Clap Hands


Sane, sane, they’re all insane
Fireman’s blind, the conductor is lame
A Cincinnati jacket and a sad luck dame
Hangin’ out the window with a bottle full of rain

Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands

Said roar, roar, the thunder and the roar
Sumbitch is never comin’ back here no more
The moon in the window and a bird on the pole
We can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal

Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands

Said steam, steam, a hundred bad dreams
Goin’ up to Harlem with a pistol in his jeans
A fifty dollar bill inside of Paladin’s hat
And nobody’s sure where Mr. Knickerbocker’s at

Roar, roar, the thunder and the roar
Sumbitch is never comin’ back here no more
Moon in the window and a bird on the pole
Always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal

Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands

I said steam, steam, with a hundred bad dreams
Goin’ up to Harlem with a pistol in his jeans
A fifty dollar bill inside of Paladin’s hat
And nobody’s sure where Mr. Knickerbocker’s at

Shine, shine, a Roosevelt dime
All the way to Baltimore and runnin’ out of time
Salvation Army seemed to wind up in the hole
They all went to Heaven in a little row boat

Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands

Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands
Clap hands

Oh clap hands
Oh clap hands
Oh clap hands
Clap hands


Words and music by Tom Waits
©1985 Jalma Music (ASCAP)



Arranged by Tom Waits
Produced by Tom Waits
Engineered and mixed by Robert Musso
Recorded at RCA studios
Mixed at Quadrasonic Studio and RPM Studio


Tom Waits: Vocals and guitar
Marc Ribot: Guitar
Stephen Arvizu Taylor Hodges: Drums
Tony Garnier: Double bass
Robert Previte: Percussion and marimba
Michael Blair: Percussion and marimba


Time: 3.45

Track 2 on the album ‘Rain Dogs’ 1985
Track 2 on the compilation album ‘Beautiful Maladies’ 1998


A Swedish cover (‘Slå Dank’) has been made by Bad Liver och Hans Brustna Hjärtan, on their album ‘14 sånger’ 1989.

Italian band Dona Ray Project did a cover on the album 'A Portrait Of Tom Waits’ 1996