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The Tinker's Coin

Jack Hardy

Come all ye lads and lasses near
A story I will tell to you
About a cold damp night like this
When shelter I was seeking
A traveler passing through

The barkeep said to guard my coin
To stay 'way from this tinker
Though that just brought me near to him
For naught had I worth taking
A traveler passing through

He bought me a glass of darkened stout
To thank me for my company
And dropped a penny in the glass
For the luck that it would bring to me
A traveler passing through

"The poor have but their pennies left
The king his Saxon shilling
The king would never part with his
Though I part with mine most willing"
To a traveler passing through

This coin's been haunted by the sidhe*
It shall bring you Joy or bring you grief
Depending on the works you do
What once was mine now belongs to you
A traveler passing through

We passed the night most forcefully
I sang my songs and his to me
And talked of life's brief song to sing
Of visions we'd forsaken
As travelers passing through

The barkeep said "it's time" with scorn
"Your man here will be your undoing
They will lock you up as sure as you are born
If they hear the song you're singing"
A traveler passing through

"They can lock me up as best they can
Yet songs can never know those chains
The song is sacred as the wind
We are just the harp that's singing"
A traveler passing through

And later in a highland pub
With friends around me singing
I chanced to glance into my glass
At another penny shining
A traveler passing through

*sidhe (pronounced shee) is the Irish word for the faery world

John S. Hardy Music Co./ASCAP.
All rights reserved.