Louise

(Friends Of Mine version, 1998. Also known as "Tell It To Me")

They say you're seeing someone, you're wearing his ring
They say you laughed when you heard my name
They say he takes you dancing, he holds you so near
They say he'll buy you anything
Tell me am I foolish, I don't believe these stories
Darling, I'll be coming home soon

Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it, tell it to me

Well, I know you will not see me, but I hear you have a daughter
I hear she has my eyes
They say she calls him "father", and that he's proud of her
And that he believes all of your lies
But for all your faithless beauty, I give all my tomorrows
And if you're still thinking of me

Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it, tell it to me

Took a job in Tennessee
To build a life for us
Give a kiss to win a heart
Take a kiss to break apart

They say you're seeing someone, you're wearing his ring
They say you laughed when you heard my name
They say he takes you dancing, he holds you so near
They say he'll buy you anything
Well, tell me am I foolish, I don't believe these stories
Darling, I'll be coming home soon

Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it, tell it to me
Oh Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it, tell it to me
Oh Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it, tell it to me

Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)
Published by: Jalma Music Inc. (ASCAP), 1998/ 2006
Recorded at Prairie Sun Recording Studios, Cotati, CA, on May 28, 1998
Official release (as "Louise"): Friends Of Mine - Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Warner Entertainment, 1998



Tell It To Me

(Orphans studio version, 2006)

They say you're seeing someone, you're wearing his ring
They say you laughed when you heard my name
They say he takes you dancing, he holds you so near
They say he'll buy you anything
Tell me am I foolish, I don't believe these stories
And I'll be coming home soon

Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it to me

I know, you will not see me, but I know you have a daughter
And I hear she has my eyes
They say she calls him "father", and he's proud of her
And even believes all of your lies
But for all your faithless beauty, I'd give all my tomorrows
And if you're still thinking of me
Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it to me

Oh Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it to me
Oh Louise, Louise, if it's true
Tell it to me

Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan(1)
Published by: Jalma Music Inc. (ASCAP), 1998/ 2006
Official release (as "Louise"): Friends Of Mine - Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Warner Entertainment, 1998
Re-released (as "Tell It To Me") on: Orphans (Bawlers), (P) & 2006 Anti Inc.
Steel guitar by Bobby Black

Known covers:
Friends Of Mine. Ramblin' Jack Elliott. 1998. HighTone Records
Monsters Of Folk. Various artists. 1998. HighTone Records promo CD (performed by Ramblin' Jack Elliott, same version as on "Friends Of Mine", 1998)
15 Years Of American Music. Various artists. 1998. HighTone Records (performed by Ramblin' Jack Elliott, same version as on "Friends Of Mine", 1998)

Notes:

(1) Tell It To Me: (Bone Machine outtake)
- Jim Jarmusch (1993): Man, you have so many songs. There are other songs you played for me that aren't on 'Bone Machine', like "Filipino Box Spring Hog". TW: Yeah, and "Tell It to Me", and "Mexican Song", "In the Reeperbahn", one called "Shall We Die Tonight", a suicide pact ballad, and then a couple for John Hammond at the same time, one called "Down There By the Train". JJ: Did he record it? TW: No, nobody did. And we couldn't find a way to do it either that felt good, so we just left it, and it's just sitting there. (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Straight No Chaser magazine (UK), by Jim Jarmusch. Date: October, 1992 (published early 1993)

(2) Ramblin' Jack Elliott version:
- Ramblin' Jack Elliott (on: Louise): "I've known Tom for over 20 years. He sent me a letter with a tape of this song. I didn't know how our voices would sound together, but we got a good take." (Source: Ramblin' Jack Elliott official site, 2006)
-
Edvins Beitiks (1996): "Waits will be on Elliot's next album [Friends Of Mine" Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Warner Entertainment, 1998], along with Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and Bob Weir. It was a labor of love, says Waits. "We did one song with Guy Clark - 'That Old Time Feeling' - that came off pretty good, I thought. Jack brings it with him when he comes, and that's rare these days. "You could say Jack wears in his songs - they're well used and well sung," says Waits, adding with a characteristically raspy chuckle, "Some people would say he wears 'em in and wears 'em out, but he wears 'em, that's for sure. "When he's learning a song he kind of tries it on like a pair of gloves. I got a chance to watch him do that when he recorded a song my wife and I wrote. He's got a way of doing things that's uniquely his own. He makes a song his own. That's the beauty of it." Waits has been itching to record with Elliott ever since he first heard his music getting good play, in the days when he was working as a doorman at the Heritage Club in San Diego's Mission Beach. "I was about 19, and his record was one of the most-played at this little coffee house. Jack's record was on the turntable all the time the one where he's on the cover with his horse and he's roping something [Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Young Brigham", Reprise R/RS 6284, 1968]. "It had '912 Greens' on there, spoken out, the song that so moved me. It had his version of "Tennessee Stud' and some Woody Guthrie songs," says Waits. He paused, then added that Elliott "was a real hero of mine - the idea of meeting him one day and recording with him is pretty fantastic." Waits, caught up in American music, did a lot of listening to Elliott, to Blind Lemon Jefferson, to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, before stepping onstage at the Heritage Club to give the music a try himself. "I think I made more as a doorman than I did playing," he said. "Eight dollars a night on the door, $6 a night on stage. A little strange." Waits laughed at the memory of it, and the laughter was contagious. He called back easy-going roams with Elliott when both men were moving through Los Angeles in the high-water years of California folk. "We bumped into each other a couple of times," said Waits, making it matter-of-fact. "Hung with him in clubs in L.A., him and his dogs and his motorhome." After listening to the long-sleeve best of Elliott's stories, Waits is convinced "Jack should sit down somewhere with a tape recorder and talk all day and they should put it in the Library of Congress. "He's got one of those stories that is a novel unto itself, and I'd like to read it," says Waits. "Because his story is also the story of the country." (Source: "On The Road Tom Waits Talkin' About Hanging And Recording With Ramblin' Jack Elliott...". San Francisco Examiner, by Edvins Beitiks. August 4, 1996(?))


Source: Official Guy Clark website. W. Guy Clark and Ramblin' Jack Elliot.
Date: Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati. During the recording sessions for Ramblin' Jack Elliot's "Friends Of Mine".
Recorded between February 26, 1996 to October 14, 1997