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Tom Waits — Clap Hands
Album: Rain Dogs
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1472









Released: 1985
Length: 3:37
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Sane, sane, they're all insane, fireman's blind, the conductor is lame
A Cincinnati jacket and a sad-luck dame
Hanging out the window with a bottle full of rain
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands

Said roar, roar, the thunder and the roar
Son of a bitch is never coming back here no more
The moon in the window and a bird on the pole
We can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands

Said steam, steam, a hundred bad dreams
Going up to Harlem with a pistol in his jeans
A fifty-dollar bill inside a palladin's hat
And nobody's sure where Mr. Knickerbocker's at

Roar, roar, the thunder and the roar
Son of a bitch is never coming back here no more
Moon in the window and a bird on the pole
Can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands

I said steam, steam, a hundred bad dreams
Going up to Harlem with a pistol in his jeans
A fifty-dollar bill inside a palladin's hat
And nobody's sure where Mr. Knickerbocker's at

Shine, shine, a Roosevelt dime
All the way to Baltimore and running out of time
Salvation Army seemed to wind up in the hole
They all went to heaven in a little row boat
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands
Comments (237)add comment
Big Tom Waits fan. More please!!!
I had a good friend back in the eighties who used to try to "turn me on" to Tom Waits, this album and others, but I just couldn't really get there at the time. Over the years I've figured out that Waits is one of those artists like Neil Young, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, who have work that I really really like and then other stuff that I just can't stand. I guess that speaks to their willingness to push boundaries and my...limits.
All that said, I really like this song and it motivates me to go find this album and listen to the whole thing again after all these years.  :-)
Not my cup of tea
Whoa, love the segue from Fever Ray to this.
That album cover creeps me out.
So evocative, textured and atmospheric
I can almost smell and feel this song
Nice Tom
Sweet!
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Sometimes Tom sounds eerily similar to the Captain.
Hmmm, have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?

 
"Once you've heard Beefheart," said Tom Waits, "it's hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood."  
 On_The_Beach wrote:

https://misfitmuse.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/dancing-skeletons.gif%3Fw%3D549

 
love this song, and really love your dancing bones boys On_The_Beach!!!
 NickDanger wrote:
Captain Beefheart could give it a run, too.
 
Sometimes Tom sounds eerily similar to the Captain.
Hmmm, have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?
I love the percussive instrumentation in this song.
 Old_Pat wrote:
this could only be done by Tom Waits  or Dr John.

 
Captain Beefheart could give it a run, too.
 CaroBella wrote:
Tom Waits, like beer, is an acquired taste. I've loved his music since I heard Burma Shave, back in the 70's.  I had to laugh the first I heard this song, it shows Wait's sly sense of humor.  The last line of the song is lifted straight from an old song of Shirley Ellis called "The Clapping Song".  Fun Song. :o)
 
Wait a minute - beer is an acquired taste?  I guess I forgot about that acquisition.
 
Love Tom. Fine song writer. Different. Passing the test of time and doing his own thing.  Now I'll do my thing and tap the PSD. 
this could only be done by Tom Waits  or Dr John.
Tom Waits, like beer, is an acquired taste. I've loved his music since I heard Burma Shave, back in the 70's.  I had to laugh the first I heard this song, it shows Wait's sly sense of humor.  The last line of the song is lifted straight from an old song of Shirley Ellis called "The Clapping Song".  Fun Song. :o)
One of a kind, the Pogues played this album and Swordfishtrombones constantly when they were on tour, love it, love it, love it
 fredriley wrote:

Waits sounds like a drunk hobo with a 2-pack-a-day habit, deliberately so I'm sure as he's an astounding street poet. There's only one image goes through my mind when I hear Waits, and that's of an ancient white down-and-out in a dirty mac clutching a bottle and sleeping on park benches. He's the songwriting equivalent of the crime writer James Ellroy who had a down-and-out background.
 
Yes, Fred. Charles Bukowski with a New Orleans Zip Code.
{#Clap}

Sorry!
someone was gonna do it,
just happened to be me!
I thought this was Lil' Wayne singing an acoustic song. {#Roflol}
Truly EPIC segue out of Fever Ray into Clap Hands. Well done, Bill!

