Alice (Epitaph/ ANTI), 2002



There's Only Alice

 



(Alice demo version, 1992. Also known as: There's Only Alice)(1)



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 in the tears on my face

And the skates on the pond, they spelled Alice(2)



I disappear in your name, but you must wait for me

Somewhere beneath the sea, there's the 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



Arithme-tic, arithme-toc,(4) 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 it when I'm dead in my grave

It set me adrift, and I'm lost in your hair

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(3)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Alice



(Alice studio version, 2002)(1)



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

in the tears on my face

And the skates on the pond, they spell Alice(2)



I'll disappear in your name, but you must wait for me

Somewhere across the sea, there's the 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,(4) 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(3)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992/ 2002

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

The Music Never Ends. Johanna Olsson. March 23, 2004. Self-released (Sweden)

Bukowski Waits For You. Michael Kiessling. June 14, 2004. Buschfunk (Germany)

Todo Chueco. Danilo Gallo & The Roosters. 2005. El Gallo Rojo Records (Italy)

Fictions. Jane Birkin. March 20, 2006 Label: Capitil/ EMI



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

Waits performing "There's Only Alice" and theatre footage (excerpt)

at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December, 1992.

Taken from The Late Show "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice" (1993)

BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. Aired March 4, 1993



Notes:



(1) There's Only Alice: Sung by the White Rabbit in scene 1. Stage directions from the play: Scene 1: "Down The Rabbit hole". Alice falls down the rabbit hole; numerous objects fall past her. She sees a mirror with her name written on it. The mirror breaks and her name is lost. [The White Rabbit sings:]



(2) And the skates on the pond, they spell "Alice": Notice analogy with: "And the branches spell "Alice", and I belong only to you" (Barcarolle, 1992/ 2002).



(3) Stage directions from the play: "Meanwhile, Alice has come to rest beside a little glass table. She has landed in the White Rabbit's house. The White Rabbit picks up his camera, goes through a door, and disappears. Alice attempts to go through the door, but it shrinks to a tiny opening. Alice stretches out on the floor and peers through. She sees a beautiful flower garden beyond, but cannot reach it."



(4) Arithmetic, arithmetock: This might be inspired by the Mock Turtle's puns from the original "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll. Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle's Story: "Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision." (Source: "Lewis Carroll The Annotated Alice", Martin Gardner. Penguin Books, 1960).



Everything You Can Think Of Is True

 



Everything you can think of is true

Before the ocean was blue

We were lost in a flood

Run red with your blood

Nigerian skeleton crew(2)



Everything you can think of is true

The dish ran away with the spoon(3)

Dig deep in your heart for that little red glow

We're decomposing as we go



Everything you can think of is true

And fishes make wishes on you

We're fighting our way up Dreamland's spine(4)

With red flamingos and expensive wine



Everything you can think of is true

The baby's asleep in your shoe

Your teeth are buildings with yellow doors

Your eyes are fish on a creamy shore



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Early demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992(1)

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



Notes:



(1) Everything you can think of is true: Sung by the White Knight in knee 9.



(2) Skeleton crew: A "bare bones crew", on off hours or holidays a company will use just a basic crew to keep operations going (Submitted by Tricia Pierce. Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. September, 2000).



(3) The dish ran away with the spoon: Quoting from "Hey, diddle, diddle" (nursery rhyme, copyright unknown): "Hey, diddle, diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed To see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon." Also quoted in Little Boy Blue (One From The Heart, 1982): "Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn, The dish ran away with the spoon" and Jayne's Blue Wish (Big Bad Love, 2002/ Orphans, 2006): "The sky holds all our wishes The dish ran away with the spoon."



(4) Dreamland: One of the Coney Island parks that operated from 1904-1911. It was destroyed by a fire. Further reading: Dreamland by Adam SandyDreamland pictures; Also mentioned in: Coney Island Baby ("Every night she comes To take me out to dreamland"), Flower's Grave ("Someday the silver moon and I Will go to Dreamland I will close my eyes And wake up there in Dreamland"), Table Top Joe ("They gave me top billing in the Dreamland show").



Flower's Grave

 



Someday the silver moon(2) and I

Will go to Dreamland

I will close my eyes

And wake up there in Dreamland

Tell me who will put flowers

On a flower's grave

Who will say a prayer



Will I meet a China rose there

In Dreamland(3)

Or does love lie bleeding

In Dreamland

Are these days forever and always



And if we are to die tonight

Is there a moonlight up ahead

And if we are to die tonight

Another rose will bloom



For a faded rose

Will I be the one that you save

I love when it showers

But no one puts flowers

On a flower's grave



As one rose blooms and another will die

It's always been that way

I remember the showers

But no one puts flowers

On a flower's grave



And if we are to die tonight

Is there a moonlight up ahead

I remember the showers

But no one puts flowers

On a flower's grave(4)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

Greetings From Hell - The Tom Waits Songbook, Hell Blues Choir. September, 2003. Tylden & Co (Norway)



Notes:



(1) Flower's Grave: Sung by the Rose in Knee 2 "The Garden Of Live Flowers". Directions from the play: Alice comes upon a bed of flowers: Lily, Rose, Two Daisies. They are humming to themselves, but they fall silent and bend away as she approaches. LILY Who are you? DAISIES Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? ALICE I'm... I'm... I'm afraid I'm not sure who I am LILY she leans toward Alice: You don't smell like anything. ROSE And of course you are what you smell like. ALICE Little girls shouldn't smell at all. That's it, I'm a little girl! THE DAISIES What's your name? What's your name? What's your name? ALICE I had a name this morning, but now it's gone. DAISIES Nameless? Shameless! Shameless! LILY But of course a name means nothing. ROSE Odor, child, is the only truth! DAISIES Odor! Odor! Odor! ROSE sings:



(2) Silver moon: Notice the same phrase being mentioned in: Drunk On The Moon, 1974: "And the moon's a silver slipper, It's pouring champagne stars." All The World's Green, 2000/ 2002: "The moon is yellow silver, On the things that summer brings." The World Keeps Turning, 2001: "The world don't care and yet it clings to me, And the moon is gold and silvery."



(3) Dreamland: One of the Coney Island parks that operated from 1904-1911. It was destroyed by a fire. Further reading: Dreamland by Adam SandyDreamland pictures;Also mentioned in: Coney Island Baby ("Every night she comes To take me out to dreamland"), Table Top Joe ("They gave me top billing in the Dreamland show"), Everything You Can Think Of Is True ("We're fighting our way up Dreamland's spine With red flamingos and expensive wine").



