"Big Black Mariah" as written by and Waits Tom....
Well, cutting through the cane break, rattling the sill
Thunder that the rain makes when the shadow tops the hill
Big light on the back street, hill to ever more
Packing down the ladder with the hammer to the floor
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the Big Black Mariah
Here come the Big Black Mariah, I seen the big black Ford

Well, he's all boxed up on a red belle dame
Hunted Black Johnny with a blind man's cane
A yellow bullet with a rag out in the wind
An old blind tiger, got an old bell Jim
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the Big Black Mariah
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the big black Ford

Sent to the skies on a Benny Jag Blue
Off to bed without his supper like a Linda bride do
He got to do the story with the old widow Jones
Got a wooden coat, this boy is never coming home
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the Big Black Mariah
Here come the Big Black Mariah, I seen that big black Ford
Cut through the canebrake, oh yeah

Well, he's all boxed up on a red belle dame
Flat Blue Johnny with a blind man's cane
A hundred yellow bullets shook a rag out in the wind
An old blind tiger, on a bell you win
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the Big Black Mariah
Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the big black Ford


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Big Black Mariah" as written by Thomas Alan Waits

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Big Black Mariah song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenti thought it was about a cop car...cop cars are usually fords, however, hearses are NOT fords...
    milk_and_honeyon September 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I was a kid (in England), police cars were always called Black Mariahs. Which confused me, as they were always pale blue & white back then.
    Anyone got any ideas about the rest of it? I know a wooden coat is a coffin & would guess that "Benny Jag Blue" is a drug reference, but beyond that I'm stumped. How the hell does Tom Waits write these fantastic, evocative songs & nobody knows what they mean?
    morbid moragon June 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a paddy wagon - what we would call the police van, rather than the car.

    Man's on the run - "cut through the cane break". He's got a lot of serious charges against him, and he's going away for a while when they get him: "Got a wooden coat, this boy is never coming home".
    TedPikulon April 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBig Black Mariah is a slang term originating in New Orleans to describe a hearse.
    morris13on September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBig Black Mariah is a slang term originating in New Orleans to describe a hearse.
    morris13on September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCanebreak is an area of land covered by thick canes.

    Red Belle Dame is slang for a type of wine.

    Yellow Bullet is a drag race car.

    Linda bride I think is a reference to a series of romance novels.

    Mmmaspirinon October 03, 2016   Link

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