I personally find this song creepy, between the xylophon in the background, the sad / haunted voice and the artwork... brr. I don't like listening to that though I see there is a concept of some sort. So "2" instead of "1". I guess the song is good in its own category ;)


 orangecraig wrote:
Check out John Hammond's album 9reviewed by Rolling Stone below)that covered all of Tom Waits material and produced by Tom!
Excellent!
The idea of having veteran blues man John Hammond perform an album of songs written and produced by Tom Waits turns out to be every bit as pleasing to the ears as it appears on paper … What makes Wicked Grin such a splendidly nontraditional-blues album is spelled out in Waits' and Hammond's different approaches to ‘Murder In The Red Barn.' On 1992's Bone Machine, Waits bore down on the song like a man in possession of a terrible secret. When John Hammond sings it here, it's like that secret has been handed down for generations." - Rolling Stone, review of Wicked Grin 

 
That album cover is creepin me out
Check out John Hammond's album 9reviewed by Rolling Stone below)that covered all of Tom Waits material and produced by Tom!
Excellent!
The idea of having veteran blues man John Hammond perform an album of songs written and produced by Tom Waits turns out to be every bit as pleasing to the ears as it appears on paper … What makes Wicked Grin such a splendidly nontraditional-blues album is spelled out in Waits' and Hammond's different approaches to ‘Murder In The Red Barn.' On 1992's Bone Machine, Waits bore down on the song like a man in possession of a terrible secret. When John Hammond sings it here, it's like that secret has been handed down for generations." - Rolling Stone, review of Wicked Grin 
 doktorpsilo wrote:
The lumbering xylophone in the background makes me think this is Dr. John.

 
There is a definite and intentional New Orleans flavor on much of this album.
Never heared this before. Another point for the genius Tom!
 jamelch wrote:
Love this whole album.  I always see dancing skeletons for some reason when I hear this...
 
https://misfitmuse.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/dancing-skeletons.gif%3Fw%3D549
The lumbering xylophone in the background makes me think this is Dr. John.
Love this whole album.  I always see dancing skeletons for some reason when I hear this...
UgLy
 oldfart48 wrote:
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Tom Waits-christmas card by *trev-solo
Trevor Grove ©2008-2010 *trev-solo

This Christmas card wasn't from a Hooker in Minneapolis, but....whaddya gonna do, right?

This is very similar to the other Waits piece I did, but I wanted to have some fun and make a nice Christmas card last year. (yeah, not many of my friends understood how Waits, a dead tree, and a fire-engulfed hand were good subjects for Christmas...but those people are just ridiculous, aren' t they? :D)

Anyway, this was done up in watercolors and colored pencils. about 7X 5 inches or so. If you guys want me to put it up as a print, I'll do that. I have a lot of plans for more Waits pieces that wouldn't fall into this vibe, so hopefully I'll get around to them this year. I want something that feels straight out of Big Time and Frank's Wild Years...

So enjoy the picture!

"There's got to be more than flesh and bone, All that you love is all you own"-Tom Waits
Trev




 " THERE IS NO DEVIL,"   Just Tom......GREAT likeness, thanks



  That is a beautiful painting, I would love to have a print of that.


 fredriley wrote:

You've got weird thought processes. Waits sounds like a drunk hobo with a 2-pack-a-day habit, deliberately so I'm sure as he's an astounding street poet. There's only one image goes through my mind when I hear Waits, and that's of an ancient white down-and-out in a dirty mac clutching a bottle and sleeping on park benches. He's the songwriting equivalent of the crime writer James Ellroy who had a down-and-out background.

If you reckon he's trying to sound black, perhaps you could give examples of black dudes who sound like that? I'm damned if I can think of any.

 
Well said, fred. A lot of Tom's music reminds me of a character from some early Bruce Springsteen whose life took a wrong turn, got mugged in an alley and crawled into a bottle to die. William Kennedy's "Ironweed" is sorta like a Waits song--I'm guessing since I haven't read the book or seen the movie. 

Tom's not trying to sound black. His stuff is about the downside and dark side of American life, when things are awful but too boring to be tragic.  
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Tom Waits-christmas card by *trev-solo
Trevor Grove ©2008-2010 *trev-solo

This Christmas card wasn't from a Hooker in Minneapolis, but....whaddya gonna do, right?

