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The Mudcat Cafesj

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(Mark Cohen)

The sky's clouding over, there's a breeze off the mountain
A chill in the air and the sound of the rain
It washes the trees and it fills the gray river
But it won't clean these hands and it can't heal the pain
I'm nobody special, I'm somebody's neighbor
Had a job in a store and I made decent pay
My wife and I lived in a two-room apartment
We'd a nine-month-old daughter and one on the way

It was Saturday night, I'd been working till seven
And then I'd gone out with the boys for a drink
Got home after nine, I was tired and hungry
And a little bit drunk, and in no mood to think
My wife was asleep and the baby was crying
Dirty dishes and diapers were piled around
She woke up and saw me, said, "Please feed the baby,
I'm tired and sick, and I need to lie down."

I guess it was building a long time inside me
It must have been smoldering over the years
The dishes, the crying, the tiny apartment
Something let go, and my eyes blurred with tears
It seemed like her crying would go on forever
Louder and louder it pounded my brain
My thoughts were a fog of frustration and anger
I had to do something to stop all the pain

They say they don't know if she'll ever be walking
They say that my wife and new baby are well
They tell me I'll be here a little while longer
But there's one thing that nobody ever can tell
What makes a man raise his hand to a baby?
How can he strike his own daughter or son?
I wake every day to a nightmare of sorrow
And I wish that these hands could undo what they've done

Copyright Mark Cohen 1985
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