Chris Croft's Personal Blog

May 8, 2010

Why I love Tom Waits

Filed under: Music — chriscroft @ 10:42 am

He’s done so many great songs, where do you start?

Here are just some of his wonderful lyrics…

She sends me blue valentines
Like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe
As I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory
Baby is the thistle in the kiss
It’s the burglar that that can break a roses neck
It’s the tattooed broken promise
I gotta hide beneath my sleeve
I’m gonna see you every time I turn my back

With this blind and broken heart
That sleeps beneath my lapel


Romeo says, “Hey man gimme a cigarette”
And they all reach for their pack
and Frankie lights it for him and pats him on the back
Throws bottle at a milk truck
And as it breaks he grabs his nuts
And they all know they could be just like Romeo
If they only had the guts


Put a dead cat on the railroad tracks
Get the eyeball of a rooster
Stones from a ditch
Wash ’em down with bilge water
Say you’ll never snitch

Catch the tears of a widow
In a thimble made of glass
Tell your mama and your papa
They can kiss your ass

Strangle all the christmas carols
Scratch out all you prayers
Tie ’em up with barbed wire
And push them down the stairs

Sink your teeth into my shoulder
Dig your nails into my back
Tell that little girl to let go of my sleeve
You’ll be a woman when I catch you
C’mon baby, fall in love with me

We’ll do 100mph
Spendin’ someone else’s dough
Drive all the way to Reno
On the wrong side of the road


I’ll get a dollar from my mamas purse
Buy that scull and crossbones ring
And you can wear it round your neck on an old piece of string

Then we’ll spit on Ronnie Arnold
Flip him the bird
Slash the tires on the school bus
Now don’t say a word
I’ll take a rusty nail and scratch your initials in my arm
And I’ll show you how to sneak up on the roof of the drugstore

I’ll take the spokes from your wheelchair
And a magpies wings
And I’ll tie em to your shoulders and your feet
I’ll steal a hacksaw from my dad
Cut the braces off your legs
And we’ll bury them tonight out in the cornfield


Frank settled down out in the Valley
And he hung his wild years in a nail that he drove through his wife’s forehead
He sold used office furniture out there on San Fernando Road
And assumed a $30,000 loan at 15 1/4 %
And put down payment on a little two bedroom place
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash
Made good bloody marys, kept her mouth shut most of the time
Had a little Chihuahua named Carlos
That had some kind of skin disease and was totally blind
They had a thoroughly modern kitchen, self-cleaning oven (the whole bit)
Frank drove a little sedan, they were so happy

One night Frank was on his way home from work
He stopped at the liquor store
Picked up a couple Mickey’s Big Mouths
Drank ’em in the car on his way to the Shell station
He got a gallon of gas in a can
Drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it
Parked across the street laughing and watching it burn
All Halloween orange and chimney red
Then Frank put on a top forty station
Got on the Hollywood Freeway
Headed north

Never could stand that dog


No spirits, no bilgewater and eighty dry locals
And the high noon sun beats a hundred and four
There’s a hummingbird trapped in a closed down shoe store

The train smokes down the xylophone
There’ll be no stopping here
All ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer


Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk


How do the angels get to sleep
When the devil leaves his porchlight on?


It’s the cool of the evening the sun’s goin’ down
I want to hold you in my arms I want to push you around
I want to break your bottle and spill out all your charms
Come on baby, we’ll set off all the burglar alarms


I’ll be clickin’ by your house about two forty-five
Sidewalk sundae strawberry surprise,
When you’re tired and you’re hungry and you want something cool
Got something better than a swimming pool

‘Cause I’m the ice cream man, I’m a one-man band
I’m the ice cream man, honey I’ll be good to you

Diamonds on my windshield
Tears from heaven
Pulling into town on the Interstate
I got a steel train in the rain
The wind bites my cheek through the wing
Fast flying, freeway driving
Always makes me sing

Wisconsin hiker with a cue-ball head
Wishing he’s home in a Wisconsin bed
Fifteen feet of snow in the East
Colder then a welldigger’s ass

Radio’s gone off the air
And gives you time to think
You ease it out and you creep across
Intersection light goes out
You hear the rumble
As you fumble for a cigarette
Blazing through the neon jungle
Remember someone that you met
One more block, the engine talks
And whispers home at last
Whispers, whispers, whispers
Whispers home at last


With the platinum blondes and tobacco brunettes
I’ll be drinkin’ to forget you


Yeah I got designs on a moving violation
Yeah baby, you put me on hold and I’m out in the wind
And it’s getting mighty cold
It’s colder than a gut shot bitch wolf dog
With nine sucking pups pulling a number four trap up a hill
In the dead of winter in the middle of a snowstorm
With a mouth full of porcupine quills


Step right up, step right up, step right up
Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore
That’s right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on, yeah
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture, you can drive it away today
Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colours, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you’re tired of kitchen drudgery
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don’t settle for less
How do we do it? How do we do it? Volume, volume, turn up the volume
Now you’ve heard it advertised, don’t hesitate

That’s right, it fillets, it chops, it dices, slices,
Never stops, lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair, it gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers a pizza and it lengthens and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that’s been at large
Under the chaise lounge for several weeks

If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery, don’t be fooled by cheap imitations
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets, that’s right

And it entertains visiting relatives, it turns a sandwich into a banquet
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack, see you later alligator

It’s the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions it never needs ironing
Well it takes weights off hips, bust, thighs, chin, midriff,
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job, it is a job
And it strips the phone company free take ten for five exchange
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it’s a friend, and it’s a companion
And it gets rid of your traveller’s checks
It’s new, it’s improved, it’s old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding,
Never needs winding, never needs winding

It gives you an erection, it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It’s a redeemable coupon, no obligation, no salesman will visit your home
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
C’mon and step right up

And I struggled out of bed
Cause the dawn was crackin’ hard just like a bullwhip
And it wasn’t takin’ no lip from the night before
As it shook out the streets
The stew bums showed up just like bounced checks
Rubbin’ their necks and the sky turned the colour of Pepto-Bismol


I know you seen my headlights
and the honkin of my horn
I’m callin out my bloodhounds
chase the devil through the corn
last night I chugged the Mississippi
now that suckers dry as a bone
born in a taxi cab
I’m never comin home

what you think is the sunshine
is just a twinkle in my eye
that ring around my fingers
just the 4th of July
when I get a little bit lonesome
and a tear falls from my cheek
there’s gonna be an ocean in
the middle of the week


I’m gonna tear me off a rainbow
and wear it for a tie
I never told the truth
so I can never tell a lie



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