To beat the devil
It was winter time in Nashville down on Music Row
And I was lookin' for a place to get myself out of the cold
To warm the frozen feelin' that was eatin' at my soul
Keep the chilly wind off me and my guitar.
My thirsty wanted whiskey my hungry needed beans
But it had been a month of payday 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.
Actually I guess you'd call it a tavern
Cigarette smoke to the ceiling sawdust on the floor friendly shadows
I saw that there was just an old man sittin' at the bar
And in the mirror I could see him checkin' me and my guitar.
And he turned and he said come up here boy and show us which you are
I said I'm dry he bought me a beer
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 makin' any money are you
I said you been readin' my mail.
He just smiled and said let me see that guitar
I got something you oughta hear then he laid it on me
If you waste your time a talkin' to the people who don't listen
To the things that you are saying who do you thinks gonna hear.
And if you should die explaining how the thing that they complain about
Or the things they could be changing who do you thinks gonna care
There were other lonely singers and they would 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
'Cause the truth remains that no one wants to know.
Well, the old man was a stranger but I'd've 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.
You see the devil haunts a hungry man
If you don't wanna join him you gotta beat him
I ain't sayin' I beat the devil but I drank his beer for nothin'
Then I stole his song.
And you still can hear me singin' to the people who don't listen
To the things that I am sayin' prayin' someone's gonna hear
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing hoping someone's gonna care.
I was born a lonely singer and I'm bound to die the same
But I've gotta feed the hunger in my soul
And if I never have a nickel I won't even die in shame
Cause I don't believe that no one wants to know...
Writers: Kristoffer Kristofferson
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed by LyricFind