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What's He Building? Lyrics

Artist: Tom Waits
Album: Mule Variations

What's he building in there?
What the hell is he building in there?

He has subscriptions to those magazines.
He never waves when he goes by.
He's hiding something from the rest of us.
He's all to himself. I think I know why.

He took down the tire swing from the pepper tree.
He has no children of his own, you see.
He has no dog. He has no friends.
His lawn is dying.
What are all those packages he sends?

What's he building in there?

That hooklight on the stairs.
What's he building in there?

I'll tell you one thing. He's not building a playhouse for the children.
What's he building in there?

And what's that sound from underneath the door?
He's pounding nails into a hardwood floor.
I swear to god, I heard someone moaning, low.
And I keep seeing the blue light of a TV show.
He has a router. And a table saw.
And you won't believe what Mr. Stitches saw.
There's poison underneath the sink, of course.
There's also enough formaldehyde to choke a horse.

What's he building in there?
What the hell is he building in there?

I heard he has an ex-wife in someplace called Mayor's Income, Tennessee.
And he used to have a consulting business in Indonesia.

But what's he building in there?

He has no friends. But he gets a lot of mail.
I'll bet he spent a little time in jail.
I heard he was up on the roof last night, signalling with a flashlight.
And what's that tune he's always whistling?

What's he building in there?
What's he building in there?

We have a right to know.
Comments/Interpretations
by Lee Moz on 12/28/2008 4:40pm
I always thought it was.....and his MOM is dying. Not his lawn?


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