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david m. bailey: Music & Lyrics

Broke Traveler

(david m. bailey)
Outside the Red Roof inn, under a traffic light
He took out his guitar and he set up for the night
Beside the open case, the sign said traveling and broke
I sat down on the curb with a coffee in the smoke
It's been a dozen years, but I too once played the street
Truth is, the gig was rough, but somehow the memory is sweet
He did a song about the time he lived in an old junkyard
The days weren't that bad, but the nights were kinda hard
Then he said I got another one, this one's kinda fun
It’s ‘bout a girl south of Toledo who turned out to be a nun
Then he said wait, I got another one, it's my version of the blues
It’s ‘bout a pretty lady I met in Santa Cruz
I listened to a couple more, though he played the same three chords
Variations on a theme, like a chain of record stores
I dug into my pocket, I found a couple dimes
To throw into his case and thank him for the time
My gig was later on; I had at least a couple hours
Time enough to grab a nap, dinner, and a shower
I'd check my sound at 6, I’d take the stage at 8
Singing under different lights, different songs, a different fate
It's a well-known phrase, there, but for the grace of God go I
But I never heard the grace of God ever tell me why
So I walked up right beside him, I put a twenty in his hand
I said don't you ever stop, he smiled and said I understand
I said I knew you would
At 9 o'clock I sang a song about how our dreams begin
I sang it for the man who sang outside the Red Roof Inn