GREED KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN WHISKEY
(Tom T. Hall)
Tom T. Hall - 1979
I was standin' outside of a hotel in Houston
Blinkin' my eyes in the bright mornin' sun
A feller next to me said, "Where are you headed?"
I told him to Nashville 'cause that's where I'm from
I said, "I had one or too many last evening
And, brother, I damn near fell off of my steed"
He said, "Yeah, whiskey gets 'em and whiskey gets many
But listen, son, nothin' kills people like greed"
I said, "Huh?", and I turned to him and he was a cowboy
'Bout fifty years old in a big western hat
"Sir, did you say that greed killed more people than whiskey
If my taxi don't come, tell me more about that"
He said I knew a guy who made millions on millions
Then he turned right around and made millions on that
He had crude oil and blue chips and good barns and feed lots
He could touch an old steer and it'd just turn into fat
And he coveted the money that other folks lived on
He never spent nickels he thought he could keep
It was money that made him a nighthawk and a worrier
And soon it was money that robbed him of sleep
And they buried him deep in a West Texas graveyard
They put up a tombstone of all he had done
And I am the man that he fired for a few beers
But I'm sure feeling good in the West Texas sun
I shook hands with that man and I crawled in the taxi
And I thought of the two things that I keep doin' wrong
The man said that the greed killed more people than whiskey
And I'm sittin' here hung over writin' a song
(Transcribed by Mel Priddle - November 2013)