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Romeo Is Bleeding

from Blue Valentine (Remastered) by Tom Waits

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romeo is bleeding but not so as you’d notice
he’s over on 18th street as usual
lookin so hard against the hood of his car
and puttin out a cigarette in his hand
and for all the pachucos at the pumps
at romeros paint and body
they all seein how far they can spit
well it was just another night
but now they’re huddled in the brake lights of a 58 belair
and listenin to how romeo killed a sherrif with his knife

and they all jump when they hear the sirens
but romeo just laughs and says
all the racket in the world ain’t never gonna
save that coppers ass
he’ll never see another summertime for gunnin down my brother
and leavin him like a dog beneath a car without his knife

and romeo says hey man gimme a cigarette
and they all reach for their pack
and frankie lights it for him and pats him on the back
and throws a bottle at a milk truck
and as it breaks he grabs his nuts
and they all know they could be just like romeo
if they only had the guts

but romeo is bleeding but nobody can tell
and he sings along with the radio
with a bullet in his chest
and he combs back his fenders
and they all agree its clear
that every thing is cool now that romeos here
but romeo is bleeding
and he winces now and then and he leans against
the car door and feels the blood in his shoes
and someones crying in the phone booth
at the 5 points by the store
romeo starts his engine
and wipes the blood off of the door
and he brodys through the signal
with the radio full blast
leavin the boys there hikin up their chinos
and they all try to stand like romeo
beneath the moon cut like a sickle
and they’re talkin now in spanish about their hero

but romeo is bleeding as he gives the man his ticket
and he climbs to the balcony at the movies
and he’ll die without a wimper
like every heros dream
just an angel with a bullet
and cagney on the screen


from Blue Valentine (Remastered), released March 9, 2018


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