For the Sake of a Dollar (William Patrick Bennett)

once there was a miner... who held down his job...

'tll one day he was struck down... by the fate of his god...

now his wife, she did morn him... 'till the collectors came around

and they stole all his possessions... before they'd bury him down

...

now his wife and his children... pay the rent with their tears...

they live alone with one another; wake each night with their fears...

and the money ain't nothin'... to the rich men in town

but for the sake of a dollar; they let the whole family drown

...

now the old man had wrote out... all the things he had saved...

said he's saved them a gold mine... but it was all in his head...

and one solemn child.... who had been born that year

was brought up with the memories... of the feelings and the fears

...

now his wife and his children... pay the rent with their fears

they live alone with one another... wake each night with their fears

'cause the money ain't nothin'... to the rich men in town...

but for the sake of a dollar; they let the whole family drown.

...

now the bartender's arm shook... as she poured one more round...

said she'd heard many stories... and was I long in the town?

I paid up my dollar... and  I laughed as I did...

said: "I'm one of the family... though I've long kept it hid...

...

and I'm older and wise, now... I've travelled around...

I've slept in many a dark city... I've been jailed in small towns...

and my father would tell you... if he'd lived to this day...

that if life be a gamble... then blood be... the stakes...

          well... this is the only song of Willie's that I have recorded (on The Brave Work); though there are many I consider 'favourites', and a few more I'd sing on occasion. When I was headed up to David (Hollis) Morgan's studio to lay down the tracks, I called Willie about a line I was unsure of,(for the life of me I can't recall which), and his response was to go ahead and sing it the way I heard it... so I guess I did. I don't generally mess with another songwriter's lyric; but that was pretty much the way Willie was... humble and accepting... and songs are fluid in nature, I believe... the last time I put 'Ode to Willie P," down, there was a serendipitous switch of wording; and it will stay that way (until next time, I suppose). Today is 'Blue Valentine' at The Garnet, here in the 'Patch; and folks will gather to sing his songs and remember him. love to all, d.

 

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