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Johnny Cash

"To Beat The Devil"

[Intro]
And I'd like to dedicate this to John and June, who helped show me how to beat the devil

[Verse 1]
It was winter time in Nashville, down on music row
And I was looking for a place to get myself out of the cold
To warm the frozen feeling that was eating at my soul
And keep the chilly wind off me and my guitar

[Verse 2]
Well, my thirsty wanted whisky; and my hungry needed beans
But it'd been of month of paydays since I'd heard that eagle scream
So with a stomach full of empty and a pocket full of dreams
I left my pride and stepped inside a bar

[Verse 3]
Actually, I guess you'd could call it a Tavern
Cigarette smoke to the ceiling, sawdust on the floor
Friendly shadows

[Verse 4]
Well, I saw that there was just one old man, that was sitting at the bar
And in the mirror I could see him checking me and my guitar
An' he turned and said: "Come up here boy, and show us what you are
I said: "I'm dry." He bought me a beer

[Verse 5]
Then he nodded at my guitar and said: "It's a tough life, ain't it?"
I just looked at him and he said: "You ain't making any money, are you?"
I said: "You've been reading my mail"
He just smiled and said: "Let me see that guitar
I've got something you oughta hear"
Then he laid it on me

[Verse 6]
If you waste your time a-talking to the people who don't listen
To the things that you are saying, who do you think's going to hear
And if you should die explaining how the things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing who do you think's going to care?

[Verse 7]
There were other lonely singers in a world turned deaf and blind
Who were crucified for what they tried to show
And their voices have been scattered by the swirling winds of time
All the truth remains that no-one wants to know

[Verse 8]
Well, the old man was a stranger, but I'd heard his song before
Back when failure had me locked out on the wrong side of the door
When no-one stood behind me but my shadow on the floor
And lonesome was more than a state of mind

[Verse 9]
You see, the devil haunts a hungry man
If you don't wanna join him, well you gotta beat him
I ain't saying I beat the devil, but I drank his beer for nothing
And then I stole his song

[Verse 10]
And you still can hear me singing to the people who don't listen
To the things that I am saying, praying someone's going to hear
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing, hoping someone's going to care

[Outro]
I was born a lonely singer, and I'm bound to die the same
But I've got to feed the hunger in my soul
And if I never have a nickle, I won't ever die ashamed
Cause I don't believe that no-one wants to know

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


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