The Winner!

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Written by Shel Siverstein, performed by Bobby Bare.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/JRWlnv0_svU[/youtube]

 

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 of that stool
But everybody they said watch out hey that’s the Tiger Man McCool
He’s had the whole lotta fights and he’s always come out 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 the 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 morning 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 ole cauliflower ear
And if it wasn’t for this glass eye of mine why I’d she’d a happy tear
To think of all that you 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 if I sneeze
And son you say you still wanna be a winner

Now you remind me a lotta 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 to 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

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

6 COMMENTS

    • Neither did I, I thought it was Kris Kristofferson. Who covered the song at some point.

  1. Aha! I was trying to remember what other famous (at least relatively so) country song Shel Silverstein had written, to no avail. Folks love to trot out the shocking fact that he wrote “A Boy Named Sue,” which frankly I thought everyone knew by now. I knew there was at least one more…

    • From reading about him, he was a quirky, off beat kind of guy. Then again, aren’t most artists? .

  2. A great one indeed. Shel and Bobby also brought out another great song called Rosalie’s Good Eats Cafe.

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