Filipino Box Spring Hog (early version)


I hung on to Mary’s stump
I danced with a soldier’s glee
With a rum-soaked crook and a big fat laugh
I spent my last dollar on thee
I saw Bill Bones, I gave him a yell
Kehoe spiked the nog
With a chain link fence and a scrap iron jaw
We’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog

Old John Broken and Jack the Queer
Bought a rabbit in a crawfish bag
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie
Worse brought nothin’ but a bulletproof vest
And her criminal underwear bra
I was naked to the waist with my fierce black hound
And they’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog

Spider rode in from Hollister Berm
With a one-eyed stolen mare
Donned himself in chicken fat
Sawing on a jawbone violin there
Livin’ is easier than falling off a log
When you’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog

Dig a big pit in a dirty alley road
Fill it with madrone and bay
Stinks like hell and the neighbors complain
I don’t give a hoot what they say
Turn that hog, roll him over nice
Baste him with a sweeping broom
You gotta swat them flies and chain up the dogs
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog

Jerk meat possum with grapes and figs
Old Brown Betty in a yellow wig
It ain’t the mince meat filagree
It ain’t the turkey neck stew
It ain’t them bruleed okra seeds
Though she made them a-special for you
Worse just won a prize for her Bottom Black Pie
The beans got thrown to the dogs
Jaheseus Christ, I can always make room
When they’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
They’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
Cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog
They’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog

Oh yeah, they’re cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog


Words and music by Tom Waits
©1993 Jalma Music, Inc. (ASCAP)



Produced by Tom Waits
Associate producer: Kathleen Brennan
Recorded by Biff Dawes at Prairie Sun Recording, Cotati, CA


Tom Waits: Vocals and percussion
David Hidalgo: Fiddle
Larry Taylor: Bass


Time: 3.40


Track ? on the compilation ‘Born to Choose’ 1993
Track 16 on ‘Tales from the Underground Volume 1’


Live versions available on these bootlegs:

Don Hyde Benefit
The Paramount Theatre, Oakland, February 4, 1996
Storming Heaven Benefit
The Raven Theatre, Healdsburg, August 11, 1996
Morning Becomes Eclectic
KCRW Radio, Santa Monica, March 31, 1998


Tom's introduction from 'Morning Becomes Eclectic':

‘In my old neighborhood we used to have rent parties. You know, you couldn’t make the rent. So they’d have a big festival out in the alley, and cook a pig and invite a lot of people, and charge them money of course. But most people brought something too. So they’d dig a big pit and then cook a big pig. And there’s like two hundred people there, out in the alley.
But I was staying in this place where they had a mean landlord, and everybody hated the landlord. There wasn’t any point in having a rent party, cause you’d already been evicted. And so somebody had the idea that we’d have this big barbecue. And we’d have it IN the house. So they sawed all the floorboards out of the living room, and dug a hole in the living room, and put the box springs of a mattress down there. And underneath the box springs there was a lot of madrone and eucalyptus and... And then, you know, and then they’d put the pig on top of the box springs. And we had this big barbecue. It was memorable. Everyone is still talking about it.
So anyway, this is about that.’