Hang Down Your Head

Hang Down Your Head is a song by Tom Waits appearing on his 1985 album Rain Dogs. It released as a single in 1985 by Island Records. The song is in the same vein as Tom Waits' earlier work, featuring a more conventional melodic structure in comparison to other songs on his Rain Dogs album albeit featuring an idiosyncratic arrangement. Allmusic critic Stewart Mason called the song "among the most direct and effective things Waits has ever written."[2]

"Hang Down Your Head"
Tom Waits - Hang Down Your Head.jpg
Single by Tom Waits
from the album Rain Dogs
B-side"Tango Till They're Sore"
Released1985 (1985)
Recorded1985 (1985) at RCA Studios, NYC
GenreFolk rock[1]
Songwriter(s)Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits
Producer(s)Tom Waits
Tom Waits singles chronology
"Jockey Full of Bourbon"
"Hang Down Your Head"
"Downtown Train"

Cover versionsEdit

Vocalist Lucinda Williams recorded a version of the song for the soundtrack of the crime/drama series Crossing Jordan, released in 2003.[3] It was later appended as a bonus track to her 2003 album World Without Tears. Gothic rock ensemble Human Drama recorded the song for their covers album Pinups, which was intended as a tribute to the various artists that had influenced them.[4] Country artist Jack Ingram has played the song at live concerts, and his version was recorded for his live debut Live at Adair's in 1995.[5]

Formats and track listingEdit

UK 7" single (107 761-100)
  1. "Hang Down Your Head" – 2:32
  2. "Tango Till They're Sore" – 2:49


Adapted from the Hang Down Your Head liner notes.[6]

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Germany 1985 Island LP 107 761-100


  1. ^ Jay S Jacobs (November 16, 2010). Wild Years: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits. ECW Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-55490-261-3.
  2. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Tom Waits: Hang Down Your Head > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Phares, Heather. "Original Soundtrack: Crossing Jordan > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Pinups: Pin-Ups > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Owens, Thom. "Jack Ingram: Live at Adair's > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Hang Down Your Head (booklet). Tom Waits. London, United Kingdom: Island Records. 1985.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)