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(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
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