Jon slyly refers to this as, “A traditional song from Guernsey. Sort of… Not really.” For the Waits fans amongst you and I know there are a few. I was lucky enough to see him on the Heart Attack & Vine tour (Apollo Victoria 81), the album from whence this comes and his last before the stylistic lurch to Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and beyond. I also saw the 85 shows that featured the latter, a real contrast, but by then I was utterly hooked and the first of those two is still one of my all time fave LPs. I think this nicely combines the love ballad (it was written about Kathleen Brennan who he married), with the concertina adding a hint of that twisted cabaret styling he latterly made uniquely his own. Many will also know this via Bruce and this Wiki entry has twice as much about his version as the composer, which I guess probably says much about their relative popularity. I remember desperately playing Tom T’s Blues to my mum, so convinced was I that it was a work of genius, but she just couldn’t get beyond his voice… Hey-ho. It’s nice to have those memories tweaked all the same and I love the pathos that simmers beneath the surface of this tender ballad. It’s as if the weight of love is almost too much to bear. Beautifully delivered.
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