The piano has been drinking, my necktie is asleep
And the combo went back to New York, the jukebox has to take a leak
And the carpet needs a haircut, and the spotlight looks like a prison break
And the telephone’s out of cigarettes, and the balcony is on the make
And the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking…
And the menus are all freezing, and the light man’s blind in one eye
And he can’t see out of the other
And the piano-tuner’s got a hearing aid, and he showed up with his mother
And the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking
As the bouncer is a Sumo wrestler, cream-puff casper milktoast
And the owner is a mental midget with the I.Q. of a fence post
‘Cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking…
And you can’t find your waitress with a Geiger counter
And she hates you and your friends and you just can’t get served without her
And the box-office is drooling, and the bar stools are on fire
And the newspapers were fooling, and the ash-trays have retired
‘Cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
These my dear friends… are the eccentric, wonderful, image-creating lyrics of the one and only Tom Waits. No… he ain’t going to win a grammy for this song, or an oscar or a poetry award given out by constipated people. Not that he cares of course. He is Tom Waits and… quite frankly WE are not!
To be sure this is not everyone’s cup of tea as far as song lyrics go… but I’ll be damned if anyone can read or hear this and not find his/her mind conjuring up all kinds of images as the words roll out of Tom’s mouth, or as you read them on a screen.
“The carper needs a haircut”… “the telephone’s out of cigarettes’… “the balcony is on the make”. What sort of mind comes up with phrases like that? Is he a poet or a songwriter? Is he a singer or an image-weaver? If you have ever heard his voice of course the answer is obvious. On a good day Tom’s voice could scare the hiccups off your mother-in-law. So NO…. he is not a singer. But he sure as hell is a story teller and an image-weaver.
Im certain many a person told him that he will never make it in showbiz. With a voice like nails on a blackboard and a face like a full ashtray he was never going to be the next king of pop. But his passion for words and music told him to write and sing… and thank God he did. Yes he is different…he is himself, doing what he loves to do and as we’ve said before, what would this world be without these “different” people?
The last thing this world needs is another “do wah diddy..diddy dum..” song… or Milli Vanilli.
Be different my friends…be YOU.
Viv la difference !