Breakdown Lane
On the south side of the city, upstairs from Mabel’s place
Henry can hear the music coming through the floor.
Bottles on the table, razor blades in the trash.
No one comes to see him anymore.

He said, “I could have been an artist, ’cause I used to understand.
I might have been a soldier, might have been a family man.
Used to want to be a sailor, never quite got off the ground.
I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve been around.
I’ve been around.”

He said, “Time is a gambler and wishes are tin.
But I wish I had a dime for all the things I could have been.
I’d spend it on the slot machines, I’d buy you all a drink.
I’d spend it on the slot machines, I’d buy you all a drink.”

He said, “Mother Mary, can you help me?
Can you spare some change?”
I said, “Father, Father, where the hell are you?
You can find me in the breakdown lane.”

He said, “Did I ever tell you ’bout this woman that I knew?
She was silk and lace and porcelain face and fancy French perfume.
I would have sold my soul if she had asked me to.
I really thought I loved her. Don’t know why I’m telling you.”

He said, “I just can’t seem to sleep nights, it’s messing up my brain.
And drinking is what’s keeping me from going insane.
Can you pass the cigarettes? I’m gonna quit these soon.”
Henry blows the match out and smoke fills the room.

And the band downstairs is packing up to go.
Mabel’s closing early, ’cause tonight’s been pretty slow.
Henry’s sitting in the corner, drinking alone.
Sitting in a corner, drinking alone.


(I'm resting my bones in the breakdown lane.)