Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ode to Tom...


From an interview with Tom Waits:

Q: What’s the most curious record in your collection?

A: In the seventies a record company in LA issued a record called “The Best of Marcel Marceau.” It had forty minutes of silence followed by applause and it sold really well. I like to put it on for company. It really bothers me, though, when people talk through it.


This man’s unique gravelly whiskey and cigarette voice delights me. His music can break my heart or make it soar and his lyrics are, well…so lyrical… (That was so well put, Beth...)

People either immediately love Waits’ music, reject it (for shame!) or it eventually grows on them. He had me with “Picture in a Frame” – the first song of his I heard.

While I believe I’m catching glimpses into his world and soul while listening to his music, I’m actually catching glimpses into my own as well. Some of his songs are like lullabies.

The latest lullaby I’ve been listening to is “If I Have To Go.” (And aren’t there times we all feel we have to - or would like to - go away? We’re just not always sure why or where.)

(Lyrics below.)







And if I have to go, will you remember me?
Will you find someone else, while I'm away?
There's nothing for me in this world full of strangers
It's all someone else's idea
I don't belong here, and you can't go with me
You'll only slow me down

Until I send for you, don't wear your hair that way
If you cannot be true, I'll understand
Tell all the others you'll hold in your arms
That I said I'd come back for you
I'll leave my jacket to keep you warm
That's all that I can do

And if I have to go, will you remember me?
Will you find someone else, while I'm away?



Hey, Sam – please learn this piece – play it on the piano and sing it for me.
Love ya. No pressure. ;)

12 comments:

Seraphine said...

I have three of his songs on my iPod. downtown train, romeo is bleeding and my favorite, the piano has been drinking (not me).
i love his voice too. it's unique, but more than that, it's sincere.
i love the lyrics you posted, especially
"Tell all the others you'll hold in your arms
That I said I'd come back for you"
it's so romantic and painful at the same time.

JR's Thumbprints said...

slightly out of tune and original beats polished pop any time. btw, whatever happened to the replacements or alex chilton?

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I was first introduced to Tom Waits by my boyfriend when I was 17 (over 30 years ago!), he bought me a double album called Nighthawks at the Diner. After that I bought every album of his that came out for a long time. I recently bought his Used Songs CD, I guess it's a compilation. Thanks for reminding me to take it out and play it.

Beth said...

seraphine:
His songs are fascinating (and moving) vignettes of life.
And his words! "I miss your broken china voice..." (From "Hold On.")

jr:
Had never heard of Alex Chilton - looked him up and discovered he's the original composer/singer of "The Letter." Wow. Also discovered (and like) "My Baby Just Cares for Me."

the bodhi chicklet:
Enjoy! I'm going to check out the Used Songs CD on iTunes.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

He is always funny when interviewed. One would think he'd be interviewed more often.

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Excellent taste in music Beth!

sherry lee said...

Can't say much either way for Tom Waits. He's not on my listen to list though (lately, no one is...).

He has an album of silence by Marcel Marceau?!? Quirky? Yes!

Beth said...

videotape Sam playing this and let the rest of us enjoy him too!!!

Beth said...

guy:
A very entertaining and talented man - he's in some movies, too.

reeny:
Uh...more like eclectic.

sherry lee:
Gotta listen to music. Get your boys to make you a playlist.
(That album actually exists!)

beth:
I wonder if he'd let me?
Post it on YouTube...the start of a fabulous career...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

"While I believe I’m catching glimpses into his world and soul while listening to his music, I’m actually catching glimpses into my own as well."

The true definition of an artist is someone who can do just that to you.

Glancing to my left is Seraphine's comment. Coincidence? No. Sera is an artist who does that for me.

Beth said...

cheri:
Yes, she is. An amazing one.

rebecca said...

Oh, Beth, thank you for posting that song. How beautiful his voice and words. Very smoky, very sexy. I will definitely have to download this one.