A Better Place to Be (Harry Chapin) It was an early morning barroom And the place had just opened up And a little man came in so fast And he started at his cups And the broad who served the whiskey She was a big old friendly girl Who tried to fight her empty nights By smiling at the world And she said, "Hey, bub, it's been a while Since you've been around Where the hell have you been hiding And why d'you look so down?" Well, the little man just sat there Like he'd never heard a sound. The waitress, she gave out with a cough And acting not the least put off, She spoke once again, and she said, "I don't want to bother you Consider it's understood; I know I'm not no beauty queen But I sure can listen good." And the little man took his drink in his hand And he raised it to his lips. He took a couple of sips, And then he told the waitress this story: I am the midnight watchman Down at Miller's Tool and Die I watch the metal rusting I watch the time go by A week ago at the diner I stopped to get a bite And this here lovely lady, She sat two seats from my right And Lord, Lord, Lord She was alright. You see, she was so damn beautiful That she could warm a winter frost But she looked long past lonely And well nigh on to lost Now, I'm not much of a mover Or a pick-em-up-easy guy But I decided to glide on over And give her one good try And Lord, Lord, Lord She was worth a try. Well, I was tounge-tied like a schoolboy I stammered out some words It did not seem to matter much, Cause I don't think she heard She just looked clear on through me To a space back in my head It shamed me into silence As quietly she said "If you want me to come with you, Then that's alright with me Cause I know I'm going nowhere And anywhere's a better place to be" Anywhere's a better place to be Well, I drove her to my boarding house And I took her up to my room And I went to turn on the only light To brighten up the gloom But she said, "Please leave the light off - Oh, I don't mind the dark" And as her clothes all tumbled 'round her I could hear my heart Well, the moonlight shone upon her As she lay back in my bed It was the kind of scene I only Had imagined in my head I just could not believe it To think that she was real And as I tried to tell her, she said "Shhhh - I know just how you feel - And if you want to come here with me, Then that's alright with me Cause I've been oh, so lonely; Lovin' someone is a better way to be Anywhere's a better place to be Well, the morning came so swiftly I held her in my arms And she slept like a baby Snug and safe from harm I did not want to share her Or dare to break the mood So before she woke, I went out To buy us both some food. I came back with my paper bag To find that she was gone She'd left a six-word letter Saying "It's time that I moved on." You know, the waitress, she took her bar rag And she wiped it across her eyes And as she spoke, her voice came out As something like a sigh She said, "I wish that I was beautiful Or that you were halfway blind And I wish I weren't so goddamn fat - I wish that you were mine And I wish that you'd come with me When I leave for home For we both know all about emptiness And living all alone" And the little man Looked at the empty glass in his hand And he smiled a crooked grin He said, "I guess I'm out of gin - And I know we both have been so lonely And if you want me to come with you, Then that's alright with me Cause I know I'm going nowhere And anywhere's a better place to be Copyright Harry Chapin CC
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!