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.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” Lewis Carroll Alice in wonderland
Alice is a song from the album Anamorphosée (1995). Lyrics by Mylène Farmer.
“I have an arachnophobia, but I always remembered the story of a little spider in a cell and who was the only companion of the prisoner, which has nothing to do with the theme of Alice, but I think, I can tame a little spider! When I heard this music, there is this loop, this repetition and I could clearly see the walking of a small insect, the artist [weaving the net]. ” (Mylène Farmer – Radio Contact – 11/15/1995)
No clue what book she is referring to. Please comments below if you know…I know Harry Potter’s Aragog came out later so it could not be it.
Mylene developed the character of spider a few times in her art. Specifically in her book “Lisa-Loup et le conteur“ which she wrote and published in 2003 and which was accompanied by Mylene’s drawings.
But even a bit more memorable spider creation was done in 2002 for a clip C’est une belle journée. Mylene introduced us her charming spider companion. Perhaps, she brought her some luck in her love bringing to her Benoît Di Sabatino while making the clip.
“I thought of the face, the black face of the artist, what the artist can feel, the artist’s self-destruction; so this desire to tell this spider to fade away, to leave. Now, did everyone understand that? And, basically, it’s not very, very serious. I wanted to evoke a spider. ” (Mylène Farmer – Musique Plus – 05/10/1996)
But even earlier, the spider was already present in Mylène’s universe. There was the song LA VEUVE NOIRE in 1989
Since Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality, I am setting it free today (lets see where it takes us).
I am choosing to believe the famous Alice from Lewis Carroll books has something to do with the name. Why do I make such a conclusion? For no good reasons whatsoever. Just because I can😊 I hear you thinking: “You’re entirely bonkers.” “But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
For fun, I will throw the quotes from Alice in Wonderland through the this chapter. Can you spot them? How many did you find? Comment bellow! Let’s have some fun! 😊 shall we?
“I’m not crazy. My reality is just different than yours.”
I personally find all the wisdom in the worlds and quite frankly beyond in the book. So if I had a spider, I might have call her Alice too.
So lets look into other possibilities for the choice of the name for the spider. Maybe, just maybe Mylene had a mean bully in school, skinny girl with greasy black hair and small face called Alice…or perhaps the nun- that awful nun who slapped her in the face for spilling the orange juice – sister Alice!…hmmm..so far so good. How do you like my deduction today? Or here is another one for you…after the Alice Cooper? 😊 its kinda dark and kinda fits.
The truth is, I don’t know why she chose the name Alice for her spider in the attempt to conquer her phobias… I hope she has succeeded. My daughters are both terrified of spiders even the puny tiny ones with the long skinny legs (daddy longlegs) which I find kind of cute. How many of you here have arachnophobia, like Mylene? Speak up – tell us how did you discover your phobia?
Anyways – back to the Alice (the song). The music is composed, originally arranged and produced by one-stop-shop man – Laurent Boutonnat. Mixing was done by Bertrand Châtenet well known for his songwriting for Priscilla Betti
“I could tell you my adventures–beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” 😊
There are three versions of the song:
Album Version (1995)
Arachnostring Version (1995)
Live Version Live at Bercy 1996 Tour.
Alice was sung on all 1996 Tour dates from May 25 to December 15, 1996 .
Arrangements for the stage: Laurent Boutonnat.
Choreography: Christophe Danchaud.
During Bercy 1996 Alice is a very strong moment of the show. Mylène enters the stage standing on a spider (which is not made of metal, contrary to appearances) which descends from the ceiling. It is during the musical interlude following the previous title L’Instant X that Mylène climbs into the giant spider used for this song.
The live version of the track begins with the album version before giving way to the Arachnostring version and then concluding with specific live arrangements. Mylène squats on stage taking a position quite similar to that of a spider. She also wears a lacy (net like) clothes to emphasize the effect.
