    So therefore…I’ve always, always just loved the intro.
    It starts soft, slowly, peacefully with just Tori’s piano playing. It’s kind of soothing, and then all of a sudden it becomes louder and louder and more intense and you just can’t ignore the song. And then…silence again and Tori heaving a big sigh (that’s something I just love; those hidden sounds, that allow you to imagine what happened etc…makes you feel like you’re actually there. Makes you feel like she’s playing there, just for you. I just love it)

    Then there's the short intro to the song. "Icicle, icicle where are you going, where are you going?" I just love it, and I love it even more that it’s repeated. "I have a hiding place when Spring marches in" This is a line that always gets to me. It’s like someone is actually telling me that it’s okay: there IS a place for me to go to that is actually safe, even though the rest of the world isn’t all that safe.
    "Will you keep watch for me I hear them calling". This is a line I always took so personal, along with the previous line. Cause sometimes I just want someone to tell me it’s going to be okay, it’s fine and I’m really safe.

    That part where she sings "Lay your book on my chest. Feel the word. Feel the word. Feel the word. Feel the word and FEEL IT!" well…that’s just very haunting. I never really understood what those lyrics were about until a couple of years ago. And this line is just so powerful! You can almost just picture that someone’s is trying to force you into these thoughts that what you just did is oh so wrong, while you feel so differently.
    And then of course: "I could have…I should have…I could have flown you know well…I could have…I should have…I didn’t…so…" I don’t have any deep thoughts here, but I, again, find these lyrics just so powerful!

    And then the song just ends with the same lyrics it started with…and the ending is just…heartbreaking really. "gonna lay down…gonna lay down…lay down…I’m gonna lay down". Whenever she played it live while I was there (and luckily, quite often!) this part really got to me. It just ends right there, and it feels like you abruptly get taken away from your own dream world.

    Oh…there’s just so much to say about this song, and I don’t know where to begin, and therefore it feels like I haven’t really said anything. But this is my favorite song of all times I think. No. I know she is. Whatever it may be really about, I just love this song as a whole.

    Some Tori quotes on this song:

    "In Icicle I try to win back the innocence of my childhood. That girl that masturbates to survive, the vulnerable, innocent flower, has always done good things for us. She's had to fence off certain parts of herself to get ahead. Now it's time to light the candle and melt those parts. Who dares to open him- or herself can also forgive themselves for not having stood up for themselves enough."
    "Sakura sakura yayoi no sora wa miwatasu kagiri. I dreamed things were frozen in ice songs and other dreams and the ice can carry secret messages that warm a little girl's heart."
    -- Tori; Under The Pink Songbook
    And just some of my favorite live performances:




  2. #2
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    One of my favorites. The live recording on the Past the Mission single is what sold me on her music and made me a fan.

  3. #3
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    Sakura sakura yayoi no sora wa miwatasu kagiri.
    Wait, what? What is that? I'm not familiar with what that means or what's being referenced...?

    Is it "Icicle icicle where are you going?" in Japanese?

  4. #4
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    Anyway, "Icicle" is great. I like that it echoes the beginning of Little Earthquakes' track 9, "Mother." They both start with the same sound - which come to think of it I'm not sure quite what it is - the sustain pedal being depressed? Anyway, I like the sound and that it sort of refers back to "mother". I like those first deep bass notes. I believe there are two pianos on "Icicle", right? I think it says "pianos" in the liner notes. And there are other effects - when she says "gonna lay down" at 2:38 there's something happening to resemble the sound of strings. I like the way the song builds and builds and then explodes in fury. I like the way she flicks her tounge against the roof of her mouth or whatever on the "d" of instead )"take from mine instead"). I love the sarcasm and anger of some of the lines during the build up , (singing prayers: sing away!).

    When I first got UTP I always interpreted this song as someone who was being molested upstairs rather than masturbating. I interpreted "he's in my pumpkin pjs" as literal, not as He (jesus). So the rage of the "feel the word, feel the world, FEEL IT" was extremely powerful and emotional. Anyway it's a very powerful song. It's one of the songs in the Tori canon that you really couldn't imagine any other singer pulling off.

