"Black Wings" as written by and Tom Waits....
Well, take an eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
Just like they say in the Bible
Well, never leave a trace or forget a face
Of any man at the table
Any man at the table
When the moon is a cold chiseled dagger
And it's sharp enough to draw blood from a stone
He rides through your dreams on a coach and horses
And the fenceposts in the moonlight look like bones

Well they've stopped trying to hold him
With mortar, stone and chain
He broke out of every prison
When the boots mount the staircase
And the door is flung back open
He's not there for he has risen
He's not there for he has risen

Some say he once killed a man with a guitar string
He's been seen at the table with kings
Well, he once saved a baby from drowning
There are those who say beneath his coat there are wings
Well, some say they fear him

Well, some say they fear him
Others admire him
Because he steals his promise
But one look in his eye
And everyone denies
Ever having met him
Ever having met him

He can turn himself into a stranger
Well, they broke a lot of canes on his hide
He was born away in a cornfield
A fever beats in his head just like a drum inside

Some say they fear him
Others admire him
Because he steals his promise
But one look in his eye
Everyone denies
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Black Wings" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Black Wings song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is mixed cultural metaphors for death around the world. This is also the first that I ever heard from Tom and was hooked afterwards.
    davbro2906on August 07, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNot so much what this song is about, but more what's about this song.
    It really reminds me of the movie No Country For Old Men, more particularly the creepy assassin.
    ravenhawk82on February 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song always reminds me of Randall Flagg. lol
    gweepson August 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou know what this song is about?


    It's about Batman.
    SpadeHandon September 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentblack wings is the ultimate avenger. everyone who has ever crossed him has been screwed over, but he'll save an innocent baby from drowning
    mr093242on June 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the story of Jesus, as retold by Tom Waits. It is the Gospel of Tom Waits. There are some very solid clues, specifically: (1) "He has risen," which is the Easter mantra [technically "he is risen"]; (2) the acceptance and eventual denial of Jesus by Peter, which is described at the end of the song; and (3) the beginning of the last stanza, which states that he was born "away in a cornfield" when "manger" is the word that would have rhymed with "stranger."
    brando39on November 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationPure and simple, this is about death and it's inevitability and the all pervasive dread that it inspires. People try to avoid death, try to act like it's never touched their lives, try to beat it back but it always wins in the end. When a person's number is up, it's up.
    thirstymuseon March 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone have any idea what the phrase "steals his promise" means? I've never heard it before...
    TheSoberPirateon April 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst time i head this song I thought it was about Batman.
    aslonimon February 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI once heard it was about Noriega, dictator of Panama.
    garp1964on May 26, 2015   Link

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