by Theodore Roethke
B. Saginaw Mich. 1908

It wasn't Ernest; it wasn't Scot,
The boys I knew when I went to pot
They didn't boast; they didn't snivel, 
But stepped right up and swung at the Devil: 
And after exchanging a punch or two 
They all sat down like me and you
- And began to drink up the money.

It wasn't the Colony; it wasn't the Stork: 
It wasn't the joints in New York, New York; 
But me and a girl friend learned a lot 
In Ecorse, Toledo, and Wyandotte 
- About getting rid of our money.

It was jump-in-the-hedge; 
it was wait-in-the-hall
It was "Would you believe it - fawther's tall"!
(It tuned out she hadn't a father at all) 
- But how she could burn up the money!

A place I surely did like to go 
Was the underbelly of Cicero;
And East St. Louis and Monongahela 
Had the red-hot spots where you feel a
- Lot like losing some money.

Oh, the Synco Septet played for us then,
And even the boys turned out to be men 
As we sat there drinking that bathtub gin
- And loosened up with our money.

It was Samoots Matuna and Bugs Moran
It was Fade me another and Stick out your can;
It was Place and Show and Also Ran
- For you never won with that money.

Oh, it wasn't a crime, it wasn't a sin, 
And nobody slipped me a Mickey Finn
For whenever I could, I dealt them all in 
- On that Chunk of Grandpa's money.

It was Dead man's corner and Kelly's stable;
It was Stand on your feet as long as you're able
But many a man rolled under the table
- When he tried to drink up the money

For some it may seem a sad thing to relate, 
The dough I spent on Chippewa Kate,
For she finally left town on the Bay City freight
- When she thought I'd run out of money.

The doctors, the lawyers, the cops are all paid.
So I've got to get me a rich ugly old maid
Who isn't unwilling, who isn't afraid
- To help me eat up her money.