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  1. 715 (For Hank Aaron)

From the album Red Beet Records - 2008

Lyrics

(Peter Cooper) Well Known Music/SESAC/admin. by BUG Music

I thought I was done writing this, until Todd Snider asked me one day why I cared so much about sports. That’s when I remembered the part about the beauty salon. No, really…

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Dice games ending with the flash of a blade
All in the wrists if you want to get paid
Daddy sold beer at the Black Cat lounge
Sold a little shine until the man came around


Little boy walkin’ through a place like that
Hitting bottle caps with a broomstick bat
Skinny ‘cause there wasn’t much of nothing to eat
Walkin’ through the mud ‘cause there wasn’t any street


This was Alabama, down the bay
Whole world looking off the other way
Henry Aaron was looking for a reason to dream
In ’47 when a black man signed with a big league team


Jim Crow smilin’ while the sun beat down
On a sandlot field on the wrong side of town
He took it all in stride
Striding to the ball
Turn of the wrists
Crack, jog and touch ‘em all


Ten years later, still playing the game
Stands full of people screaming his name
Won the pennant for the Braves with a four base knock
Same day they were rioting in Little Rock


Up in old Milwaukee he was MVP
Back in Alabama he was still not free
Not free to drink a beer in the white folk’s lounge
Not free to have a meal in Mobile, downtown


Young man rising from the hard hot south
Speaking his mind with a bat and not his mouth
Holdin’ it inside
Striding to the ball
Turn of the wrists
Crack, jog and touch ‘em all


(interlude, where I tell you why I care so much about sports)


Dice games ending with the flash of a blade
All in the wrists if you want to get paid
Daddy sold beer at the Black Cat lounge
Sold a little shine until the man came around


Little boy walkin’ through a place like that
Hitting bottlecaps with a broomstick bat
Skinny ‘cause there wasn’t much of nothing to eat
Walkin’ through the mud ‘cause there wasn’t any street


That was Alabama, down the bay
Whole world looking off the other way
Henry Aaron was looking for a reason to dream
When the dream came true, that’s when the world got really mean


He opened up death threats in the mail
‘Cause he was taking a hammer to a great white whale
Had no place to hide
Striding to the ball
Turn of the wrists
Crack, jog and touch ‘em all

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