"I'll Be Gone" as written by and Tom Waits....
Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharaohs
I pull the road off of the rise
Tear the memories from my eyes
In the morning I'll be gone

I drink a thousand shipwrecks
Tonight I steal your paychecks
I paint the sheets across my bed
The birds will all fly from my head
And in the morning I'll be gone

Take every dream that's breathing
Find every boot that's leaving
Shoot all the lights in the cafe
And in the morning I'll be gone

I bet a thousand dollars
I have a French companion
I tie myself below the deck
I pull the rope around my neck
In the morning I'll be gone

It takes a life to win her
There is a drum of bourbon
Eight hundred pounds of nitro
His boots are thunder as he plays

There is a stone inside it
Tonight his bones will ride it
I'll need a tent to hide it
And in the morning I'll be gone
And in the morning I'll be gone
And in the morning I'll be gone
And in the morning I'll be gone
And in the morning I'll be gone
And in the morning I'll be gone

Lyrics submitted by archmastermind, edited by jeanenepr

"I'll Be Gone" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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I'll Be Gone song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song seems like a turning point in the narrative. There was no actual play, so the plot never got acted out, and it's left to us to interpret what exactly is happening to that crazy Frank. The first act (though I can't tell where exactly the act break is) seems to be the source of the conflict, where Frank is kind of a loser, and certainly nothing is going well. In the song previous (Innocent When You Dream) the main character seems to looking at his sleeping lover, and is now contemplating suicide, with a whole "I'll show them" mentality. I believe that the main character does in fact die during this song, taking his own life by hanging himself (it's entirely possible that he takes his wife along with him). What follows seems to be an intricate dream, Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen surely paint a picture with the lyrics and the atmosphere of a cloudy, grey little place. Frank claws his way out of this depressing fantasy, and eventually (in his dreams) takes on Vegas and Broadway, finally becoming the winner he wants to be, but only in his dreams. :(
    suckafish27on May 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNothing?? Come on guys, this is an incredible song!!

    I haven't been fortunate enough to see a production of "Frank's Wild Years", so I can only understand the song out of context. Being so, I think it's filled with wonderful random bits of imagery, only a few of which relate to suicide. I think it's a poem about a man fantasizing about stripping down existence into raw, primitive instinct, then killing himself after the epiphany proves too much to bear.
    Still, I will see "Frank's Wild Years" if a theatre company somewhere near me is bat-shit crazy enough to pull it off...
    meltingmanon February 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationNot knowing anything about the background or context of this song, I loved it and wondered what it was about. It's fascinating even if it is just 'random' emotionally evocative images. But recently it occurred to me it could be about dreams. Even the 'narrator' could be the dream (which, in the morning, will be gone).
    Now that I know about the context of "Frank's Wild Years," I'll have to explore the meaning further.
    jeanenepron September 15, 2014   Link

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