"Anywhere I Lay My Head" as written by and Tom Waits....
My head is spinning round
My heart is in my shoes, yeah
I went and set the Thames on fire, oh
Now I must come back down
She's laughing in her sleeve, boys
I can feel it in my bones
Oh, but anywhere, anywhere I'm gonna lay my head
Oh, I'm gonna call my home

Well, I see that the world is upside-down
Seems that my pockets were filled up with gold
And now the clouds, Well they've covered everything over
And the wind is blowing cold
Well, I don't need anybody
Because I learned, I learned to be alone
Well, I said anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head, boys
Well, I'm gonna call my home

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

"Anywhere I Lay My Head" as written by Thomas Alan Waits

Lyrics © AUDIAM, INC

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Anywhere I Lay My Head song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentthe outro is great, really sounds like a marching jazz band, the walks over the hill and disappers, and then the only thing you hear is the music fading while the sun is setting
    MardyAsson February 25, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song sounds so honest
    wereTHRIVINGon February 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the saddest songs I've ever heard, especially the way Tom Waits sings it as if he's had a hard life and he's dying. It's just about really really hard times.
    ElGruvoon May 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHis sings with such sincerety. It just breaks your heart.
    SoCoRocks14on October 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRelated to what MardyAss said: The song reminds me of jazz funerals, popular for new orleans jazz musicians. The procession carries the casket into the cemetery while the band plays very sombre music. Once the body is laid to rest, as everyone leaves, the music picks up and becomes joyous. It's supposed to signify death as the release from life's troubles and strife, an end to the person's suffering and thus a cause for celebration.

    On an unrelated note, this song is fun to sing along to dramatically.
    redpepper_rumon April 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my favourite song of all time.

    it tells everything anybody might be wanting to know about the human tendencies towards loneliness and embarrassment and trying to get home and striving for an outrageous, impossible level of independence to be whole.

    just enough words to get that across, just enough screaming. fucking brilliant.
    ohmynotemmeton January 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'm getting the impression the narrators singing this after a night of heavier than usual drinking, hence the spinning head. Once you get that feeling, you just want to call your ground, curl up, lay your head down and sleep it off.

    He's coming off as regretful, but not remorseful. Probably more down on his luck than he knows but I wouldn't say he comes across as a hobo. We've all just wanted to pass out wherever we're standing when the spins come on. I actually don't even think he truly feels lonely or depressed, he's just having a pretty bad night

    The girl laughing in her sleeve sounds like someone he's met that night or fairly recently. Doesn't sound like she has the highest opinion of him now, probably because of his current state
    ElmntEarth1on July 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe frankness of a roaring animal
    bVon May 08, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song is all about a huge hangover:
    'I went and set the Thames on fire. Now I must come back down'.

    He obviously had money which is unusual for him and went on the beer. 'I see that the world is upside down, seems that my pocket was filled up with gold'.

    I think Tom is now in the throes of the hangover
    (Physical: 'my head is spinning round', Depression: 'my heart is in my shoes', 'Now the clouds cover everything over', 'The wind is blowing cold', 'I'd rather be alone', Paranoia: 'she's laughing in her sleeve boys, I can feel it in my bones').

    All he wants to do is put down his head and go to sleep. Anywhere will do. He gets some solace from that and it actually quite defiant when he delivers the title line.

    I think the big band upbeat instrumental at the end represents death (as was commonly played at the funeral of jazz players back in the 60s and 70s). I don't think it actually means death but more the feeling of extreme pain during a monster hangover.

    I would hazard a guess that Tom has had many such feelings in his life so he was ok again in a couple of days.

    Incredible song though.
    Bubba14on April 11, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttom is such a bold and amazing musician
    rolandon August 13, 2005   Link

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