When I was a Young Man


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Railroad Boy
© 2004 W.A. Kostelec

When I was a young man I went out on the road
In a beat up Volkswagen it was rusty and old
I put on the miles as the summer went by
When I met the right people I’d stop and get high

I thought I was something I thought I was cool
I thought I was better than those stay at home fools
Learning the lessons bout riding the line
And growing in wisdom and stature and kind

Got a job in a factory somewhere in the west
Making portable toilets America’s best
I saved up some money and I took off again
Lots of places to see that I hadn’t been

But Seattle is rainy when October comes round
I went broke in a parking lot facing the Sound
Got a job washing dishes I slept in my car
2000 miles from my home boys I sure had come far

Spent my time getting high and my money on beer
The sultan of dishes with nothing to fear
And I sure liked those ladies and their gentler touch
But I never made enough money to impress em that much

I roamed and I rambled that romantic highway
I was looking for something what it was I can’t say
Like ole Woody Guthrie I traveled the land
But the lessons I learned were like track in the sand

I’d get some lousy job and I’d build up some cash
It never amounted to more than a stash
I’d travel awhile and then I’d go broke
The sultan of dishes looked more like a joke

I got busted near Reno for carrying a dime
Had to sell off my car to buy off the time
Hitched a ride on a diesel he was heading towards Main
And I was still dreaming of Paris, Madagascar or Spain

Now all that I learned since I’ve been on the road
About people, about places, about the rain and the snow
Bout doping and drinking and traveling free
And in the end none of it made one damn difference to me

And now that I’m older I never get high
A little wine in the evening is enough to get by
In a little old house raised a family of five
And when I see a Volkswagen I thank God I’m alive
When I see a Volkswagen I thank God I’m alive.

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