From the recording Rewrite the Ending


Lincoln on the Streets of New York

Sha sha my mother said
Too many thoughts for a young girl’s head
Too bad you’re not a boy instead
We can’t afford this candle

So I went to where all my sisters slept
Felt round for the secret box I kept
With my shoeshine gear, as my mother wept
And I crept out of the window

There in the alley put my hair up tight
Underneath a cap in the moon half light
Headed uptown because tonight
There’s a crowd for Lincoln at the Union

Chorus:  Hey hey the pauper and the king
The wind and the rain
the watch and the spring
You can make some money
You can find anything
On the streets of New York City

I set up on the sidewalk as the snow began
and I called my wares to every passing man
I can shine your boots if anyone can
And I can do it better

Then a ragged tall thin man I did spy
With a terrible sadness in his eye
Since my own father these five long years died
Haven’t seen such a kind man ever

Bridge: He said he’d take a shine from me
He knew he wasn’t much to see
But these city folks would have to be
Told a thing or two

Then he asked me if I would go inside
Said he needed to see a friendly eye
In a voice so soft, almost terrified
And he walked me in beside him

Cho: Hey hey the pauper and the king…

So I brought my box and I sat on it
Heard the words he said, felt the fire he lit
First the thunder, then the lightning hit
I was changed forever

Cho: Hey hey the pauper and the king…you can be anything

It was in eighteen hundred and sixty-five
With my union musket by my side
In my uniform of blue and a tear in my eyes
I watched as they bore him slowly by
On the streets on the streets on the streets of New York City

Hey hey the pauper and the king….