Emptyhanded

Again the rains are late this year, again the fields are dry and crops are dead
Today the bank refused to give me an extension for the loan
No money in my pocket for the fare
No friendly face with me my dissapointment to share
In failure and in poverty you always feel alone.

My arms and back are strong, and I have worked all hours that the good Lord gave
But for my efforts I have had so very little in return
This soil is too unyielding to the plough
Too hard to soften with the sweat that trickles from my brow
The crop so weak that there is almost nothing left to burn.
My savings went to buy this land, but all it’s good for is to bury me
Unless I find a way to make it pay that could be very soon
The future that I dreamed as a young man
Is withered like the crops beneath the unrelenting sun
The very one that makes this such a lovely afternoon.

So what would happen if I just went right on walking till I disappeared
And would they miss me if I had a mind the countryside to roam
They followed me with hopes for Paradise
The one thing I can’t do right now is look them in the eyes
I wish this road would swallow me and never take me home.

CHORUS
It’s not the setting sun that makes my face look red
You rich will never understand it
And if I walk as if my shoes were made of lead
It’s the shame of coming back home emptyhanded.

My savings went to buy this land, but all it’s good for is to bury me
Unless I find a way to make it pay that could be very soon
The future that I dreamed as a young man
Is withered like the crops beneath the unrelenting sun
The very one that makes this such a lovely afternoon.

So what would happen if I just went right on walking till I disappeared
And would they miss me if I had a mind the countryside to roam
They followed me with hopes for Paradise
The one thing I can’t do right now is look them in the eyes
I wish this road would swallow me and never take me home.

© Copyright George Papavgeris, June 2002

“Emptyhanded” is a modern song by George Papavgeris, about convicts and early immigrants in Australia defaulting on their bank loans and losing their land.

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