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Small Change (Remastered)

by Tom Waits

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Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did I got what I paid for now see ya tomorrow hey Frank can I borrow a couple of bucks from you, to go Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley and I’m tired of all these soldiers here no one speaks English and everything’s broken and my Stacys are soaking wet to go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me now the dogs are barking and the taxi cabs parking a lot they can do for me I begged you to stab me you tore my shirt open and I’m down on my knees tonight Old Bushmills I staggered you buried the dagger in your silhouette window light to go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me now I’ve lost my St. Christopher now that I’ve kissed her and the one armed bandit knows, and the maverick Chinaman, and the cold blooded signs and the girls down by the strip tease shows go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me no I don’t want your sympathy the fugitives say that the streets aren’t for dreaming now manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories they want a piece of the action anyhow go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me and you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor and the old men in wheelchairs know that Matilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred and she follows wherever you may go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me and it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace and a wound that will never heal no prima donna the perfume is on an old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey and goodnight to the street sweepers the night watchman flame keepers and goodnight Matilda too
For the lyrics to “Step Right Up” send by prepaid mail a photo of yourself, two dead creeping charlies, and a self addressed stamped envelope to: the Tropicana Motor Hotel, Hollywood, California c /o Young Tom Waits please allow 30 days for delivery
Well I’m a jitterbug boy by the shoeshine resting on my laurels and my Hardy’s too life of Riley on the swing shift, gears follow my drift once upon a time I was in show biz too I seen the Brooklyn Dodgers playin at Ebbets Field seen the Kentucky Derby too it’s fast women, slow horses I’m reliable sources and I’m holding up a lamp post if you wanna know I seen the Wabush Cannonball buddy I’ve done it all because I slept with the lions and Marilyn Monroe had breakfast in the eye of a hurricane fought Rocky Marciano played Minnesota Fats burned hundred dollar bills I eaten Mulligan stew got drunk with Louis Armstrong what’s that old song I taught Mickey Mantle everything he knows and so you’ll ask me what I’m doin here holdin up a lamp post flippin this quarter trying to make up my mind and if it’s heads I’ll go to Tennessee, and tails I’ll buy a drink if it lands on the edge I’ll keep talkin to you
Well I wish I was in New Orleans I can see it in my dreams arm in arm down Burgundy a bottle and my friends and me hoist up a few tall cool ones play some pool and listen to that tenor saxophone calling me home and I can hear the band begin When The Saints Go Marching In by the whiskers on my chin New Orleans I’ll be there I’ll drink you under the table be red nose go for walks the old haunts what I wants is red beans and rice and wear the dress I like so well meet me at the old saloon make sure there’s a Dixie moon New Orleans I’ll be there and deal the cards roll the dice if it ain’t that ole Chuck E. Weiss and Clayborn Avenue me and you Sam Jones and all and I wish I was in New Orleans I can see it in my dreams arm in arm down Burgundy a bottle and my friends and me New Orleans I’ll be there
The piano has been drinking my neck tie is asleep and the combo went back to New York the juke box has to take a leak and the carpet needs a haircut and the spot light looks like a prison break cause the telephone is out of cigarettes and the balcony’s on the make and the piano has been drinking the piano has been drinking and the menus are all freezing and the lightman’s blind in one eye and he can’t see out of the other and the piano tuner’s got a hearing aide and showed up with his mother and the piano has been drinking the piano has been drinking cause the bouncer is a Sumo wrestler cream puff casper milk toast and the owner is a mental midget with I.Q. of a fencepost 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 flre and the newspapers were fooling and the ashtrays have retired and 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
Well she’s up against the register with an apron and a spatula with yesterday’s deliveries and the tickets for the bachelors she’s a moving violation from her conk down to her shoes but it’s just an invitation to the blues and you feel just like Cagney looks like Rita Hayworth at the counter of the Schwab’s drug store you wonder if she might be single she’s a loner likes to mingle got to be patient and pick up a clue she says howyougonnalikem over medium or scrambled anyways the only way be careful not to gamble on a guy with a suitcase and a ticket gettin out of here it’s a tired bus station and an old pair of shoes but it ain’t nothin but an invitation to the blues but you can’t take your eyes off her get another cup of java and it’s just the way she pours it for you jokin with the customers and it’s mercy mercy Mr. Percy there ain’t nothin back in Jersey but a broken down jalopy of a man I left behind and a dream that I was chasin and a battle with the booze and an open invitation to the blues but she’s had a sugar daddy and a candy apple caddy and a bank account and everything accustom to the finer things he probably left her for a socialite he didn’t love her cept at night and then he’s drunk and never even told her that he cared so they took the registration and the car keys and her shoes and left her with an invitation to the blues but there’s a Continental Trailways leaving local bus tonight good evening you can have my seat I’m stickin round here for awhile get me a room at the Squire and the fillin station’s hiring I can eat here every night what the hell have I got to loose got a crazy sensation go or stay and I’ve got to choose and I’ll accept your invitation to the blues
