Streetside Serenade

well, I'm standin' here a-singin' for your nickels and your dimes

if you can't spare some silver, won't you stop and spend some time?

bein' broke, ain't no joke; but it sure as hell ain't no crime...

hard times will surely test an honest man...

all I'm guilty of... is doin' the best I can...

...

me and this old guitar, sir; we've seen a lot of miles...

had our share of hard knocks, but we've raised a lot of smiles...

we're here to play, just for today, won't you listen for a while?

and if you find it in your heart to toss a coin...

it will help us down the road, to where we're goin'...

   ...well... there was a time 'Streetside Serenade' was hand lettered on a scrap of cardboard and set in the old Guild (D-40) guitar case, t encourage folks to 'throw that minstrel boy a coin...' .. I always lied the concept of playing for folks whether they could afford to chip in or not... very democratic, this 'busking' idea; and far too often confused with panhandling. There were times when myself and 'Lady Grey' ( I was labouring under the 'nom de guerre' of Carson Daniel Grey in those days) did quite well for our efforts (the Kentucky Derby gates being one of the best). That day I traded my guitar to a young fellow to sing a few while I hocked programs for him. He had seen Townes Van Zandt and John Lee Hooker the night before, and was on fire to play. Once at the beer store in my hometown I came across (almost stumbled across) a young lad flat on his ass, strumming an old Kay arch top guitar. I asked him: "Do You know hat you've got there?" and he dreamily replied: "Yeah, man... magic..."... I tipped him a dollar and suggested he might do better to stand up and put a little energy into it; remembering Bob Dylan's comment: "Anyone can stand there and sing... you got to step out a little..."  I used to 'step out' with two pair of spurs and cowbells on my 18" Justin range rider boots (with Spanish heels); but the dancing lady in the low cut gown with the tambourine didn't hurt, neither.

 

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