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About Downtown

"Downtown Train" is a song by Tom Waits released on his album Rain Dogs in 1985. The promo video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and features the boxer Jake LaMotta. Rod Stewart recorded a cover version that became a number-three hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after being released as a single in late 1989, and was also a number-one single on the album rock and adult contemporary charts. The song went to number one in Canada and made the top ten on the UK Singles Chart in 1990. Stewart received a Grammy nomination for the song in the category Best Male Pop Vocal performance. Stewart's cover featured the slide guitar playing of Jeff Beck. Other artists who have covered "Downtown Train" include Mary Chapin Carpenter, who included it on her debut album Hometown Girl in 1987; and Patty Smyth, who released a version that same year that reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100. Everything But the Girl produced an acoustic cover of the song, notably used in the final episode of American sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Bob Seger recorded a cover in 1989, but opted not to release it because Stewart's version had been released earlier. On February 28, 2011, Seger finally released his version of the song as a single, which appears on the retrospective album Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets. The German band The Piano Has Been Drinking included a version of Downtown Train (Rude Jolf) on their 1990 album The Piano Has Been Drinking which consists entirely of cover versions of Tom Waits songs in the Kölsch language (Colognian). 


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Red pants and the sugarman in, the temple street gloom, drinkin' chivas
Regal in a four dollar room, just another dead soldier in a powder blue night,
Sugarman says baby everything's alright, goin' downtown down downtown.

Montclaire de havelin doin' the st. vitus dance, lookin' for someone to chop
The lumber in his pants, how am I gonna unload all of this ice and all this
Mink, all the traffic in the street but it's so hard to think, goin' downtown
Down downtown.

Frankie's wearin' lipstick pierre cardin, I swear to god I seen him holdin'
Hands with jimmy bond, sally's high on crank and hungry for some sweets, she's
Fem in the sheets but she's butch in the streets, goin' downtown down

It's the cool of the evening the sun's goin' down, I want to hold you in my
Arms I want to push you around, I want to break your bottle and spill out all
Your charms, come on baby we'll set off all the burglar alarms, goin' downtown
Down downtown.

Red pants and the sugarman in the temple, drinkin' Chivas Regal in a four
Dollar room, just another dead soldier in a powder blue night, red pants turns
To sugarman and says everything's alright, goin' downtown down downtown.

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Tom Waits

Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and has acted in supporting roles in films including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula; he also starred in the 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Awa… more »

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