I’m not generally into Tom Waits, but I think his song “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” is wonderful. It fits with the themes of hopeful possibility, then the regret of letting opportunities slip through your fingers due to fear and uncertainty. The song is simply done and it’s not overproduced or embellished with unnecessary bits and bobs. Here you can find the same vocal with some lovely artwork as visual accompaniment.
Hootie & The Blowfish do a very nice version of this. Lead Darius Rucker’s voice is much smoother than Tom Waits but it still works well. You can definitely hear how his voice fits into the country genre that he’s currently recording in.
10,000 Maniacs does this song proud. It brings back the original feeling that’s intended. The super creaky sound of a door closing at the end of the track is an unexpected touch and a great metaphor.
Surprisingly, Jon Bon Jovi somewhat approximates the vocals of Mr. Waits. There is a nice gruffness to his voice that I think has been overlooked in the past. It sounds like he’s hanging out, in a bar, early early morning just tooling around with his six-string.
With the addition of the piano, Emiliana Torrino makes the song sound so sad, yet resigned to never having the chance for just one little shot of happiness. The more I listen to it, the more it makes me want to give her a hug, like she’s a little girl who gave her crush a valentine and got nothing in return.
The version by Ariane Moffat is delicate and tender, and somehow folksy, if that makes sense. I think it’s the little dreamy-sounding musical additions and her somewhat breathy style of singing.
Arrica Rose, although bringing a little more polish to the song, appropriately, stays with a fairly sparse musical translation. There’s no rough, raw grittiness here. Her version is very sweet.