Tom Waits wrote Shore Leave in 1982 and featured it on his Swordfishtrombones album, which was released that same year. The record was his seventh studio album and the first he produced by himself, proving to be a very different affair to that of his previous works.
Moving away from the piano and string orchestra arrangements of his late 1970’s sound, this LP was replaced with more unusual instrumentation, incorporating low-pitched horns, bass instruments and percussion, all of which were set in spare, close-miked arrangements (most of them by Waits) that sometimes described as “soundscapes.”
Shore Leave is a song Tom Waits wrote about sailors, detailing the loneliness they felt when suddenly faced with being miles away from their loved ones with spare time on their hands. Whispering in a lonesome, hushed moan Waits murmurs: “And find you there, And you know I love you baby, And I’m so far away from home, I’m so far away from home,And I miss my baby so, I can’t make it by myself, I love you so…”.. repeating the line Shore Leave as song fades out.. Check it out above.