"Ruby's Arms" as written by and Tom Waits....
I will leave behind all of my clothes
I wore when I was with you
All I need's my railroad boots
And my leather jacket

As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms
Although my heart is breaking
I will steal away out through your
Blinds for soon you will be waking

The morning light has washed your face
And everything is turning blue now
Hold on to your pillow case
There's nothing I can do now

As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms
You'll find another soldier
And I swear to God by Christmas time
There'll be someone else to hold you

The only thing I'm taking is
The scarf off of your clothesline
I'll hurry past your chest of drawers
And your broken window chimes

As I say goodbye
I'll say goodbye
Say goodbye to Ruby's arms

I'll feel my way down the darken hall
And out into the morning
The hobos at the freight yards
Have kept their fires burning

So Jesus Christ this goddamn rain
Will someone put me on a train
I'll never kiss your lips again
Or break your heart

As I say goodbye
I'll say goodbye
Say goodbye to Ruby's arms

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by asm

"Ruby's Arms" as written by Tom Waits

Lyrics © AUDIAM, INC

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Ruby's Arms song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commenti agree that this is what the song is actually about, but don't you think it could equally be used, not as a breaking up song but kind of from the perspecitve of a soldier who's died and is saying goodbye before he leaves kind of the world, if that makes sense?
    auberginedreameron December 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSpeechless... Such a wonderful song, and somehow Christmas time makes this song so much more powerful.
    531on December 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIs it sad that I discovered this song from Robert Pattinson itunes playlist? ALl the same, I love this song. I think it is very interesting that the things he does take are almost as a defense, to layer and protect him, "railroad boots, and my leather jacket...the scarf off of your clothesline." Notice her name is Ruby which reflects love, strong emotions, a fire which is put out by "everything's turning blue now," the rain. He notes the "broken window chimes," which could reflect the song of their love, it will never play again. The Christmas reference could almost be interpreted as his leaving--"i'll never kiss your lips again,or break your heart, as i say goodbye--"is the gift he is giving her, saying that "there'll be someone else to hold you."

    ahhh, the work of a true lyrical genius.
    lexiejosmileson November 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the most beautiful break up songs ever written. The soldier leaving his "war lover" behind. Waits manages to repress his emotions until he hits "So Jesus Christ". Goosebumps everytime !!!
    Carlos deJackalon October 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful..................................................
    badgeon August 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, I love Nanci Griffiths version too.
    Underground0on September 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIs it just me, or does he know that she's pregnant? He knows for sure by Christmas she'll have someone else to hold, not that he's going to be replaced. What a beautiful, ethereal visit of a spirit before his body is loaded on a train and shipped home. I get goose bumps every time I hear this song.
    PennyCRon January 19, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningWhat a beautiful song, from the Salvation Army style brass band at the intro to the lush strings off the main song, it has a sense of sadness and finality to it. The perfect song to illustrate a relationship break up that I have ever heard.
    BarnabyHugheson February 22, 2018   Link

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