Hey Charley I’m pregnant
Living on 9th Street
Right above a dirty bookstore
Off Euclid Avenue
I stopped taking dope
And I quit drinking whiskey
And my old man plays the trombone
And works out at the track
One of Tom Waits’ most beloved songs from one of his more obscure albums, Blue Valentine, “Christmas Card…” is a live standard. The song showcases Waits playing a barroom piano melody, weaving words together — in essence, doing what he does best in one long, bittersweet song. The lyrics are essentially a reading aloud of what the title says it is — a Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis. Waits takes the voice of the female character: “Hey Charley, I’m pregnant…”; you can guess the rest. The song is littered with characters with names like Mario. There are references to the track, a filling station, and a used car lot. There is whiskey, dope, grease, a trombone, and Little Anthony & the Imperials. What more could you want from a Tom Waits song?
– Denise Sullivan (allmusic.com)
…armed and extremely dangerous The Jam stalk the decrepit grooves. If you don’t like them, hard luck they’re gonna be around for a long time. It’s been a long time since albums actually reflected pre-20 delusions and this one does
– Barry Cain (Record Mirror)
In the City is the debut studio album of The Jam. It was released in 1977 by Polydor Records and featured the hit single and title track “In the City”. The album includes two cover songs, “Slow Down” and the theme to the 1960s television series, Batman, the latter of which had also been previously covered by The Who, The Kinks and Link Wray.
Paul Weller’s guitar style on the album is very much influenced by Wilko Johnson and Pete Townshend.