Tom Traubert’s Blues

tom waits

One night in the 70’s, when I was listening to my favorite radio station a song came on, a song that I had never heard before. It was in English and the voice of the singer was different, it gave me goose pimples and got my attention. I heard the German word  “waltzing” in between all the English lyrics and wondered how that could be.

A waltz (Walzer) is an old Austrian dance, but the music wasn’t a Waltz. I couldn’t really make out what is was all about -my English was non-existing then- but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know more about the singer and the song itself. In the middle of the song I pressed “record”, didn’t care, that it would destroy one of my carefully recorded tapes, that was in the cassette player. I just wanted to have at least parts of the song, so I could find out more about it.

I got a piece of paper and a pen, sat by the radio and waited for the end of the song, when the radio host would mention the name.

I got the name, but not really the title. I was crushed. Research was harder then, but although more fun. I walked around with my cassette player and it took weeks until I finally had all the information I needed. The song was from a brand new album by a guy named Tom Waits.

Tom Waits and I have an ongoing one-sided love affair ever since. He is one of my favorite artists and every time I hear “Tom Traubert’s Blues”  I think back at the time, when I heard it for the first time, back home in Austria.

Tom Waits story how he wrote the song and came up with the lyrics is very interesting and you can read all about it >>>here<<<

Well, thank you daily prompt, this was a nice trip down on memory lane.

Always Something There to Remind Me

A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.


16 thoughts on “Tom Traubert’s Blues

  1. Listening to Tom Waits I also recognize the music as having strong links to Australian unofficial national anthem and sound very much the same.. His voice is unique.
    “The original lyrics were written in 1895 by Australian poet Banjo Paterson. It was first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that the song has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, Queensland.[3] In 2012, to remind Australians of the song’s significance, Winton organised the inaugural Waltzing Matilda Day to be held on 6 April, the anniversary of its first performance.[4][5]

    The song was first recorded in 1926 as performed by John Collinson and Russell Callow.[6] In 2008, this recording of “Waltzing Matilda” was added to the Sounds of Australia registry in the National Film and Sound Archive which says that there are more recordings of “Waltzing Matilda” than any other Australian song.[4″

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read about it once, years ago when i was researching that. I was once invited to come to Australia and did more informed myself pretty well. The trip got canceled and I never made it over there. Tom Waits always acknowledged the fact that he borrowed from “Walzing Mathilda.” His version of the song is although called “Four sheets in the wind in Copenhagen”. The story about the Traubert Blues is funny.


  2. Yes definitely, Tom Waites one of my all time favourites, I have a few CD’s from him and even sheet music, although when I play is tunes it definitely does not sound anything near Tom Waites. He is one of the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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