This is very similar to the other Waits piece I did, but I wanted to have some fun and make a nice Christmas card last year. (yeah, not many of my friends understood how Waits, a dead tree, and a fire-engulfed hand were good subjects for Christmas...but those people are just ridiculous, aren' t they? :D)

Anyway, this was done up in watercolors and colored pencils. about 7X 5 inches or so. If you guys want me to put it up as a print, I'll do that. I have a lot of plans for more Waits pieces that wouldn't fall into this vibe, so hopefully I'll get around to them this year. I want something that feels straight out of Big Time and Frank's Wild Years...

So enjoy the picture!

"There's got to be more than flesh and bone, All that you love is all you own"-Tom Waits
Trev




 " THERE IS NO DEVIL,"   Just Tom......GREAT likeness, thanks


there needs to be an 11 at times like this...
 Baby_M wrote:
...but I don't hear anyone clapping....

 

As Elmore would say “Hooptedoodle.”
Give this guitar solo a serious listen, because it's a serious guitar solo.  (I love weird music ...)
Love this! Thank you so much for playing Tom Waits, RP!!!!
 Cynaera wrote:
I seriously think that I need to buy a few of Tom Waits' CDs - this one, for sure - just because whenever things start looking a little TOO good in my life, I need the uneasiness of a song I can't readily understand to remind me of how very good I actually have it. {#Mrgreen}

 

Miss you so much, Cynaera...

everybody in my church loves this song...
 
Everyone in the commune loves this song!  {#Daisy}
Ooooh, reminds me of a boyfriend. That wild roller-coaster life-changing relationship lasted two weeks; I remember it not with bitterness or regret but whatever the equivalent is of drinking the dregs of the coffee pot. With grounds in your cup.

Obviously, there was some great music in there, too.

He dropped me for a woman he later married ... they're still married, twenty years later. Somehow that makes me feel better about it all. *smile*
If this isn't a 10, nothing is.
I'm really happy to hear on RP something from brilliant Rain Dogs album. 9.
Gamalang....I like it.
 terrapin52 wrote:
Yep.  Just what I thought.  It's a white guy trying to sound black.
 
You've got weird thought processes. Waits sounds like a drunk hobo with a 2-pack-a-day habit, deliberately so I'm sure as he's an astounding street poet. There's only one image goes through my mind when I hear Waits, and that's of an ancient white down-and-out in a dirty mac clutching a bottle and sleeping on park benches. He's the songwriting equivalent of the crime writer James Ellroy who had a down-and-out background.

If you reckon he's trying to sound black, perhaps you could give examples of black dudes who sound like that? I'm damned if I can think of any.
...but I don't hear anyone clapping....
 secretsauce wrote:

OK, tell us. What's a Cincinnati jacket?
 
Cincinnati jacket
You asked...

yes 10
 secretsauce wrote:
OK, tell us. What's a Cincinnati jacket?
 
There's a hood that crumples into the high collar.

Everybody in my trailer park puts the pipe down for a second when I blast this one out of my boom box!
If Howlin' Wolf and Marge Simpson had a child out of wedlock, I think he'd sound a lot like ol' Tom here.
I don't know how...
but this one actually doesn't suck

go figure.
That guitar solo by Ribot is off the hook!!!!!!!!
 fingerpin wrote:

Had to google "A Cincinnati jacket" and I live here. Who knew?
Great song by the way. {#Devil_pimp}

 
OK, tell us. What's a Cincinnati jacket?
 alcal74 wrote:
TOO MUCH TOM WAITS. It seems every time I start up RP it's the gravelly voice of this hobo I hear.
 
NOT ENOUGH TOM WAITS!!
Bill, keep playing lotsa Tom Waits. Those of us with good taste love it!


TOO MUCH TOM WAITS. It seems every time I start up RP it's the gravelly voice of this hobo I hear.
 Phototrekker wrote:

Just what you thought huh? 

You are just what I think of when I think of South Carolina -  
  
Given the original comment, I was  thinking that SC was an acronym for something quite different.

 terrapin52 wrote:
Yep.  Just what I thought.  It's a white guy trying to sound black.
 
Just what you thought huh? 

You are just what I think of when I think of South Carolina -  
One of my favorite album covers.  Wonderful song.
so nice, so cool .....when it stops.
Irritating.
Yep.  Just what I thought.  It's a white guy trying to sound black.


Raindogs is my favourite album!! Thanks a lot!
Creepy, and not in a good way. I like Waits, but I can do without hearing this one.
I seriously think that I need to buy a few of Tom Waits' CDs - this one, for sure - just because whenever things start looking a little TOO good in my life, I need the uneasiness of a song I can't readily understand to remind me of how very good I actually have it. {#Mrgreen}


Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

 
calypsus_1 wrote:

Tom Waits-christmas card by *trev-solo
Trevor Grove ©2008-2010 *trev-solo

This Christmas card wasn't from a Hooker in Minneapolis, but....whaddya gonna do, right?

This is very similar to the other Waits piece I did, but I wanted to have some fun and make a nice Christmas card last year. (yeah, not many of my friends understood how Waits, a dead tree, and a fire-engulfed hand were good subjects for Christmas...but those people are just ridiculous, aren' t they? :D)

Anyway, this was done up in watercolors and colored pencils. about 7X 5 inches or so. If you guys want me to put it up as a print, I'll do that. I have a lot of plans for more Waits pieces that wouldn't fall into this vibe, so hopefully I'll get around to them this year. I want something that feels straight out of Big Time and Frank's Wild Years...

So enjoy the picture!

"There's got to be more than flesh and bone, All that you love is all you own"-Tom Waits
Trev
 

That's because i'am listening RP - Applause out of munich
Doesn't Beck do this song too?
Let's hear it for Tom.  2010 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee!!

Tom Waits To Enter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 exquisite


this was used for the Breaking Bad theme song, right?
You can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal
Best part of this song is the last note. 
love to hear more Tom Waits!
This is so cool.

Tom Waits-christmas card by *trev-solo
Trevor Grove ©2008-2010 *trev-solo

This Christmas card wasn't from a Hooker in Minneapolis, but....whaddya gonna do, right?

This is very similar to the other Waits piece I did, but I wanted to have some fun and make a nice Christmas card last year. (yeah, not many of my friends understood how Waits, a dead tree, and a fire-engulfed hand were good subjects for Christmas...but those people are just ridiculous, aren' t they? :D)

Anyway, this was done up in watercolors and colored pencils. about 7X 5 inches or so. If you guys want me to put it up as a print, I'll do that. I have a lot of plans for more Waits pieces that wouldn't fall into this vibe, so hopefully I'll get around to them this year. I want something that feels straight out of Big Time and Frank's Wild Years...

So enjoy the picture!

"There's got to be more than flesh and bone, All that you love is all you own"-Tom Waits
Trev



That's all you do when you see him in concert....(clap hands).
"we can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal."

what a perfect song.

smooooth segue......
One of my all time favorite Tom Waits tunes from one of his best albums.  9.
 mandolin wrote:
...ohmigosh, i can hear it now!..

...it's weird how phonemes and dipthongs can transform so completely based upon expected perception, like an auditory escher piece, but there it is, distinctly enunciated: claire danes...actually, it's almost like a stereogram: you can't see it and can't see it, and then suddenly for an instant it pops into perfect focus, then you lose it again and strain and strain and then suddenly there it is again...
 
Hah!  Claire Danes.  It's certainly a funny mondegreen, and I can kinda see where it comes from, but I don't hear it.  I guess I've just listened to this too many times over the last 20 odd years for it to resolve for me.  The song certainly brings me back though.  I don't listen to a lot of Tom, but for some reason this album just really struck my friends and I at that time. I may have to turn off RP (*gasp*) and listen to the rest of Rain Dogs.

Tom Waits & Escher? They're both great. I don't see a problem.
Great song from a Great Artist.On another note, that is not a young Mr Waits on the cover, even though it looks like him. That picture was taken from a book with pics from *sailors bars" in Europe during the 50's. And that woman is not a nun.
mandolin wrote:
...ohmigosh, i can hear it now!..

...it's weird how phonemes and dipthongs can transform so completely based upon expected perception, like an auditory escher piece, but there it is, distinctly enunciated: claire danes...actually, it's almost like a stereogram: you can't see it and can't see it, and then suddenly for an instant it pops into perfect focus, then you lose it again and strain and strain and then suddenly there it is again...

I wouldn't listen to it twice just to hear that.
And how dare you compare this tripe to Eschers work!!!!
Dolt.

Always an auditory journey
...ohmigosh, i can hear it now!..

