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FIRST NIGHTERS (Jack Rollins / Hank Snow) Hank Snow - 1955 We sat at a table in Lindy's And I ordered up dinners for two My guest was a grimy intruder Who had ask me to buy him a stew But somehow I pitied the beggar So shabbily dressed and so old And I asked him the cause of his trouble And this is the story he told I know what it means to be happy I once had a wife and some dough We did a trapeze act together And we circled the globe with a show But long years of dangerous acting Had tired us of roamin' around And this was to be our last season We'd pack in and stay on the ground We'd pick out a home in the country And one or two kids would be swell She lived for no one but her Larry And I lived for no one but Nell We counted the days till the blow off And the final act now was at hand We sat in our dressing room waiting And we listened, they struck up the band We looked at each other in silence The last time for us to go on We trotted out under the big top And she carried herself like a swan I thought as she swung into action So graceful and spry as an elf If God made a soul any sweeter He kept her up there for himself Now thousands of people applauded The regular routine was through The singles and doubles were perfect Now we just had the climax to do I still can't account for the crackup But God, I can picture it yet She made a bum leave on the triple And I missed her and she missed the net With Nell gone and nothin' to live for I let myself go to the bad I've anchored in barrooms and hay joints And they took me for all that I had At night I lay drunk in some hallway And dream about high bars and Nell I see her white form coming at me I miss her and let out a yell With that the poor devil quit talkin' He shuddered and lowered his head I shook him, but he didn't answer I summoned for help, he was dead I looked at my watch, I must hurry I'd almost forgotten my date Right now I was due at the Playhouse And opening night there at eight So I paid for his meal and departed I smiled for I knew very well While I was first nighting on Broadway He too was first nighting with Nell (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - September 2017)

    


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