Martha

Yesterday, I featured a poem by Scott Nolan, which he made into a song. Today, a song by Tom Waits that I find quite poetic; another storyteller piece that I read at one of our Friday night poetry circles on Zoom.

“Martha” reminds me a lot of the Harry Chapin song, “Taxi,” and the Jim Croce hit, “Operator.” Through different perspectives, all three songs tell stories of love and longing and, ultimately, the realization of deep loss.

“Operator, number please, it’s been so many years
Will she remember my old voice while I fight the tears
Hello, hello there, is this Martha, this is old Tom Frost
And I am calling long distance, don’t worry about the cost
‘Cause it’s been forty years or more, now Martha please recall
Meet me out for coffee, where we’ll talk about it all

And those were the days of roses, of poetry and prose
And Martha all I had was you and all you had was me
There was no tomorrows, we packed away our sorrows
And we saved them for a rainy day

And I feel so much older now, and you’re much older too
How’s your husband, and how’s your kids, you know that I got married too
Lucky that you found someone to make you feel secure
‘Cause we were all so young and foolish, now we are mature

And those were the days of roses, of poetry and prose
And Martha all I had was you and all you had was me
There was no tomorrows, we packed away our sorrows
And we saved them for a rainy day

And I was always so impulsive, I guess that I still am
And all that really mattered then was that I was a man
I guess that our being together was never meant to be
And Martha, Martha, I love you, can’t you see

And those were the days of roses, of poetry and prose
And Martha all I had was you and all you had was me
There was no tomorrows, we packed away our sorrows
And we saved them for a rainy day

And I remember quiet evenings, trembling close to you”

I enjoy Waits’ singing on this track. There’s more of a softness to his tone than usual… perhaps it is his contemplative spirit showing. And the piano is wonderful: simple, yet compelling, like the story he weaves.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. (And if you enjoyed this post, please click the “like” button or, better yet, leave a comment with your thoughts — I’d love to hear from you!)

This is the official audio for the song from Tom Waits’ YouTube channel. Please remember to click on “thumbs-up” on the video if you appreciated the artist’s work. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: