Tom Waits

Tom Waits

God"s Away On Business

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My Gravelly Voice

There's no one really in show business in my family but there were two relatives who had an effect on me very young and shaped me in some way. They were Uncle Vernon and Uncle Robert. I always hated the sound of my voice when I was a kid. I always wanted to sound more like my Uncle Vernon, who had a raspy, gravelly voice. Everything Uncle Vernon said sounded important, and you always got it the first time because you wouldn't dare ask him to repeat it.Eventually, I learned that Uncle Vernon had had a throat operation as a kid and the doctors had left behind a small pair of scissors and gauze when they closed him up. Years later at Christmas dinner, Uncle Vernon started to choke while trying to dislodge an errant string bean, and he coughed up the gauze and the scissors. That's how Uncle Vernon got his voice, and that's how I got mine

Hold On

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Get Behind The Mule

Get Behind the Mule

Molly be damned smote Jimmy the Harp With a horrid little pistol and a lariat She's goin to the bottom And she's goin down the drain Said she wasn't big enough to carry it She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow Choppity chop goes the axe in the woods You gotta meet me by the fall down tree Shovel of dirt upon a coffin lid And I know they'll come lookin for me boys And I know they'll come a-lookin for me Got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow Got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plowGot to get behind the MuleIn the morning and plowGot to get behind the MuleIn the morning and plowBig Jack Earl was 8'1He stood in the road and he criedHe couldn't make her love himCouldn't make her stayBut tell the good Lord that he tried(Chorus)Dusty trail from Atchison to PlacervilleOn the wreck of the Weaverville stageBeaula fired on Beatty for a lemonadeI was stirring my brandy with a nail boysStirring my brandy with a nail(Chorus)Well the rampaging sons of the widow JamesJack the cutter and the pock marked kidHad to stand naked at the bottomOf the crossAnd tell the good lord what they didTell the good lord what they did(Chorus)Punctuated birds on the power lineIn a Studebaker with the Birdie Joe JoaksI'm diggin all the way to ChinaWith a silver spoonWhile the hangman fumbles with the noose, boysThe hangman fumbles with the noose(Chorus)Pin your ear to the wisdom postPin your eye to the lineNever let the weeds get higherThan the gardenAlways keep a sapphire in your mindAlways keep a diamond in your mind(Chorus)

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"On Sundays, we'd always visit Uncle Robert, who was the organist at a methodist church in La Verne, California. Uncle Robert had a pipe organ in his house that went right through the roof. When he would play he would smear all the notes together like hot melted crayons and the whole house would shake.I remember his house was a complete mess; his clothes were everywhere, his bed was never made. "Now this is show business," I thought to myself. I asked my mom why I couldn't keep my room like Uncle Robert's, and she said, "Tom, your Uncle Robert is blind."
 
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