The whole deal is just awesome! In short, is the bomb! The stage arrangements (by Boutonnat if you’re wondering) are more amplified and intensified making the base (and the guitar) sound just incredible in conjunction with her whispers.
Drumming by Abe Laboriel Jr takes the rhythm to the whole new level. Not many musicians can make live performance sound better then the studio recording – Mylene is definitely the Exception! She keeps the quality and adding the visuals. And they are all that: techno, sexy, spooky, psychedelic feeling she creates is a killer. 5 minutes 22 seconds of pure delight 😊
By the way, An unpublished remix of the song (Arachnostring Version) is offered on track 2 of the single CD L’Instant X , the second extract from the album Anamorphosée released on December 12, 1995. A sticker affixed to the CD cover highlights the presence of this remix.
No televised performance on Alice.
“What I tell you three times is true”
Speaking of Lewis Carroll, its been said that he was using Laudanum when he wrote Alice as it was widely available during his time: and it is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine).
So, its fair to note that most of the artists and scientists of the 19th and beginning of 20th century were on drugs. So much for the creative geniuses, huh?
“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
Speaking of spiders, once we are on the topic, did you know the largest species of spider is the Acromantula, which also has the ability to speak, along with being extremely dangerous carnivores with a taste for human flesh. Spiders are known for spinning webs. The webs of the Acromantula are large and dome shaped. Spiders of all sizes fear the basil above all other things, which caused those at Hogwarts to flee into the Forbidden Forest in the 1992–1993 school year. 😊
“Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the Unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?””
The most dangerous spider however referred to as Brazilian wandering spider also called armed spider or banana spider. It belongs to the genus Phoneutria, which means “murderess” in Greek. And it’s no wonder why — it’s one of the most venomous spiders on Earth. Its bite can be deadly to humans, especially children, although antivenin makes death unlikely.
Creepy, no? Well in case if your arachnophobia didn’t disappear while watching this lovely video, perhaps the next one will cure it for sure. 😊
“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
I also have noticed an astrological connection to the arachnophobia.
The eighth house is the person’s chart is ruled by Scorpio (hint hint, a spider!) and the planet Pluto (in astrology, Pluto is still a planet). The eighth house is a mysterious sector that rules birth, death, sex, transformation, mysteries, merged energies, and bonding at the deepest level. … Traditionally, it’s been called the house of sex, death, and taxes. 🙂 Perhaps, that’s why we find the spiders so terrifying. For me personally, taxes are scarier. Another interesting connection that the sign of Virgo (which is Mylene) is apparently the most commonly have arachnophobia.
We are aware of how much Mylene gravitates to spirituality and occultism. In the light of that, spider symbolism include artistry, manifestation, patience, feminine power, ancient wisdom, illusion, balance, and interconnection. A source of fear for some and fascination to others, the spider is an ancient being, having inhabited the Earth for more than 300 million years.
Did you notice, Mylene gracefully moves on to different type of insect in her later concert? Any idea of the special affinity this bug? Since it us on the stage during Dégénération perhaps it hints to where where are heading 🙂 But seriously, it is hard not to notice a pun Mylene cleverly implants bringing us back to Désenchantée with the infamous roach.
Mad Hatter (to Alice): You used to be much more… “muchier.” You’ve lost your muchness.
But that’s not the end yet. During Timeless 2013 Mylene uses spider background for the Désenchantée. Everything seems to be connected in this web of Mylene’s art or is it possibly hints to the hidden network / cabal that is really behind our disenchantment?
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lyrics with translation
Mon Alice, Alice
Mon Alice, malice
Mon Alice, Alice
Pendue au bout de son fil
Dans ta boite
Toutes tes pattes
Comme tu me manques
Comme tu me manques
Comme tu me manques
My Alice, Alice
My Alice, mischief
My Alice, Alice
Hanged at the end of its wire
In your box
All your paws
I miss you
I miss you
I miss you