Lyrics: “Swordfishtrombone” by Tom Waits

Well, he came home from the war
with a party in his head
and a modified Brougham Deville
and a pair of legs that opened up
like butterfly wings
and a mad dog that wouldn’t sit still

He went and took up with a Salvation Army Band girl
who played dirty water
from a swordfish trombone
he went to sleep at the bottom of Tenkiller Lake
and said, “Gee, but it’s great to be home.”

Well, he came home from the war
with a party in his head
an idea for a fireworks display
and knew that he’d be ready
with a stainless steel machete
and half a pint of Ballentine’s each day

Then he holed up in a room above a hardware store
crying nothing there but Hollywood tears
and he put a spell on some
poor little Crutchfield girl
and stayed like that for 27 years

He packed up all his expectations
he lit out for California
with a flyswatter banjo on his knee
with lucky tiger in his angel hair
benzedrine for getting there
They found him in a eucalyptus tree

Lieutenant got him a canary bird
and skanked her head with every word
and Chesterfielded moonbeams in a song
he got twenty years for loving her
from some Oklahoma governor
saying everything this dough boy does is wrong

Now some say he’s doing the obituary mambo
now some say that he’s hanging on the walll
perhaps this yarn is the only thing
that holds this man together
some say that he was never here at all
some say that they saw him down in Birmingham
sleeping in a box car going by
and if you think that you can tell a bigger tale
I swear to God you’d have to tell a lie.

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