Brother, Can You Spare

They used to tell me I was building a life,
and so I followed the rules,
I studied all the books, and passed the tests,
I was always the good boy at school.
They used to tell me I was paving the way,
for a family, home and a job
Why am I working part-time, now,
Why do I feel I’ve been robbed?

Once I was a scholar, ready to run, ready to make my luck.
Once I was a scholar; now I’m broke.
Brother, can you spare a buck?

Once I built a skillset, top of the class, lauded and praised for my pluck;
Once I built a skillset, but I picked the wrong one.
Brother, can you spare a buck?

Once in khaki pants, Mom and Dad bought
Full of that middle class aplomb,
Millions of your children went off to be taught,
And I was in tune with the thrum!

Say, what did you promise, before the fall? Before you gambled our lives for a buck?
Hey, what does it matter? You got yours…  Buddy, could you give a fuck?

Those same khaki pants, ragged and worn,
Drained of that youthful enterprise,
We’re starting to wish he had never been born,
All that they told us were lies!

Tell me what you promised, tell me now; say that I’m not just some schmuck!
Say you broke your promise, it’s your fault!
Daddy, can you spare a buck?

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