(4) Directions from the play: The song reduces the flowers to tears. Suddenly we hear a loud chomping noise. The flowers wilt. Alice looks around and sees a giant mushroom.



No One Knows I'm Gone

 



(Alice demo version, 1992)(1)



Hell above and heaven below

All the trees are gone

The rain has such a lovely sound

To those who are six feet under ground(2)

The leaves will bury every year

And no one knows I'm gone



Live me golden tell me dark

Hide from Graveyard John

The moon is full here every night

And I can bathe here in his light

The leaves will bury every year

And no one knows I'm gone



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

(Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. October, 1999)

Further reading: Alice full story





 



No One Knows I'm Gone



(Alice studio version, 2002)(1)



Hell above and heaven below

All the trees are gone

The rain made such a lovely sound

To those who are six feet under ground(2)

The leaves will bury every year

And no one knows I'm gone



Live me golden tell me dark

Hide from Graveyard John

(But) The moon is full here every night

And I can bathe here in his light

The leaves will bury every year

And no one knows I'm gone



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), © 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

Summerland. Your Favorite Horse (Chris Jeely). 2004. Scareslight (USA)

Now We Are Dead & Other Stories. Jeremy Smoking Jacket. 2005. Self-released

Bangin' On The Table With An Old Tin Cup. Pascal Fricke. April 12, 2007. Self-released (Germany)

Anywhere I Lay My Head. Scarlett Johansson. May 20, 2008. Atco Records



Notes:



(1) No One Knows I'm Gone: also known as: "Live Me Golden, Tell Me Dark". Sung by Alice in scene 1



(2) Six feet underphr. [1930s+] {orig. US) dead and buried (Source: "Cassell's Dictionary Of Slang". Jonathon Green. Cassel & Co., 1998. ISBN: 0-304-35167-9)



Komme Nie Zu Spät

 



(Alice demo version, 1992. Also known as: Kommienezuspädt)(1)



Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Komme nie zu spät!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!



And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!



Komme nie zu spät!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

Can't be late!

Can't be late!

Can't be late!

Can't be late!



Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!



Komme nie zu spät!



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Kommienezuspädt



(Alice studio version, 2002)



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!



Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

And we can't be late!

Komme nie, komme nie,

komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!



Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!



Komme nie zu spät!

Komme nie zu spät!



Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Komme nie zu spät!



... [untranscribable fantasy German]...

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

And we can't be late!

Sei punktlich!

Sei punktlich!

Komme nie zu spät!



Komme nie, komme nie, komme nie zu spät!



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Komme Nie Zu Spät" as performed in the theatre play

Alice rehearsals at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 14, 1992

Taken from "Visions D'Alice" (1993), French/ German TV documentary by Thierry Thomas for La SEPT/ ARTE



Notes:



(1) Komme Nie Zu Spät: Played in scene 3.

Tom Waits (2002): "One of the songs on there, that's on Alice, the "Kommeniezuspät". Which is eh. Actually there are a few words in there that have real meaning but the rest of it is just pure gibberish. But a lot of people when they hear it the say: "Ghee I didn't know you spoke Rumanian." or "I didn't know you spoke, the odd dialect of Finland." I have been known to tell them that I DO speak those languages, but truthfully I don't." (Source: "Anti Electronic Press Kit" Anti Records promo interview as distributed through the Anti website. June 13, 2002)



Poor Edward (Aka Chained Together For Life)

Poor Edward



(Also known as: Chained Together For Life)(1)



Did you hear the news about Edward?(2)

On the back of his head he had another face

Was it a woman's face or a young girl?

They said to remove it would kill him

So poor Edward was doomed



The face could laugh and cry

It was his devil twin

And at night she spoke to him

Things heard only in hell

But they were impossible to separate

Chained together for life



Finally the bell tolled his doom

He took a suite of rooms

And hung himself and her from the balcony irons

Some still believe he was freed from her

But I knew her too well

I say she drove him to suicide

And took poor Edward to hell



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Alternate unofficial version on: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999.

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

Waits performing "Poor Edward"

at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December, 1992.

Taken from The Late Show "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice"

BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. Aired March 4, 1993



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Poor Edward" as performed in the theatre play (excerpt)

Alice rehearsals at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 14, 1992

Taken from "Visions D'Alice" (1993), French/ German TV documentary by Thierry Thomas for La SEPT/ ARTE



Notes:



(1) Chained Together For Life: Sung by the White Knight in knee 14.





Alice preview: "Poor Edward". Thalia Theatre, Hamburg. December, 1992.

Source: TV screenshot from "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice", The Late Show. BBC TV documentary. March 4, 1993



(2) Poor Edward

Tom Waits (2002): "That song is about Edward Mordake, one of those early last century characters. It's a true story about a man who had a woman's face on the back of his head. It's kind of a sad story, it eventually drove him to madness and suicide, so it has an operatic feeling to it. I tried to get into the mind of that man, but at the same time it's a metaphor for any kind obsession or compulsion that might be impossible to control." (Source: "Make Mine A Double", Black + White magazine (USA). Issue 61. June/ July 2002. By Clare Barker).

Tom Waits (1992): "We were trying to make the song text a different, some different things one would normally associate with "Alice In Wonderland". So, oh we did some things. We had a song called "Poor Edward" which is a true story actually. I took the same melody of "Alice" and. There's a true story about it [takes out a book]... a circus freak that was uh born with a woman's face on the back of his head [tries to find the article in the book]. Uh, sorry girls.. ooh. oooh! Anyway I'll just tell it. Uhm, poor Edward. He came from a very wealthy family and he was, you know, heir to a big fortune and, but he had this curse and he said that the face on the back of his head was his devil twin, and it spoke to him at night. And ultimately he couldn't take it anymore and he went and checked into a hotel and hung himself. So... I used that as an idea for a song for the play because I feel in any kind of obsession you feel like you are attached to somebody. And that to separate you, would kill you both. And so uh, that's what the song is about." (Source: "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice", The Late Show. BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. March 4, 1993)















Waits going through "Freaks: We Who Are Not Like Others".

Source: "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice", The Late Show. BBC TV. March 4, 1993



Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others. RE/ Search, 1990




The book Waits is holding is "Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others" by Daniel P. Mannix. This long out of print classic book based on Mannix's personal acquaintance with sideshow stars, holds many names/ stories Waits used in the Black Rider/ Alice. Originally published by Pocket Books in 1976, re-released by RE/Search Books in 1990.



