What are the best Tom Waits songs?

Tom Waits
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Singer Tom Waits performs on stage at the "From the Big Apple to the Big Easy" New York City's Benefit Concert for the Gulf Coast at Radio City Music Hall September 20, 2005 in New York City. (Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Tom Waits is a lot of things. He's an accomplished singer, songwriter, performer, collaborator, (just ask Slug) and actor. He's about to add another thing to his list: a septuagenarian. That's right, Tom Waits is turning 70 years old on Saturday, December 7, 2019, and we're ready to celebrate this iconic artist.

Here's what we're going to do: we have a list of 70 Tom Waits songs below, and we would like your help choosing the best songs for a Top 25 list, from which Mac Wilson and Bill DeVille will broadcast highlights throughout the day on Saturday, December 7. To sweeten the deal, when you submit your five favorite songs, you'll be entered to win a prize of the Tom Waits book, a collection of wildly inventive portraits Tom Waits over the past 30 years by photographer and illustrator Matt Mahurin. We'll also throw in a vinyl copy of the compilation Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Joseph, Rosanne Cash, and more.

What are you waiting for? Step right up...

Tom Waits Song voting and giveaway


Use this form to submit your ballot of five Tom Waits songs and to enter The Current's ticket giveaway between 11 a.m. Central on Monday, December 2, 2019 and 11:59 p.m. Central on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

Three (3) winners will receive one (1) Tom Waits book by Matt Mahurin and one (1) LP copy of Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits. Four (4) back up names will be drawn. Winners will be notified via email.

Prize retail value: $60.00

We will contact the winner on Monday, December 9, 2019. Winner must accept by 10 a.m. Central on Thursday, December 13, 2019.







































































This giveaway is subject to Minnesota Public Radio's 2019 Official Giveaway Rules.

You must be 13 or older to submit any information to American Public Media. The personally identifying information you provide will not be sold, shared, or used for purposes other than to communicate with you about American Public Media programs. See Minnesota Public Radio Terms of Use and Privacy policy.

7 Photos

  • Tom Waits
    Tom Waits: A 240-page hardcover collection of wildly inventive portraits of musician Tom Waits, the result of a 30-year collaboration with photographer and illustrator Matt Mahurin. (Courtesy Abrams Books)
  • Tom Waits Compilation album coer
    Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, features covers of Waits songs by artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Joseph, Rosanne Cash, and more. (Courtesy Dualtone)
  • Tom Waits
    Detail of one of 175 photos from the Tom Waits book by Matt Mahurin. (Courtesy Abrams Books)
  • Tom Waits
    Detail of one of 175 photos from the Tom Waits book by Matt Mahurin. (Courtesy Abrams books)
  • Tom Waits
    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Inductee Tom Waits performs onstage at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at The Waldorf-Astoria on March 14, 2011 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
  • Tom Waits
    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Inductee Tom Waits performs onstage at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at The Waldorf-Astoria on March 14, 2011 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
  • Tom Waits
    BERLIN, Germany: US singer Tom Waits, 55, performs during a concert in Berlin's "Theater des Westens", 15 November 2004. The singer and actor gives three concerts in the German capital. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/DDP/AFP via Getty Images)