This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research.


Performer: Bruce Springsteen 
Album: The Seeger Sessions
Words and music: Blind Alfred Reed


How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
Capo 3rd fret


G                                   D                 G
 Well, the doctor comes 'round here with his face all bright
                                      D
And he says "in a little while you'll be alright" 
       G                 G7      C                            Am
All he gives is a humbug pill, a dose of dope and a great big bill 
         G                  D7                   G
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?


                                   D                   G
He says "me and my old school pals had some mighty high times down here
                                                              D
And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain't fair" 
               G                        G7              C                               Am
He took a look around gave a little pep talk, said "I'm with you" then he took a little walk 
         G                  D7                   G
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live? 


                                     D                     G
There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to Hell 
                                             D
Martha, get me my sixteen gauge and some dry shells 
           G              G7                C                 Am
Them who's got got out of town and them who ain't got left to drown 
         G                  D7                   G
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live? 


                            D                       G
I got family scattered from Texas all the way to Baltimore 
                                D
And I ain't got no home in this world no more 
           G                G7                 C                       Am
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact, a righteous train rollin' down this track 
         G                  D7                   G
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live? 
         G                  D7                   G
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live? 

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