Edward MordrakeAn even more grotesque and tragic case was Edward Mordake, a remarkably handsome young man who was gifted as a musician and a scholar. In addition, he was heir to a peerage. One would think that Edward have everything going for him and so he did--with one exception. On the back of his head he had the head of another face. It was said to be that of a girl. The head was functional, though it could not eat or speak. The eyes moved and followed the motions of anyone in the room. The head could also laugh and cry. Edward became obsessed with his "devil twin," as he called it. He demanded that it be removed even if the operation killed him, but no doctor would undertake the delicate surgery involved. At last, Edward shut himself up in a suite of rooms, refusing to see anyone. He claimed that at night the face would whisper awful things to him in his sleep, "such things as they only speak of in hell." Unable to stand the strain, he killed himself at age twenty-three." (Source: Chapter Five "Look Ma, Three Hands" from "Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others", Searchmedia by Daniel P. Mannix.)



Edward Mordrake often misspelled as Mordake): "One of the weirdest as well as most melancholy stories of human deformity is that of Edward Mordake, said to have been heir to one of the noblest peerages in England. He never claimed the title, however, and committed suicide in his twenty-third year. He lived in complete seclusion refusing the visits even of the members of his own family. He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar, and a musician of rare ability. His figure was remarkable for its grace, and his face--that is to say, his natural face--was that of an Antinous. But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a beautiful girl, 'lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil.' The female face was a mere mask, 'occupying only a small portion of the posterior part of the skull, yet exhibiting every sign of intelligence, of a malignant sort, however.' It would be seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips would 'gibber without ceasing.' No voice was audible, but Mordake avers that he was kept from his rest at night by the hateful whispers of his 'devil twin,' as he called it, 'which never sleeps, but talks to me forever of such things as they only speak of in hell. No imagination can conceive the dreadful temptations it sets before me. For some unforgiven wickedness of my forefathers I am knit to this fiend--for a fiend it surely is. I beg and beseech you to crush it out of human semblance, even if I die for it.' Such were the words of the hapless Mordake to Manvers and Treadwell, his physicians. In spite of careful watching he managed to procure poison, whereof he died, leaving a letter requesting that the 'demon face' might be destroyed before his burial, 'lest it continues its dreadful whisperings in my grave.' At his own request he was interred in a waste place, without stone or legend to mark his grave." (Source: Gould, George M. & Walter L. Pyle, Anomolies and Curiosities of Medicine, New York: 1896, p.188. as published on the Mammoth Page).



Edward Mordrake"The only case of its kind was that of Edward Mordrake scion of a British aristocratic family who had another face on the back of his head! It had eyes, lips nose and ears. It could see (that is it could see through its eyes!). It could cry and laugh, but it could neither eat nor speak. Generally, it just leered and drooled. Little by little, the likeable, intelligent young man who was cursed with this face behind his back - this devil twin - lost his mind and died a raving lunatic." (Source: "Strange People" by MOZ/LSD. Grapevine magazine #8, 1992).



Tabletop Joe

 



(Alice demo version, 1992)(1)



Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Everyone knows Tabletop Joe



Well, his mama didn't want him on the day he was born

Born without a body, he got nothing but scorn(4)

But he always loved music, all he had was his hands

And he dreamed he'd be famous, and he'd work at The Sands



Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Everyone knows Tabletop Joe



He had trouble with the pedals, but he had a strong left hand

And he could play Stravinsky on a baby grand



Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Everyone knows Tabletop Joe



He said, 'I'm gonna join the circus cause that's where I belong'

And he went to Coney Island,(3) singing this song

And they gave him top billing in the Dreamland show(3)

He had his own orchestra, starring Tabletop Joe

And the man without a body proved everyone wrong

He was rich and he was famous, and he was where he belonged



Singing Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe)

Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe)

Now everyone knows (Everyone knows)

Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe)

Now everyone knows (Everyone knows)

Tabletop Joe (Singing Tabletop Joe)

Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe)

Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe)

Tabletop Joe (Tabletop Joe) (2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Tabletop Joe



(Alice studio version, 2002)(1)



I knew one day...

One. One, two. One, two, three...



Well, my mama didn't want me

on the day I was born

I was born without a body(4)

I got nothing but scorn

But I always loved music

all I had was my hands

I dreamed I'd be famous

and I'd work at The Sands



Singing: Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Now everyone will know

That I'm Tabletop Joe



I had trouble with the pedals

but I had a strong left hand

I could play Stravinsky

on a baby grand

I said, 'I'm gonna join the circus

cause that's where I belong'

So I went to Coney Island(3)

I was singing this song



Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Now everyone knows

Yeah I'm Tabletop Joe



They gave me top billing

in the Dreamland show(3)

I had my own orchestra

starring Tabletop Joe

And the man without a body

proved everyone wrong

I was rich and I was famous

I was where I belonged



Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe

Now everyone knows

Tabletop Joe



Sing it old boy!(2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

Neptune Quartet. Neptune Quartet. 2003.: Self-released (with guest vocalist Wes Ivankovich)



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Tabletop Joe" as performed in the theatre play

Alice rehearsals at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 17, 1992

Taken from "Visions D'Alice" (1993), French/ German TV documentary by Thierry Thomas for La SEPT/ ARTE



Notes:



(1) Table Top Joe: Sung by the Caterpillar in scene 2.

Stage directions from the play: (scene 2: Advice From A Caterpillar): Alice sees an open door in the mushroom; she wants to go through it, but it closes. A voice calls to her, and she discovers a caterpillar seated upon the mushroom, smoking a pipe.CATERPILLAR: Say, boy! Where do you come from? ALICE: But I'm a girl... at least I thought I was - CATERPILLAR: Thinking has nothing to do with it. Either you are or you aren't. ALICE: I'm little. That's all I know. I want to grow. CATERPILLAR: Up, you mean? ALICE: What other way is there? CATERPILLAR: Oh, lots. You could grow down, like roots, You could grow long, like me. You could grow out, like a big fat pig. Grow in, like a toenail. Grow out of your clothes, grow into your shoes... You could grow boring, even. ALICE: But being so little is boring! Very boring! CATERPILLAR: On the contrary! Little is great! Listen! (Sings:)



(2) Stage directions from the play: "The Caterpillar grows larger and larger and larger. Alice knocks frantically at the door in the mushroom, as the Caterpillar's body engulfs the stage."



(3) Coney Island/ Dreamland:

Coney Island: American amusement park/ vacation destination in Brooklyn/ New York. Further reading: Coney Island 1Coney Island 2; Coney Island 3; Coney Island 4;Coney Island 5. Also mentioned in: Take it with me, 1999: "Old long since gone, now way back when we lived in Coney Island.", Table Top Joe, 1992/ 2002: "So I went to Coney Island, I was singing this song."

