Blue Valentines

She sends me blue valentines all the way from Philadelphia
To mark the anniversary of someone that I used to be
And it feels like a warrant is out for my arrest
Baby, you got me checkin’ in my rearview mirror
That’s why I’m always on the run, it’s why I changed my name
And I didn’t think you’d ever find me here

To send me blue valentines, like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe, as I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory, baby, it’s the thistle in the kiss
It’s the burglar that can break a rose’s neck
It’s the tatooed broken promise I gotta hide beneath my sleeve
I’m gonna see you every time I turn my back

Oh, you send me blue valentines, though I try to remain at large
They’re insisting that our love must have a eulogy
Why do I save all this madness here in the nightstand drawer
There to haunt ‘pon my shoulders, baby I know
I’d be luckier to walk around everywhere I go
With this blind and broken heart that sleeps beneath my lapel

Instead these blue valentines to remind me of my cardinal sin
I can never wash the guilt or get these bloodstains off my hands
And it takes a whole lot of whiskey to make these nightmares go away
And I cut my bleedin’ heart out every night
And I’m gonna die just a little more on each St. Valentine’s day
Don’t you remember, I promised I would write you

These blue valentines
Blue valentines
Blue valentines

Words and music by Tom Waits
©1978 Fifth Floor Music Inc. (ASCAP)

Produced and engineered by Bones Howe
2nd engineers: Geoff Howe and Ralph Osborne
Recorded at Filmways/Heider Recording, Hollywood, July-August, 1978

Tom Waits: Vocals and electric guitar
Ray Crawford: Electric guitar solo

Time: 5.50

Track 10 on the album ‘Blue Valentine’ 1978
Track 10 on the compilation CD ‘Asylum Years’ 1986
Side B of a ‘Heartattack and Vine’ 7" single 1993
Track 2 on a ‘Heartattack and Vine’ CD single 1993

Click HERE for live versions

A swedish cover (‘Blå Violer’) was released in 1989 by Bad Liver och Hans Brustna Hjärtan, on their album of Tom covers ‘14 Sånger’.