Today, August 22, is the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field (in 1485), the last significant battle of the turmoil known as The Wars of the Roses. During the battle, King Richard III was defeated and killed by the forces of the Duke of Richmond, who assumed the title of King Henry VII, thus ending the House of York and beginning the House of Tudor. The battle was a defining moment in the history of England and Wales.
In honour of that, and because I can't think of any other good way to introduce this, I'm dedicating the trio of Tom Waits videos below to mi amigo, mi hermano, Les Blough. I am (reasonably) sure Les was not present at Bosworth Field that day, but I am sure he likes Tom Waits.
So this is for you, my friend.
- prh, ed.
"Small Change (Got Rained On With His Own .38)" Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight, And nobody flinched down by the arcade And the marquees weren't weeping, they went stark-raving mad, And the cabbies were the only ones that really had it made And his cold trousers were twisted, and the sirens high and shrill, And crumpled in his fist was a five-dollar bill And the naked mannequins with their Cheshire grins, And the raconteurs and roustabouts said "Buddy, come on in, 'cause 'Cause the dreams ain't broken down here now, they're walking with a limp Now that Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight" And nobody flinched down by the arcade And the burglar alarm's been disconnected, And the newsmen start to rattle And the cops are telling jokes about some whorehouse in Seattle And the fire hydrants plead the Fifth Amendment And the furniture is bargains galore But the blood is by the jukebox on an old linoleum floor And what a hot rain on Forty-Second Street, And now the umbrellas ain't got a chance And the newsboy's a lunatic with stains on his pants, 'cause 'Cause Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight And no one's gone over to close his eyes And there's a racing form in his pocket, Circled "Blue Boots" in the third And the cashier at the clothing store didn't say a word As the siren tears the night in half, and someone lost his wallet Well, a surveillance of assailance, it that's what you want to call it And the whores hike up their skirts and fish for drug-store prophylactics With their mouths cut just like razor blades and their eyes are like stilettos And her radiator's steaming and her teeth are in a wreck, and nah, She won't let you kiss her, but what the hell do you expect? And the Gypsies are tragic and if you want to buy perfume, Well, they'll bark you down like carneys, sell you Christmas cards in June, but But Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight And his headstone's a gumball machine, No more chewing gum or baseball cards or overcoats or dreams Someone's hosing down the sidewalk, and he's only in his teens, 'cause 'Cause Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight And a fistful of dollars can't change that, And someone copped his watch fob, and someone got his ring And the newsboy got his porkpie Stetson hat And the tuberculosis old men at the Nelson wheeze and cough And someone will head south until this whole thing cools off, 'cause 'Cause Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight, yeah, Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight
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