Tom Waits (2002): "I think it's impossible to avoid a romantic experience in Coney Island... I went to a shooting gallery there in February - it was the only place open in the whole park. It was one of those shooting galleries where the rifle shoots a beam of light instead of an actual bullet, and all the creatures in the gallery have these light-sensitive bullseye patches on their chests, so if you hit them their head comes off, a bell goes off or you hear a loud song. And I had a camera - I was taking a photo of my buddies - and I hit the flash on my camera and every animal in the cavalry went mad. And this Puerto Rican guy ran out shaking his fist at me and chasing me away, saying I was going to ruin his business. It's an extraordinary place." (Source: "Lying in Waits". The Age (Australia) by Patrick Donovan. May 10, 2002)

Dreamland: One of the Coney Island parks that operated from 1904-1911. It was destroyed by a fire. Further reading: Dreamland by Adam SandyDreamland pictures; Also mentioned in: Coney Island Baby ("Every night she comes To take me out to dreamland"), Flower's Grave ("Someday the silver moon and I Will go to Dreamland I will close my eyes And wake up there in Dreamland"), Everything You Can Think Of Is True ("We're fighting our way up Dreamland's spine With red flamingos and expensive wine").



(4) Born without a body: This is inspired by Johnny Eck (also mentioned in Lucky Day Overture, 1993: "You'll See: Johnny Eck, the man born without a body. He walks on his hands, he has his own orchestra and is an excellent pianist".)

- Johnny Eck was born John Echkardt (twenty minutes after his twin brother Robert) August 27, 1911, Baltimore, Maryland. The boys entered the sideshow circuit at the age of 12, where John was billed as "Johnny Eck, The Half-boy." Johnny went on to play a role in Tod Browning's "Freaks" before returning with his brother to Baltimore, where he became a screen painter. The only time Johnny and Rob were ever apart from each other was the time Johnny spent in Hollywood filming "Freaks". He climbed the stairs to the top of the Washington Monument, on his hands in 1938. In the late 1930's he was displayed in several Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditoriums, where he was billed as "The Most Remarkable Man Alive!". Height 1' 6". Johnny died January 5, 1991, at the age of 79, in the house where he was born. Personal quote: "I met hundreds and thousands of people, and none finer than the midgets and the Siamese twins and the caterpillar man and the bearded woman and the human seal with the little flippers for hands. I never asked them any embarrassing questions and they never asked me, and God, it was a great adventure."

- Tom Waits (1999): "... The Ringling Brothers at one point were exhibiting Einstein's eyes, Napoleon's penis and Galileo's finger bones, all on the same bill. Different tents. 'Course I missed that. You ever hear of Johnny Eck? He was a Ringling act. The Man Born Without a Body. Johnny Eck had his own orchestra and was an excellent pianist and he'd stand on his hands and wear a tuxedo." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry " L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29 1999)

Tom Waits (2002): "The Eck brothers they were twins. One was eh normal size anatomy and the other, Johnny, was eh. his body stopped at his waist. He was called "The Man Born Without A Body". But he played the piano and eh you know he had his own orchestra. He was a big hit in Coney island. Anyway, they had an act together on stage were he would. he would saw his brother in half. And eh, of course at the end of the procedure Johnny would come out of the box and walk of stage on his hands you know? To the thrill and astonishment of the viewers. Anyway it's just like eh kind of a tip of the hat. So I nicknamed him Table Top Joe cause he used to be on a, you know, on kind of a pedestal cause he had no legs. Kind of a tribute to Johnny Eck, or anybody really who is in show business or has the dream to go into show business, always discover something about them that makes them unique. You have a big nose or no hair or a funny way of talking or standing. (Source: "Interview with Tom Waits" Triple J's 2002 (Australia) radio show hosted by Richard Kingsmill. Copyright: C 2002 ABC online. Date: Telephone interview. Aired: May 12, 2002)

Tom Waits (2002): "Table Top Joe is a nickname that I gave a real life character. His name is Johnny Eck. He had a twin brother who was of normal height and size, they used to have a magic act on stage. His brother would saw Johnny in half. Johnny walked on his hands, he was about two feet tall, but he was an excellent pianist and he had his own orchestra. He was a sideshow attraction." (Source: "Make Mine A Double", Black + White magazine (USA). Issue 61. June/ July 2002. By Clare Barker)





Lost In The Harbour (Aka But There's Never A Rose)

But There's Never A Rose



(Alice demo version, 1992. Also known as: Lost In The Harbour)(1)



Over here the ladies all want sweet perfume

But there's never a rose

And over there the roses are frightened to bloom

So they never can grow



And over here they need wool

For weaving their baby's new clothes

But nobody has any wool

And the sheep are all lost in the harbour

Lost in the harbour



And over here they want diamonds to wear

But there aren't any here

And over there everyone's hiding their tears

But they're crying inside



And the wall won't come down

Till they're no longer afraid of themselves

And if you don't believe me, ask the elves

And then I can come down to the harbour

Down to the harbour



And then I will fill the ocean back up with my tears

I still have a couple more years

And then I can come back to the harbour

Down to the harbour(2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Lost In The Harbour



(Alice studio version, 2002)(1)



Over here the ladies all want sweet perfume

But there's never a rose

And over there roses are frightened to bloom

So they never can grow



And over here they need wool

For weaving their baby's new clothes

But nobody has any wool

And the sheep are all lost in the harbour

Lost in the harbour...



And over here they want diamonds to wear

But there aren't any here

And over there everyone's hiding their tears

But they're crying inside



And the wall won't come down

Till they're no longer afraid of themselves

And if you don't believe me, ask yourselves

And then I can come down to the harbour

Down to the harbour



And then I will fill the ocean back up with my tears

I still have a couple more years

And then I can come back to the harbour

Down to the harbour(2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Lost In The Harbour" as performed in the theatre play (excerpt)

Alice rehearsals at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 14, 1992

Taken from "Visions D'Alice" (1993), French/ German TV documentary by Thierry Thomas for La SEPT/ ARTE



Notes:



(1) Lost In The Harbour: Sung by Humpty Dumpty in scene 10.

