"If I Have to Go" as written by and Tom Waits Kathleen Brennan....
And if I have to go will you remember me?
Or will you find someone else while I'm away?

There's nothing for me in this world full of strangers;
it's all someone else's idea.
I don't belong here and you can't go with me.
You'll only slow me down.

Until I send for you, don't wear your hair that way.
If you cannot be true I'll understand.

Tell all the others you hold in your arms,
I said I'd come back for you.
I'll leave my jacket to keep you warm.
That's all that I can do.


Lyrics submitted by gweeps

If I Have to Go song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentTom Waits is a genius and not enough people realize it. Beautiful song.
    plurjuiceon February 24, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPossibly the saddest song ever...

    And I agree with plurjuice. Tom Waits is horribly underrated
    BobbyjointRitualon March 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is for the love of my life, Dulce María Valdez Aguilar... <3 =(
    lelgusturon December 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEasily my favourite song off Orphans - its simplicity is intrinsic to its beauty, and for me it's a toss up between this song, Martha, and Kentucky Ave as my favourite Tom Waits' songs. I have been listening to him (not always by choice, but never forcced) since 1975 with Closing Time - first taped one of his albums (Heart Attack & Vine) in 1983 - I think I still have that tape somewhere, along with Small Change and Closing Time... and I am slowly growing my "legit" digital collection of his works...
    onewayoutlawon October 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentImagine a world where Tom Waits was Top 40... The less people realise what an artistic genius Tom Waits is the better the whole fucking world - I'd love to have Tom back me up in a serious bar room brawl!
    onewayoutlawon October 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so sad and reminds me of all the break ups and broken dreams in regards to relationships I've had over the years. (Meriem, Ruth, Jane...If your reading this,lol.)

    This song was intended to be included as part of the album (Frank's Wild Years) and it's such a shame that Tom didn't include it as it would have illustrated a softer side to Frank and maybe had made him more human and endearing. It's also a bit of a return to Tom Waits' style from his early to late 70's period.
    BarnabyHugheson October 08, 2015   Link

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