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If the folks next door to me wasn't so good
I'd do all the mean things anybody could
I'd drink and I'd gamble and I'd louse around
I'd be the meanest man in this whole town

If I hadn't seen the light in that old lady's eyes
I'd try to be a man that you would hate and despise
I'd rave and I'd rant and I'd scream and yell
And I'd chase all my neighbours from here to hell

If I hadn't heard those kids laugh playing games
I'd have nervous fits and I'd go insane
I'd turpentine cats and tin can dogs
And I'd smother people to death inside of holler logs

If the people around me wasn't so nice
I'd freeze my heart into a cake of ice
I'd steal money from soldiers and working folks too
I'd lend you a dollar and take back two

If my wife didn't kiss me the way she does
I'd carry four or five daggers and three or four guns
I'd shoot craps and ramble and hang out late
And I'd steal baby buggies and cadillac eights

If my friends didn't write me those letters I get
I'd get to be a dictator and be the worse one yet
I'd be the only smart bird and you'd all be fools
All I'd send you all away to war and I'd set home and rule

If it wasn't for them songs I hear all of you sing
I'd put a crown on my dome and I'd say I'm your king
I'd kidnap some and blackmail others
I'd peddle black market stuff and rob sisters and brothers

If it wasn't for your talking I hear along the street
I'd be the oneriest man that you ever did meet
I'd preach the gospel of hate and I'd drink your blood
But I can't be this bad because my folks are too good

Words: woody guthrie (1945) - music: billy bragg (1997)



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_bragg/meanest_man.html

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