Singer-Songwriter Tom Waits Performs “Ol’ ’55” In 1999, And It’s Absolutely Stunning

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Singer-Songwriter Tom Waits Performs “Ol’ ’55” In 1999, And It’s Absolutely Stunning | Society Of Rock Videos

Left: digitalspy.com, Right: thelinesofbestfit.com

Still Riding With Lady Luck After All These Years

While the Eagles did a fantastic job with their 1974 rendition of “Ol’ ’55,” it’s the original released by gravelly voiced singer-songwriter Tom Waits that still cuts us right to the core more than 40 years later. Featured on Waits’ debut album Closing Time, “Ol’ ’55” has humble beginnings as the album’s leading single that became a minor hit for the California native, eventually becoming a cult classic with its deeply introspective lyrics about being young, in love, and racing home to beat curfew after spending what seems like eternity yet still not even remotely long enough with the person you’re crazy about.

Taken from a live performance in 1999, this footage features Tom performing “Ol’ ’55” for an intimate crowd of fans, all huddled around his piano for a chance to get close to one of the greatest songwriters of the last century and as always, Waits didn’t disappoint.

Fun Fact: Critic Daniel Durchholz describes Waits’ voice as sounding like “it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.”

In a performance that’s equal parts fire and whiskey with just enough sweetness provided by the band to round things out, Tom Waits may not be the most polished vocally – but what he lacks in polish, he more than makes up for in an emotional honesty rarely seen in today’s singer-songwriters.

There’s much to be said for finding what you love and letting it consume you, and after this performance it’s clear that Tom has spent the past 4 decades doing just that. Lucky for us, we’ve gone along for the ride and let his passion for music consume us and bring us to the heart of the human condition.

+ I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You lyrics +

Well my time went so quickly, I went lickety-splickly out to my old ’55
As I drove away slowly, feeling so holy, God knows, I was feeling alive.

Now the sun’s coming up, I’m riding with Lady Luck, freeway cars and trucks,
Stars beginning to fade, and I lead the parade
Just a-wishing I’d stayed a little longer,
Oh, Lord, let me tell you that the feeling’s getting stronger.

And it’s six in the morning, gave me no warning; I had to be on my way.
Well there’s trucks all a-passing me, and the lights are all flashing,
I’m on my way home from your place.

And now the sun’s coming up, I’m riding with Lady Luck, freeway cars and trucks,
Stars beginning to fade, and I lead the parade
Just a-wishing I’d stayed a little longer,
Oh, Lord, let me tell you that the feeling’s getting stronger.

And my time went so quickly, I went lickety-splickly out to my old ’55
As I pulled away slowly, feeling so holy, God knows, I was feeling alive.

Now the sun’s coming up, I’m riding with Lady Luck,
Freeway cars and trucks, freeway cars and trucks, freeway cars and trucks…

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