Emmylou Harris Lyrics

Broken Man's Lament by Emmylou Harris


[Chorus 1:]
I was once a broken man
I was once a broken fool
Lost my wife and children
To one basic broken rule
Now I live my life in silence
Though I'm not quite in a shell
I drink and listen to that song
"A Whiter Shade of Pale"
Oh, a whiter shade of pale

[Chorus 2A:]
I was a good shade tree mechanic
So I sent myself to school
They smoothed out my rough edges
In my hands they put new tools
The instructor once he told me
I could work on any line
I could tune and make a diesel sing
Just like Patsy Cline
Oh, just like Patsy Cline

[Verse 1:]
Well, I met my wife to be
Through my mother's best friend's son
She'd been a barroom singer
She was as good as anyone
But I asked her to stop singing
And the girl she did not flinch
Next day she went and bought that man
A brand new crescent wrench
Oh, a brand new crescent wrench

[Verse 2:]
Well, we had three fine children
As eight years went on by
I learned to supervise a line
My knuckles stayed bone dry
But after supper I kept hearing her
By the kitchen radio
Singing sweet but desperate harmony
A little bit too low
Oh, a little bit too low

[Verse 3:]
She left three months later
I'd just come home for lunch
The note said "easy come, hard go
But still love you much"
She said, "I don't know if I'll be back
Or if you'll want me if I come
But if and when that happens, dear
You better let my sweet dream run
Oh, let my sweet dream run"

[Chorus 2B:]
I was a good shade tree mechanic
So I sent myself to school
They smoothed out my rough edges
In my hands they put new tools
The instructor once he told me
I could work on any line
But now my diesels aren't the only thing
That sing like Patsy Cline
Oh, just like Patsy Cline

[Chorus]


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