FOR ALL AGES

85+ Best Tom Waits Quotes For Musicians-In-The-Making

Tom Waits is a two-time Grammy award-winning American singer-songwriter.

Tom Waits, with his raspy voice and melodious songs about the underclass, gave the world a lot to relate to in their lives.

The two-time Grammy award-winning American singer-songwriter had a distinct style of songs that quickly garnered a cult following. His witty and gritty lyrics on the different aspects of life make it easy to associate with one's own experiences.

Tom Waits' song inspirations come mostly from his experiences traveling around America, and the people he got to meet along the way. His early career saw him perform in American nightclubs, and the Tom Waits story began in one of these clubs, where he got noticed for his unique voice while singing. He was performing jazz, blues, rock and pop music, and was given the opportunity to produce songs under a record label.

Tom Wait's singer-songwriter career evolved quite gradually from that point on, producing brilliant music that tugged on our heartstrings and brought emotions to life. On the topic of love and about his wife, Tom Waits is a true poet. For example, he says, "she has a remarkable imagination... and that's the nation where I live", beautiful right?

We are sure you will enjoy the finest Tom Waits quotes that we have gathered for you. After you're done with these Tom Waits quotes, why not have a look at our [Bob Dylan quotes] and [Johnny Cash quotes] for more singer-songwriter quotes? But for now, enjoy this list of great and impactful Tom Waits quotes.

Tom Waits Quotes About Life

These Tom Waits quotes on life will give you a glimpse of his experiences as an American singer-songwriter. Which of these Tom Waits quotes is your favorite?

1. "Time is just memory mixed in with desire."

-Tom Waits.

2. "The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering."

-Tom Waits.

3. "The big print giveth and the small print taketh away."

-Tom Waits.

4. "Oh, I'm not a percussionist, I just like to hit things."

-Tom Waits.

5. "There's no prayer like desire."

-Tom Waits.

6. "And when you get blue, and you've lost all your dreams; There's nothin' like a campfire and a can of beans."

-Tom Waits, 'Lucky Day'.

7. "It's the same with men as with horses and dogs, nothing wants to die."

-Tom Waits.

8. "Misery is the river of the world. Everybody row!"

-Tom Waits.

9. "You cannot really be too concerned with what people think of you. You're on your own adventure of growth and discovery."

-Tom Waits.

10. "I finally discovered that my life is more important than show business."

-Tom Waits.

11. "It was a choice between entertainment or a career in air-conditioning and refrigeration."

-Tom Waits.

12. "Songs are really just very interesting things to be doing with the air."

-Tom Waits.

13. "I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left."

-Tom Waits.

14. "The average person spends two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change."

-Tom Waits.

15. "When I was younger, I wanted to be older. Now I am older, I am not quite so sure."

-Tom Waits.

16. "The universe is making music all the time."

-Tom Waits.

17. "Everything you can think of is true."

-Tom Waits.

18. "I worry about a lot of things, but I don't worry about achievement... I worry primarily about whether there are nightclubs in heaven."

-Tom Waits.

19. "I'm not fighting for justice. I am not fighting for freedom. I am fighting for my life and another day in the world here."

-Tom Waits, 'Day After Tomorrow'.

20. "You've gotta have somebody to trust, that knows a lot."

-Tom Waits.

Surreal Tom Waits Quotes On Love

These elaborate Tom Waits love quotes will captivate you, just like the best Tom Waits lyrics.

21. "All that you've loved is all you own"

-Tom Waits.

22. "The moon ain't romantic. It's intimidating as hell."

-Tom Waits.

23. "Well the earth died screaming, while I lay dreaming, dreaming of you."

-Tom Waits, 'Earth Died Screaming'.

24. "There was no tomorrows, we packed away our sorrows, and we saved them for a rainy day."

-Tom Waits, 'Martha'.

25. "Well I got a bad liver and broken heart, yeah, I drunk me a river since you tore me apart."

-Tom Waits, 'Bad liver And A Broken Heart'.

26. "I had a beer and now I hear you callin' out for me, and I hope that I don't fall in love with you."

-Tom Waits, 'I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You'.

27. "Sing me a rainbow. Steal me a dream."

-Tom Waits, 'Diamonds And Gold'.

28. "If you get far enough away, you'll be on your way back home."

-Tom Waits, 'Blind Love'.

29. "And I remember quiet evenings, trembling close to you."

-Tom Waits, 'Martha'.

30. "I search the place for your lost face, guess I'll have another round, and I think that I just fell in love with you."

-Tom Waits, 'I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You'.

31. "I did my time in the jail of your arms"

-Tom Waits, 'Who Are You'.

32. "Well, it's either kiss me or kill me, that's how I see it."

-Tom Waits.

33. "I don't think that you should be per­fectly candid and frank about the intimate details of your personal life with the public at large. Subsequently, it creates consider­able personal problems."

-Tom Waits.

34. "And those were the days of roses, of poetry and prose, and Martha all I had was you, and all you had was me."

-Tom Waits, 'Martha'.

35. "What you want is for music to love you back. That's why you pay your dues."

-Tom Waits.

