adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The More Things Change...

Going through a book of Western and cowboy songs, I came on this piece. It could as easily have been written today as 120 years ago.

THE INDEPENDENT MAN

Lyric by Mrs J T Kellie to the music of ‘The Gal I Left Behind Me,’ a tune popular both with soldiers of the Civil War and cowboys in the post-war period (and one I’ve been known to sing on occasion).

(vs 1)
I was a party man one time,
The party would not mind me;
That’s all for which I have to thank
The party left behind me.

(chorus – repeat after each vs)
An older, sadder, poorer man
Sure ev’ry year did find me;
That’s all for which I have to thank
The party left behind me.

(vs 2)
I asked that from the railroad’s clutch
A way out they could find me;
One party answered me, ‘Not much,’
The other would not mind me.

(vs 3)
I was to moneyed man a slave –
They said it was a fable;
One party would not try to save,
The other was not able.

(vs 4)
A true and independent man
You ever more shall find me;
I work and vote and ne’er regret
The party left behind me.

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