Growly-voiced musician Tom Waits has never been shy about name-checking places in his song lyrics. He left Waukegan at the slammin' of the door, walked from Natchez to Hushpukena, and got a telephone call from Istanbul. Now all those spots are gathered in one place online. Waits fan Jonas Nordström has created an interactive world map of locations mentioned in Waits' songs.
You can explore the Tom Waits Map via the map interface, through an alphabetical list of place names, or by an alphabetical list of songs. A top-level glance at the map shows how Waits is prone to writing about certain areas of the US and Europe, while South America and Africa are pretty much left out. Greenland is also devoid of mentions.
Clicking on a pin gives you the location, the relevant snippet of lyrics, the song name, and the album the song appears on.
Now that we have an interactive Tom Waits song map, what do we do with it? It could certainly assist anyone working on a Tom Waits academic paper. Perhaps Waits fans will let it guide their vacation plans, in which case they might want to head for Southern California, Mississippi, or the Chicago area to maximize the concentration of lyric mentions by location.