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Thread: Song of the week: Icicle

  1. #16
    ForumBound EnjoyJoy's Avatar
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    "Feel the word feel the word feel the word feel it"

    It just feels like someone is putting a giant bible in my chest every time. And then "getting up(...)" is like having it removed. I love this song, but it was hard to. There's just something about the sequencing about UTP that made me not get the song. However, one day I caught myself singing "I could have I should have I could have flown" without knowing which song it was, so I googled the lyrics (hah) and found out it was this song. Then I listened to it and finally got it. Same thing happened with Y,A actually.

  2. #17
    Neptunecello Neptunecello's Avatar
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    Great thread, I love everyone's responses. I agree with the person who said that the beginning of Icicle is reminiscent of the beginning of Mother. Sorry if someone said this already, but the intro is a..."cover," if you will, of a hymn. I can't remember which, but my mom heard it way back in the 90s when I was in my early Tori fandom stage, and she said, "Oh, that's such-and-such." My mom is also the daughter of a Methodist minister, born in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

    Anyway, Under the Pink was the first Tori record I ever bought, back in 1995, and while I don't currently consider it one of my favorites, I think it will always hold a special place in my heart . I never analyzed the lyrics too much...I feel like I always accepted (and adored) the abstractness of T's lyrics. I love the piano on this...and the chord progression going into the "getting off" part. Tremendously emotional & raw. Classic Tori.
    Diagnosed as sound

  3. #18
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    I always heard the "feel the word" bit as Tori mocking the hypocritical Christians downstairs, not that someone is literally pressing the bible against her chest. I always heard it as - "lay your book on my chest (metaphorically)" and if you could, you would "feel the word, feel the word, FEEL IT." We know Tori likes to talk about "passion," and being a passionate woman, and how that doesn't always fly in Christian circles. So she's saying to those bloodless brides of Jesus downstairs that it is she (tori, or the narrarator) who understands the compassion of Christ, not them. It's just words in a book to the "religious" gathered downstairs, but others who are oppressed ("I have a hiding place" - i.e., I'm ostracized.

    "When Spring marches in" - interesting that she says Spring "marches," in. I interpret that as people who feel they are as righteous as Spring itself come in forcefully and judge people.) And so when Tori explodes into "I could have, I should have.." she's chastising herself for withering under the icy, preachy gaze of the judgementals. (The "Father (who) says bow your head). Instead of withering under their freezy icicles of judgement (lol, or whatever), she should have just flown away. Flown on the power of her feelings. Not repressed them. Take to the sky, if you will, lol.

    And when she says "gonna lay down" at the end softly, she's acknowledging that the cycle is going to repeat itself - that people will judge her in the future and she will lay down (defer to them) again. This is bittersweet - as when we hide ourselves away - there's a comfort in it, but also it's obviously lonely and we have failed to confront the judgemental people who are "missing some pages," pages we know we could give them (our feelings), but are afraid too. I could have! I should have! The way we beat ourselves up for not confronting others, and ourselves.

    And of course the cycle of laying down and then flying away in a way mirrors that of the seasons, like a medicine wheel or a diagram of the Earth revolving in a big circle or whatever.
    Last edited by NUHN; 08-04-2010 at 02:43 AM. Reason: typos and I kept thinking of stuff to say

  4. #19
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    While I respect this song for its quality, it's not one of my favorites. I can enjoy it from time to time, but I don't seek it out on purpose and I don't get excited seeing it on a setlist. It didn't even rip from my Original Bootlegs and I didn't even bother to fix it for 4 years. But like most of her stuff, certain parts can hit you in a totally unexpected or unintentional way than what the song is about. Or even after hearing something a million times, you hear it differently. Like the Bonnaroo performance makes me bawl my eyes out, especially the end "I could have..." parts.

    The tinkling sound the piano makes reminds me of freezing rain, so it's like a sort of onomatopoeia for an icicle.

    Bonnaroo and it's especially awesome from around 3:20ish to about 4:00ish:


  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Neptunecello View Post
    Great thread, I love everyone's responses. I agree with the person who said that the beginning of Icicle is reminiscent of the beginning of Mother. Sorry if someone said this already, but the intro is a..."cover," if you will, of a hymn. I can't remember which, but my mom heard it way back in the 90s when I was in my early Tori fandom stage, and she said, "Oh, that's such-and-such."
    I think Tori mentioned on a TV show (I think it was MTV Unplugged) that she based "Icicle" on "Onward Christian Soldiers".

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by liquid_running View Post
    I think Tori mentioned on a TV show (I think it was MTV Unplugged) that she based "Icicle" on "Onward Christian Soldiers".
    I've resisted posting this here 'cause I've posted it in a million other threads, but this is really the ultimate live version (it's also where she mentions the above):

    Last edited by Fast Horse; 08-05-2010 at 03:24 AM.

  7. #22
    I love this thread and it's perfect timing. I was watching the MTV Unplugged Version (agreement with Fast Horse on this- the intro is transcendant), and this question came:
    Why an icicle?
    She sings as if it were an ally or protector of sorts: "where are you going?" "Will you keep watch for me?"

