Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Rain Dog 'Shiver My Timbers' (Tom Waits) - suicide? (16) RE: 'Shiver My Timbers' (Tom Waits) - suicide? 09 Jul 10

Q (1999): You've said that you tend to "bury" directly autobiographical stuff. What about Who Are You? Should we know who that's about?

TW: "Gee, I dunno. I think it's better if you don't. The stories behind most songs are less interesting than the songs themselves. So you say, "Hey, this is about Jackie Kennedy." And it's, "Oh, wow." Then you say, "No, I was just kidding, it's about Nancy Reagan." It's a different song now. In fact, all my songs are about Nancy Reagan."

(Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Waits, like quite a lot of writers, never likes to give too much away about what his songs might mean. You could certainly read that as a song about someone who is going to commit suicide. You could possibly read it as a song about someone who is dying.

I would not agree with Joe that Waits has written lots of songs that could be considered "suicidal," but I do agree with him about the Holly Cole cover. The version on the album Temptation (which is all Waits songs) is one I like a lot

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.