Waits Sings Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blues

Included on his highly anticipated three disc collection, Orphans, which hits shelves Tuesday, alternative music legend Tom Waits tackles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a surprisingly balanced albeit exceptionally dark song entitled “The Road To Peace.” Pitchfork has an exclusive download here.
Man, I never imagine I’d hear that raspy voice invoking “King George and Jaffa Road.” That’s my street corner yo. Anyway, the song’s a little too literal for my tastes, but I kind of like it…

4 thoughts on “Waits Sings Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blues

  1. he slips off the balance beam in the last stanza, i think. i don’t mind that much, really, but i heard this last night on KCRW as i was cleaning my house and i stood still in my tracks when i heard that line, worried that there was more to come along those condemnatory lines, but the song ended there. i think it’s risky and good, despite the line.

  2. For most of the song he is fair and doesn’t discriminate between the hell suffered by the violence coming from both sides. But then he goes oddly off the rails as he lays into America for “arming the Israeli army with guns, tanks, and bullets”, and then he bounces onto the anti-Bush bandwagon. Strange that he wants America to stop arming israel, but doesn’t say anything about stopping the arming of Israel’s enemies. This inconsistency left me confused and with a bad taste. I don’t think many Israelis across the wide politial spectrum will thank him for wanting America to make Israel defenceless, because, if there’s one thing all Israelis agree on it is the capability of self-defence.

  3. Props to Mobius for the post. For someone who sees misery as the river of the world, Tom Waits rapping about one of the most misery-inducing conflicts in the world right now does not surprise me. As for his opinion on the subject, to expect a blues-writer who grew up getting chills from his mother tucking him in at night to have the same opinion as someone indoctrinated with pro-Zionist propoganda since they were babies would be ignornant. I disagree with his assessment, but applaud his decision to write what he feels and not care what others think.

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