Song of the Day, July 14: Time by Tom Waits

WaitsTimeToday’s song is a powerful ode to inevitability. Tom Waits is known for his eclectic — often challenging — musical palette and his gravel-on-sandpaper vocals. His masterpiece, Rain Dogs, shows these off to great effect, and demonstrates the complexity of his unique vision. Among the finest moments is the quiet ballad Time.

Waits’ builds most of his songs in vignettes, and this is no exception. With fragments of a number of stories, he builds an evocative songscape. The common element is that every story needs just a little more time. Waits offers one of his finest vocals, remarkably smooth and even darker than usual, almost whispering some of the little details. He also offers some wonderful images: “the wind is making speeches and the rain sounds like a round of applause”, for example.

Weary but not resigned, mysterious but accessible, Time is a nice summation of Tom Waits and his music.

Enjoy this powerful song today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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