...it's weird how phonemes and dipthongs can transform so completely based upon expected perception, like an auditory escher piece, but there it is, distinctly enunciated: claire danes...actually, it's almost like a stereogram: you can't see it and can't see it, and then suddenly for an instant it pops into perfect focus, then you lose it again and strain and strain and then suddenly there it is again...

Had to google "A Cincinnati jacket" and I live here. Who knew?
Great song by the way. {#Devil_pimp}


Tom is a God!!!   {#Innocent}
this is painful


OUTSTANDING Babe, by the way, mjmm!
{#Clap}{#Hearteyes}
 
ugly wrote:

 
ugly wrote:

 


 rtrudeau wrote:
I swear I thought he was saying "Claire Danes." The man needs to learn to enunciate!


That trips me out. I don't understand where you hear Claire Danes... but he does sing in a tower of babel sort of way.

 


 Danny_G wrote:

 
Man, this is really sad (the childish puking post, not the song!).

 Vegivore wrote:
Would someone please give Tom a throat lozenge ....
 
How long did it take you to come up with that one?

 rtrudeau wrote:
Yep—sounds just like it.

I swear I thought he was saying "Claire Danes." The man needs to learn to enunciate!


 


Tom makes my day!!!!
*10*
 Tim_in_N_FL wrote:

One of the more "listenable" Waits tunes.  He's brilliant but I do not find his work very accessible.  My loss, I guess.
Followed by the unlistenable Cut Chemist - The Garden.  Ugh...{#Beat}
 
Very funny, about one year later (now) they played Clap Hands just *after* The Garden...
Is there some strange correlation between the two songs that I am not aware of?

 i4niblind wrote:
Tom's best album up until he released mule variations.... Anyone who slaps on a Waits record is my friend...   There's nobody even remotely similar to this guy..  anyone who attempts fails miserably. .....  Clap On.
 
Yep...Tom is always BRILLIANT. Saw him in concert in Stockholm 99...BRILLIANT. I know, I'm repeating myself.

Let's all get pissed.
I swear I thought he was saying "Claire Danes." The man needs to learn to enunciate!




Do what?
 Kittee wrote:
Wow nice seg..{#Roflol}

.Tom Waits - Clap Hands
Cut Chemist - The Garden
Thievery Corporation - Sound The Alarm
 
One of the more "listenable" Waits tunes.  He's brilliant but I do not find his work very accessible.  My loss, I guess.
Followed by the unlistenable Cut Chemist - The Garden.  Ugh...{#Beat}
Would someone please give Tom a throat lozenge ....
Tom's best album up until he released mule variations.... Anyone who slaps on a Waits record is my friend...   There's nobody even remotely similar to this guy..  anyone who attempts fails miserably. .....  Clap On.
{#Dancingbanana}
I'm no Tom Waits fan but I love this tune.
my favorite tom waits song to date
Wow nice seg..{#Roflol}

.Tom Waits - Clap Hands
Cut Chemist - The Garden
Thievery Corporation - Sound The Alarm
 holborne wrote:
MUTE!!!
 
No way...
{#Dancingbanana_2}

MUTE!!!
 copymonkey wrote:
Nick Cave into Tom Waits....holy razor-blade gargle.
 

LOL...great assessment!
Great work, super musician. What I forgot to add?
:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:
honestly, few intros excite me more than the marimba of clap hands. my heart never fails to beat a bit faster.
Marc Ribot--my fave ax man
Only thing I've heard from Tom Waits lately is "Old '55." I really like this song, though - it's creepy and riveting. Okay, seguéing into "Plena For My Grundle" by Garage A Trois? Talk about shifting gears! Gawd, I love RadioParadise... *sighs contentedly*
Candela wrote:
Yes,... :) Here it is,.. the first song of Tom Waits song that I liked of him before. Now, I like his entire style :) Thank you RP for playing his music :)
Me too. Rain Dogs was my introduction to him, and I love(d) this song. It's a kid's song. Aaron Carter released a version of it called the Clapping Song, and a Canadian retailer used a version in a back to school commercial.
Well, I wanted "eclectic"...I got it. No, not being sarcastic. I like Tom. Gave this one an 8.
:clap: :dance: :clap: :dance: :clap: :dance:
There is always so much more to Toms' music than just his voice! (The unique quality of which tends to grow rather quickly on one....)
Nick Cave into Tom Waits....holy razor-blade gargle.