Martha by Tom Waits
Listen to the song and read the lyrics (with some gaps for the sake of practising listening comprehension…)
When I first heard this song I felt like crying: the power of a real love that was never meant to be! But as years went by I started to change my mind. What a nerve! What’s the purpose of his call? She has a life away from him, probably a happy one after a more than likely difficult relationship with someone who just wanted “to be a man”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Ghosts from the past rubbing salt on wounds? He wants to recover his happy past now that he’s old and most likely alone in life. When I was young I thought his call was a sign of romantic love. Now I see it is as a desperate call from someone who knows he has wasted his life. It is a great song and very moving, though.
Do you agree with me?
(First published in Old Reviews, Debates and Resources.)