"Alice" as written by and Ian Hunter....
Alice pressed against the wall
(Live version is 'She stands pressed...')
So she can see the door
In case the laughing strangers crawl and
Crush the petals on the floor

Alice in her party dress
She thanks you kindly
So serene
She needs you like she needs her tranqs
To tell her that the world is clean
To promise her a definition
Tell her where the rain will fall
Tell her where the sun shines bright
And tell her she can have it all
Today
Today

Pass the crystal spread the Tarot
In illusion comfort lies
The safest way the straight and narrow
No confusion no surprise

Alice in her party dressed to kill
She the thanks you turns away
She needs you like she needs needs her pills
To tell her that the world's okay
To promise her a definition
Tell her where the rain will fall
Tell her where the sun shines bright
And tell her she can have it all
Today
Today

Alice
Don't give it way


Lyrics submitted by o0Sid0o, edited by stephen103

"Alice" as written by Andrew Eldritch

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Alice song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentPeople must treat Alice with kid gloves; otherwise her imaginary world (the serene world that she had constructed in her head) will dissolve and she will not be able to handle it.

    Alice represents all that is weak, naive, or childlike within each of us. She is defined by her need. She needs "tranqs," "pills," "you," and ultimately, she needs her definitions (her view of the world) to remain intact in order for her to go on living, breathing, and hoping that she can one day "have it all."

    I've often wondered if it was an allusion to Alice in Wonderland -- someone who needs to be patted on the head and comforted in her pink party dress so that she can go on believing that the world is "clean."

    Crushed petals represent the disillusionment of adulthood, especially the deflowering of a maiden. The one thing Alice absolutely cannot tolerate is confusion. She needs to be in control, and the "straight and narrow" provides a way for her to maintain the illusion of that she is in control.
    laurie_sunshineon April 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"In illusion comfort lies"!!! It's possible to interprete this sentence in two ways. As well "comfort" as "lies" could be the verb. Very interesting...
    mgmaeson March 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSounds like psychosis, regardless of the fact that I bring up severe mental illnesses whenever I can. =P
    Delusions and hallucinations are what constitute the symptoms of psychosis. In this case, the delusions would be of paranoia, not grandeur.

    "Alice pressed against the wall
    So she can see the door
    In case the laughing strangers crawl and
    Crush the petals on the floor"

    The character, Alice, is watching the entranceway, petrified; she's scared of the /unfamiliar/ things she sees. I've always thought of flowers as symbols of beauty. The crushed petals represent the fallacy that's breaking, the fallacy broken by "the laughing strangers."

    Going with this interpretation, the second stanza is rather self-explanatory.

    "Pass the crystal spread the Tarot
    In illusion comfort lies"

    The crystal, or crystal ball, and the Tarot, represent the need to know her future, or in her eyes, her impending destruction.

    "The safest way the straight and narrow
    No confusion no surprise"

    She's so confused about what's going to happen. How will they get me? What more will come? If she believes in one thing and one thing only, she won't be surprised. So, she's either subconsciously or consciously decided to believe in her death.
    beautifulelegyon April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlice is a wallflower - shy, retiring, fearful - pressed against the wall, laughing strangers threatening to crush her, leaving her petals on the floor.
    SuitBoyon January 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThe song is about the drug addicted Alice who is also a prostitute.
    "...She the thanks you turns away
    She needs you like she needs needs her pills
    To tell her that the world's okay..."

    She needs you - meaning she needs you to get money for the pills.
    Or it could also be that she uses sex and pills to "hide" her true depressed mind.
    webguideon May 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlice is a (in my opinion beautiful) metaphor of 'The Self Illusion', the construct of the human brain to think there is a 'you'. The first part of Alice is how we all are, the second part is mostly for people who believe in a god.

    Alice is afraid of strangers and needs to know the escape route.
    Alice presents herself in the best way she can (physical: party dress / socially: thanking you).
    Alice needs others for happiness (tranqs = dopamine/serotenin you get from acceptance / intimacy like sex etc).
    Alice needs (false) predictions, clarity and safety, basically the feeling of some kind of control, although it doesn't exist (definition/rain)
    Alice needs a goal and dreams for motivation in life (shining sun/have it all).

    Alice believes in predestination she can't control, so she's lifted from the burden of responsibility of choosing her own path (crystal/Tarrot)
    Alice's ignorance is bliss, doubting will mean anxiety (in illusion comfort lies)
    Alice therefor follows the rules, so she's sure of a certain outcome (like heaven for instance -> safest path / no confusion, no surprise).
    2ndRealityon March 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song tell a story of an extremly shy girl named Alice, obviously. But somehow she ends up at a party, I tend to think of it as a high school party. I see her in a room upstairs, by herself. She is aquainted by some other caring person, perhaps a friend of hers. It is very possible that this girl is crazy, more likely than not. I see the other person,"She needs you like she needs her tranqs", as some invisible imaginary friend. She needs a figure to be the end of all her internal conversations. In her past(and present) she is ridiculed and made fun of, the made reference of the "Laughing Stangers". And her friend is her only pertection from the verbal(and maybe unmentioned phsyical) abuse. "In illusion, confort lies". In her dreams(internal conversations) she is safe from the others. She fears the door which she so carfully watches. ]
    But this was only my interperation.
    HearMeWhisperon May 12, 2007   Link

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