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WINNER (Shel Silverstein) Bobby Bare - 1973 The hulk of a man with a beer in his hand He looked like a drunk old fool And I knew if I hit him right Why I could knock him off o' that stool But everybody they said watch out Hey, that's Tiger Man McCool He's had a whole lotta fights And he's always come out a winner Yeah, he's a winner But I had myself about five too many And I walked up tall and proud I faced his back and I faced the fact That he had never stooped or bowed I said Tiger Man you're a pussycat And a hush fell on the crowd I said let's you and me go outside and see Who's a winner Well he gripped the bar with one big hairy hand Then he braced against the wall He slowly looked up from his beer My God, that man was tall He said, boy I see you're a scrapper So just before you fall I'm gonna tell you just a little 'Bout what it means to be a winner He said, now you see these bright white smilin' teeth You know they ain't my own Mine rolled away like Chicklets Down the street in San Antone But I left that person cursin', nursin' Seven broken bones And he only broke, ah, three of mine That makes me the winner He said now, behind this grin I got a steel pin That holds my jaw in place A trophy of my most successful Motorcycle race And each mornin' when I wake and touch This scar across my face It reminds me of all I got by bein' a winner Now this broken back was the dyin' act Of a handsome Harry Clay That sticky Cincinnati night I stole his wife away But that woman she gets uglier And she gets meaner every day But I got her, boy That's what makes me a winner He said, you gotta speak loud when you challenge me son 'Cause it's hard for me to hear With this twisted neck and these migraine pains And this big ol' cauliflower ear And if it wadn't for this glass eye of mine Why I'd shed a happy tear To think of all that you're gonna get By bein' a winner I got arthritic elbows, boy, I got dislocated knees >From pickin' fights with thunderstorms and chargin' into trees And my nose been broke so often, I might lose it if I sneeze And, son, you say you still wanna be a winner Now you remind me a lot of my younger days With your knuckles a-clenchin' white But boy, I'm gonna sit right here And sip this beer all night And if there's somethin' that you gotta gain or prove By winnin' some silly fight Well okay, I quit, I lose You're the winner So I stumbled from that barroom Not so tall and not so proud And behind me I still hear the hoots Of laughter of the crowd But my eyes still see and my nose still works And my teeth're still in my mouth And you know I guess that makes me the winner! (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - January 2011)


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