SONG OF THE DAY Tom Waits – Get Behind The Mule

Tom Waits explained in his press material for his 1999 album Mule Variations that Get Behind the Mule is a reference to Robert Johnson’s father and what he once said about his son which was, ”Trouble with Robert is he wouldn’t get behind the mule in the morning and plow.”  Tom Waits elaborated upon this by describing how “that was the life that was there for him. To be a sharecropper. But he ran off to Maxxwell Street and all over Texas. He wasn’t going to stick around. Get behind the mule can be whatever you want it to mean. We all have to get up in the morning and go to work.” 

Simmering country blues at its finest, Mule Variations was Waits’ twelfth studio album and was released in April 1999 via Anti-Records.  Co-produced by his songwriting partner and wife, Kathleen Brennen, the album’s Get Behind The Mule track is also said to be inspired by something Brennen often says about her husband:  “I didn’t marry a man. I married a mule.  And I’ve been going through a lot of changes.  That’s where Mule Variations came from.”  Check out the track above.


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This entry was posted in anti records, Blues, Country, country blues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to SONG OF THE DAY Tom Waits – Get Behind The Mule

  1. Listening To Records says:

    Great song! Great album! I saw him on this tour – not surprisingly, it was also great.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. William says:

    Yeah, Tommy is on bandcamp!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I bet it was great! I bet he is so good live! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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