Poor Tom

Album: Coda (1982)
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  • Here's a tale of Tom
    Who worked the railroads long
    His wife would cook his meal
    As he would change the wheel

    Poor Tom, seventh son,
    Always knew what's goin' on
    Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom
    There ain't nothing that you can hide from Tom

    Worked for thirty years
    Sharing hopes and fears
    Dreamin' of the day
    He could turn and say

    Poor Tom, work's done,
    Been lazin' out in the noonday sun

    Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom
    Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom

    His wife was Annie Mae
    With any man a game she'd play
    When Tom was out of town
    She couldn't keep her dress down

    Poor Tom, seventh son,
    Always knew what's goin' on

    Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom
    Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom

    And so it was one day
    People got to Annie Mae
    Tom stood, a gun in his hand
    And stopped her runnin' around

    Poor Tom, seventh son,
    Gotta die for what you've done

    All those years of work are thrown away
    To ease your mind is that all you can say?

    But what about that grandson on your knee?
    Them railroad songs, Tom would sing to me

    (Ain't nothing that you can hide from Tom)
    (Keep-a truckin') Writer/s: JIMMY PAGE, ROBERT PLANT
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 24

  • Jd from San DiegoVlad this song was leftover from the 3rd album in 1970. That Sunflower song was released in 1974, so not exactly.
  • Tony from San DiegoBonzo plays a great shuffle groove on the snare here. I actually like this better than most songs on III.
  • Vlad from Kyiv, UkraineAs always, Led Zeppelin aren't totally original: the amazing riff comes to this song directly from John Fahey's Sunflower Blues (compare, please at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lhAngnstXM)
  • Thomas from Roswell, NmPoor Tom, his wife is running around with other men all around town.
  • Mike from Fort Wayne, InI can't help but think of the Beatles every time I hear this. Very good song!
  • Jude from Denver, Cothomas, you say this isnt very zep like? Obviously youve never heard Led Zeppelin before.
  • Ray from Bonneville Salt Flats, UtOne of the most under-rated of LZ's songs.
  • Dustin from My Home, Inhey joe from oakdale and bennett from kansas city the drums are actually very bonham i know one would think not but i am a drummer and a huge bonham fan he is my main influence...but the type of beat bonzo is doin is called 2nd line and it is used a bit in zeppelin songs listen to how many more times and durring whole lotta love live and quite a number of others its acutally quite common for bonzo to just bust into some good ol' fashioned new orleans 2nd line drumming style the band did spend a lot of time the deep south when they were in america (royal orleans).....good ol bonzo always commin up with SHEER GENIOUS works best drummer ever
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiActually, James, it's the Seventh son of a Seventh son that is born pyschic.
  • James from Gettysburg, PaIn folklore, the seventh son is supposed to be born with magic powers. There's a oldies song with the same theme called Seventh Son or something like that. That's why Tom always knew what was going on.

    BTW, a good friend of my family's is pregnant again, she has six boys so far. Hmmm............
  • Thomas from Staten Island, NyYeah this song isn't very Zep-like but its still great.
  • Bennett from Kansas City, Moyea the drum beat is so un bonham but it is still a great beat...love the vocals
  • Joe from Oakdale, MnThis song is awsome and very addicting. However the beat is very unlike Bonham. If you don't know what I mean, then you don't know Zep. Drummer will probably know best.
  • Keith from St. Paul, MnI'm also reading "King Lear" in class, and I came across the reference to Poor Tom. I know that in King Lear a Poor Tom (Bedlam) is an insane beggar that got released from the Bethlehem hospital in Elizabethan London. I don't think these are related though.
  • Dhani from Casselberry, FlGet's stuck in my head so much... :)
  • Dani from Nyc, NyI have no idea if there's a connection or not, but in school we're reading "king lear", and there's a reference in which a character dresses up in disguise and then goes by the name "Poor Tom"... i thought it was odd? anyone know if its just a coincedence?
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthis is a great song. it kinda sounds like Plant is saying do a dog.
  • Micki from St. Louis, MoI love all Led Zeppelin songs, and have done quite a bit of research on the lyrics. Poor Tom is always different, no matter where you go to get the information. For instance, the second line could say 'worked the rivers run'. Some say the wife's name is Emme Mae, Elle Mae is another option. The chorus is always different, too. I could keep going. What ever he is singing, it is a great song.
  • John from Monvtille, NjI love songs that tell stories, and once again LZ comes through.
  • Nick from Solvang, CaI always play this song on the drums
  • David Corino from Hawley, PaOne of my favorite Zeppelin songs, my screan name is "Poortom shot8"
  • Paulo from New York, NyPearl Jam has a track on their latest album called "Can't Keep" that is somewhat reminscent of this - hope it doesn't mean Jimmy Page will sue those guys again. ;)
  • Jonathan from Ann Arbor, MiI agree with Adrian. It is a great folk tune. Very easy to listen to. Iam also a big fan of folk music, and this song is truly. The drum part gives the song a great feeling, and is very ingenious I might add. Great job Zeppelin!
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeNice little folk tune, Bonzo's drumming is top notch as always
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