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Table Top Joe
Tom Waits Lyrics

Well my mama didn't want me
On the day I was born
I was born without a body
I got nothing but scorn
But I always loved music
All I had was my hands
I dreamed I'd be famous
And I'd work at The Sands

Singing, Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
Now everyone will know
That I'm Tabletop Joe

I had trouble with the pedals
But I had a strong left hand
And I could play Stravinsky
On a baby grand
I said, â??I'm gonna join the circus
Cause that's where I belong'
So I went to Coney Island
I was singing this song

Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
Now everyone knows
Yeah I'm Tabletop Joe

They gave me top billing
In the Dreamland show
I had my own orchestra
Starring Tabletop Joe
And the man without a body
Proved everyone wrong
I was rich and I was famous
I was where I belonged, yeah

Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
Now everyone knows, yeah
Tabletop Joe

Take it home boy

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Comments from YouTube:

Warrior Star

Heard this song 15-16 years ago, forgot it existed and rediscovered it in 2018! I like it even better than when I was a little kid, probably because I actually know what the lyrics are about.


Love this song, one of my favorites for sure.


My favorite Waits album. Beautifully weird and original.

Big Dictator Energy

"I was rich and i was faaamouuus" no matter how poor or unseen as long as i could hit repeat on this one.


Listening to Waits and knowing the lyrics are two different things. As a musician/composer just listening makes you appreciate it, knowing his lyrics makes you respect him as a story teller. but singing Waits... It makes your throat bleed. I'm growing tonsil stones from the heavy vibrations disturbing my tonsils, and I sound like I just smoked an oak tree, but damn, is it satisfying to sing along!


That's diaphragm singing, not throat.

gold E hawn

the 1st time i heard this song, a few weeks ago, i got this image of a drunk guy singin in the bathtub. and i liked the sound and rawness of it.

Jordan Peters

Washing his back with a luffa and chugging a fifth of Jack in a wash and rinse bucket only large enough to hold him if his knees are up on his chest, with a small transistor radio on the front porch of a beat up old shack.

Johan Hougaard

it was'nt me

Scott Annett

Totally scrubbing hisself down with a bath handle broom...I get ya! 6 years later Lol!

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