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​Stancliff's Lament

This song is by James McMurtry and appears on the album It Had To Happen (1997).

Too old to work for wages
No time left to kill
Put your eggs in one basket
Mind that basket don't spill
You've got to be successful
Just to be all right
Lest the old man's ghost comes walking
In the middle of the night

Spend some years in the business
Learn how the big boys play
Marry your high school sweetheart
Man don't let her get away
And if it don't work out
You can walk away without a stitch
Wreckage in the rearview mirror
Bouncing down a roadside ditch

It's behind you now
It's behind you now
The worst was over long ago
Pat yourself on the back
Stand up and take a bow

There's voices all around you
They're yelling Go Team
You're sitting at the top of the bleachers
Staring at a laptop screen
You can't waste a minute
You can't waste a one
The minutes are bought and paid for
At least till the job gets done

They're holding all of your phone calls
But it's no relief
You're staring out the smoked glass window
At the cars down on the cloverleaf
And a picture of a kid with a ball glove smiling at
The lense
And a woman on a sailboat
And all those years you just had to hope they'd bend
Well you pushed so hard you bent so far
That they won't either one get straight again