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Alistair Hulett

"Playing for the Traffic" (karaoke)

"Playing for the Traffic" (sheet music)


You could have seen him any day

Up the back of Martin Place

In a battered Sunday suit

That's seen far better days

Blowing on a mouth harp

With the kind of wit and grace

That would bring a smile

To the face of a broken clock.

And there was not a verse or chorus

The old bugger didn't know

From "Mother Kelly's Doorstep"

To "The Banks of the Ohio."

The typists and the tellers

Didn't want to bloody know,

Dealing with their dose

Of future shock.

 

He was playing for the traffic and the 9:00 to 5:00ers

(Tooraloo, you're bound for Botany Bay!)

And he gave more to this world than all the penny-pinching skivers

That turned around and looked the other way.

 

Well, I stood awhile to listen,

And he played the thing with ease,

But the crowd that day was tighter

Than a Pom at a wine and cheese.

Maybe, they were hard up

Or just plain hard to please,

But no one put

A single cent his way.

So, I reached into my pocket

To even up the score

And dropped a pile of change

Into the tin plate on the floor.

When you work the streets,

They treat you like a whore,

And no one ever

Ought to feel that way.

 

He was playing for the traffic and the 9:00 to 5:00ers

(Tooraloo, you're bound for Botany Bay!)

And he gave more to this world than all those penny-pinching skivers

That turned around and looked the other way.

 

He was playing when I left him

With a new crowd to convince;

I often look out for him,

But he's not been back there since.

Does anybody notice?

Does anybody wince

At some old digger

Picking through the trash?

In this land of milk and honey,

Where there's more than enough for all,

Why did he spend his whole life

With his back against the wall?

Did he fight in two world wars

Winding up with sweet fuck all,

Working on the street

For a bit of stash?

 

He was playing for the traffic and the 9:00 to 5:00ers

(Toolaroo, you're bound for Botany Bay!)

And he gave more to this world than all those penny-pinching bastards

That turned around and looked the other way.

 

He was playing for the traffic and the 9:00 to 5:00ers

(Toolaroo, you're bound for Botany Bay!)

And he gave more to this world than all those penny-pinching skivers

That turned around and looked the other way.


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