Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tom Waits

I have been playing a Tom Waits disk in my car.   I dug it out of my collection because I have not heard anything from him for years.   I went to one of his concerts in Perth some 35 years ago and immediately became a fan of his gravelly voice cultivated by many bottles of whiskey and thousands of cigarettes.  I googled him and it seems that he has lost that course voice and has sort of joined the crooners.  Pity!       I  guess my favourite TW number is Kentucky Avenue which is sort of an autobiographical song about growing up. Here are the words. 

Eddie Grace’s Buick got four bullet holes in the side
Charley DeLisle sittin at the top of an avocado tree
Mrs Storm will stab you with a steak knife if you step on her lawn
I got half pack of lucky strikes, man come along with me
lets fill our pockets with macadamia nuts
then go over to Bobby Goodmanson’s and jump off the roof

Hilda plays strip poker and her mama’s across the street
Joey Nafinski said she put her tongue in his mouth
Dicky Faulkner’s got a switchblade and some gooseneck risers
That eucalyptus is a hunchback, there’s a wind up from the south
let me tie you up with kite string and I’ll show you the scabs on my knee
Watch out for the broken glass, put your shoes and socks on
and come along with me

Let’s follow that fire truck, I think your house is burning down
then go down to the hobo jungle and kill some rattle snakes with a trowel
we’ll break all the windows in the old Anderson place
and steal a bunch of boysenberries and smear em on your face
I’ll get a dollar from my mama’s purse and buy that skull and crossbones ring
and you can wear it round your neck on an old piece of string
then we’ll spit on Ronnie Arnold and flip him the bird
And 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 magpie’s wings
and I’ll tie them to your shoulders and your feet
I’ll steal a hacksaw from my Dad and cut the braces off your legs
and we’ll bury them tonight in the cornfield

Put a church key in your pocket, we’ll hop that freight train in the hall

We’ll slide all the way down the drain to New Orleans in the fall

You can listen to it here....


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