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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




BALLAD OF THE RIVER HARLEM

Iíve been living with only a song to spare
And having myself a good time,
For the friendliest folks that ever Iíve known
Are the ones who havenít a dime, Lord,
The ones who havenít a dime.

When you see a poor man roam through your town,
Donít you just gape and stare,
ĎCause for every man whoís down on his luck
Thereís a crook who helped put him there, Lord,
A crook who helped put him there.

If you think itís every man for himself,
Then brother, Iíve got news:
If lifeís mistreating your fellow man,
Then itsí doing the same thing to you, Lord,
Itís doing the same thing to you.

Youíve got to be able to handle it all,
And to take it as it comes.
Thereís a lot of hard times going down,
And youíre bound to catch you some, Lord,
Youíre bound to catch you some.

And donít you be afraid to answer
When you hear a lonely voice call.
If you ainít got friendship to offer,
Then you ainít got nothing at all, Lord,
You ainít got nothing at all.

If you think itís every man for himself,
Then brother, Iíve got news:
If lifeís mistreating your fellow man,
Then itsí doing the same thing to you, Lord,
Itís doing the same thing to you.

Manhattan, New York, 1971



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