"Ice Water" as written by and Cat Power Chan Marshall....
Like I heard her
Backwards saying
I can take one thousand
Showers
And never be clean
Of course she lied away
She is ten times heavier
Stronger, then you found
The grave
Or ever was
He's got it down name
You know what I need
Who doesn't lie?
You know what I mean
If I'm never in
Without you
Like you don't know
I am so, angry
I am so, at ease
I feel just like
Some great big disease
I think you need
Ice water
But the only thing that
You really hate
Is all its emptiness
Ah, you'll swim
And I will drink myself to
Death
If I'm never in
Down with you
Like you don't know


Lyrics submitted by MarsTheStrange, edited by sintheflesh

"Ice Water" as written by Chan Marshall

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Ice Water song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentIt sound to me that "Ah, you'll swim And I will drink myself to Death" is actually:

    "I will swim and I will drink myself to death."--the very much romanticized feminist suicide, drowning. Recall for a moment Virginia Woolf's suicide or the suicide at the end of Kate Chopin's The Awakening.

    I also think that the line "Of course she lied anyway" suggests, not that the speaker is lying about being raped, but that she's drawing attention to the fact that rape victims are so often not taken seriously, thought to be lying.

    I think that "Who doesn't lie?" is a retorical question. Of course we all lie, but who has more motivation to lie after a rape accusation? The rapist is the one most likely to lie, but the victim is so aften questioned, instead.
    leotheson April 13, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation"Like I heard her
    Backwards saying
    I can take one thousand
    Showers
    And never be clean"

    By this, I think Chan is saying that this person who she's speaking with feels dirty, in the metaphorical sense obviously. I don't see this song rape-related actually. I just think it's about somebody's insecurities. Whatever this person did, she feels that there is no possible way to redeem herself.

    "Of course she lied away"

    I think this may be more literal than what everyone else is saying. I think Chan is saying that in result to feeling this way, she killed herself.

    "She is ten times heavier
    Stronger, then you found
    The grave
    Or ever was"

    This girl has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She's barely managing, and eventually she won't be strong enough. She'll have more stuff to deal with than you ever will with your life.

    "He's got it down name
    You know what I need
    Who doesn't lie?
    You know what I mean"

    You all seem to think she's referring to rape. But once again, I see this more literally. Who doesn't contemplate suicide at least once? Who doesn't dream of an eternal sleep?

    "If I'm never in
    Without you
    Like you don't know"

    The girl speaking to Chan about her suicidal thoughts. She needs Chan's support. She needs somebody to be in it with her - to understand. Nobody understands the pain this girl is going through.

    "I am so, angry
    I am so, at ease
    I feel just like
    Some great big disease"

    First off, I just want to say I love the way Chan sings "some great big disease." So much emphasis. :D Secondly, this girl is at comfort with how angry and depressed she is. For those who have suffered from depression, they would know how somebody can just become accustomed and at ease with how upset they are. But it doesn't prevent them from feeling contagious; as if they're making everyone else's lives all the more miserable.

    "I think you need
    Ice water"

    Ice water being medication. My former doctor told me that medicine is in ways like a liquid, you swallow it and it makes you hydrated. Just enough power to bring you through for the next hours.

    "But the only thing that
    You really hate
    Is all its emptiness"

    The girl taking the medication hates it. But Chan tells her, "You don't hate it. You just how it makes you feel shallow on the inside." Anti-depressants are known to numb feelings rather than make you happy.

    "Ah, you'll swim
    And I will drink myself to
    Death"

    I 100% agree with leothes. This girl will commit suicide by drowning herself. However, I don't think she'll drink alcohol in the process. I think that Chan was so upset by her friend's death that she will drink her feelings away. Any proper fan of Cat Power knows that she was an alcoholic.

    "If I'm never in
    Down with you
    Like you don't know"

    If she hadn't promised to help, to support her friend, she would not necessarily kill herself, but punish herself and beat herself over for not doing anything about it. And nobody would know the pain she goes through.

    But that's just how I see it.
    strobelightson October 12, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe meaning could be that she has lots of guilt/lying and she's trying to wash it all off "I can take one thousand Showers
    And never be clean" I don't know just an idea.. I mean the rape meaning is alright too
    siliconyodaon October 20, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe correct lyric is "If I'm ever in doubt of you... like you don't know."
    veisalgiaon February 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmisera, that's the exact impression I got when I first heard this song. Just the line "I can take 1,000 showers and never be clean" says it all to me. I think the rest of the song follows up, too. I think "I am so angry, I am so at ease, I feel like some great big disease" sounds very reminiscent of a rape. The confusion and self-loathing in the lyrics could be quite a few things, but I believe your guess is accurate.
    quietroadon December 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI've always thought that this song was about her alcohol abuse... how she drank alcohol as if it were water, and how she drinks it as if it could solve all of her problems.
    connecton June 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlso I think it's "If I'm ever in DOUBT with you"
    siliconyodaon October 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso pretty. so very pretty.
    oh.pinknesson March 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song.
    cerealiscoolon November 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know what this song is about, but when I listen to it I feel overwhelmingly sad.
    ILYhahajkon November 13, 2005   Link

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