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Swordfishtrombones

by Tom Waits


Well he came home from the war
with a party in his head
and modified Brougham DeVille
and a pair of legs that opened up
like butterfly wings
and a mad dog that wouldn´t
sit still
he went and took up with a Salvation Army
Band girl
who played dirty water
on a swordfishtrombone
he went to sleep at the bottom of
Tenkiller lake
and he said "gee, but it´s
great to be home."

Well he came home from the war
with a party in his head
and an idea for a fireworks display
and he knew that he´d be ready with
a stainless steel machete
and a half a pint of Ballentine´s
each day
and he holed up in room above a hardware store
cryin´ nothing there but Hollywood tears
and he put a spell on some
poor little Crutchfield girl
and stayed like that for 27 years

Well he packed up all his
expectations he lit out for California
with a flyswatter banjo on his knee
with a lucky tiger in his angel hair
and benzedrine for getting there
they found him in a eucalyptus tree
lieutenant got him a canary bird
and shaked her head with every word
and Chesterfielded moonbeams in a song
and he got 20 years for lovin´ her
from some Oklahoma governor
said everything this Doughboy
does is wrong

Now some say he´s doing
the obituary mambo
and some say he´s hanging on the wall
perhaps this yarn´s the only thing
that holds this man together
some say he was never here at all

Some say they saw him down in
Birmingham, sleeping in a
boxcar going by
and if you think that you can tell a bigger tale
I swear to God you´d have to tell a lie...





 

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