"Table Top Joe" as written by and Tom Waits Kathleen Brennan....
Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
everyone knows Tabletop Joe

well his mama didn't want him
on the day he was born
born without a body
he got nothing but scorn

but he always loved music
all he had was his hands
and he dreamed he'd be famous
and he'd work at the Sands

Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
everyone knows Tabletop Joe

he had trouble with the pedals
but he had a strong left hand
and he could play Stravinsky
on a baby grand

Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
everyone knows Tabletop Joe

he said "I'm gonna join the circus
cause that's I where I belong"
and he went to Coney Island
singing this song

and they gave him top billing
in the Dreamland show
he had his own orchestra
starring Tabletop Joe

and the man without a body
proved everyone wrong
he was rich and he was famous
and he was where he belonged

singing Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe
now everyone knows, Tabletop Joe
now everyone knows, Tabletop Joe
singing Tabletop Joe, Tabletop Joe...

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Table Top Joe song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about Johnny Eck "The Amazing Half Boy." He was Born without the lower half of his body and was sideshow preformer in the early 20th century. Outside the circus relm he was a very gifted atrist, talented musician and orchestra conducter. And an amazing person.
    SassCastleInTheSnowon September 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe demo version is pretty creepy... like he's hitting bones
    MardyAsson November 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbout a man who is just hands and a head who is a piano player??
    ikefoxon October 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou know what, the lyrics are "I" instead of "he"
    i'll think about the meaning for this later ahah. this is a pretty cool song though.
    SKULLZORon January 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, I had no idea this was based on a true story. I think Johnny Eck may have been one of the freaks in "Freaks". Tom Waits never ceases to fascinate. Having only heard this recently for the first time it has quickly become one of my TW favourites.
    Irishmonkon August 27, 2009   Link

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