Licorice tattoo turned a gun metal blue
Scrawled across the shoulders of a dying town
Took the one eyed Jacks across the railroad tracks
And the scar on its belly pulled a stranger passing through
He's a juvenile delinquent, never learned how to behave
But the cops'd never think to look in Burma-Shave

And the road was like a ribbon, and the moon was like a bone
He didn't seem to be like any guy she'd ever known
He kind of looked like Farley Granger, with his hair slicked back
She says 'I'm a sucker for a fella in a cowboy hat.
How far are you going?'
Said 'Depends on what you mean'
He says 'I'm only stopping here to get some gasoline'
'I guess I'm going thataway, just as long as it's paved
And I guess you'd say I'm on my way to Burma-Shave'

And with her knees up on the glove compartment
She took out her barrettes, and her hair spilled out like root beer
And she popped her gum and arched her back
'Hell, Marysville ain't nothing but a wide spot in the road
Some nights my heart pounds like thunder
Don't know why it don't explode
Cause everyone in this stinking town's got one foot in the grave
And I'd rather take my chances out in Burma-Shave'

'Presley's what I go by, why don't you change the stations
Count the grain elevators in the rearview mirror'
She said, â??Mister, anywhere you point this thing
It got to beat the hell out of the sting
Of going to bed with every dream that dies here every mornin'
And so drill me a hole with a barber pole
And I'm jumping my parole just like a fugitive tonight
Why don't you have another swig, and pass that car if you're so brave
I want to get there â??fore the sun comes up in Burma-Shave â??

And the spider web crack and the mustang screamed
The smoke from the tires and the twisted machine
Just a nickel's worth of dreams, and every wishbone that they saved
Lie swindled from them on the way to Burma-Shave

And the sun hit the derrick and cast a bat wing shadow
Up against the car door on the shotgun side
And when they pulled her from the wreck
You know, she still had on her shades
They say that dreams are growing wild
Just this side
Of Burma-Shave
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Burma Shave Lyrics

Tom Waits – Burma Shave Lyrics

Songwriters: TOM WAITS

Lyrics term of use