Tom Waits Lends Instrumental Song to Banksy's West Bank Hotel - Rolling Stone
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Tom Waits Lends Instrumental ‘Innocent When You Dream’ to Banksy Hotel

Stark piano tune plays at artist’s Walled Off Hotel project in West Bank

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Tom Waits recorded a stark instrumental version of "Innocent When You Dream" for Banksy's Walled Off Hotel project in the West Bank.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Tom Waits recorded an instrumental version of “Innocent When You Dream” that will play in the lobby of Banksy‘s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem in the West Bank. The artist’s latest project is both a functioning hotel and an immersive art piece located near the wall that separates Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“Innocent When You Dream” appears on Waits’ 1987 album Franks Wild Years and finds the musician growling over a waltz of graceful strings and piano. For the Walled Off Hotel, Waits turned the song into a simple piano piece that carries a solemn weight as it rings out of a player piano in a video featuring images of the hotel lobby.

“To mark the 100 year anniversary of Britain’s former colonization of Palestine and its disastrous consequences, Banksy has mixed opulence and dystopia with his desire to highlight the daily lives and art of Palestinians,” read a note on Waits’ Facebook. “The Irish are no strangers to strife and division, and Waits selected this Irish tinged waltz because of its lyrical and wistful mix of regret and dreams for a world without walls.”

Waits previously addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on “Road To Peace,” a song off his 2006 collection, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. The lyrics of that song specifically address a spate of violence that erupted in 2003 and also reference former President George W. Bush and America’s role in the conflict.

Other musicians have also contributed to the Walled Off Hotel, including Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Massive Attack’s 3D, Flea and Hans Zimmer. 

In This Article: Tom Waits


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