Take It with Me

The phone's off the hook, no one knows where we are
It's a long time since I drank champagne(2)
The ocean is blue, as blue as your eyes
I'm gonna take it with me when I go

Old long since gone, now way back when
We lived in Coney Island(3)
There ain't no good thing ever dies
I'm gonna take it with me when I go

Far, far away a train whistle blows
Wherever you're goin', wherever you've been
Waving good bye at the end of the day
You're up and you're over, and you're far away

Always for you, and forever yours
It felt just like the old days
We fell asleep on Beaula's porch(4)
I'm gonna take it with me when I go

All broken down by the side of the road
I was never more alive or alone
I've worn the faces off all the cards
I'm gonna take it with me when I go

The children are playing at the end of the day
Strangers are singing on our lawn
It's got to be more than flesh and bone
All that you've loved is all you own

In a land there's a town, and in that town there's a house
And in that house there's a woman
And in that woman there's a heart I love
I'm gonna take it with me when I go

I'm gonna take it with me when I go

Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan
Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), © 1999
Official release: Mule Variations, Anti Inc., 1999
Arrangements and lyrics published in "Tom Waits - Mule Variations" (Amsco Publications, 2000)

Known covers:
Bukowski Waits For Us - Vol. 2. Michael Kiessling. September 25, 2000. Buschfunk (Germany)
For the Stars. Anne Sofie Von Otter, Elvis Costello. April 10, 2001. Uni/ Deutsche Grammophon
Wait For Me. Jubilant Sykes. June 26, 2001 Label: Sony Classical
Left Coast Life. Kitty Margolis. October 16, 2001. Mad Kat
Big As A Berry. Megan Mullally. September 17, 2002. Varese Records
The Spirit Store. Roesy. 2003. Blue Cloak Records
Now. Birgitte Damberg Trio. December, 2003. Self-released (Norway)
Silver. Solveig Slettahjell/ Slow Motion Quintet. March, 2004. Curling Legs (Norway)
Clear. Steve Butler. April 29, 2004. Sticky Music
Unarmed And Dazed. Efrat Alony. September 29, 2006. Enja Records (Germany)
Svevestøv EP. Svevestøv. October 16, 2006. Square Records (Norway)
Take It With Me. Ilmiliekki Quartet. November 29, 2006. Tum Records (Finland)
Bangin' On The Table With An Old Tin Cup. Pascal Fricke. April 12, 2007. Self-released (Germany)
Slow Down. Liane Carroll. September 24, 2007. Splashpoint Records
From A Wooden House. Eddie Nünning & Lara Schallenberg. December, 2007. Acoustic Music Records
Moss. Moss. April 8, 2008. Sunnyside Records
Notes From The Edge. Notes Fron The Edge. June 15, 2008. CitySound Music
Standing On Chairs. Allen Savedoff. December 20, 2009. Big Round Records
Peaceful Wordl. Steve Gellman. May 15, 2010. Hidden Poet Music
Silhoutte. Georgia Mancio. May 18, 2010. Self-released
Come On Up. Dieter Weslowski. March 1, 2010. Self-released


(1) Take It With Me
- Tom Waits (1999): "... the old cliche, you can't take it with you, isn't true. Listening to this, I realized that you take a lot of stuff with you... We wanted to take the old expression `you can't take it with you' and turn it on its ear. We figure there's lots of things to take with you when you go. We checked into a hotel room and moved a piano in there and wrote it. We both like Elmer Bernstein a lot. My favorite line is Kathleen's. She said `all that you've loved is all that you own.' It's like an old Tin-Pan Alley song." (Source: A Q&A about Mule Variations. MSO: Rip Rense, early 1999)
- Karen Schoemer (1999): I tell Waits there's a piano ballad on his new album, "Take It With Me," that makes me cry, mostly because of the last verse. In a land there's a town And in that town there's a house And in that house there's a woman And in that woman there's a heart I love I'm gonna take it with me when I go. He droops his head bashfully. "That's a very vulnerable song," he says. "We wrote that together, Kathleen and I, and that felt good. Two people who are in love writing a song about being in love." Then he puts two triangles of toast in front of his eyes, because I'm crying just thinking about it, and maybe behind the toast he's tearing up, too. (Source: "More Dylan than Dylan". Newsweek: Karen Schoemer. May 10 1999) 

(2) It's a long time since I drank champagne: attributed to Russian author Anton Chekhov 1860-1904 (last words)

(3) Coney Island: American amusement park/ vacation destination in Brooklyn/ New York. Further reading: Coney Island 1; Coney Island 2; Coney Island 3; Coney Island 4; Also mentioned in: Table Top Joe, 1992/ 2002: "So I went to Coney Island, I was singing this song.", Coney Island Baby, 2000/ 2002: "She's my Coney Island Baby, She's my Coney Island Girl."
- Tom Waits (2002): "I think it's impossible to avoid a romantic experience in Coney Island... I went to a shooting gallery there in February - it was the only place open in the whole park. It was one of those shooting galleries where the rifle shoots a beam of light instead of an actual bullet, and all the creatures in the gallery have these light-sensitive bullseye patches on their chests, so if you hit them their head comes off, a bell goes off or you hear a loud song. And I had a camera - I was taking a photo of my buddies - and I hit the flash on my camera and every animal in the cavalry went mad. And this Puerto Rican guy ran out shaking his fist at me and chasing me away, saying I was going to ruin his business. It's an extraordinary place." (Source: "Lying in Waits". The Age (Australia) by Patrick Donovan. May 10, 2002)

(4) Beula(h) (land)
- Bible (Isa. lxii. 4). The land of Israel in the Old Testament
- The land of peace described in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin - Third Edition)
- In Pilgrim's Progress it is that land of heavenly joy where the pilgrims tarry till they are summoned to enter the celestial City; the Paradise before the resurrection. (Source: "The First Hypertext Edition of The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable", E. Cobham Brewer. © 1997-99 Bibliomania.com Ltd).
- Also mentioned in "Telephone Call From Istanbul" (Follow me to Beulah's on Dry Creek Road), "Take Care Of All Of My Children" (I'll be goin' up to Beulah land)