Stage directions from the play (Scene 10, Humpty Dumpty): " (A large egg-like creature, Humpty Dumpty, sits on top of a wall. Alice approaches.) ALICE: If you please, Sir - what's on the other side of the wall? HUMPTY DUMPTY: Who wants to know? A: I do. HD: And who are you? A: I'm a little girl named... named... I'm afraid I don't know my name any more. But I thought perhaps there might be a door in the wall - HD: A door!! You cannot have a door in a wall. You'd lose the wallness of it. If you could get through to the other side of a wall, what's the point of having it? A: What is on the other side, then? HD: Nothing, when you can't see what's there - or everything, since you can imagine whatever you please. On the other side of a wall, everything is possible, but nothing really exists. A: But you can see the other side, can't you? HD: Of course I can, child. Someone always has to see both sides. I am the all-inclusive dialectic between here and there. If you want to know what's on the other side, you have to ask me. A: Wouldn't it be simpler just to tear down the wall? HD: Don't even think that, child! Tear down the wall, what would become of me? A: An omelet, perhaps. HD: What a nasty thing to say! A: But I didn't mean - HD: Precisely. You don't mean. You're like everybody else, you say, but you don't mean. Now I, on the other hand, mean - even when I don't say. Take this for instance. (sings)"

Tom Waits: "That's the Humpty Dumpty situation, looking over one side of the wall and the other -- 'over here,' 'over there,' " Waits says. "It's East Berlin-West Berlin, Palestine and Israel, Northern Ireland. That [enemies] are really kind of neighbours as well." The harbour is the meeting point. "It's about conflict resolution." (Source: "A double shot of Waits" Globe and Mail (Canada) May 7, 2002 by Carl Wilson. Copyright C 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc.)



(2) Stage directions from the play (Scene 10, Humpty Dumpty): "(talks) "There! And that's only a beginning. Always rely on the letter M. A: Why M? HD: Why not? A: Oh, you are the person I've been looking for! I'm trying to find out what "Jabberwocky" means. HD: Jabberwocky again! They all want to know what Jabberwocky means. It's a wall of words, child, a wall of words. My advice to you is, see if it has any meaning without the words. A: But how can I do that? HD: By holding still, child. Stand stock-still, and watch."



We're All Mad Here (Aka Hang Me In The Bottle)

Hang Me In The Bottle



(Alice demo version, 1992. Also known as: We're All Mad Here)(1)



Well, you can hang me in a bottle like a cat(2)

Let the crows pick me clean but for my hat

Where the wailing of a baby meets the footsteps of the dead

We're all mad here(3)



And the devil sticks his flag into the mud

Mrs. Carol has run off with Reverend Judd

Hell is such a lonely place

And your big expensive face will never last



Have I told you all about the eyeball kid?(4)

He was born alone inside a Petri dish

He was born without a body or a brow



And you'll die with the rose still on your lips

And in time the heart-shaped bone that was your hips

And all the worms, they will climb the rugged ladder of your spine

We're all mad here



And my eyeballs roll this terrible terrain

And we're all inside a decomposing train

And your eyes will die like fish

And the shore of your face will turn to bone



Hang me in a bottle like a cat

Let the crows pick me clean but for my hat

Where the wailing of a baby meets the footsteps of the dead

We're all mad here(5)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



We're All Mad Here



(Alice studio version, 2002)(1)



You can hang me in a bottle like a cat(2)

Let the crows pick me clean but for my hat

Where the wailing of a baby

meets the footsteps of the dead

We're all mad here(3)



As the devil sticks his flag into the mud

Mrs. Carol has run off with Reverend Judd

Hell is such a lonely place

And your big expensive face

will never last



And you'll die with the rose still on your lips

And in time the heart-shaped bone that was your hips

And the worms, they will climb

the rugged ladder of your spine

We're all mad here



And my eyeballs roll this terrible terrain

And we're all inside a decomposing train

And your eyes will die like fish

And the shore of your face

will turn to bone(5)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



Notes:



(1) Hang Me In The Bottle: Sung by March Hare, Mad Hatter and Dormouse in scene 5. Stage directions from the play: (Alice sees a long table laid with many places set out under a tree; behind it the White Rabbit lurks. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse are having tea. Alice tries to sit down.) MARCH HARE: No room! No room! MAD HATTER: No room! No room! Go back where you came from! ALICE: But there's plenty of room. MARCH HARE: No, there isn't. It just looks like it. MAD HATTER: There's only enough for us. MARCH HARE: Oh, let her sit down. What does it matter, hatter? MAD HATTER: Let her sit down. What do I care, hare? DORMOUSE: What's the meat of the matter? The heat of the hatter? The hate of the hatter? The hire of the hare? The lure of the pair? The cure for the care? MARCH HARE: Oh, shut up! (They change places continually. Alice tries to get a cup of tea.) Are you going to the Queen's croquet party? ALICE: I haven't been invited. MAD HATTER: Just show up. She'll never know the difference. ALICE: That didn't get me very far here. DORMOUSE: You mean hare. MAD HATTER: Douse it, mouse! DORMOUSE: Natter natter natter Natter natter natter natter, This isn't making sense And if it were it wouldn't matter. (They sing).



(2) You can hang me in a bottle like a cat: From William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" (Act 1, Scene 1). "Benedick: If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder and called Adam." In olden times a cat was for sport enclosed in a bag or leather bottle, and hung to the branch of a tree, as a mark for bowmen to shoot at. Steevens tells us of another sport: "A cat was placed in a soot bag, and hung on a line; the players had to beat out the bottom of the bag without getting besmudged, and he who succeeded in so doing was allowed to hunt the cat afterwards. (Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable E. Cobham Brewer from the new and enlarged edition of 1894. Thanks to John McClegg, 2005 for pointing out this reference)



(3) We're All Mad Here: This is quoted from the original Lewis Carroll book "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" chapter 6: "Pig And Pepper". "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." (Source: "Lewis Carroll The Annotated Alice", Martin Gardner. Penguin Books, 1960)



(4) Eyeball Kid: Note Waits has removed this part from the 2002 version. Also featured in: Such A Scream, 1992 and as the 1999 track from Mule Variations. Further reading: Eyeball Kid full story



(5) Stage directions from the play: (An exhausted pause.) MARCH HARE: We need a tale to while away the time. MAD HATTER: A tale! A whale of a way to tell the time! MARCH HARE: Can't tell him anything - he won't listen, you know. ALICE: Who? MARCH HARE: Time. MAD HATTER: But time will tell. Time tells the longest tale. Always. Time's tale is longer than yours. He never ends. MARCH HARE: But whether or not the tale gets told - that's another matter, hatter. DORMOUSE: Time out! Time out! Time out! ALICE: You mean we're out of time? MARCH HARE: No, time is out. ALICE: Of what? MAD HATTER: Of joint - oh cursed spite! I swear we'll never get this right... ALICE: I haven't got all night, you know - (They continue changing places.) I wish I were out! MAD HATTER: Of what? ALICE: Of here! DORMOUSE: You mean hare. MAD HATTER: Shut the door, mouse! ALICE: How do I find the queen? MAD HATTER: Go through the forest. ALICE: How do I find the forest? MAD HATTER: Go through the tree. ALICE: How do I go through the tree? MAD HATTER: Through the door! (There is indeed a door in the tree. Alice opens it, steps through and disappears)



Watch Her Disappear

 



Last night I dreamed that I was dreaming of you...

