This isn't a new song - released two years ago - but it deserves a much wider audience than Tom Waits usually gets. The brilliance of his lyrics are on shining display in this song, written as part of a musical he wrote with his wife Kathleen Brennan and Robert Wilson - based upon Lewis Carroll's muse, Alice Liddell.
The aura, the mood created by this song, is what we listen to music for - it touches that place deep within us that only music (great music) can touch. Tom's gruff voice feathers over us as we feel the chill of the icy lake he skates upon and the chill of his lost heart. I can see him all in black like the crows he sings of - swooping over the barren black ice.
"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 and in my grave/Set me adrift/I'm lost over there/But I must be insane/To go on skating on your name/And by tracing it twice I fell through the ice/Of Alice/There's only Alice..."