IT’S A GREAT SONG. IF YOU DON’T KNOW IT, SEARCH it out right now. Tom Waits wrote and recorded it in 1985 and it’s been covered many times. Mary Chapin Carpenter does a great version, as does Bob Seger. The big hit cover was by Rod Stewart in 1990.
Tom Waits growls his song in that hoarse gravelly voice which sounds as if it has been soaked in bourbon for a million years. Waits is the hobo poet, the beat poet, the balladeer of the seedy, the romantic, the grotesque.
He creates a world of drunks and hookers and junkies. Romeo is bleeding with a bullet in his chest. Small Change lies dead on the street and the newsboy picks the porkpie hat off the corpse and saunters off wearing it.