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Bad Liver And A Broken Heart by Tom Waits

FILED UNDER: SONGS

A husky low growl, a melancholy piano, and brutally honest song writing are the staples of Tom Waits’ forty one years (and counting) as a singer, songwriter, composer, and actor. His rare blend of vaudeville humor, distinctly original guttural sound, and jazzy blues bring to life the raw reality of experiences that many don’t share but most have experienced. Lacing themes of late nights with seedy characters in dim barrooms, Waits’ ability to measure love, death, and modern convention against the steady sound of his lonesome piano and bottles of booze render him the Charles Bukowski of music. Like top shelf whiskey, Waits’ storytelling burns deeply almost in spite of the darker recesses of a heart made heavy by the burden of living, losing, and the litany of long nights.

Well I got a bad liver and broken heart, yeah,
I drunk me a river since you tore me apart
And I don’t have a drinking problem, ‘cept when I can’t get a drink
And I wish you’d a-known her, we were quite a pair,
She was sharp as a razor and soft as a prayer
So welcome to the continuing saga, she was my better half, and I was just a dog
And so here I am slumped, I’ve been chipped and I’ve been chumped on my stool
So buy this fool some spirits and libations, it’s these railroad station bars
And all these conductors and porters, and I’m all out of quarters
And this epitaph is the aftermath, yeah I choose my path, come on, Kath
He’s a lawyer, he ain’t the one for ya
No, the moon ain’t romantic, it’s intimidating as hell,
And some guy’s trying to sell me a watch
And so I’ll meet you at the bottom of a bottle of bargain Scotch
I got me a bottle and a dream, it’s so maudlin it seems
You can name your poison, go on ahead and make some noise
I ain’t sentimental, this ain’t a purchase, it’s a rental and it’s purgatory,
And hey, what’s your story, well I don’t even care
Cause I got my own double-cross to bear

And I’ll see your Red Label, and I’ll raise you one more
And you can pour me a cab, I just can’t drink no more,
Cause it don’t douse the flames that are started by dames,
It ain’t like asbestos
It don’t do nothing but rest us assured,
And substantiate the rumors that you’ve heard

“Well I got a bad liver and broken heart, yeah,
I drunk me a river since you tore me apart
And I don’t have a drinking problem, ‘cept when I can’t get a drink
And I wish you’d a-known her, we were quite a pair,
She was sharp as a razor and soft as a prayer
So welcome to the continuing saga, she was my better half, and I was just a dog
And so here I am slumped, I’ve been chipped and I’ve been chumped on my stool
So buy this fool some spirits and libations, it’s these railroad station bars
And all these conductors and porters, and I’m all out of quarters
And this epitaph is the aftermath, yeah I choose my path, come on, Kath
He’s a lawyer, he ain’t the one for ya
No, the moon ain’t romantic, it’s intimidating as hell,
And some guy’s trying to sell me a watch
And so I’ll meet you at the bottom of a bottle of bargain Scotch
I got me a bottle and a dream, it’s so maudlin it seems
You can name your poison, go on ahead and make some noise
I ain’t sentimental, this ain’t a purchase, it’s a rental and it’s purgatory,
And hey, what’s your story, well I don’t even care
Cause I got my own double-cross to bear

And I’ll see your Red Label, and I’ll raise you one more
And you can pour me a cab, I just can’t drink no more,
Cause it don’t douse the flames that are started by dames,
It ain’t like asbestos
It don’t do nothing but rest us assured,
And substantiate the rumors that you’ve heard”