Waits' song 'Martha' was released in 1973
‘Martha’, like ‘Hello’, centres around a telephone conversation between the narrator and an old flame.
Waits lyrics include: “Hello, hello there, is this Martha? / This is old Tom Frost, and I’m calling long distance. Don’t worry ’bout the cost / Cause it’s been 40 years or more, now Martha please recall / Meet me out for coffee, where we’ll talk about it all.”
Adele’s lyrics meanwhile are: “Hello, it’s me / I was wondering if after all these years / You’d like to meet, to go over everything”.
Online commentators have accused Adele of ripping off Waits with the track. One person wrote: “The new Adele song (which I’ve finally heard) is essentially just “Martha” by Tom Waits tho isn’t it.”
Another said: “Just copped that Adele’s Hello is a copy of Tom Waits’ Martha.”
Adele’s producer Greg Kurstin recently told Entertainment Weekly that Waits inspired Adele’s new album. He said: “She didn’t want to just go through and write a pop song with any particular formula. We talked about Tom Waits, and different storytellers like that. I think that was the idea, that we wanted to do something that was very honest about where she was at right now, and she wanted to do something that was real and believable.”
Listen to both songs below.
Last week, Adele’s ‘Hello’ became the biggest UK chart-topper in three years, as well as setting a new one-week streaming record, racking up over 7.32 million listens in its first week.
The singer’s new record ’25’ will be released on November 20.