    I agree that the piano & vocals capture a masturbatory experience, including the very beginning, when she gingerly plays hand over hand. It reminds me of "tell me which hand I use" from Anastasia.

    "Lay your book on my chest, feel the word" for me has always represented the physiological response building, and the heart racing- she's saying feel the power here, in my chest. If the word is power, the word is in me, lay your book on my chest and feel it.

    I am still at a loss as to what the icicle represents, though. The "cold finger" symbol doesn't fit with "will you keep watch for me."

    I used to assume she was looking out her window, watching an icicle melt, while they were downstairs, singing prayers.
    But now I think the icicle has deeper significance.
    So.... why an icicle?
    Last edited by marysofthesea; 08-06-2010 at 08:08 AM.

  8. #23
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob's room View Post
    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 think there's a LOT subdued guilt in the lyrics!
    To me, Icicle is not just about masturbation. It's about a girl discovering her sexuality and trying to wrap her head around all the religious stuff she's been taught as a child, and start questioning them yet still feeling guilty. Trying to make up her own mind instead of doing what she was taught as a minister's daughter.

    "will you keep watch for me" > she's doing something she knows is wrong (from the bible's PoV). She needs someone to warn her when somebody's coming.

    "I could have…I should have…I could have flown you know well…I could have…I should have…I didn’t…so…" > sounds like someone got very close but stopped right before the finish line. You can even hear it in her voice, the way she sings, the way it peeters out. She could've continued. She should've continued, right??? Yet she didn't...Who or what's stopping her, keeping her from going all the way. It could very well be guilt.
    She's trying to break with some of the traditions/rules/morals she was brought up with.
    The fact that she finishes the song with the first verse, to me, points out that she's not there yet but working on it.

    That's my take
    post28!

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by marysofthesea View Post
    I am still at a loss as to what the icicle represents, though. The "cold finger" symbol doesn't fit with "will you keep watch for me."

    So.... why an icicle?
    The finger allows her to transcend the guilt maybe? It’s like her key to true passion. The access it allows protects her from the coldness of religious oppression because it offers her mobility out of it. Even if the passion is just momentary, the experience reminds her which passion is real/free and which is false/oppressive. the finger "keeps watch" because it's on standby waiting to be used?
    Last edited by oliver; 08-06-2010 at 05:29 PM.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wout View Post
    "will you keep watch for me" > she's doing something she knows is wrong (from the bible's PoV). She needs someone to warn her when somebody's coming.
    Yes! This fits well with my sense of the icicle as an ally. I think this, along with the songbook quote, "I dreamed things were frozen in ice songs," unveils the icicle's significance. It's melting as her sexuality surfaces, but her guilt or reticence brings her to ask,
    "where are you going?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Wout View Post
    "I could haveI should haveI could have flown you know wellI could haveI should haveI didntso" > sounds like someone got very close but stopped right before the finish line. You can even hear it in her voice, the way she sings, the way it peeters out. She could've continued. She should've continued, right??? Yet she didn't...Who or what's stopping her, keeping her from going all the way. It could very well be guilt.
    She's trying to break with some of the traditions/rules/morals she was brought up with.
    The fact that she finishes the song with the first verse, to me, points out that she's not there yet but working on it.

    That's my take
    Excellent take. I didn't think of Icicle much in terms of guilt, because certain lines carry so much strength & self-determination:

    "when they say 'take of his body' I think i'll take from mine instead
    getting off getting off while they're all downstairs"

    So I never fully understood "I could haveI should haveI didntso"
    The idea that she stopped herself when she didn't have to, and goes back to the icicle to keep watch for her (because this is not finished yet), makes so much sense.

    You summed it up perfectly. Thanks!

  11. #26
    Senior Member Carey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marysofthesea View Post
    Yes! This fits well with my sense of the icicle as an ally. I think this, along with the songbook quote, "I dreamed things were frozen in ice songs," unveils the icicle's significance. It's melting as her sexuality surfaces, but her guilt or reticence brings her to ask,
    "where are you going?"



    Excellent take. I didn't think of Icicle much in terms of guilt, because certain lines carry so much strength & self-determination:

    "when they say 'take of his body' I think i'll take from mine instead
    getting off getting off while they're all downstairs"

    So I never fully understood "I could have�I should have�I didn�t�so�"
    The idea that she stopped herself when she didn't have to, and goes back to the icicle to keep watch for her (because this is not finished yet), makes so much sense.

    You summed it up perfectly. Thanks!
    To me, that part is her not being able to reach the orgasm because she is distracted by their voices praying downstairs, the sense of guilt, the fear of being discovered. And it's like she's saying: "everytime I'm about to cum, I hear those voices again (feel the word of God, don't indulge into sinful thoughts)".
    "If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."

  12. #27
    Senior Member Debserin's Avatar
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    I have a recording of Icicle from the last time she played Birmingham in the UK. It is the best version I've heard, I'll upload it if it's not already out there.

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