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If you were looking for a way to make me mad it was a sure fire way you found
Acting like a half wit fool, laying your money around
Well I came back here to tell you Lou, 'bout what you almost did
Don't you ever put the cash on the counter Lou, when I'm with my kid
Yeah the kid's thirteen he's growing Lou, two years and he'll be bigger than me
Still he thinks I'm strong as a blacksmith and straighter than the tall oak tree
I raised him alone ten years now since his Mama ran away
And you ain't gonna blow his image of me for the stunt like you pulled today

Chorus:
They took the copper right out of the penny Lou
They got the pig locked up in the pen
But you're in big trouble with me, yes you
If you ever do that again
Ten bucks a week protection don't mean I can't knock you down
You've got to treat me like a living saint Lou, whenever my son's around

Yeah the kid wants to be a policeman just like me
You know he'll be a good one the way I started out to be
And he just might end up police chief, now wouldn't that be something to see?
'Cause then the kid would kick right off of the force all the two-bit grifters like me

Chorus

I guess it was when my old lady left me and she took off with a salesman guy
I started to see things so differently, cut your own slice out of the pie
Yeah I grew up and it came clear to me all the smart cops on the make
You get a silver badge not an old tin star when you're on the take
It's pimps and whores, punk gang wars, robberies and homicides
When you walk the beat with the creeps on the street, well there ain't no way to hide
I spent half my life without no wife ridin' herd on the scum of the earth
I learned the tricks of the trade from the gutter parade and then I prayed for all I'm worth
Don't you know I appreciate the money Lou, 'cause it all goes into the bank
And when I send my kid to college someday I'll have guys like you to thank
Yeah ten bucks a week on your grocery store means you don't have to worry 'bout crime But hold your money when the kid's with me you can pay me double next time

Chorus

Ten bucks a week protection don't mean I can't knock you down
You've got to treat me like a living saint Lou, whenever my son's around



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/h/harry_chapin/copper.html

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