Smellin like a brewery lookin like a tramp ain’t got a quarter got a postage stamp and a five o’ clock shadow boxing all around the town talking with the old men sleeping on the ground Bazanti bootin al zootin al hoot and Al Cohn sharin this apartment with a telephone pole and it’s a fish net stockings spike heel shoes strip tease, prick tease car kease blues and the porno floor show live nude girls dreamy and creamy and the brunette curls chesty Morgan, and a Watermelon Rose raise my rent and take off all your clothes with the trench coats magazines bottle full a rum she’s so good, it make a dead man cum, with pasties and a g-string beer and a shot Portland threw a shot glass and a Buffalo squeeze wrinkles and cherry and twinky and pinky and FeFe live from Gay Paree fanfares rim shots backstage who cares all this hot burlesque for me cleavage cleavage thighs and hips from the nape of her neck to the lip stick lips chopped and channeled and lowered and louvered and a cheater slicks and baby moons she’s hot and ready and creamy and sugared and the band is awful and so are the tunes crawlin on her belly shakin like jelly and I’m gettin harder than Chinese algebraziers and cheers from the compendium here hey sweet heart they’re yellin for more squashin out your cigarette butts on the floor and I like Shelly you like Jane what was the girl with the snake skins name it’s an early bird matinee’ come back any day getcha little sompin that cha can’t get at home getcha little sompin that cha can’t get at home pasties and a g-string beer and a shot Portland through a shot glass and a Buffalo squeeze popcorn front row higher than a kite and I’ll be back tomorrow night and I’ll be back tomorrow night
Well I got a bad liver and a broken heart yea 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 been chippied I been chumped on my stool so buy this fool, some spirits and libations it’s these railroad station bars with all these conductors and the porters and I’m all out of quarters and this epitaph is the aftermath yea I choose my path hey come on Cath, he’s a lawyer he ain’t the one for ya and no the moon ain’t romantic it’s intimidating as hell and some guy’s tryin to sell mea 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, 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 nothin but rest us assured and substantiate the rumors that you’ve heard
The jigalo’s jump in salty ain’t no trade out on the streets half past the unlucky and the hawk’s a front row seat dressed in full orquestration stage door johnnys got to pay and send him home talking bout the one that got away could a been on easy street could a been a wheel with irons in the fire and all them business deals but the last of the big time losers shouted before he drove away I’ll be right back as soon as I crack the one that got away the ambulance drivers don’t give a shit they just want to get off work and the short stop and the victim have already gone berserk and the shroud tailor measures him for a deep six holiday the stiff is froze, the case is closed on the one that got away Jim Grow’s directing traffic with them cemetery blues with those peculiar looking trousers and them old Italian shoes the wooden kimona was all ready to drop in San Francisco bay but now he’s mumbling something all about the one that got away Costello was the champion at the St. Moritz Hotel and the best this side of Fairfax reliable sources tell but his reputation is at large and he’s at Ben Frank’s every day waiting for the one that got away he’s got a snake skin sportshirt and he looks like Vincent Price with a little piece of chicken and he’s carving off a slice but someone tipped her off she’ll be doing a Houdini now any day she shook his hustle the Greyhound Bus’ll take the one that got away Andre is at the piano behind the Ivar in the Sewers with a buck a shot for pop tunes and a fin for guided tours he could of been in Casablanca he stood in line out there all day but now he’s spilling whiskey and learning songs about the one that got away well I’ve lost my equilibrium my car keys and my pride tattoo parlor’s warm and so I huddle there inside the grinding of the buzz saw whatchuwanthathingtosay just don’t misspell her name buddy she’s the one that got away
Well small change got rained on with his own .38 and nobody flinched down by the arcade and the marquise weren’t weeping they went stark ravin’ mad and the cabbies were the only ones that really had it made cause his cold trousers were twisted and the sirens high and shrill and crumpled in his fist was a five dollar bill and the naked mannikins with their cheshire grins and the raconteurs and roustabouts said buddy come on in cause the dreams ain’t broken down here now ... they’re walkin’ with a limp now that small change got rained on with his own .38 and nobody flinched down by the arcade and the burglar alarm’s been disconnected and the newsmen start to rattle and the cops are tellin’ jokes about some whore house in Seattle and the fire hydrants plead the 5th amendment and the furniture’s bargains galore but the blood is by the juke box on an old linoleum floor and it’s a hot rain on 42nd Street and now the umbrellas ain’t got a chance and the newsboy’s a lunatic with stains on his pants cause ... small change got rained on with his own .38 and no one’s gone over to close his eyes and there’s a racing form in his pocket circled Blue Boots in the 3rd and the cashier at the clothing store he didn’t say a word as the siren tears the night in half and someone lost his wallet well it’s surveillance of assailants if that’s whachawannacallit but the whores still smear on and they all look like but their mouths cut just like razor blades and their eyes are like stilettos and her radiator’s steaming and her teeth are in a wreck now she won’t let you kiss her but what the hell did you expect and the gypsies are tragic and if you wanna buy perfume, well they’ll bark you down like carneys ... sell you Christmas cards in June but ... small change got rained on with his own .38 and his headstone’s a gumball machine no more chewing gum or baseball cards or overcoats or dreams and someone is hosing down the sidewalk and he’s only in his teens small change got rained on with his own .38 and a fist full of dollars can’t change that and someone copped his watch fob and someone got his ring and the newsboy got his pork pie Stetson hat and the tuberculosis old men at the Nelson wheeze and cough and someone will head South until this whole thing cools off cause small change got rained on with his own .38 yea small change got rained on with his own .38
Well I don’t mind working cause I used to be jerkin off most of my time in the bars I been a cabby and a stock clerk and a soda fountain jock jerk and a manic mechanic on cars It’s nice work if you can get it now who the hell said it I got money to spend on my girl but the work never stops and I’ll be bustin my chops working for Joe & Sal. and I can’t wait to get off work and see my baby she said she’d leave the porch lite on for me I’m disheveled I’m disdainful I’m distracted and it’s painful but this job sweepin up here is gainfully employing me tonight Tom do this Tom do that Tom, don’t do that count the cash clean the oven dump the trash oh your lovin is a rare and a copacetic gift, I’m a moonlight watchmanic it’s hard to be romantic (sweeping up over by the cigarette machine sweeping up over by the cigarette machine) and I can’t wait to get off work and see my baby she be waiting up with a magazine for me clean the bathrooms, clean urn good oh you’re Iovin I wish you would come down here and sweepameoffmyfeet this broom’ll have to be my baby if I hurry I just might get off before the dawns early light


