Empty Pockets (aka Purple Avenue)


As I slow down on purple avenues
To march around in Aprilís shoes
The weathervanes remind
Of summertimes that Iíve left behind
All the moneyís gone for auld lang syne
I spent on Eastern Standard Time
What happened to my roll
September fell right through the hole
All Iíve got is empty pockets now

Oh why does August try so hard
To hoist me on my own petard
Iíve learned one thing from losing her
An ounce of preventionís worth a pound of cure
The shadows fall, I cannot thread
The tenor of the things youíve said
All thatís left is flesh and bone
The lights are on but no oneís home
All Iíve got is empty pockets now

I spill myself another drink
I count the whiskers in the sink
The orchestra is blind
But Iíve never been the worrying kind
Subsequently and furthermore
Iíll sleep right here on the draining board
I will never be paroled
I like to drink them while theyíre cold
All Iíve got is empty pockets now


Words and music by Tom Waits
©1981 Fifth Floor Music Inc



Tom Waits: Vocals and piano
Teddy Edwards: Tenor saxophone
Greg Cohen: Upright bass


Thereís only one recording of this song by Tom himself:

Montreal Jazz Festival, The Expo Theatre, Montreal, July 3, 1981
Boot title: Shadows of Intolerance
Also on: Iím a Jack-Off of All Trades
Also on: Tales from the Underground Volume 4


Holly Cole made a cover of the song, renamed ĎPurple Avenueí and with slightly altered lyrics, on her album ĎTemptationí in 1995