And from a window across the lawn I watched you undress

Wearing a sunset of purple, tightly woven around your hair

that rose in strangled ebony curls

moving in a yellow bedroom light.

The air is wet with sound.

The faraway yelping of a wounded dog.

And the ground is drinking a slow faucet leak.

Your house is so soft and fading

as it soaks the black summer heat.

A light goes on and the door opens.

And a yellow cat runs out on the stream of hall light

and into the yard.



A wooden cherry scent is faintly breathing the air.

I hear your champagne laugh.

You wear two lavender orchids.

One in your hair and one on your hip.

A string of yellow carnival lights

comes on with the dusk,

circling the lake with a slowly dipping halo

and I hear a banjo tango.



And you dance into the shadow of a black poplar tree

And I watched you as you disappeared.

I watched you as you disappeared.

I watched you as you disappeared.

I watched you as you disappeared.(2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Watch Her Disappear" as performed in the theatre play

Alice rehearsals at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 17, 1992

Taken from "Visions D'Alice" (1993), French/ German TV documentary by Thierry Thomas for La SEPT/ ARTE



Notes:



(1) Watch Her Disappear: Sung by Charles Dodgson in Knee 4, "Letters 1". Directions from the play: Charles Dodgson writes letters to Alice. He looks at her photograph. The Cheshire Cat comes out of the kitchen, Dodgson crumples up his letters and throws them at the Cheshire Cat. CHARLES DODGSON writes: Dear Alice, last night I dreamed that I was dreaming of you...



(2) Directions from the play: "Dodgson leaves. The Cat plays with the crumpled letters."




 




Reeperbahn

Down The Reeperbahn



(Alice demo version, 1992)(1)



Around the curve of The Parrot Bar

A broken-down old movie star

Hustling and Easterner

Bringing out the beast in him

A high dive on a swimming pool

Filled with needles and with fools

The memories are short but the tales are long

Down there in the Reeperbahn



They called her Rosie when she was a girl

For her bright red cheeks and strawberry curls

When she would sing the river would run

She said she'd be a comedian

Oh what a pity, oh what a shame

When she said "come calling" nobody came

Now her bright red cheeks are painted on

And she's laughing her head off in the Reeperbahn



Now little Hans was always strange

Wearing women's underthings

His father beat him but he wouldn't change

He ran off with a man one day

Now his lingerie is all the rage

In the black on every page

His father proudly calls his name

Down there in the Reeperbahn



Now if you've lost your inheritance

And all you're left is common sense

And you're not too picky 'bout the crowd you keep

Or the mattress where you sleep

Behind every window, behind every door

The apple's gone but there's always the core

The seeds will sprout up right through the floor

Down there in the Reeperbahn

Down there in the Reeperbahn



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Reeperbahn



(Alice studio version, 2002)



Around the curve of The Parrot Bar

A broken-down old movie star

Hustling and Easterner

Bringing out the beast in her

A high dive on a swimming pool

Filled with needles and with fools

The memories are short but the tales are long

When you're in the Reeperbahn(2)



Oh, they called her Rosie when she was a girl

For her bright red cheeks and strawberry curls

When she would laugh the river would run

She said she'd be a comedian

Oh what a pity, oh what a shame

When she said "come calling" nobody came

Now her bright red cheeks are painted on

And she's laughing her head off in the Reeperbahn



Now little Hans was always strange

Wearing women's underthings

His father beat him but he wouldn't change

He ran off with a man one day

Now his lingerie is all the rage

In the black on every page

His father proudly calls his name

Down there in the Reeperbahn



Now if you've lost your inheritance

And all you've left is common sense

And you're not too picky 'bout the crowd you keep

Or the mattress where you sleep

Behind every window, behind every door

The apple's gone but there's always the core

And the seeds will sprout up right through the floor

Down there in the Reeperbahn.



Down there in the Reeperbahn.



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP),) 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



Notes:



(1) Alice demo version: Extra song added to scene 7.



(2) Reeperbahn: Germany's famous red-light zone, located at the St. Pauli district in Hamburg. Notorious for its sex related entertainment. At a stone's throw (5-minute walk) you'll find Harry's Harbour Bazar (Balduinstrasse 18). Further reading: Hamburg city Reeperbahn (in German)Reeperbahn (in German).





I'm Still Here

 



You haven't looked at me that way in years

You dreamed me up and left me here

How long was I dreaming for

What was it you wanted me for



You haven't looked at me that way in years

Your watch has stopped and the pond is clear

Someone turn the lights back off

I'll love you til all time is gone(2)



You haven't looked at me that way in years

But I'm still here.



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

Whatever Makes You Happy (limited edition extra disc). Jeff Lang. 2004. ABC Music

Bangin' On The Table With An Old Tin Cup. Pascal Fricke. April 12, 2007. Self-released (Germany) 

Broken Shadows. Chad Eby. February 9, 2010. Cellar Live Records



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

Waits performing "I'm Still Here"

at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December, 1992.

Taken from The Late Show "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice"

BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. Aired March 4, 1993



Notes:



(1) I'm Still Here:

- Sung by Alice at the end of the play (alternate version): Scene 14 "The Trial II". Directions from the play: ALICE Thank you. LEWIS CARROLL What for? ALICE Now that the story is over, I think perhaps I can grow again. LEWIS CARROLL Oh, but of course, the story isn't over yet. ALICE It isn't?!? LEWIS CARROLL No, first you must solve the riddle. You must tell me what Jabberwocky means. Alice whispers in his ear. He smiles She whispers again. He continues to smile She whispers again. His face falls. He leaves. She smiles and starts to leave. We suddenly see her as an old woman. ALICE I went to a circus when I was a little girl and I saw two old ladies who were joined at the hip and I asked them how they got along, and the dark haired one told me they hadn't spoken a word to each other in thirty years "but we still get together over the holidays". And Dodgson told me once when I was a very young girl on one of three long summer afternoons that he had vanished into a dream and was still inside of it and that I was in it too, for I live inside his dream. He had fallen on the ice that time and broke his watch and he said he would never get it fixed and that neither of us are real and anything can happen and we will only wake up when we die. And he gave me a song in that dream and I haven't sung this in years and now I get up everyday and put on the face I face the world with... Sings:"You haven't looked at me that way in years You dreamed me up and left me here How long was I dreaming for What was it you wanted me for You haven't looked at me that way in years Your watch has stopped and the pond is clear Someone turn the lights back off I'll love you till the wheels come off I remember you with leaves in your hair But I'm still here..."

