Semi Suite
Tom Waits Lyrics

Well you hate those diesels rollin'
And those Friday nights out bowlin'
When he's off for a twelve hour lay over night

You wish you had a dollar
For every time he hollered
That he's leavin'
And he's never comin' back

But the curtain-laced billow
And his hands on your pillow
And his trousers are hangin' on the chair

You're lyin' through your pain, babe
But you're gonna tell him he's your man
And you ain't got the courage to leave

He tells you that you're on his mind
You're the only one he's ever gonna find
It's kind-a special, understands his complicated soul

But the only place a man can breathe
And collect his thoughts is
Midnight and flyin' away on the road.

But you've packed and unpacked
So many times you've lost track
And the steam heat is drippin' off the walls

But when you hear his engines
You're lookin' through the window in the kitchen and you know
You're always gonna be there when he calls

Cause he's a truck drivin' man
Stoppin' when he can
He's a truck drivin' man
Stoppin' when he can

Written by: TOM WAITS

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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Kyle M

This is one of Wait's most sophisticated, developed songs. every single line can be pretty intricately analyzed.
I'd think the song is about a man singing his thoughts about a woman who is being tied down in an unhealthy relationship with a man constantly cheating on her. Waits uses a Semi Truck driver as a metaphor to someone constantly leaving his woman.
The title itself is a triple entendre: Semi Suite.
a Suite is a form of music that tells a story. Waits only tells half the story- the woman's point of view. Semi is half the story.
Semi (Sweet) meaning the song is only sweet from the man's point of view, the woman is upset with her relationship.
Semi Suite, being a song telling the story of a Semi Truck Driver.
There are many clues to support this idea-

When he's off for a twelve hour lay- "Over night" - spending the night away claiming to be on business
wish you had a dollar everytime he said he wasn't coming back
Lyin through your pain, ain't got the courage to leave- (She's being cheated on and still staying)
Trousers are hangin on the chair (they are sleeping together)

You're the only one he's ever gonna find (The man lying to his woman)
Packed and Unpacked (he's kicked her out and told her to come back and she keeps coming back)
hence- you're always gonna be there when he calls

"He's a truck drivin man, stoppin when he can"
-he's going to keep coming and going, only stopping when it's convenient to him

All comments from YouTube:


best comment I found made me laugh out aloud too . Quote "This song makes me want to walk around my house in black lingerie. And I'm a guy."


beachfrontal Makes me want to lay outside in the grass, drinking from a bottle of cheap wine and smoking cigs watching the stars dance in the sky.

Shane Stanley

you just dont get album covers as good as that anymore

Theresa Marriott

Colder than a well diggers arse... great tune...


From top to bottom, this album can stand against any other album by any artist.


Ha, I was just wondering if someone had posted this great song after I was just listening to Please Call Me Baby. This is my second fav song on the album and I love how his lyrics paint the picture. This is a great song to sing over a giant scotch.

Tommy The Cat

Please call me baby was dedicated to Bobi Thomas, one of Tom's girlfriends

Ander S

opuscat great scotch!

Jae Mabry

thank you thank you for the upload!

Manny Suardi

so damn good........

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