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 #

John Hartford

"I Would Not Be Here"

I would not be here if I hadn't been there
And I wouldn't been there if I hadn't just turned
On Wednesday the third in the late afternoon
Got to talking with George who works out in the back
And only because he was getting off early
To go see a man at a Baker Street bookstore
With a rare first edition of "Steamboats and Cotton"
A book he would never have sought in the first place
Had he not been inspired
By a fifth grade replacement schoolteacher in Kirkwood
Who was picked just at random
By some man on a school board who couldn't care less
And she wouldn't been working
If not for her husband
Who moved two months prior to work in the office
Of a man he had met
While he served in the army
And only because they were in the same barracks
An accident caused by a poorly made roster
Mixed up on the desk of a Sargent from Denver
Who wouldn't be in but for being in back
In the car he was riding before he enlisted that hit a cement truck
And killed both his buddies
But a back seat flew up there and spared him from dying
And only because of the fault of a workman
Who forgot to turn screws on a line up in Detroit
Cause he hollered at Sam who was hateful that morning
Hungover from drinking alone at a tavern
Because of a woman he wished he'd not married
He met long ago at a Jewish bar mitzvah
For the son of a man who had moved there from Jersey
Who managed a drugstore that sold the prescription
That cured up the illness he caught way last summer
He wouldn't have caught except for some kid
All contagious from fever who sat in his lap
Was the son of a man who sold him insurance
He met at a (trails off)

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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