6 Tom Waits Songs For Every Occasion

Tom Waits has been an influential musician since the 70s, though despite his immense cult following he has never truly broken into the American mainstream. Maybe this list of songs for every occasion will help.

1. For Calling Your Ex– “Martha”- 1973


In this song, Tom calls his ex lover … 40 years after they broke up. He finds out that Martha has been married and has kids now. (gross)  He admits that he was a douche and professes his love…. and basically confesses she is still fap material.  It’s a great song.

2. For the (strip) Club – “Pasties and a G String” – 1976


Tom offers to have his rent raised if this stripper lady will take off all her clothes. Is she his landlord who is also a stripper with a heart of gold?… I think so.  Tom also gets as hard as “Chinese Algebra” when the stripper/landlord crawls on her belly and “shakes like jelly”. I’m not sure if Chinese Algebra is harder than regular algebra, but either way, maths is terrible.

3. For the Holidays  – “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” –  1978


Who doesn’t love Christmas Cards? This particular Christmas card comes to a john named Charlie from a long lost hooker friend. She waxes nostalgic about doing drugs back in the day and lets Charlie know what she has been up to. Which consists of meeting a nice man who plays a trombone and takes her out dancing on Saturday nights. There’s a twist at the end of this song and I don’t do spoilers on things pre 1980. 

4. For Blaming Someone or Something Else for Your Crippling Addiction – “The Piano Has Been Drinking” –  1977


In this romantic song, Tom Waits blames his piano for being intoxicated. This is typical addict behavior. I usually blame my iPhone for my donut problem.  This song will give you some great pointers on avoidance.

5. For Selling your Shit on Craigslist  “Step Right Up” – 1976


This song will help you masterfully get rid of all your shit on Craigslist. Tom Waits  can basically sell ice to Eskimos. In this song, his magic product: Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets (we know what that means… winky face), that’s right and it entertains visiting relatives (the worst), it turns a sandwich into a banquet (Is it a sandwich banquet? I’m there!) Tired of being the life of the party? (Yes.) Change your shorts, change your life, change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife (A sex AND race change? Sure! Sign me up!)

6. For When You Get Shot, But Want to Look Cool – “Romeo is Bleeding” – 1978


Romeo: has a cigarette, leans against a car, laughs, and sings along with the radio, all while having a grievous chest wound from getting shot.  Instead of seeking medical help, Romeo, decides to play it cool and go see a movie. God, I hope he didn’t waste his time with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Runner’s up: For When You Need to Tell Someone Their House is on Fire  – Jockey Full of Burbon – 1985 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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