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There once was a time when everything was cheap,
But now prices almost puts a man to sleep.
When we pay our grocery bill,
We just feel like making our will
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

I remember when dry goods were cheap as dirt,
We could take two bits and buy a dandy shirt.
Now we pay three bucks or more,
Maybe get a shirt that another man wore
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Well, I used to trade with a man by the name of Gray,
Flour was fifty cents for a twenty-four pound bag.
Now it’s a dollar and a half beside,
Just like a-skinning a flea for the hide
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Oh, the schools we have today ain’t worth a cent,
But they see to it that every child is sent.
If we don’t send everyday,
We have a heavy fine to pay
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Prohibition’s good if ‘tis conducted right,
There’s no sense in shooting a man ’til he shows flight.
Officers kill without a cause,
They complain about funny laws
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Most all preachers preach for gold and not for souls,
That’s what keeps a poor man always in a hole.
We can hardly get our breath,
Taxed and schooled and preached to death
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Oh, it’s time for every man to be awake,
We pay fifty cents a pound when we ask for steak.
When we get our package home,
A little wad of paper with gristle and a bone
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Well, the doctor comes around with a face all bright,
And he says in a little while you’ll be all right.
All he gives is a humbug pill,
A dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

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