PATCHES Clarence Carter I was born and raised down in Alabama on a farm way back up in the woods. Oh I was so ragged folks used to call me "Patches". Papa used to tease me about it, but deep down inside dad was hurtin' 'cause he'd done the best he could. My papa was a great old man I can see him with a shovel in his hand Education that he never had But he did wonders when the times got bad The little money from the crops we raised Barely paid the bills we made Oh life whipped him Down to the ground When he tried to get up Life would kick him back down On the day papa called me To his dyin' bed Placed his hand on my shoulders And in tears he said Patches I'm depending on you, son To pull the family through My son, it's all left up to you Two days later papa passed away And I became a man that day Everyday I had to work the fields 'Cause that's the only way We got our meals See, I was the oldest of the family And everybody was depending on me Now the years have passed And everybody's grown Mama's been livin' In a brand new home Lord knows it took A lot of sweat and tears And my daddy's voice To help us through the years He said - Patches I'm depending on you, son To pull the family through My son, it's all left up to you Daddy had been sick for a long time, flat on his back. Every evenin' after we'd finish our chores and eat our dinner, we'd all go into papa's room to cheer him up a little. And this particular day dad was in good spirits, sittin' on the side of the bed, tellin' mama how good she looked. When all of a sudden, papa had a pain in his chest. I was too young to understand, talkin' about a heart attack here. Mama rushed us all out of the room into the hallway. About ten minutes later she came out with tears in her eyes. She called out to me, "Patches, Patches, get in here, boy. Your daddy wanna see you." I went runnin' into papa's room, there papa lay. Daddy had tears in his eyes. I knew something was wrong, daddy was a poor man, but all of my life he'd been a proud man. I knelt down on one knee beside the bed, papa put his hand on my shoulder. He said, "Patches, Patches, boy, the hammer of life done beat your old papa down to the ground, and I ain't got nobody to turn to to take care of mama and the younger. So what I want you to do is promise me, son, is that you're gonna do your best to help your mama as much as you can." I said, "Papa, I'm gonna do my best." But little did I know then like I know now, that tryin' to climb life's mountains searchin' for a top where there ain't no top, sometimes you find yourself frustrated, lazy. But every time I feel like I can't live my life like I want to, my mind goes back to that day when I see those tears in my daddy's eyes. But most of all I remember his words, "Patches, I'm dependin' on you, boy." Every time I feel like givin' up, I hear his voice. "Patches, Patches, Patches, Patches -" I'm depending on you, son I've tried to do my best It's up to you to do the rest Patches I'm depending on you, son I've tried to do my best It's up to you to do the rest Patches I'm depending on you, son To pull the family through My son, it's all left up to you