I spent all my money in a mexican whorehouse,
Across the street from a catholic church,
And then I wiped off my revolver,
And I buttoned up my burgundy shirt,

I shot the morning in the back,
With my red wings on,
I told the sun he'd better go back down,
And if I can find a book of matches,
I'm goin' to burn this hotel down.

You got to tell me brave captain,
Why are the wicked so strong,
How do the angels get to sleep,
When the devil leaves the porchlight on.

Well I dropped thirty grand on the nugget slots,
I had to sell my ass on fremont street,
And the drummer said there's sanctuary,
Over at the Baghdad room,

And now it's one for the money, two for the show,
Three to get ready, and go man go,
I said tell me mr. siegel,
How do I get out of here.

Well willard's knocked out on a bottle of heat,
Drivin' dangerous curves across the dirty sheets,
He said man you ought to see her,
When her parents are gone,

Man you ought to hear her when the siren's on.
You got to tell me brave captain,
Why are the wicked so strong,
How do the angels get to sleep,
When the devil leaves the porchlight on.

Don't you know that ain't no broken bottle,
That I picked up in my headlights,
On the other side of the nevada line,
Where they live hard die young,

And have a good lookin' corpse every time,
Well the pit-boss said I should keep movin',
This is where you go when you die,
And so I shot a black beauty,
And I kissed her right between the eyes.

Well willard's knocked out on a bottle of heat,
Drivin' dangerous curves across the dirty sheets,
He said man you ought to see her,
When her parents are gone,
Man you ought to hear her when the siren's on.

You got to tell me brave captain,
Why are the wicked so strong,
How do the angels get to sleep,
When the devil leaves the porch light on.



Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Mr. Siegal" as written by Tom Waits

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Mr. Siegal song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:It's like he's stuck in a really intensely immoral life and he's trying to get out of it. A lot of the words used seem to be just powerful imagery, maybe drawn from personal experience. Such a sweet song, love Tom Waits' growl. This song has such a dangerous feeling to it, I love it.
    green_eyes88on March 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Bugsy Siegel - "Benjamin Siegel went down in crime history as the man who made Las Vegas into the gambling Mecca of the United States"
    dkspex23on November 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i read somewhere that mr. siegal is a reference to a gangster from the early 1900s. but what does this song mean? "you got to tell me brave captain, why are the wicked so strong." i think he's talking to god in this line. it's almost as if he's questioning god. he doesn't know why "the wicked are so strong." it's a good argument.
    Gigsleyon July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I would really like to know what this line means: "don't you know that ain't no broken bottle that i picked up in my headlights, on the other side of the nevada line". Any thoughts?
    caitsith01on July 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I love the line "how do the angels get to sleep, when the devil leaves the porchlight on" it is so powerfull and true. Everytime I go home while spending a long night in a bar or when i'm supposed to study for my exams and get distracted and don't do the work I think of this line.

    TweedleDeeTweedleDumon January 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:As a huge Tom Waits fan, I Had a startling revelation last night. While watching the movie, "Abandon Ship" (1957) on TCM, one of the characters said the line: "...tell me brave captain, why are the wicked so strong"!!!!
    Trackerjimon September 15, 2013   Link

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