Ry Cooder ~ How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ~ Song of the Day.

It was written, composed, and performed by Blind Alfred Reed in 1929.

http://www.archive.org/details/Reed

The song was made famous by Ry Cooder on his 1970 self-titled album, Ry Cooder.

This recording by Ry Cooder and this Band was filmed and recorded at The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA on March 25’th 1987.

Instrumentation

Ry Cooder – guitar, vox
Jim Keltner – drums
Van Dyke Parks – keys
Jorge Calderon – bass
Flaco Jimenez – accordion
Miguel Cruiz – percussion
Steve Douglas – sax
George Bohannon – trombone

Vocals

Bobby King – tenor
Terry Evans – baritone
Arnold McCuller – tenor
Willie Green Jr – bass

 

 

Original Lyrics by the Blind Alfred Reed

There once was a time when everything was cheap,
But now prices nearly puts a man to sleep.
When we pay our grocery bill,
We just feel like making our will —
I remember when dry goods were cheap as dirt,
We could take two bits and buy a dandy shirt.
Now we pay three bucks or more,
Maybe get a shirt that another man wore —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Well, I used to trade with a man by the name of Gray,
Flour was fifty cents for a twenty-four pound bag.
Now it’s a dollar and a half beside,
Just like a-skinning off a flea for the hide —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Oh, the schools we have today ain’t worth a cent,
But they see to it that every child is sent.
If we don’t send everyday,
We have a heavy fine to pay —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Prohibition’s good if ’tis conducted right,
There’s no sense in shooting a man ’til he shows flight.
Officers kill without a cause,
They complain about funny laws —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Most all preachers preach for gold and not for souls,
That’s what keeps a poor man always in a hole.
We can hardly get our breath,
Taxed and schooled and preached to death —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Oh, it’s time for every man to be awake,
We pay fifty cents a pound when we ask for steak.
When we get our package home,
A little wad of paper with gristle and a bone —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Well, the doctor comes around with a face all bright,
And he says in a little while you’ll be all right.
All he gives is a humbug pill,
A dose of dope and a great big bill —
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Ry Cooder’s

I remember a time when everything was cheap
Now prices nearly puts a man to  sleep
Well, when we get our grocery bill
We feel like making our will
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and ive ?

Well, the doctor comes around with his face all bright
And he says, in a little while you’ll be all right!
Well, all he gives is a humbug pill
Dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

Most preachers, well, they preach for gold and not for soul
Well, that’s what keeps us poor folks always in a hole
Now, we can hardly get our breath
Taxed and schooled and preached to death
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blues, Entertainment, MUSIC, Song of the Day

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s