Song of the Day: Tom Waits – New Year’s Eve


I never did get around to writing a review of Bad As Me. It’s a shame, because it’s pretty damn good. The old man’s always been in a league of his own, and Tom’s seventeenth studio album feels no less legitimate than anything else he’s created. If anything it’s above average in his discography quality-wise, and that says a lot for someone who released his first album nearly 40 years ago. An entirely accurate representation of his style, here’s 13 anthems to homeless bums, trailer trash, vagabonds, and the starry-eyed refugees of an unforgiving society. I’ve been listening to the closing track, New Year’s Eve, on repeat ever since my deluxe edition pre-order showed up in the mail, and now’s a good day to pass it along.

It’s typical Tom fassion to make the joyous out of the bleak and vice versa. New Year’s Eve might not be as gut-wrenching as Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis, but it carries on his tradition of looking at the holidays from the perspective of those who’ve got little left in life to celebrate.

The door was open; I was seething
Your mother burst in; it was freezing
She said it looks like it’s trying to rain
I was lost; I felt sea sick
You convinced me that he’d left
You said keep talking, but don’t use any names
I scolded your driver and your brother
We are old enough to know how long you’ve been hooked
And we’ve all been through the war
and each time you score
someone gets hauled and handcuffed and booked

It felt like four in the morning
What sounded like fire works
Turned out to be just what it was
The stars looked like diamonds
Then came the sirens
And everyone started to cuss

All the noise was disturbing
And I couldn’t find Irving
It was like two stations on at the same time
And then I hid your car keys
And I made black coffee
And I dumped out the rest of the rum

Nick and Socorro broke up
And Candice wouldn’t shut up
Fin, he recorded the whole thing
Ray, he said damn you
And someone broke my camera
And it was New Years
And we all started to sing

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot for the sake of auld lang syne

I was leaving in the morning with Charles for Las Vegas
And I didn’t plan to come back
I had only a few things
Two hundred dollars
And my records in a brown paper sack

I ran out on Sheila
Everything’s in storage
Calvin’s right, I should go back to driving trucks

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot for the sake of auld lang syne

2 responses to “Song of the Day: Tom Waits – New Year’s Eve

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