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Tom Waits quotes (showing 1-30 of 92)

“My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads. "Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the other day.

I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at you...you're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
Tom Waits
“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
Tom Waits
“There ain't no devil, only God when he's drunk.”
Tom Waits
“Well I got a bad liver and broken heart,
yeah,I drunk me a river since you
tore me apart”
Tom Waits
“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
Tom Waits
“Well, it's either kiss me or kill me, that's how I see it.”
Tom Waits
“I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink.”
Tom Waits
“Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”
Tom Waits
“You can learn a lot about a woman by getting smashed with her.”
Tom Waits
“This is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some little bad days, and I kept them in a little box. And one day, I threw them out into the yard. "Oh, it's just a couple little innocent bad days." Well, we had a big rain. I don't know what it was growing in but I think we used to put eggshells out there and coffee grounds, too. Don't plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me. Choke those little bad days. Choke 'em down to nothin'. They're your days. Choke 'em!”
Tom Waits
“it ain't no sin, to take off your skin and dance around in your bones”
Tom Waits
“The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.”
Tom Waits
“A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't.”
Tom Waits
“and the earth died screaming, while I lay dreaming...”
Tom Waits
“Most of the people I admire, they usually smell funny and don't get out much. It's true. Most of them are either dead or not feeling well.”
Tom Waits
“Oh, I'm not a percussionist, I just like to hit things.”
Tom Waits
“Q: What’s hard for you?

A: Mostly I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Stereo instructions in German.”
Tom Waits
“I’ve always been a word guy, I like weird words and I like American slang and all that and words that are no longer being used… I like to drag them out of the box and wave them around… this is an interesting one, it’s amazing how in addition to punctuation just a little pause in the wrong place can just completely transform the meaning of something.”
Tom Waits
“I don't go to church on Sunday, don't get on my knees to pray, or memorize the books of the Bible, I got my own special way”
Tom Waits
“the earth is not my home, I'm just passing by”
Tom Waits
“I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.”
Tom Waits
“The piano has been drinking, not me.”
Tom Waits
“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”
Tom Waits
“I've lost my equilibrium, my car keys, and my pride.”
Tom Waits
“And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget that history puts a saint in every dream.”
Tom Waits
“All that you've loved is all you own”
Tom Waits
“The big print giveth and the small print taketh away. ”
Tom Waits
“I ain't got no spare/I ain't got no jack/I don't give a shit/I'm not going back”
Tom Waits
“I've been riding on the crest of a slump lately.”
Tom Waits
“Oh I don't mind going to weddings, just as long as it's not my own...”
Tom Waits

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