Friday, August 21, 2015

Workingman's Blues #2

Finding work is hard.
Finding love is harder still.
I hope we can work.

This tip of the hat to Merle Haggard and his "Workingman's Blues" is a wonderful song. "Workingman's Blues #2" appears on the 2006 album "Modern Times," and despite my enthusiasm for it, I find it a hard one to analyze. I put it down to love and work, the things that we spend most of our time doing.

1. Dusk. Starlight by the creek. The proletariat has less buying power every day, currency is inflating, low wages are here to stay if we want to be competitive. The place I love best is gone.
2. "My cruel weapons have been put on the shelf." I assume that he means his biting words. Come over and sit on my knee. I love you. Listening to the railroad tracks, eyes closed, trying to ignore my hunger.
3. Chorus: "Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind, Bring me my boots and shoes. You can hang back or fight your best on the front line. Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues."
4. Sailing, ready for the storm-tossed deep. I'll take my enemies to hell and sell them to THEIR enemies. Think I'll sleep the rest of the day and sustain myself on thoughts. "Sometimes no one wants what we got. Sometimes you can't give it away."
5. Enemies are everywhere, some deaf and dumb. When will sorrow come? Outside: the night birds. Inside: lover. Sleeping in the kitchen, feet in the hall. This must be what death is like.
6. Barn burned, horse stolen, no money. Must resist life of crime. I wish you were here. Have you forgotten me?
7. People worry all the time. I don't think of them at all. I just think of you. You hurt me with your words, but that won't last.
8. "No one can ever claim that I took up arms against you."
9. Bruised and down on my luck. I will give you another chance. Please come and dance me away. I have a new suit, a new wife and I can live on rice and beans. "Some people never worked a day in their life, don't know what work even means."

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