Eight Days A Week: Tom Waits

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

207208:: SATURDAY: Tom Waits’ “(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night” (1974)
Tom Waits was given to introducing one of his most poignant, beautiful songs to audiences back in the day with a Springsteen-like monologue: “It’s very simple: Saturday night rolls around and you need a date? You call yourself up on the phone, you know you’re gonna be around and you ain’t no fool, you know you’ll always say yes. I always take myself to class joints, though. I ain’t cheap.” Part Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and part Tortilla Flat, Waits’ day-defining track is the perfect description of a typical Saturday night for a typical working-class American out for a real good (cheap) time: “You got paid on Friday and your pockets are jinglin’/And you see the lights and you get all tinglin’/’Cuz you’re cruisin’ with a six and you’re looking for the heart of Saturday night.” Suspended by time, place and situation, this song has become as relevant and meaningful as it was 35 years ago when it was first conceived and recorded.

“(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night”:

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