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Tea with the Waitress


Icicle

Lyrics by Tori Amos

Icicle icicle
where are you going
Where are you going
I have a hiding place
when spring marches in
Will you keep watch for me,
I hear them calling
Gonna lay down
gonna lay down

Greeting the monster
in our Easter dresses
Father says bow your head
like the Good Book says
I think the Good Book is
missing some pages
Gonna lay down
gonna lay down

And when my hand touches myself
I can finally rest my head
And when they say take of his body
I think I'll take from mine instead

Getting off, getting off
while they're all downstairs
Singing prayers sing away
He's in my pumpkin p.j's
Lay your book on my chest
Feel the word
feel the word
Feel the word
feel the word
Feel it

I could have
I should have
I could have flown
you know
I could have
I should have
I didn't
so

Icicle icicle
where are you going
I have a hiding place
when spring marches in
Will you keep watch for me,
I hear them calling
Gonna lay down
gonna lay down
Lay down
gonna lay
down


Tori Quotes

Tori explains that the song "Icicle" is about a woman who "masturbates to survive a repressive atmosphere." [The New Review of Records - 1994]

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. [Under the Pink songbook - 1994]

When you're 10 years old and being taught a belief system, you don't have the wherewithal to go, "Well, when they're putting this dried, stale cracker in my mouth, and telling me it's all going to be okay, it'll be okay if I put my little warm hand down on my little warm spot. That'll make it a bit okay." That's where "Icicle" comes in. [Baltimore Sun - January 1994]

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. [Oor - January 29, 1994]

I am a minister's daughter, for heaven's sake! So, of course, I can see why some would regard sexual fantasies about Jesus Christ as unacceptable. But that's part of what I'm saying in "Icicle," when I tell of how I used to masturbate at home as a teenager, while my father and his fellow theologians were downstairs discussing the Divine Light. I was exploring the "divine light" within myself. [laughs] And anyone who sees that as "blasphemous" can go to hell! Like I said to you before, that's how women are paralysed, disconnected from their own power by religion. Talk about patriarchal power structures. For centuries the Church has slammed a crucifix between a woman's legs and even masturbation obviously is a way of dislodging that cross, of self-empowerment. And how dare anybody say that my honouring my woman-ness in that way, my relationship with my own body and my opening to this energy between my legs is a "sin against God" is "blasphemous." That was my act of defiance, of asserting myself against the oppressive force of religion which has always made women deny their sexuality.

The concept is that Jesus Christ, through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit experienced life - the human form. Well, what I find quite inexplicable is that he could suckle at a woman's breast yet not soil his dinky by having sex! How's he supposed to experience life at the level of his dick, for Christ's sake! That's the Church's core denial of sexuality, right there, alongside the idea that Mary could give birth without "doing it." It's absurd. So when I say I want to "do it" with Jesus Christ it's not just that I want to sexualise Jesus, bring him down to our level, I want to breathe the earth into his lungs. He came from Heaven and we, as women, come from the earth. So it's the idea of soil beneath the fingers, the notion of, "If this blood is sacred, then drink it." That's what it's all about. [Hot Press - February 23, 1994]

People are still discovering things about "Icicle," and I've had to journey with her for 20 years. When the song says, "Sing away / he's in my pumpkin PJs," some people believe this was two teens exploring their sexuality and defiantly saying, "You sing your hymns, and you have your beliefs, but we aren't going to be shamed by that." The songs hold different perspectives. That is one reality. But there are others who have felt that the person that was upstairs with her was crossing a line -- that she was too young to consent, and that this was a sexual assault by someone who was looked to in the religious order as trustworthy and then that act then damaged her for life. [Under the Pink Deluxe Edition liner notes - 2015]


Live Versions

"Icicle"
August 17, 1994 - Los Angeles, California
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno



"Icicle"
April 11, 1996 - New York, New York
MTV Unplugged



"Icicle"
October 12, 2001 - Strange Little Webcast



"Icicle" (with band)
September 23, 2009 - Groningen, Netherlands



"Icicle" (with band)
October 3, 2009 - Paris, France



"Icicle"
June 11, 2010 - Manchester, Tennessee
Bonnaroo Festival



"Icicle"
December 3, 2011 - New York, New York



"Icicle"
May 28, 2014 - Brussels, Belgium



"Icicle"
November 7, 2017 - New York, New York




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