"Back in the Good Old World (Gypsy)" as written by and Tom Waits....
When I was a boy, the moon was pearl the sun a yellow gold
When I was a man, the wind blew cold the hills were upside down
But now that I have gone from here there's no place I'd rather be
Than to float my chances on the tide Back in the good old world

On October's last I'll fly back home rolling down winding way
Scare crows are all dressed in rags out at the edge of the field I lay
And all I've got's a pocket full of flowers on my grave
Oh but summer is gone I remember it best

Back in the good old world
And all I've got's a pocket full of flowers on my grave
Oh but summer is gone and I remember it best
Back in the good old world


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Back in the Good Old World (Gypsy)" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Back in the Good Old World (Gypsy) song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentfor me, this song is about longing for the innocence of childhood. It reminds me of the poem, "the boy and the man" by ee cummings.

    I don't think that Tom meant 'the good old world' litteraly, but more in the sense of seeing childhood and adulthood as two different worlds.

    "When I was a boy, the moon was a pearl the sun a yellow gold.
    But when I was a man, the wind blew cold the hills were upside down."
    here he is comparing both worlds, and obviously childhood is the prefered one. i can kind of feel the longing for what was, in those lines.

    "But now that I have gone from here there's no place I'd rather be
    than to float my chances on the tide Back in the good old world."
    I think that part means that he would take his chances and do about anything to get back to 'the good old world.'

    "On October's last I'll fly back home rolling down winding way.
    Scare crows are all dressed in rags out at the edge of the field I lay
    and all I've got's a pocket full of flowers on my grave."
    This part reminds me of death, and maybe that he's hoping that once he dies that there won't be heaven or hell, but 'the good old world' of childhood.

    "Oh but summer is gone I remember it best
    Back in the good old world."
    the ending part I cant place my finger on, I think it may be that he realizes that his childhood is gone and that theres no way of getting it back; and maybe the only thing he can do now is remember the way things used to be.

    I think it's quite a sad song. sad, but still lovely.
    wereTHRIVINGon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationObviously, it's about some sort of nostalgic, re-animated corpse. Nowadays, zombies are a bit clichéd, but this was back in '91, so we can obviously see how far ahead of the curb Mr. Waits was and is.

    Five stars.
    GANDHITRONon April 04, 2011   Link

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