Small Change is a masterpiece that contains some of Waits’ best early work. Classic jazz, Tin Pan Alley, and Stephen Foster filtered through Tom’s unique worldview and lyrical genius. Heartbreaking, hilarious and always vivid, songs like “Step Right Up”, “Tom Traubert’s Blues”, “I Wish I Was in New Orleans”, “The Piano Has Been Drinking”, and “Invitation to the Blues” are all classics that have influenced generations of songwriters since. Recorded with a live orchestra and featuring jazz legend Shelly Manne on drums, Small Change is a classic and stands as one of Tom Waits most popular recordings.


released March 9, 2018

TOM WAITS: vocals and piano
accompanied by these great musicians:
LEW TABACKIN: tenor sax.
Shelly Manne appears through the courtesy of Flymg Dutchman
Productions Ltd.

Violins: Harry Bluestone (Concertmaster), Israel Baker,
Nathan Kaproff, Nathan Ross, George Kast, Murray Adler,
MarvinLimonick, Alfred Lustgarten, Sheldon Sanov.
Violas: Sam, David Schwartz, Allan Harshman.
Celli: Ed Lustgarten (Orchestra Manager), Kathleen Lustgarten,
Ray Kelley, Jesse Ehrlich.
Recorded complete and direct to 2-Track Stereo Tape at Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, California on July 15, 19, 20, 21, 29, 1976.
Produced and engineered by Bones Howe
2nd Engineers: Geoff Howe and Bill Broms
Disc Mastering: Terry Dunavan, Elektra Sound Recorders, Los Angeles

Cover Photography: Joel Brodsky
Back Cover Photography: Bruce Weber
Design: Cal Schenkel.

Special thanks to Shelly Manne for his drumistikly pasturized
conktribution and the 8xl0 glossy and the neck tie.
Thanks to Frank Vicari, Fitz Jenkins, Chip White, John Forsha
(The Nocturnal Emmissions, N.Y.C.)
Thanks to John Desko

Remastering Supervised by Waits/Brennan and Karl Derfler
Mastered by Peter Lyman at Infrasonic Mastering

Music and lyrics by Tom Waits;
All songs BMG (ASCAP)


all rights reserved



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