The Briar And The Rose

(Black Rider demo version, 1990)(1)

Oh blood and bone, and clocks and trains
My coat will keep you from the rain
Alas our love is all in vain
The briar and the rose

I will not wait, I cannot thread
The tenor of the things you said(2)
My love is true and we must wed
The briar and the rose

I don't know how, I don't know why
I never meant to make you cry
My love is blind and so I chose
The briar and the rose

Out in the meadow, ablaze with green
Our love was meant to be
Oh tell me have you ever seen
A briar without the rose

Our love will tear us both apart
I'll never change my father’s heart
And I will cry and you must go
The briar and the rose

And when I'm buried in my grave
And November's wind will blow
Your tears will fall
To make them grow
The briar and the rose

And when I'm buried in my grave
November's wind will blow
And your tears will fall
To make them grow
The briar and the rose

Your tears will fall
To make them grow
The briar and the rose

Written by: Tom Waits
Published by: Jalma Music Inc., © 1990
Unofficial release: The Black Rider, Alka-Seltzer Medien GmbH: 0-51111-12042-2, 1990-1992. March, 1990
Demo recording. Recorded by Gerd Bessler in Hamburg, Germany 1990
(Thanks to Ben Rinehart for help with transcript)
Further reading: The Black Rider Full Story



The Briar And The Rose

(Black Rider studio version, 1993)

I fell asleep down by the stream
And there I had the strangest dream
And down by Brennan's Glenn there grows
A briar and a rose

There's a tree in the forest
But I don't know where
I built a nest out of your hair
And climbing up into the air
A briar and a rose

I don't know how long it has been
But I was born in Brennan's Glenn
And near the end of spring there grows
A briar and a rose

I picked the rose one early morn'
I pricked my finger on a thorn
They'd grown so close
Their winding wove
The briar around the rose

I tried to tear them both apart
I felt a bullet in my heart
And all dressed up in spring's new clothes
The briar and the rose

And when I'm buried in my grave
Tell me so I will know
Your tears will fall
To make love grow
The briar and the rose

And when I'm buried in my grave
Tell me so I will know
Your tears will fall
To make them grow
The briar and the rose

Your tears will fall
To make them grow
The briar and the rose

Written by: Tom Waits
Published by: Jalma Music Inc., © 1990, 1993
Official release: The Black Rider, Island Records Inc., 1993
(Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. November, 1999)
Arrangement and lyrics published in "Tom Waits - Beautiful Maladies" (Amsco Publications, 1997)
Further reading: The Black Rider Full Story.

Known covers:
Temptation. Holly Cole, 1995. Blue Note Records/ Capital (Japan/ USA)
Third Weeks a'lightnin. Tory Voodoo/ Tammerlin. December, 1996. Binky Records 1006CD
Loosen Up. Niamh Parsons. July 1, 1997. Green Linnet (Ireland).
Her Infinite Variety. Various Artists. January 13, 1998. Green Linnet (performed by Loose Connections)
North Amerikay. Dale Russ & Finn Mac Ginty. August 24, 1999. Aniar Records
Bukowski Waits For Us - Vol. 2. Michael Kiessling. September 25, 2000. Buschfunk (Germany)
Strangest Dream. Popcorn Behavior (Assembly). December, 2000. The Orchard
Dolly Bird. Liane Carroll. February 5, 2001. Ronnie Scott's Jazz House
Sowing Seeds. The Granary Girls. March, 2001. Self-released
The Carnival Saloon Live. The Carnival Saloon. October, 2001. Self-released (Ireland)
Violet Sarah And Muckle John. Cloudstreet. 2002. Self-released
Ladies View. Ladies of Longford. 2002. Self-released (Ireland)
Made In Cape Breton. The Cottars. April 29, 2002. Rego Irish
After Albany. Acabella. 2003. Self-released
Milestone. Dave Donohoe. February 2, 2003. Self-released
Tramps and Hawkers. The Muses. 2004. Self-released
Bukowski Waits For You. Michael Kiessling. June 14, 2004. Buschfunk (Germany)
North Atlantic Drift. Tena Palmer. March, 2005. Self-released
Sincerely. Harry O'Donoghue. May 28, 2005. Columbine Blue Music
Standard Issue. Liane Carroll. September 18, 2005. Splash Point Records
Live at Fylde. Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne. November, 2005. Self-released
Atlantic Standards. Various artists. May 30, 2006 (performed by The Cottars)
Fair Play To You. Bow Triplets. September 8, 2006. Self-released (Switzerland)
Tributes. The Alexander Brothers. November 6, 2006. Scotdisc
Just Before Sunrise. Nathan Gunn. August 7, 2007. Sony Classical/ BMG
Songs From The Glen. Bob O'Donnell. August 23, 2007. AngelSong Music
Northern Tide. Grace Notes. January 14, 2008. Fellside Recordings
Twentig. Knightsong. September 18, 2009. Self-released

Notes:

(1) The Briar And The Rose:
- Sung as a love duet in scene 3 by Kätchen and Wilhelm.
- Might be referring to the German brothers Grimm fairytale "Dornröschen" (Kinder und Hausmärchen, 1812-1815), which translates as "Briar Rose".

(2) The tenor of the things you said: phrase as previously used in Empty Pockets (One From The Heart, 1981): "The shadows fall, I cannot thread the tenor of the things you've said."