Song Lyric Sunday — “2:19”

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, I decided not to start with a Google search for Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months and, instead, dug into my iTunes. I was beginning to despair when I reached the Ws, but there it was: “2:19” by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan.

Listening to Tom Waits, his voice sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car,” is an acquired taste. That’s my cover story to avoid admitting that I’ve yet to listen to even one entire CD of the three that comprise “Orphans” despite having owned it since 2012. Man oh man oh man oh man, what I’ve missed! “2:19” is a bluesy, jazzy, rockin’ gem that makes you feel like you’re sitting in a destitute smoky dive sometime in the 1930s. The song is the third cut on the first “Orphans” CD, “Brawlers;” the other 15 are equally compelling. Who knows if I’ll be able to get past “Brawlers” to listen to the second, “Bawlers,” and the third, “Bastards.”

 

 

I lost everything I had
in the ’29 flood
the barn was buried
beneath a mile of mud
now I’ve got nothing
but the whistle and the steam
my baby leaving town on the 2:19now there’s a fellow that’s preaching
about hell and damnation
bouncing off the walls
in the grand central station
I treated her bad
I treated her mean
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

now I’ve always been puzzled
by the yin and the yang
it’ll come out in the wash
but it always leaves a stain
sturm and drang
the luster and the sheen
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

lost the baby with the water
and the preacher stole the bride
sent her out for a bottle
but when she came back inside
she didn’t have my whiskey
she didn’t have my gin
with a hat full of feathers
and a wicked grin

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

on the train you get smaller
as you get farther away
the roar covers everything
you wanted to say
was that a raindrop in
the corner of your eye
were you drying your nails
or waving goodbye

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19