Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lost Gem: "On The Nickel" - Tom Waits (1980)

"...and even Thomas Jefferson is on the nickel over there."
~ Tom Waits ~

The theatrical singer-songwriter...Tom Waits...was born in California...but his spirit walks the dark, dank backstreets of...Anywhere, USA.

And his spirit haunts lonely dives and desperate times. And his spirit breaks your heart and his spirit mends your heart ...again and again like the constant give and take of the sea.

Waits is a matchhead.  Waits is a featherball.  Waits is...Waits.

Lost Gem:--> "On The Nickel"...rough vocals of Waits...wonderfully contradict this soft gentle ballad of kind warnings to messy haired young boys...&...and the nameless, faceless street rats who called heads instead of tails.

The song (per Waits) is affectionately known as..."A Hobos Lullaby".

Have you heard this gem?

Sticks and stones will break my bones,
But I always will be true, and when
Your mama is dead and gone,
I'll sing this lullaby just for you.
And what becomes of all the little boys,
Who never comb their hair,
Well they're lined up all around the block,
On the nickel over there.

And if you chew tobacco, and wish upon a star,
Well you'll find out where the scarecrows sit,
Just like punchlines between the cars,
And I know a place where a royal flush,
Can never beat a pair, and even Thomas Jefferson,
Is on the nickel over there.

So ring around the rosie, you're sleepin' in the rain,
And you're always late for supper,
And man you let me down again,
I thought I heard a mockingbird, Roosevelt knows where,
Whistling by the graveyard,
On the nickel over there.

So what becomes of all the little boys,
Who run away from home,
Well the world just keeps gettin' bigger,
Once you get out on your own,
But you never know how rich you are.
You haven't got a prayer.
So it's heads you win and tails they lose.
On the nickel over there.

Official Website

Good stuff!
Casey Chambers

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