• It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City


  • I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
    I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
    I could walk like Brando right into the sun
    Then dance just like a Casanova
    With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
    Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
    When I strut down the street I could feel its heartbeat
    The sisters fell back and said "Don't that man look pretty"
    The cripple on the corner cried out "Nickels for your pity"
    Them downtown boys sure talk gritty
    It's so hard to be a saint in the city
    I was the king of the alley I could talk some trash
    I was the prince of the paupers crowned downtown at the beggar's bash
    I was the pimp's main prophet I kept everything cool
    A backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
    And when the heat came down it was left on the ground
    The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
    Showin' me a hand I knew even the cops couldn't beat
    I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
    It's so hard to be a saint when you're just a boy
    And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
    As the tracks clack out the rhythm their eyes fixed straight ahead
    They ride the line of balance and hold on by just a thread
    But it's too hot in these tunnels you can get hit up by the heat
    You get up to get out at your next stop but they push you back down in your seat
    Your heart starts beatin' faster as you struggle to your feet
    Then you're outa that hole and back up on the street
    And them South Side sisters sure look pretty
    The cripple on the corner cries out "Nickels for your pity"
    And them downtown boys sure talk gritty
    It's so hard to be a saint in the city
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