The Thief words and music by Bill Pere
I slip out the back door in the dead heat of summer
The city streets swelter, the sweat turns to steam.
The back streets of the ghetto are a litter-strewn meadow
Of fruits never borne, and withered dreams.
In the night's neon starlight, I see the fat shadow
Of a man whose stuffed wallet could use some relief
I move like a flash and then I've got his cash
With the polish and class of a blue ribbon thief
I slither back home where the cold walls embrace me
With stale beer and rats, it seems God doesn't care
I got away clean, but as I count up the green,
From the window I see pathos laid bare
The little girl clings to her glassy-eyed father
Who's cried all his tears for his shivering wife
They sit in the street, their dog at their feet
Thrown from their home and evicted from life
Somewhere inside me I feel the last trace
Of the feelings my drunken old ma couldn't kill
With his hammering fists and his leather belt whips
Somehow they survived all the booze and the pills
As I stand there and stare at these people, I realize
They've hurt no one but they're worse off than I
Somehow God's been outwitted, it's me who's committed
The sin and the crime, but I'm livin' high
So I slip out once more and I blend with the night wind
As the little girl feels my cool breeze pass her by...
How do measure that ironic pleasure
You get from the tears you fight most not to cry
I look back one last time, I see the little girl laughing,
I see that her father has found one more tear,
His wife looks less pale and the dog wags his tail,
So into the night I disappear
Many years have gone by, you may wonder about me...
I'm still runnin', robbin', still just a cheap hood
Though I ease pain for the poor, only God knows for sure
In this upside-down world what's bad and what's good.
© Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved
"If a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" --- Harry Chapin