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Monday morning, relentless rhyme, and some jabs at would-be folk Messiahs.

“The Hustler is about people who hustle fame. We are most familiar with the money variety. It’s about those who try to rub shoulders with God then sell you a piece of his cloud. It’s about those who hustle cigarettes from Joan Baez even though they know she doesn’t smoke.” — Eric Andersen

 

THE HUSTLER
(Eric Andersen)

Oh, you can try to run me down
But you can’t drive me underground
When you’re not there I’ll be around
To haunt you, I won’t make a sound
To track you, I don’t need a hound
You think you’re lost, I’ve got you found
You’re surrounded, though you think that they can’t see.

Your castle walls, they all will fall
You’ll be surprised that all-in-all
Nobody really cares at all
You won’t believe the beggar’s gall
That can bite your heels when you crawl
That pain can come from those so small
Go cry wolf, or better, you should scream!

Though you’re not on top, you think you’re first
Some surgeon’s scalpel stealin’ nurse
Who can let others feel the hurt
When you’re the driver of the hearse
So you’ll feel bad but they’ll feel worse
Without you what would the doctor be?

I’m watching you, but not quite like before
I will find you, you’re the one I’m a-lookin’ for
And when it’s over don’t say sorry anymore

A brushless painter runnin’ down
Into the night to paint the town
While putting everybody on
Blowing smoke rings for the clowns
You brag of those you’ve been around
They listen to your silly sounds
Disciples pass your bread around
While the cross is hidden in your gown
They think that they’re on holy ground
Not knowing Judas watches from the trees!

While posing as the saint of need
Godfather to the one who’s weak
By using words like “sad defeat”
You laugh that you’ve got losing beat
The girls all giggle at your feet
The squealing people that you meet
You might get made, but be discreet
Don’t take your mask off, trick or treat
As you get the stars down on their knees
But do you really think you have fortune beat?

Believing in the magic noose
That trips the egg, the golden goose
And with it, you can never lose
While fairy tales are still the truth
But don’t let go, hey, don’t let loose
For the goose is flipping off the roof
And without its wings, how can you be free?

I’m watching you, but not quite like before
I will find you, You’re the one I’m a-lookin’ for
And when it’s over don’t say sorry anymore.

Lone Ranger, he just rides along
Protecting those that don’t belong
In the land where there’s no right or wrong
As Tonto, you just load his gun
For killing outlaws one by one
And shooting inlaws just for fun
While the jungle laws are on the run
Step out before you get stepped on
You say this with your war paint on
Afraid if you’re in the dark too long
‘Cause you know the jungle’s no place for the meek!

You say life is absurdity
A carnival for melodies
You eye the big-time bitterly
And set the stage so faithfully
A hawker for Lord Mystery
While marching so religiously
As the army that has paid to see
The choirboy of reality
Laugh at all authority
You smile oh-so-cynically
The sole possessor of his key
But it’s sad to know that’s all you’ll ever be.

You said keep on the sunny side
That life was just a rainbow ride
A silver-studded surfboard glide
On the wine of waves to keep you high
Don’t hit the moon when you fly too wide
It’ll bring you down below the tide
Where no one keeps their tears inside
The waters hide them if you cry
For in the waves, there are no mysteries.

I’m watching you, but not quite like before
I will find you, you’re the one I’m a-lookin’ for
And when it’s over, don’t say sorry anymore.

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