And my favourite track from what is one of his finest albums is San Diego Serenade, a song Waits wrote about a girl he once knew. On the wonderful website Tom Waits Library you can read Tom Waits's comments about the song:
"That song was about a girl I knew once," Waits said about "San Diego Serenade," one of his few compositions that displays any sort of personal reflection. "I was crazy about her," he said. "So was her husband. But that went the way of all flesh."
San Diego Serenade
I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until I needed a song.
I never saw the white line, 'til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you 'til I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke 'I love you' 'til I cursed you in vain,
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane.
I never saw the east coast 'til I move to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart 'til someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face