Bad Liver and a Broken Heart: A Tribute to Tom Waits
Tom Waits (born Thomas Alan Waits, in Pomona, California, on December 7, 1949) is a prolific American singer, songwriter, composer, and actor.Although Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries.Lyrically, Waits’ songs are known for atmospheric portrayals of seedy characters and places; he sings about the losers on the streets: alcoholics, junkies, prostitutes and social outcasts, although he also includes more conventional and touching ballads in his repertoire.While opening for Frank Zappa, the audience catcalled and refused to listen to him; he was an unsuitable match with Zappa’s avantgarde style.Countless cigarettes, gallons of alcohol and many all night parties eventually left their trace in his face and voice.One of the most respected songwriters working today, Tom Waits retains an allusive persona. Rarely granting interviews, the American artist fuses blues and jazz with dense artistic references.
Tom Waits has teamed up with a variety of homeless charities to publish a new chapbook.
"Now the sun's coming up.
I'm riding with Lady Luck.
freeway cars and trucks,
Stars beginning to fade,
and I lead the parade."
"Now it's closing time, the music's fading out
Last call for drinks, I'll have another stout.
Well I turn around to look at you,
you're nowhere to be found,
I search the place for your lost face,
guess I'll have another round
And I think that I just fell in love with you."
—"I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You"
"Every town I go to is like a lock without a key
Those I leave behind are catching up on me"
"I can see by your eyes, it's time to go
So I'll leave you to cry in the rain,
Though I held in my hand, the key to all joy
Honey my heart was not born to be tamed.
So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear
And your tears cannot bind me anymore,
And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes
Can I kiss you, and then I'll be gone."
—"Old Shoes (And Picture Postcards)"
"I'll be clickin' by your house about two forty-five
Sidewalk sundae strawberry surprise,
I got a cherry popsicle right on time
A big stick, mamma, that'll blow your mind"
—"Ice Cream Man"
"I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until I needed a song."
—"San Diego Serenade"
"And the fog's liftin'
And the sand's shiftin'
I'm driftin' on out
Ol' Captain Ahab
He ain't got nothin' on me, now
I'm trav'lin' alone
Blue water's my daughter
'n I'm gonna skip like a stone"
—"Shiver Me Timbers"
"Tell me is the crack of the poolballs, neon buzzin'?
Telephone's ringin'; it's your second cousin
Is it the barmaid that's smilin' from the corner of her eye?
Magic of the melancholy tear in your eye"
—"(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night"
"I like to sleep until the crack of noon
midnight howlin' at the moon
goin' out when I wanto, comin' home when I please
I don't have to ask permission
if I want to go out fishing
and I never have to ask for the keys"
—Better Off Without a Wife"
"now the moon's rising
ain't got no time to lose
tell the band to play the blues
drinks are on me, I'll buy another round
at the last ditch attempt saloon"
—"Warm Beer and Cold Women"
"I taught Mickey Mantle
everything that he knows
and so you ask me
what I'm doing here
holding up a lamp post
flippin this quarter,
trying to make up my mind
and if it's heads I'll go to
Tennessee, and tails I'll buy a drink
if it lands on the edge
I'll keep talking to you"
"I'll drink you under the table
be red nose go for walks
the old haunts what I wants
is red beans and rice
and wear the dress I like so well
and meet me at the old saloon
make sure there's a Dixie moon
New Orleans, I'll be there"
—"I Wish I Was in New Orleans"
"The piano has been drinking
my necktie is asleep
and the combo went back to New York
the jukebox has to take a leak
and the carpet needs a haircut
and the spotlight looks like a prison break
'cause the telephone's out of cigarettes
and the balcony's on the make
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking . . ."
—"The Piano Has Been Drinking"
"and it's a fish-net stockings
Strip tease, prick tease
car kease blues
and the porno floor show
live nude girls
dreamy and creamy
and the brunette curls
Chesty Morgan and a
raise my rent and take off
all your clothes
with the trench coats
magazines bottle full of rum
she's so good, it make
a dead man cum, with
pasties and a g-string
beer and a shot"
—"Pasties and a G-string"
"Well I got a bad liver and a broken heart
yea I drunk me a river since you tore me apart
and I don't have a drinking problem
'cept when I can't get a drink"
—"Bad Liver and a Broken Heart"
"countin one eyed jacks and whistling dixie in the car
neal was doin least a hundred when we saw a fallin star
florence wished that neal would hold her stead of chewin
his cigar jack was noddin out and dreamin he was in a bar
with charlie parker on the bandstand not a worry in the world
and a glass of beer in one hand and his arm around a girl
and neal was singin to the nurse
underneath a harlem moon
and somehow you could just tell we'd be in california soon"
—"Jack & Neal"
"and hey barkeeper what's keepin you keep pourin drinks
for all these palookas hey you know what i thinks
that we toast to the old days and dimagio too
and old drysdale and mantle whitey ford and to you"
—"A Sight For Sore Eyes"
"I know i'm irresponsible and i don't behave,
and i ruin everything that i do,
and i'll probably get arrested when i'm in my grave,
but i'll be savin' all my love for you."
—"Saving All My Love For You"
"i'll feel my way down the darken hall,
and out into the morning,
the hobos at the freightyards
have kept their fires burning,
so jesus christ this goddamn rain,
will someone put me on a train"
"Well I got here at eight and I'll be here till two
I'll try my best to entertain you and
Please don't mind me if I get a bit crude
I'm your late night evening prostitute."
—"I'm Your Late Night Evening Prostitute"
"And I can't help thinking of your lovin ways
And I cried a quart of tears since you've been gone
And I can't face the morning by myself love
And it looks like I'm up shit creek again"
—"Looks Like I'm Up Shit Creek Again"
"Your shovel's a shot glass, dig your own hole
Bury what's left of your miserable soul
Down thru the ages, all of the sages
Said don't spend your wages on love"
—"The Wages of Love"