Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Come On Up to the House

Last night we rehearsed a song by Tom Waits, Come On Up to the House. As we added harmonies and instrumentation, the sound took me back to being a kid sitting in my grandmother's kitchen in Chesnee, South Carolina. I drink sweet coffee (a combination of warm milk with sugar and coffee added) and listen to one of my uncle's bands rehearsing in the living room.

It is heaven.

Come On Up to the House
Tom Waits

Well the moon is broken
And the sky is cracked
Come on up to the house
The only things that you can see
Is all that you lack
Come on up to the house

All your cryin
Don't do no good
Come on up to the house
Come down off the cross
We can use the wood
Come on up to the house

Come on up to the house
Come on up to the house
The world is not my home
I'm just a passin thru
Come on up to the house


There's no light in the tunnel
No irons in the fire
Come on up to the house
And your singin lead soprano
In a junkman's choir
You gotta come on up to the house

Does life seem nasty,
Brutish and short
Come on up to the house
The seas are stormy
And you can't find no port
Come on up to the house

Come on up to the house
Come on up to the house
The world is not my home
I'm just a passin thru
Come on up to the house


There's nothin in the world
That you can do
You gotta come on up to the house
And you been whipped by the forces
That are inside you
Come on up to the house

Well you're high on top
Of your mountain of woe
Come on up to the house
Well you know you should surrender
But you can't let go
You gotta come on up to the house

Come on up to the house
Come on up to the house
The world is not my home
I'm just a passin thru
Come on up to the house

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that, Teflon. It's music I normally don't listen to, but I enjoyed the video & the tune. Is it the childhood memories, the lyrics or the music that make it most special for you?
    sree

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sree,

    I like your question. I've been thinking about it all day.

    It's funny the things that take you back. Sometimes I can pin down a single trigger and at other times it seems to be the confluence of many stimuli.

    The other night was a case of the latter. As we played the song with drifted into a southern gospel kind of feel: octave bass lines with my left hand, big percussive chords with my right, bluesy fills and flourishes, three part harmony. It's the music that goes back as far as my memory. My grandmother played the B3 and my grandfather led the singing.

    There was also the sense of camaraderie with my bandmates, a sense of brotherhood and sharing.

    And finally, there was the folksy wisdom and perspective that I always heard from my grandfather. Come down off the cross; We can use the wood. Come on up to the house.

    It's like, "Hey, I know it's been tough. Time for a break. What you need is a glass or ice tea and a good meal. Come on up to the house."

    Teflon

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, Tef, those certainly look like deep bonds.

    The folksy wisdom attracted me too, the friendly offer of safe harbor, but I was struck by the two lines buried in the refrain: The world is not my home, I'm just a passin' thru. Seems to make the hospitality just a bit more special.

    ReplyDelete

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