Poncho's Lament


Well the stairs sound so lonely without you
and I ain't made my bed in a week
Coffee stains on the paper I'm writing
and I'm too choked up inside to speak

And yes, I know that our differences pulled us apart
we never spoke a word heart to heart
And I'm glad that you're gone
but I wish to the Lord that you'd come home

And I'm glad that you're gone
got the feeling so strong
And I'm glad that you're gone
but I wish to the Lord that you'd come home

Well my guitar still plays your favorite song
though the strings have been outta tune for some time
Every time I strum a cord, I pray out to the Lord
that you'll quit your honkey-tonkin' sing my song

And I'm glad that you're gone
got the feeling so strong
And I'm glad that you're gone
but I wish to the Lord that you'd come home

So I'll throw another log onto the fire
and I'll admit I'm a lousy liar
As the coals die down and flicker
I hear that guitar picker
Play the song we used to sing so long ago

And I'm glad that you're gone
got the feeling so strong
Yes, I'm glad that you're gone
but I wish to the Lord that you'd come home

And I'm glad, damn glad you're gone
I got the feeling so strong
Yes, I'm glad that you're gone
but I wish to the Lord you'd come home

Written by: Tom Waits(1)
Published by: Fifth Floor Music (ASCAP), 1971 & Bizarre/ Straight Records, 1991
Official release: "The Early Years 1". Issued under licence from Bizarre/ Straight Records by Edsel Records, 1991
Recorded July - December 1971, Los Angeles, CA
(Not authorized by Tom Waits)

Known covers:
La Danza. Span. 1993. Self-released (Switserland). "Jung", same version as on Be-Stoff, 2006
The Water Is Wide, Rita & Frank Eriksen. 1994. BMG (Norway)
New Coat Of Paint. Various artists. May, 2000. Manifesto Records. Performed by The Blacks
Bukowski Waits For Us - Vol. 2. Michael Kiessling. September 25, 2000. Buschfunk (Germany)
Ballads. Breit'N'Wark. March 13, 2002. Self-released.
The Rosinators. The Rosinators. June, 2003. PDC Music
East Of Sunset - Soundtrack. Various artists. September 13, 2005. Manifesto Records. Performed by: The Caseworker
Tom Catmull And The Clerics. Tom Catmull. September 6, 2006. Self-released
Be-Stoff. Span. September 9, 2006. Phonag (Switserland). "Jung", same version as on La Danza, 1993
Middle River. Matt Novak. August 15, 2007. Self-released

Notes:

(1) Apparently this was one of the first songs Waits ever performed (The Heritage ca. 1971). Lou Curtiss (2007): "The first times I saw him play (at The Heritage) I thought, 'He's just another Dylan guy'. The first song of his own I ever remember him doing was called 'Poncho's Lament'. I was standing next to Bill Nunn and I said, 'That's a good song, He's got promise." (Source: Lou Curtiss interview March 22, 2007 as printed in “Lowside Of The Road: A Life Of Tom Waits" by Barney Hoskyns. Faber/ Broadway, 2009)