The barkeep saw him coming, like a drowning man for water
With a look that said he’d been this way before
He looked like he was searching for some thing he might have set down
At a bar or at some all night liquor store.
He finished looking over at the ladies in the corner,
And found a stool and ordered up a drink.
The barman knew a talker when one walked into his barroom,
And he said, “You have a tale to tell, I think.”
The stranger took a sip, and he reached into his pocket,
And set a golden Double Eagle on the wood.
And he coughed behind his smile, and he ordered up another
And he looked up at the barkeep, “Listen good.”
“I made a wager with a stranger at a crossroads down in Texas
Though my Papi would have said that was unwise
He bet a shiny golden dollar against a simple drop of blood
That I’d find myself a love that never lies
Well I looked upon that dollar and I found I was quite thirsty
And that shiny piece of gold looked like a beer
So he took a drop of blood and I took that golden dollar
And a million miles older, wound up here.
Now I’ll pay you for your kindness, with these mugs that runneth over,
With this shiny golden dollar on the bar,
But I’m telling you the truth, for I never was a liar,
That damn coin never seems to travel far.
You put it in your till – go ahead and do it now –
And close it up and pour me one last brew.
In the morning count your take, and I reckon that you’ll find
That gold piece nearer still to me than you.
It’s happened oft before, in every Texas dive,
In every bar and beer hall where gold buys
And I’ve had a drink in each, and I’ve looked around for love,
And I’ve never found a love that never lies.
I’ve never found that love, ‘cause I finally figured out
That once I find her, he will take my soul away.
So I pour myself from here, and I pour myself to there
And I don’t give many folks the time of day.
A pretty maid will chat if she sees that golden dollar
But they never seem to stay a second round
And iffin that they should, and I almost had one offer,
I’m careful not to come back through that town.
So I’ll thank you for your beer, and for hearing of my story,
And for pouring them so heavy and so fine
But I’m sure it’s close to closing, and the evening is a hot one,
And you have your bed to find, and I have mine.”
And the barkeep said good night, and he wished the guy good morrow
And he thought about the tale he’d heard all night.
And just for shits and giggles, he opened up the teller
And he found out that the old grey coot was right.
There was no golden dollar, in the till nor on the counter,
Though he was certain that he’d put it there secure.
So he shook his head in wonder, and he thought about the story,
And he wondered how the old man could be sure
The barkeep thought of searching for what he didn’t want to find,
And if he’d only look in smoky halls of beer
And he realized what he’d seen, as the fellow’d turned to leaving
In his eyes, what he had noticed was a tear.
And he understood the horror of the crossroads bargain wager
And the lover with the coin who drunken lurched
For as often as he told it, that he hoped he’d never find her,
It was plain enough to see, that still he searched.