Way Down in the Hole

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"Way Down in the Hole"
Song by Tom Waits
from the album Franks Wild Years
Songwriter(s)Tom Waits

"Way Down in the Hole" is a song written by the singer-songwriter Tom Waits. It was included on his 1987 album Franks Wild Years, which was later made into a stage production.

The song was used as the theme for HBO's The Wire.[1][2] A different recording was used each season. Versions, in series order, were recorded by The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tom Waits, The Neville Brothers, DoMaJe, and Steve Earle. Season four's version, performed by the Baltimore teenagers Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir and Avery Bargasse, was arranged and recorded specifically for the show.[3] An extended version of the Blind Boys of Alabama recording was played over a montage in the series finale.


  1. ^ Alvarez, Rafael (2009). The Wire: Truth Be Told - The Complete Official Series Guide. Canongate Books. pp. 246–248.
  2. ^ James Braxton Peterson (2014). "The Depth of the Hole: Intertextuality and Tom Waits’s “Way Down in the Hole”". In: The Hip-Hop Underground and African American Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
  3. ^ ""The Wire" on HBO: Play Or Get Played, Exclusive Q&A With David Simon (p. 16)". 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2007.