Sunday, 2 February 2014

Copper Pennies Common Sense

Grab your Sunday suit
Shirt, and shoes
And a pair of boots

Pack your comfy blue jeans in a sack

Bring your fishing rod
Your hope, your faith in God
We ain't never ever coming back

I've lost my faith in man
So we are hopping in the van
We're heading on the road to start again

Bank owns this old hole
But they will not get my soul
You've got twenty minutes till we roll.

He looked up to the dresser
In his lonely teenaged room
Saw his piggy bank amid the gloom

In his mind it held the fortune
He'd been saving all the while
He shook it and it jingled rich and raw

He smashed it to the ground
Fury in the sound
Shattered bank and shattered heart lay on the floor

This fortune it was pennies, copper pennies broken clay
How could crushed clay and pennies save the day?

Broken and defeated,
Knocked down and fully beaten
He took those tearful pennies
And walked away

From Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
They headed to D.C.
They were broke, they were mad
But they were free

They never spoke a word
Least, none the other heard
Silently they drove the lonely road

They got to the wall
For Nam vets that did fall
O’er hours they read near every name

And in tears of surrender
Mid these heroes and defenders
Like their own, one name was the same

Every boy remembers the day he becomes a man
For him it was that wall for Vietnam
Where he ran his thumb across his grandpa's sacred name

There he left his tears, his childish boyhood fears
There was more than copper pennies in his genes
He was from a line of glory
Of valiance and story
He had history coursing in his veins

They said a silent prayer
And unburdened every care
And in the morning they set out for the west

It became a summer of thriving
Of living life and driving
They were a family once again

They headed to the coast
To the place they dreamed of most
They worked for wages all along the way

September rolled around
And they had to settle down
Seattle was the was place that they would stay

It was time for schooling to begin

First day of class right after the school bell
Students had to do their show and tell
It's the same across the nation
How you spent your vacation
It's the same assignment every single year

When everyone got up they told
A boring story with their phone
Videos and photos they were shown
They talked of what they got,
And everything they bought

The simple explanation of how they spent vacation
Spending money, and spending time alone - on their phone

New kids they go last
Like they ain't got no class
The rich kids they were laughing as he passed

With a snotty rich kid tone still looking at his phone,
One heckled as they do
“This summer what did your dad get for you?”

I can't tell you want he got me
But I'll tell you what he bought me
He paid for it with blood red, white, and blue
And it wasn't just for me, but everyone whose free
Even for ungrateful kids like you

My Pa went to Iraq and he never made back
But he left me this here fortune in my genes
I spent my vacation driving this great nation
And for your information you might learn
There is hope and inspiration in loving God's creation
Good folks around almost every turn

And he reached in to his pocket
And he pulled out thirty cents
As he spoke he lined the pennies in a row

And as those pennies hit the table
You could see this kid was able
He had thirty copper Lincolns he could show

Then he reached into the right side and he pulled out twenty more
These were flat, and they were crushed, and they were worn

I ain't go no photos of the things that I've been through
So I guess these copper coins gotta do
We passed through twenty states
As we traveled to this place
Wandering and sometimes switching back

And before I left each place,
Each free united state
I placed a shining penny on its track
Now these flattened pennies take me back

This one's Minnesota,
This one's Arkansas
Two from the Dakotas you can see
These are Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee
All of them were minted just for me

We tilled soil, we bailed hay,
We worked almost every day
We picked corn in Oklahoma spuds in Idaho
We cleaned oil from the Gulf of Mexico

We mowed lawns in Kentucky
In Nevada I was lucky
I found a ten dollar chip upon the ground

Every Sunday we took time to lay around
It wasn't all just work
Picking fruit and breaking dirt
We had our share of time for kicking back
Some days I walked barefoot feeling free
I felt the nitty gritty dirt beneath my feet

If I close my eyes I hear those freight trains now
All those memories of working and driving round

In his hand he held each penny
Like a treasure rich and rare
And as they listened to his stories
They were there

Each one had a tale from the rail where it was made
And of many wholesome folks along the line
They rode the ribbon of highway
Singing good old Guthrie songs
Living life, driving round and feeling fine

This California coin sends a shiver down my spine
Makes me think my life is ruled by the divine
As we drove by Folsom prison
The radio was playing walk the line

We didn't have no credit,
But we had Johnny Cash
Keeping us from crossing into bad
Every night we gave thanks for what we had

I still don't know how she did it
After working in fields
But ma always managed to cook us up a meal

On a camp stove by our beat up Chevy Van
Nothing seasons food like hunger can

I plan to spend my senior year
In this school with you right here
I hope you might just take me as I am
After graduation I'll sign up with Uncle Sam

Moving on and pulling stakes
It isn't all that easy making friends
Don't get me wrong I've met good folk on the way,
But we'd only see each other for a day

I haven't pressed my penny
For the state of Washington
You can tag along if you think it might be fun
Unless your too busy tagging selfies on your phone

This one will be penny 21
If you like I can show you how it's done

With the 29 remaining I hold the future in my hands
I got goals and I got dreams and I have plans

I ain't got no page to send a friend request
And maybe that's the way I like it best
But since we met in real life
I thought it would be nice
To shake your hand and simply learn your name

So he walked on down the rows
And he shook each classmate's hand
He smiled and looked them squarely in the eyes
As he learned all their names he turned the table on the shame
None of them would ever be the same

Fifty shiny pennies fifty shining states
Fifty stars flying on the flag
If you were crushed by yesterday
You might just walk away
Giving up is not the same as moving on
Just you are rich you are free and you are strong

Anyone with common sense
Could be rich with fifty cents
It's not the money but the sense that is so rare.

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