Записана 6 мая 1970 на студии Olympic Studios, London.
Инженер Энди Джонс (Andy Johns).
Впервые выпущена 19 ноября 1982 на альбоме «Coda» (Swan Song 16002).
Выпускалась также 6 мая 1990 года на сборнике «Box Set» (Atlantic 82144) и 6 октября 1993 года на сборнике «The Complete Studio Recordings» (Atlantic 82526).
Owen Hand, a little-known friend of Bert Jansch recorded a couple of albums during the 1960s, one of which featured the song «She Likes It», shares a few licks with «Poor Tom».
The title refers to the main character in the song, the ubiquitous Tom, who was the seventh son, and thus did not inherit any land or property and was poor in terms of material possessions.
Tom, according to the lyrics, is a family’s seventh son. Thus there is little left for him to inherit in terms of land or money because the six previous brothers have taken it all. However, in occult lore, negro mysticism and other belief systems, a dispensation for this is the influence of seven which is considered a lucky number, the seventh son may have a variety of supernatural powers to compensate for his reduced birthright. This is referred to in Muddy Waters’ «Hoochie Coochie Man», also written by Wille Dixon, amongst others. The magical powers seem to relate quite often to having good luck with women. Wille Dixon also wrote a song called «Seventh Son» about the belief that the seventh son was lucky. However, the poverty aspect of his predicament means he has to live the blues which probably appealed to blues songwriters. Basically, as the seventh son, you may be poor in material riches, but may be able to make up for this by developing non-material riches. Another group to have recorded a song about this is Iron Maiden with their song, «Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son». The seventh son of a seventh son is even luckier than than a seventh son, and is as legend has it, blessed with incredible magic powers.
Here's a tale of Tom Who worked the rivers run His wife would cook his meat But he wouldn't care to eat Poor Tom, Seventh Son, Always knew what's goin on Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom There ain't nothing that you can hide from Tom Worked for thirty years Sharin' hopes and fears Dreamin' of the day He could turn and say Poor Tom, work's gone, lazin' out in the noonday sun Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom His wife was Ellie May One of many games she played When Tom was out of town She couldn't keep her dress down Poor Tom, Seventh Son, always knew what's goin on Ain't a thing that you can hide from Tom And so it was one day People got to Ellie May (?) Tom took a gun in his hand And stopped all the runnin' around Poor Tom, Seventh Son, gotta die for what you've done All those years of work are thrown away To ease your mind is that all you can say? But what about that grandson on your knee? And railroad song is he could be Ain't nothing that you can hide from Tom Keep-a Truckin'