Saturday, November 03, 2012

Great Drinking Songs (36)

Tom Waits's Frank's Wild Years album has a special place in my heart. Well, they all do; but that one more than most. I played it to death in my first teaching job in the early '90s.

This is one of the many songs that I'd tried and failed to find online many times in the early days of Youtube; now, it seems, more or less everything is becoming available.

Innocent When You Dream is a wistful/hopeful ditty that sounds - is meant to sound - as if it might have been an early 1900s music hall song. It somehow lends itself particularly well to a maudlin bar-room singalong. And indeed, on the album it appears as both a maudlin bar-room singalong and again, as epilogue, in a "78rpm" version recreating the ambience - crackles and all - of a very early recording.

Here's the bar-room version (accompanied by an unfortunately heavy-handed photo montage)...

You can hear the 'original record' version, a different style of melancholy, here.

And here, for a culminating treat, is Tom performing it live, some time towards the end of the '90s.

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