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Craftsmanship

This song is by Buck 65 and appears on the album Talkin' Honky Blues (2003) and on the compilation album This Right Here Is Buck 65 (2005).

Most folks spend their days daydreaming or finding clues
My whole life I've been here at the train station shining shoes
I started when I was nine, on my own and taught myself
No complaints, I'm doing pretty good and I got my health
Memories and calluses, my hearing's probably next to go
Sometimes I do a little handy work for extra dough
But mostly this here is how I spend my time
And I've perfected a technique I call the dry shine
Some guys use lots of water on the shoe but then
When it's out in the open air it's gone in ten minutes
That whole approach to the job is dumb, in fact
Dollars to donuts, that customer won't be coming back
This is the most common mistake of the amateurs
Going for big numbers to satisfy their managers
Anyway, the dry shine, the first thing I mean to do
And this part is very important, I clean the shoe
The residue and old polish to keep the shoe from being ruined
All you need to do is use a rag with some cleaning fluid
If the shoe's all caked up with gunk you need to think
The shoe can't breathe and that's what causes the feet to stink
They took Carfoine off the market, I believe
It was a few years ago cause that leather couldn't breathe
Now once you've cleaned the shoe and it's dried
Your base coat of polish can now be applied
Then you brush, 'cause what that tends to do
Is clean the shoe a little more and gets rid of the residue
And then you do the second coat just like the first one
You brush it, you rag it, and voila, your work is done
And that's it, you treat each shoe like it's special
Care about your work, and be a professional
There's a right way to go about your job and a wrong one
I find this way is much better in the long run
It ain't about the dollar or trying to go fast
Unless you take pride in what you're doing, it won't last
Craftsmanship is a quality that some lack
You got to give people a reason for them to come back

The world's a different place than what I was introduced to
They don't wear shineable shoes like they used to
Casual clothes in the office, what is this
The villain in sneakers is killing my business

(Hidden Track "The Abandoned Cars of Inverness County")
Met in a cowboy town. I was a hick.
She was a nobody and both of us were sick.
I was ruined by the road, Bob Dylan and Robert Frank,
Out of my mind and ready to rob a bank.
She was so pretty. I thought it was impossible.
Black hair, blue eyes, just out of the hospital.
She untangled her words with her pen and did it well.
We found ourselves a diner and decided to sit a spell.
We kept each other company, locked horns and flirted openly.
Tonight we wouldn't have to be deserted, hopefully.
We told our saddest stories, and set fire to our hearts,
Professional players that brought desire to our parts.
The ice got thinner, a couple of sinners dreamin'.
We flexed our thighs and exorcised our inner demons.
It felt like returning to the place of my birth.
Not exactly well off, we fell off the face of the earth.

To hell with society and suitable jobs.
We became seagulls, beautiful slobs.
As soon as we got some money, we started burning it.
Rented a car with no intentions of returning it.
Segment by segment, I got her pregnant a bunch of times
Riding on the elevator with John the Revelator.
Invisible girl and the odd man out,
We drove that car into the goddamn ground.

Reoccurring bad dreams, born to be losing.
Eventually the madness was no longer amusing.
I tried to hide and died inside
While she cried and cried and cried and cried.
Nighttime no good, harder to face the day.
Little by little, I watched her beauty waste away.
Strange habits and quirks no longer curious.
Everything she did made me frustrated and furious.
The conversation dried up.
The whole thing teetered from right to the left.
One step out of line became a fight to the death.
Threats and suggestions, aggressions and deceptions,
Ifs ands or buts, maybes and no exceptions.
No more reason to laugh. We knew it would die.
It had to. Blue hair, black eyes, goodbye.

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