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1973 — Rock turns a new leaf

The songwriter of the lost

 The songwriter  of the lost  ING-020
19 May 2023
On March 6, 1973, 50 years ago, Tom Waits released Closing Time, his first album. On that occasion I wrote an article that had been buzzing in my head for some time as Tom Waits’ poignant ballad Tom Trauberts’ Blues reminds me of the first unforgettable years of mission in Taiwan. I came across Tom Waits 30 years ago: I was in Kaohsiung, a port city in southern Taiwan. International phone calls were then hugely expensive and rarely made; there were no computers, no internet and no ever-connected cell phones. But, I guess, we lived everything more truly and intensely. Even the distance, loneliness and melancholy. One day I heard a song that struck me. It contained phrases by which I felt represented. Actually, I first heard Rod Stewart’s version of it. I thought the long ballad was called Waltzing Matilda, as the refrain repeats. I soon ...

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