Tom Waits in wine country.
In 1999, I made a partial list of references to the Moon in Tom Waits songs. Since then, I've seen a few others do the same, but I don't think a complete list has ever been made. I estimate it would be about 100 entries long — averaging over 3 lunar references every year for more than 3 decades.
Below is only about 40% of the known references. I don't know whether you can make it through this, but I hope it will vividly convey the way Waits returns to the Moon, over and over, sort of turning it around in his mind to see it from as many different angles as possible.
The moon's all up, full and big — apricot pit in an indigo sky.
You wear a dress, baby, and I'll a tie, and we'll laugh at that old bloodshot moon in that burgundy sky.
Outside another yellow moon has punched a hole in the nighttime.
Looks like a yellow biscuit of a buttery cue ball moon rollin’ maverick across an obsidian sky.
The moon's a yellow stain across the sky.
November only believes in a pile of dead leaves and a moon that's the color of bone.
The Moon is a cold chiseled dagger and it's sharp enough to draw blood from a stone. He rides through your dreams on a coach and horses and the fence posts in the moonlight look like bones.
And then they all try to stand like Romeo beneath the moon cut like a sickle, and they're talkin' now in Spanish all about their hero.
The moon's a silver slipper, it's pouring champagne stars.
Every time I hear that melody, something breaks inside, and the grapefruit moon, one star shining, can't turn back the tide.
I know I'm gonna change that tune when I'm standing underneath a buttery moon that's all melted off to one side (Parkay). It was just about that time that the sun came crawlin' yellow out of a manhole at the foot of 23rd Street and a dracula moon in a black disguise was making its way back to its pre-paid room at the St. Moritz Hotel.
Everything has its price. Everything has its place. What's more romantic than dying in the moonlight?
The Moon ain't romantic, it's intimidating as hell.
Cheater slicks and baby moons, she's a-hot and ready and creamy and sugared and the band is awful and so are the tunes.
It's 9th and Hennepin, and all the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes, and the moon's teeth marks are on the sky like a tarp thrown over all this.
The moonlight dressed the double-breasted foothills in the mirror, weaving out a negligee and a black brassiere.
Just then Florence Nightingale dropped her drawers and stuck her fat ass half way out of the window with a Wilson Pickett tune and shouted "Get a load of this!" and gave the finger to the moon.
Now the moon's rising, got no time to lose — time to get down to drinking and tell the band to play the blues.
And Zuzu Bolin played "Stavin' Chain" and Mighty Tiny on the saw threw his head back with a mouth full of gold teeth and they played "Lopsided heart" and "Moon over Dog Street."
I like to sleep until the crack of noon, midnight howlin' at the moon, goin' out when I want to, and comin' home when I please.
They be suckin' on Coca Colas and be spittin' Day's Work until the moon was a stray dog on the ridge and the taverns would be swollen until the naked eye of 2 a.m.
I talked baseball with a lieutenant over a Singapore Sling, and I wondered how the same Moon outside over this Chinatown fair could look down on Illinois and find you there — you know I love you, baby.
It's funny you know, cause every now and then — yeah, every now and then, when the moon's holding water, they say old Joe will stop and give you a ride.
Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did — I got what I paid for now.
I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west, I never saw the moonlight until it shone off of your breast.
And the evening stumbles home with his tie undone, and the moon sweeps 7th Avenue as usual. You lie awake at night, you remember when ...
Well, Jesus gonna be here, he's gonna be here soon. He's gonna cover us up with leaves, with a blanket from the moon.
You gotta roll out the carpet, strike up the band, break out the best champagne when I land. You gotta beat the parade drum, hit all the bars — I want the moon and stars!
I got the moon, I got the cheese, I got the whole damn nation on their knees.
My eyes say their prayers to her and sailors ring her bell, the way a moth mistakes a light bulb for the moon and goes to hell.
I'll wait beneath a blood-red moon, a blood-red moon, a blood-red moon, 'neath a blood-red moon. I'd rather die than part from you.
My baby ripped my heart out with every turn of the moon.
Every night the moon and you would slip away to places where you knew that you would never get the blues. Well, now whiskey gives you wings to carry each one of your dreams, and the moon does not belong to you.
There's a golden moon that shines up through the mist, and I know that your name can be on that list. There's no eye for an eye, there's no tooth for a tooth, I saw Judas Iscariot carrying John Wilkes Booth.
When the moon is broken and the sky is cracked, come on up to the house.
When the weathervane's sleeping and the moon turns his back, you crawl on your belly along the railroad tracks.
Well, the smart money's on Harlow and the moon is in the street.
The Moon fell from the sky — it rained mackerel, it rained trout.
The moon in the window and a bird on the pole, always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal.
That’s the way the market crashes. That’s the way the whip lashes. That’s the way the teeth gnashes. That's the way the gravy stains. And that's the way the moon wanes.