Tom Waits (2002): "The story is eh... I guess it was Oxford University had a celebration. And they wanted Alice, the Alice of "Alice in Wonderland", they wanted her to come and speak in front of the class. Cause by then she was in her eighties. So she came all the way from, wherever she came from, and it was a long journey, and she got up on stage and she walked up to the microphone. You know eh, and banged on the microphone and said a few words to the class. And this was kind of a hypothetical song that we created to cover a situation like that. That you might imagine one would be singing or thinking about. It's just kind of an odd situation to imagine a story with a little girl who is like 9 years old, and then to see her as a grown woman walking out. "(Source: "Anti Electronic Press Kit":Anti Records promo interview as distributed through the Anti website June 13, 2002)

- Alice Liddell-Hargreaves was invited in 1932 to visit the US to receive an honorary degree from Columbia University in New York. The visit aroused intense press interest, which continued after her return to England. This event was the central theme for the excellent movie "Dreamchild" released in 1985.





(2) I'll love you til all time is gone:

- Alternative line (Alice theatre play) is: "I'll love you till the wheels come off I remember you with leaves in your hair But I'm still here." Later also mentioned in Picture In A Frame from Mule Variations (1999).

Tom Waits (1999): "I'm gonna love you 'till the wheels come off. That's prison slang. Means until the end of the world." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July, 1999)



Fish And Bird

 



They bought a round for the sailor

And they heard his tale

Of a world that was so far away

And a song that we'd never heard

A song of a little bird

That fell in love

with a whale



He said: You cannot live in the ocean

And she said to him:You never can live in the sky

But the ocean is filled with tears

And the sea turns into a mirror

And there's a whale in the moon when it's clear

And a bird on the tide



Please don't cry

Let me dry

Your eyes



So tell me that you will wait for me

Hold me in your arms

I promise we never will part

I'll never sail back to the time

But I'll always pretend you're mine

Though I know that we both must part

You can live in my heart



Please don't cry

Let me dry

Your eyes



And tell me that you will wait for me

Hold me in your arms

I promise we never will part

I'll never sail back to the time

But I'll always pretend that you're mine

I know that we both must part

You can live in my heart(2)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

Make No Bones. John Kirkpatrick. April 7, 2007. Fledg'ling Records



<object height="344" width="425"></object> 

"Fish And Bird" as performed in the theatre play

Premiere at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December 19, 1992

Taken from The Late Show "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice" (1993)

BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. Aired March 4, 1993



Notes:



(1) Fish And Bird: Untitled track 14 from the Alice demos. Sung by The White Knight in scene 7 The Trial. Directions from the play: "WHITE KNIGHT: Here come I a perfect gentle knight. To open doors and fill the house with light; I come with hope, to put an end to night. Sings:..."

- Song might be inspired by the returning theme of fishes and poetry in Lewis Carroll's original "Through The Looking-Glass". Chapter 9 (Queen Alice): "... and it's a very curious thing, I think - every poem was about fishes in some way. Do you know why they're so fond of fishes, all about here?" Chapter 12 (Which Dreamed It?): "... By the way, Kitty, if only you'd been really with me in my dream, there was one thing you would have enjoyed - I had such a quantity of poetry said to me, all about fishes!" ("Lewis Carroll The Annotated Alice", Martin Gardner. Penguin Books, 1960).

- Theme would be,: the impossible love between the White Knight and Alice (ic. Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell).



(2) Directions from the play: He takes Alice by the hand, and leads her into the frame. Everyone sings a chorus. The frame ascends. Blackout.



Barcarolle

 



A cloud lets go of the moon

Her ribbons are all out of tune

She is skating on the ice in a glass

in the hands of a man

That she kissed on a train

And the children are all gone into town

to get candy and we are alone in the house here

And your eyes fall down on me



And I belong only to you

The water is filling my shoes

In the wine of my heart there's a stone

In a well made of bone

That you bring to the pond

And I'm here in your pocket

curled up in a dollar

And the chain from your watch

around my neck

And I'll stay right here until it's time...



The girls all knit in the shade

before the baby is made

And the branches bend down to the ground

here to swing on

I'm lost in the blond summer grass

And the train whistle blows

And the carnival goes

Till there's only the tickets and crows

And the grass will all grow back



And the branches spell "Alice"(2)

And I belong only to you(3)



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), C 1992

Official release: Alice, Epitaph/ Anti Inc., 2002

Arrangements and lyrics published in "Alice - Tom Waits" (Amsco Publications, 2002)

Alternate early demo version known as: Untitled track 13, from the "Alice demos"

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



Notes:



(1) Barcarolle: Sung by White Sheep and Alice from Knee 10 "Barcarolle". Directions from the play: "Alice and the White Sheep sail away singing as they go. WHITE SHEEP AND ALICE sing:..."



(2) And the branches spell Alice. Notice analogy with: "And the skates on the pond, they spell: Alice" (Alice, 1992/ 2002)



(3) Directions from the play: "As they sail, a wall appears, with a large egg sitting upon it. Alice leaps from the boat, and it sails off with the White Sheep".



Alice (The Original Demos), 1999



One, Two And Through

One, Two And Through



(Alice demo version, 1992. Scene 8 - Jabberwocky)(1)



'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimbel in the wabe.

All mimsy(2) were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.



"Beware of the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware of the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"



He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought.

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood awhile in thought.



And as in uffish though he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!



One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.



"And has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

Oh frabjous day! Calooh! Callay!"

He chortled in his joy.



'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimbel in the wabe.

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe (3)



Written by: Lewis Caroll

(this is the Jabberwocky poem as featured in chapter 1 "Looking-Glass House" from the original Through The Looking-Glass, 1897)

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story



Known covers:

None



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Listen to audio excerpt of One, Two And Through.

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg/ Germany, 1992.



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Waits performing "One, Two And Through" (excerpt)

at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. December, 1992.

Taken from The Late Show "Tom Waits & Robert Wilson's Alice" (1993)

BBC TV documentary presented by Beatrix Campbell. Aired March 4, 1993



Notes:



(1) One, Two And Through: Sung by Chorus Of Vicars in scene 8.

Stage directions from the play: "Eight Victorian Vicars dance on stage, singing. Alice and the White Knight watch."

