I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told.
I have squandered my resistance,
For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises.
All eyes suggest,
Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
When I left my home and my family I was
no more than a boy,
In the company of strangers, In the quiet of a railway station,
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go.
Lookin' for the places, only they would know.
By the light, by the Lie-la-lie
Asking only workman's wages I come lookin' for a job,
But I get no offers, just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue.
I do declare there were times when I was sold on some,
And somehow took some comfort there
By the light, by the li li li li la li,
by the lights
Then I'm laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
Going home, where the New York City winters aren't,
Greeting me, greeting me, no more.
In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his tree,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him 'til he cried out in his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving." But the fighter still remains, mm mm mm
Bt the light, by the li li li li la li, by the lights.