"Widow's Grove" as written by and Tom Waits Kathleen Brennan....
I met you in the saddle, rode you in the dust
Held your hand to the heavens, pulled your heart to the earth
There was something blinded me more than the mist
And the breath of the cottonwood buds lighter yet

And you rode the maypole of dance hall legs
And galloped to another's embrace
And I bit the flowers from your wrist corsage
And you waltzed too slowly, too slowly you waltzed
With that girl from Widow's Grove

Oh, I'd follow you to the river, that washes out to the sea
Through the wind, through the rain of a cold dark night
That's where I'll be

Near the breath of a swallow, petals dropped as you fell
As you grabbed then shyly held me, against the stone cold well
In your hand was a glass, you held the ice against the night
And it dripped and it sparkled and I laughed a wish

Before it all slipped all down the dark, tunneled well
I heard it melt quietly and I looked at you
Bent to the earth with just one pleading wish
Your skirts brushed to the furious pounding

Oh, I'd follow you to the river, that washes out to the sea
Through the wind, through the rain of a cold dark night
That's where I'll be

I hid in the elm and raised the bough, that hung even with your neck
And I chased you and drowned you, there deep in the lake
And when your mouth was full and wet, I swallowed all your reckless fate
And with your last breath, you moaned too drunk to wake

Oh, I'd follow you to the river, that washes out to the sea
Through the wind, through the rain of a cold dark night
That's where I'll be
Through the wind, through the rain of a cold dark night
That's where I'll be


Lyrics submitted by mulmo

Widow's Grove song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentFrom The Tom Waits Library:

    "Widow's Grove: the song differs considerably from its transcript, indicating that it originally might have been intended as a duet/ dialogue, with the victim speaking from an afterworld.

    - And I bit the flowers from your wrist corsage: Orphans booklet has this transcribed as: "I bit the flowers from MY wrist corsage."

    - Near the breath of a swallow, petals dropped as you fell: Orphans booklet has this transcribed as: "Near the breath of a swallow, petals dropped as I fell."

    - Your skirts brushed to the furious pounding: Orphans booklet has this transcribed as: 'MY skirts brushed to the furious pounding.'"

    So, I am pretty sure this is not some "dirty sex song," nor is it about lesbians. Jealousy, murder and heartbreak? Sure, why not. Horse-sex and/or lesbians? No.
    GANDHITRONon April 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe strings go to a tune like "She's married with a kid, finally split up with Sid." in A Sight For Sore Eyes.
    jackhareon June 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor some reason, this reminds me of A Sight for Sore Eyes.
    gweepson December 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPretty straight-forward murder ballad.
    Tumpon December 02, 2013   Link
  • -1
    General Commenti am now convinced
    this wonderful love song is another case of tom waits trickery
    this song is about sex, and not sensuous romantic sex

    line 1 describes RIDING her in the dust

    something blinded me more than the mist, breath of the cottonwood, underwear is made of cottonwood, breath of underwear, ladies and gentlemen, is a fart

    she RODE the mayPOLE of dance hall LEGS

    seriously go through the song and look for all the "cute" innuendos, i couldn't believe it at first but i am now convinced
    andykdon March 12, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General CommentCottonwood is a tree, I looked it up. But I agree, this is a very tricksy song & isn't what it seems. On the face of it, it's a straightforward song about jealousy & murder. The lyrics rush along & carry you with them & it's only after a few listens that you notice that this very girly girl, with her brushing skirts & her wrist corsage, is dancing with another woman. Which unsettles everything: is this a guy who's jealous because the woman he loves has turned gay on him, is it maybe sung from a woman's point of view, or is the heroine in fact a boy in drag? Very strange song.
    morbid moragon June 21, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General CommentTom Waits co-wrote this song with Kathleen Brennan, so I think that Waits may have schanged the words slightly to put a more masculine view on it, but the song appears to be written from a girls point of view. Also, this song could alternatively be about a man or a horse!
    NellieWhiskeyon June 29, 2008   Link
  • -2
    General CommentA horse??? That sound you hear is my mind boggling.
    morbid moragon September 26, 2008   Link

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