- Humpty Dumpty: first verse from 'Through the Looking Glass''You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,' said Alice. 'Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the poem called "Jabberwocky"?' 'Let's hear it,' said Humpty Dumpty. 'I can explain all the poems that ever were invented - and a good many that haven't been invented just yet.' This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first verse: 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.' 'That's enough to begin with,' Humpty Dumpty interrupted: 'there are plenty of hard words there. "Brillig" means four o'clock in the afternoon - the time when you begin *broiling* things for dinner.' 'That'll do very well,' said Alice: 'and "slithy"?' 'Well, "slithy" means "lithe and slimy." "Lithe" is the same as "active." You see it's like a portmanteau - there are two meanings packed up into one word.' 'I see it now,' Alice remarked thoughtfully: 'and what are "toves"?' 'Well, "toves" are something like badgers - they're somehing like lizards - and they're something like corkscrews.' 'They must be very curious-looking creatures.' 'They are that,' said Humpty Dumpty: 'also they make their nests under sundials - also they live on cheese.' 'And what's to "gyre" and to "gimble"?' 'To "gyre" is to go round and round like a gyroscope. To "gimble" is to make holes like a gimlet.' 'And "the wabe,' is the grass-plot round a sundial, I suppose?' said Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity. 'Of course it is. It's called "wabe", you know, because it goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it -' 'And a long way beyond it on each side,' Alice added. 'Exactly so. Well then "mimsy" is "flimsy and miserable" (there's another portmanteau for you). And a "borogove" is a thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out all round - something like a live mop.' 'And then "mome raths"?' said Alice. 'I'm afraid I'm giving you a great deal of trouble.' 'Well, a "rath" is a sort of green pig: but "mome" I'm not certain about. I think it's short "from home" - meaning that they'd lost their way, you know.' 'And what does "outgrabe" mean?' 'Well, "outgribing" is something between bellowing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you'll hear it done, maybe - down in the wood yonder - and when you've once heard it you'll be *quite* content. Who's been repeating all that hard stuff to you?' (Submitted by Ulf Berggren, Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)



(2) Mimsy: "Aficionados of Lewis Carroll will know a (different) meaning, which appears in the poem called Jabberwocky in his Through the Looking-Glass: "All mimsy were the borogoves". Later in the book, Humpty-Dumpty explains its meaning as being a blend (he calls it a portmanteau word) of flimsy and miserable, so meaning "unhappy". Carroll either invented it afresh or borrowed an existing English dialect word and gave it a new meaning." (Source: World Wide Words, copyright C Michael Quinion, 1996-2004)



(3) Stage directions from the play: "The Victorian Vicars dance off. Alice and the White Knight remain."




 




What Became Of Old Father Craft? (Demo Version Only, 1992)

Altar Boy



(Alice demo version. Also known as: What Became Of Old Father Craft?)(1)



Now he's an altar boy, bound up in leather and chains

What became of old Father Craft

I'll never forget the Sunday he left

And gave me something special in the rectory

He's an altar boy

Corrected me in the rectory

And that's why I'm feeling so blue

Cause I'm an altar boy, what about you?



  - "Pater noster, qui es in coelis(2)

  Sanctificetur nomen tuum

  Adveniat regnum tuum..."

  - "'Pater Noster', yeah"

  - "Yeah"



I can order in Latin

Make 'em au gratin, Joe

Cause I'm an old altar boy

That's why I'm so depressed

I never got the rest of the dream

Just the ritual

Now I'm habitual

Majoring in crimes that are unspeakable

I'm an altar boy

That's what happened to me, yeah



He's just an old altar boy

Laying out there in the street

He's an altar boy (anyone he can meet)

Hoping he can meet a woman dressed like a nun

He knows there's got to be some around here

Drinking across from the church

Just a little Father Cribari wine

On a Sunday morning time

Remembering when he was busier

Now he's getting dizzier

Fill it up, Joe

You know the routine, yeah

I'm an altar boy, oh yeah



Out there in the bar, the old altar boy

[untranscribable]

Making the scena with a novena

Why is he winking at this time in his life

He never took a wife, cause he's an old altar boy

Drinking Cribari wine

An altar boy, down here in his prime

What became of him

Well, he's looking up the dress of Sister Marie

He's rather depressed, as you can see

He hasn't been to mass since nineteen forty-three

Cause he's an old altar boy

He figures he got enough religion already in him

Now he's leafing through the dirty magazines

He's an altar boy, what became of him

He's an altar boy, yeah



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Unofficial release: "Alice, The Original Demos", 1999 and "Alice PMS", 1999

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, 1992

Further reading: Alice full story





 



Altar Boy



(Orphans studio version, 2006)



He's an ol' altar boy

Lying out there in the street

He's an ol' alter boy

Bound up in leather and chains

That's why I'm feeling so blue

I'm an old altar boy

What about you?



Now, I can order in Latin

Make 'em au gratin, Joe

I'm an old altar boy

That's why I'm so depressed

I never got the rest of the dream

Just the ritual

Now I'm habitual

Majoring in crimes that are unspeakable

Cause I'm an old altar boy

That's what happened to me.



I'm an old altar boy

He's hoping he can meet a woman dressed like a nun

He knows there's got to be some around here

Drinking across from the church

A little Father Cribari wine

On a Sunday morn' time.



I'm an old altar boy.

Why is he winking at this time in his life?

He never took a wife, cause he's an old altar boy

Oh, yeah...

What about you?



Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan, 1992

Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), � 2006

Official release: Orphans (Bastards), (P) & � 2006 Anti Inc.



Known covers:

None



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Listen to audio excerpt of Altar Boy.

Demo recording. Recorded in Hamburg/ Germany, 1992.



Notes:



(1) Sung by Duchess and Mad Hatter in knee 7. 

- Stage directions from the play: Knee 7 Letters II, "The Cheshire Cat walks slowly across the grass, dropping Dodgson's letters as he goes. Several Chessmen, the Queen's gardeners, enter. They find the letters and pick them up. Other Chessmen set up wickets for a croquet game. Meanwhile, the Duchess and the Mad Hatter, on their way to the croquet party, appear in a stage box. Duchess and Mad Hatter sing:"

Tom Waits (2006): "On Orphans there is a mambo about a convict who breaks out of jail with a fishbone, a gospel train song about Charlie Whitman and John Wilkes Boothe, a delta blues about a disturbing neighbor, a spoken word piece about a woman who was struck by lightening, an 18th century Scottish madrigal about murderous sibling rivalry, an American backwoods a cappella about a hanging. Even a song by Jack Kerouac and a spiritual with my own personal petition to the Lord with prayer... There's even a show tune about an old altar boy and a rockabilly song about a young man who's begging to be lied to." (Source: Anti Records Orphans promo pack. August 2006)



(2) PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum: The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name (Submitted by Alicia Fontana, eGroups discussionlist. September, 2000)

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