36. "She's got the whole dark forest living inside of her."

-Tom Waits.

37. "See I... I used to know a girl, yeah and it was a hubba hubba and ding dang ding. I said 'Baby, you got everything.'"

-Tom Waits, 'Opening Intro'.

38. "I want to tell you how much I love you, I'm drowning in a sea of love."

-Tom Waits, 'Sea Of Love'.

39. "I married a record collection."

-Tom Waits.

40. "Well, I can see that you are lonesome just like me. And it being late, you'd like some company, well, I'll have had to, I'd look at you, and you look back at me."

-Tom Waits, 'I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You'.

Tom Waits is known for his emotional jazz songs

Thoughtful Tom Waits Quotes

Here are some Tom Waits quotes on writing and other sayings and Tom Waits quotes from Tom Waits' best lyrics.

41. "The folks who know the truth aren't talking... The ones who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up!"

-Tom Waits.

42. "I made a wish on a sliver of moonlight, a sly grin, and a bowl full of stars."

-Tom Waits, 'Lucinda'.

43. "We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge."

-Tom Waits.

44. "There's always free cheddar in the mousetrap baby."

-Tom Waits.

45. "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends."

-Tom Waits.

46. "We have a deficit of wonder right now."

-Tom Waits.

47. "I'm not one of those people the tabloids chase around."

-Tom Waits.

48. "I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in."

-Tom Waits.

49. "Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months."

-Tom Waits.

50. "Most people don't care if you're telling them the truth or if you're telling them a lie, as long as they're entertained by it. You find that out really fast."

-Tom Waits.

51. "The old men in the lobby: that's where the stories were."

-Tom Waits.

52. "She [my wife] once said, 'I didn't marry a man; I married a mule!' I kept thinking about it. It was in the back of my head. I think it makes a good title for an album."

-Tom Waits.

53. "We are monkeys with money and guns."

-Tom Waits.

54. "We live in an age when you say casually to somebody 'What's the story on that?', and they can run to the computer and tell you within five seconds. That's fine, but sometimes I’d just as soon continue wondering."

-Tom Waits.

55. "Most of the things you absorb you will ultimately secrete."

-Tom Waits.

56. "My father was an exhaust manifold and my mother was a tree."

-Tom Waits.

57. "Any place is good for eavesdropping if you know how to eavesdrop."

-Tom Waits.

58. "If there's one thing you can say about mankind: There's nothing kind about man."

-Tom Waits.

59. "And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, 'Cut all the straight trees.'"

-Tom Waits.

60. "I never told the truth so I can never tell a lie."

-Tom Waits.

The Essential Set Of Tom Waits Quotes

A colorful set of witty Tom Waits, singer-songwriter quotes from his life for everyone to enjoy.

61. "I always thought songs are movies for the ears, and films are like songs for the eyes."

-Tom Waits.

62. "And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange."

-Tom Waits.

63. "You know, I don’t like straight lines. The problem is that most instruments are square and music is always round."

-Tom Waits.

64. "On my gravestone I want it to say, 'I told you I was sick.'"

-Tom Waits.

65. "A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't."

-Tom Waits.

66. "I'm one of those guys that is still a bit afraid of the telephone, its implications for conversation."

-Tom Waits.

67. "I always had a great appreciation for jazz, but I'm a very pedestrian musician. I get by."

-Tom Waits.

68. "The trick is to have a career and have a family. It's like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night."

-Tom Waits.

69. "Bringing up children was like living with a bunch of drunks... you really have to be on your toes all the time."

-Tom Waits.

70. "If you're a writer, you know that the stories don't come to you - you have to go looking for them. "

-Tom Waits.

71. "You learn as much from your kids as they learn from you."

-Tom Waits.

72. "I like to think that my main instrument is vocabulary."

-Tom Waits.

73. "I can't listen to so much music at the same time. I think you really have to have a diet."

-Tom Waits.

74. "I'm always looking for sounds that are pleasing at the time. The sound of a helicopter is really annoying until you're drowning – and it's there to rescue you. Then it sounds like music."

-Tom Waits.

75. "I still wonder if the jukebox might be the death of live music."

-Tom Waits.

76. "My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane."

-Tom Waits.

77. "Quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness."

-Tom Waits.

78. "I guess I've always lived upside down when I want things I can't have. My wife actually thinks I have a syndrome called Reality Distortion Field."

-Tom Waits.

79. "There is no such thing as nonfiction."

-Tom Waits.

80. "Music has generally involved a lot of awkward contraptions, a certain amount of heavy lifting."

-Tom Waits.

81. "The piano has been drinking, not me."

-Tom Waits.

82. "I'm trying to get music ideas that come and keep them alive. It's like carrying water in your hands. I want to keep it all, and sometimes by the time you get to the studio you have nothing."

-Tom Waits.

83. "I didn't really identify with the music of my own generation, but I was very curious about the music of others."

-Tom Waits.

84. "I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years."

-Tom Waits.

85. "I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas."

-Tom Waits.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you like our suggestions for Tom Waits quotes, then why not take a look at our [Tom Petty quotes], or [quotes about singing] for more?

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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