Song of the Week – Picking Up After You, Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Happy Valentine’s weekend!  The holiday inspired me to draft a SotW that fits the occasion… in a way.  It’s not a love song but it is a song about love.  Or maybe about how infatuation is whisked away by mundane, daily life.

This Tom Waits/Crystal Gayle duet is arranged in the conversational style that I explored last Valentine’s weekend.  This isn’t simply a duet, but a conversation between the singers.  They bicker:


Looks like you spent the night in a trench
And tell me how long have you been combing your hair with a wrench

The roses are dead and the violets are too
And I’m sick and tired of picking up after you

In the end, the tune’s payoff line gives it a twist:


Take all your relatives and all of your shoes
Believe me, I’ll really swing when you’re gone
I’ll be living on chicken and wine after we’re through
With someone I pick up after you


With someone I pick up after you


With someone I pick up after you

“Picking Up After You” was written for the Academy Award nominated soundtrack for the Frances Ford Coppola film One from the Heart that was released Valentine’s weekend, 1982.

Enjoy… until next week.

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