Monday, December 10, 2007

Tom Waits: Closing Time: Ol' 55

Here's what wikipedia has to say about it. I like the quote from Tom. "Antiseptic" is how The Eagles sound, generally. (You can get a snatch of that particular bottle of TCP here).

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

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
Just a-wishing I'd stayed a little longer,
Oh, Lord, let me tell you that the feeling's getting stronger.

There's a kind of hook in there: the line "Oh, Lord, let me tell you that the feeling's getting stronger"; it doesn't scan, so the singer has to take it at a rush. Fourteen syllables. The Eagles' version had " Lord, don't you know the feelin's gettin' stronger": eleven syllables: they didn't get it, did they? Probably thought they were improving on the original.

Driving home from your lover's bed in the dawn, on a freeway, in a 1955 Chevy. This is the first track on the first Waits' album and already it's all there: the cleverness, the earthiness, the lyricism. Wonderful.