  5. #5
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    I always read the lyrics as pretty literal and graphic - icicle being a cold finger, a place where spring marches in being her vagina. The book on her chest being felt being her fantasizing about someone touching where her breasts would eventually be, and the 'feel it feel it feel it' part being pretty much an orgasm, the way someone repeats what they're saying, like 'I'm close I'm close I'm close!'

    With all that in mind, I find the intro to be pretty much a musical interpretation of someone masturbating, starting off delicately and slow, and raising to a crescendo of someone coming.

    But that's maybe just me.

  6. #6
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    With all that in mind, I find the intro to be pretty much a musical interpretation of someone masturbating, starting off delicately and slow, and raising to a crescendo of someone coming.
    I really like that interpretation; I never thought about it that way.

  7. #7
    But the someone she's thinking of is Jesus, right?

    I always took it to mean that, anyway, with the book referenced being the Bible. Her family's downstairs singing prayers, and she's in her room upstairs, masturbating, pressing the Bible against her chest. They feel "the word [of Christ]" one way, and she's feeling it in a completely different way (yet feeling it nonetheless). So she's basically saying "You go ahead, bow your head, greet the monster, read that book that's missing pages, and take of His body, but I'm gonna do this MY way *puts hand down pumpkin PJs*"

    There's a lot of subdued guilt within the song, to my ears, mostly in her vocal delivery and not so much in the lyrics. I always took it to mean that the character in the song (let's call her Tori haha) is trying to find peace with her strict Christian upbringing, trying to leave this sexual guilt behind, in order to finally--dare I say it?--marry the Marys.

    So then at the end of the song, she's saying "See, I could have and should have been a part of the whole Christian thing, I could have flown the way you wanted me to, and you know that I could have, but I didn't... so.... *continues masturbating*"

    That's my interpretation of it, anyway.

    I miss lyrics like these.

    It's one of my favorite Tori songs, for sure. It's quintessential Tori both musically and lyrically. ♥

  8. #8
    OH, and the only part I've never really gotten, ironically, is the Icicle part.

    Icicles melt in the spring, so if she's got a hiding place for it when spring does come along, she's trying to keep it form melting. So the hiding place being her warm vagina doesn't really make sense to me, 'cause it would certainly melt there haha.

    Unless she's trying to trick the Icicle and she wants it to melt... hmmm... Actually, I'll keep that interpretation as well haha. She wants this cold, hard finger of religion to feel the warmth of sexuality. Sorry for rambling hehe.

  9. #9
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    Well - a vagina will certainly warm up a cold finger - I think it's a metaphor - the idea of actually putting an icicle in yer twot isn't that appealing to most people.

  10. #10
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    I could have
    I should have
    I could have flown
    you know I could have
    I should have
    I didn't so

    Not sure if many have heard of guys who assume the flight response when getting off. Flown=flight. Just a thought.

  11. #11
    holding on for tonight Waylon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUHN View Post
    Wait, what? What is that? I'm not familiar with what that means or what's being referenced...?

    Is it "Icicle icicle where are you going?" in Japanese?
    "Sakura Sakura" is a Japanese folk song about cherry blossoms in the spring. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakura_Sakura

    =)

  12. #12
    holding on for tonight Waylon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toriMODE View Post
    I could have
    I should have
    I could have flown
    you know I could have
    I should have
    I didn't so

    Not sure if many have heard of guys who assume the flight response when getting off. Flown=flight. Just a thought.
    What do you mean by the "flight response"?

  13. #13
    Love, love, love this song. The MTV Unplugged version is my favorite live version (see YouTube or ??? for piano players threads).

    It was one of the first songs that opened up to me in a way that transcended the meaning(s) Tori attributed to it.

    I've linked this song with masturbation, cutting, childhood, getting high, being a bookworm, etc. etc. etc. Some of my own meanings may be far-fetched, but that's what I love about Tori's best work and what is highlighted in this song: her cryptic, evocative lyrics coupled with her elemental piano allows for one to delve into various worlds that shift and change with time and age, always allowing a new experience/meaning to break through.
    Last edited by Fast Horse; 08-03-2010 at 02:26 AM.

  14. #14
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    I wonder if she riffed on Sakura for the song - the intro to the second live video sounds a little like the version on Wiki.

  15. #15
    Hurt people hurt people too toriMODE's Avatar
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    The psychological state your mind is in when you are about to get off/take off.

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