Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

Hey Charlie, I’m pregnant and living on 9th Street
Right above a dirty bookstore off Euclid Avenue
And I stopped takin’ dope and I quit drinkin’ whiskey
And my old man plays the trombone and works out at the track

He says that he loves me, even though it’s not his baby
He says that he’ll raise him up like he would his own son
And he gave me a ring that was worn by his mother
And he takes me out dancin’ every Saturday night

And hey Charlie, I think about you everytime I pass a fillin’ station
On account of all the grease you used to wear in your hair
And I still have that record of Little Anthony and the Imperials
But someone stole my record player, now how do you like that?

Hey Charlie, I almost went crazy after Mario got busted
I went back to Omaha to live with my folks
But everyone I used to know was either dead or in prison
So I came back to Minneapolis, this time I think I’m gonna stay

Hey Charlie, I think I’m happy for the first time since my accident
And I wish I had all the money we used to spend on dope
I’d buy me a used car lot and I wouldn’t sell any of ‘em
I’d just drive a different car every day dependin’ on how I feel

Hey Charlie, for chrissakes, if you want to know the truth of it
I don’t have a husband, he don’t play the trombone
I need to borrow money to pay this lawyer, and Charlie, hey
I’ll be eligible for parole come Valentine’s day

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 acoustic piano
Da Willie Conga: Yamaha electric grand piano

Track 3 on the album ‘Blue Valentine’ 1978
Time: 4.30

Click HERE for live bootlegs

Magnapop did a cover of the song on the various artists compilation ‘Step Right Up - A Tribute to Tom Waits’ 1995

Swedish band Bad Liver och Hans Brustna Hjärtan did a Swedish version (‘Julkort från en Hora’) on their album of Tom covers ‘14 sånger’ 1989

Sven Henriksen did a Norwegian version (‘Julekort fra ei Hore i Minneapolis’) on his album of Tom covers ‘Röd Pust’ 1996