I was fresh out of high school when I wrote a couple of non-autobiographical song lyrics to the tune of Charlie Daniels’ Uneasy Rider. One of those lyrics is called George. That was over thirty years ago, and there are some dated references to be sure, but it still holds up pretty well.
The second lyric is called Dad. I have a soft spot in my heart for these two songs and always wanted to share them with others. This blog gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that. Hope you enjoy them!
George was the neighborhood junkie and our baseball coach,
You never saw him without a bat or a roach,
He was a few years older than us but he had our respect.
But one day when he cried, “Guys, let’s pick teams,”
His pupils were burstin’ apart at the seams,
When he collapsed in the dirt, we all knew he was pretty well wrecked.
With a bat in hand and a glazed look in his eyes,
He yelled, “Out in the field, I’ll hit you some flies,”
He took twelve swings but whiffed on every one.
Well, he was King of the Hill but we had him dethroned
‘Cause that’s the third straight practice he came to stoned,
And even though he apologized, the damage was done.
He had always played it straight with us before,
But I didn’t want to think about him anymore,
I just accepted the fact that a good friend of mine had changed.
We still practiced every week and he sometimes came,
But he was wasted all the time and just wasn’t the same,
I guess he just had his priorities rearranged.
Yeah, he used to be the King and we were his pawns,
When he’d point his thumbs up, he’d look just like the Fonz,
But things were different now, he had changed too drastically.
So one Friday afternoon, I played it real cool
When he strolled into the Taco Shack, where I worked after school,
I acted nonchalant and said, “Hello, George, what’ll it be?”
He lit up a joint and took a toke,
Said, “Gimme sixteen tacos and an extra-large Coke,
I said, “George, you really should stop smokin’ that stuff.”
He said, “Aw, Jesus, kid, don’t be a prude,
Just get to work and fix my food,
I’ll be the judge of when I’ve had enough.”
I said, “All right, but your bill’s immense,
It’s gonna cost ya seven dollars and eighty-three cents,
He said, “When you’ve got the munchies, kid, you find a way to get by.
I just cut up a brick and sold a couple lids,
Got twenty bills each from some neighborhood kids,
And that hardly made a dent in my supply.
“Now you know I’m just selling grass, of course,
I don’t wanna get involved in acid or horse,
‘Cause a couple good friends of mine OD’d and died.
But there’s nothin’ wrong with gettin’ a little buzz,
And I know that’s all marijuana does,
I like to get burnt, but I don’t wanna get deep-fried.”
Well, he was tokin’ away when I gave him his order,
He said, “Thanks a lot, kid,” and flipped me a quarter,
Then he sat down next to the door to soak up the breeze.
But he didn’t touch his food and he sat there so long,
That I finally walked over and asked what was wrong,
He looked up at me, smiled, and said, “Kid, I’ve got a disease.”
Well, he was smilin’ kind of sad-like and still smokin’ pot,
And I didn’t know whether to believe him or not,
But my stomach felt queasy and my legs had turned into jello.
He said, “It’s been four months since it was diagnosed,
The doctor gave me a year, maybe two at the most,
I’ve just been takin’ it easy and trying to stay mellow.”
Well, quite a while went by before he tossed me a glance,
He said, “It’s terminal, kid, I don’t stand a chance,
I can already tell that my body is getting corroded.”
He said, “I feel like a Rembrandt in a cardboard frame,
I wanna live forever but I’m losin’ the game,
It’s the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded.”
Well, I was shakin’ all over, but he was cool and steady,
He said, “I had to talk to someone, I feel better already,
You’re the first one to know and you’re also the last.”
He polished off his coke, crushed the paper cup,
Said, “See ya’ around, kid,” as he slowly stood up,
Then he pushed open the door and walked out—into the past.
Well, the rest of that day I felt pretty fried,
I was jokin’ with customers, but cryin’ inside,
Because I finally understood why George had changed so much.
A few weeks later, he told me he was movin’ on,
Now it’s been six months since he’s been gone,
But he drops me a postcard now and then and we keep in touch.
And I have some home movies of George, which I watch frequently,
When he appears on the screen, well, it seems like 3-D,
And with a flick of a switch, I can make time stand still.
Well, I imagine he’s going through a lot of pain,
And I know I’ll never get to see him again,
But I miss him. And I hope I always will.
Click here to view all my posts featuring my original song lyrics.
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