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Old Ballyhoo

This song is by Loudon Wainwright III and appears on the album High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (2009).

Mister, won't you lend a poor dime a cripple?
I'm about a thousand dollars from my home
Ain't got no mile in my pocket, no head to poke my hole through
And I don't know where I'll die when I go to

I've tried living in the valley and working at the mill
I like bootlegging better, running whiskey through these hills
Now I'm back down from the mountain and living on the barn
If you've got change for five dollars, why don't you give me some?

Mister, won't you lend a poor dime a cripple?
I'm about a thousand dollars from my home
Ain't got no mile in my pocket, no head to poke my hole through
And I don't know where I'll die when I go to

Hey, I could play in your theater, local church or corner bar
Long as there's fun and money, I ain't too particular
I can sing and dance and whistle, turn cartwheels through the air
And if I get too tight to stand upright, just tie me to a chair

Mister, won't you lend a poor dime a cripple?
I'm about a thousand dollars from my home
Ain't got no mile in my pocket, no head to poke my hole through
And I don't know where I'll die when I go to

Now when this song is over, gonna pass around my hat
So won't you reach down deep inside? Hey, quiet at the back
Did you come to talk or listen, folks? Now everybody hush
'Cause when I hit that high note, I can make a statue blush

Mister, won't you lend a poor dime a cripple?
I'm about a thousand dollars from my home
Ain't got no mile in my pocket, no head to poke my hole through
And I don't know where I'll die when I go to

Written by:

Dick Connette