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Riley Songs of Friendship

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Old friends allus is the best,Halest-like and heartiest:Knowed us first, and don't allowWe're so blame much better now!They was standin' at the barsWhen we grabbed "the kivvered kyars"And lit out fer town, to makeMoney—and that old mistake!

We thought then the world we wentInto beat "The Settlement,"And the friends 'at we'd make thereWould beat any anywhere!—And they do—fer that's their biz:They beat all the friends they is—'Cept the raal old friends like you'At staid at home, like I'd ort to!

W'y, of all the good things yitI ain't shet of, is to quitBusiness, and git back to sheerThese old comforts waitin' here—These old friends; and these old hands'At a feller understands;These old winter nights, and oldYoung-folks chased in out the cold!

Sing "Hard Times'll come ag'inNo More!" and neighbors all jine in!Here's a feller come from townWants that-air old fiddle downFrom the chimbly!—Git the floorCleared fer one cowtillion more!—It's poke the kitchen fire, says he,And shake a friendly leg with me!



Oh, the hobo's life is a roving life;It robs pretty maids of their heart's delight—It causes them to weep and it causes them to mournFor the life of a hobo, never to return.

The hobo's heart it is light and free,Though it's Sweethearts all, farewell, to thee!—Farewell to thee, for it's far awayThe homeless hobo's footsteps stray.

In the morning bright, or the dusk so dim,It's any path is the one for him!He'll take his chances, long or short,For to meet his fate with a valiant heart.

Oh, it's beauty mops out the sidetracked-car,And it's beauty-beaut' at the pigs-feet bar;But when his drinks and his eats is madeThen the hobo shunts off down the grade.

He camps near town, on the old crick-bank,And he cuts his name on the water-tank—He cuts his name and the hobo sign,—"Bound for the land of corn and wine!"

(Oh, it's I like friends that he'ps me through,And the friends also that he'ps you, too,—Oh, I like all friends, 'most every kindBut I don't like friends that don't like mine.)

There's friends of mine, when they gits the hunch,Comes a swarmin' in, the blasted bunch,—"Clog-step Jonny" and "Flat-wheel Bill"And "Brockey Ike" from Circleville.

With "Cooney Ward" and "Sikes the Kid"And old "Pop Lawson"—the best we had—The rankest mug and the worst for lushAnd the dandiest of the whole blame push.


Oh, them's the times I remembers bestWhen I took my chance with all the rest,And hogged fried chicken and roastin' ears, too,And sucked cheroots when the feed was through.

Oh, the hobo's way is the railroad line,And it's little he cares for schedule time;Whatever town he's a-striken forWill wait for him till he gits there.

And whatever burg that he lands inThere's beauties there just thick for him—There's beauty at "The Queen's Taste Lunch-stand," sure,Or "The Last Chance Boardin' House" back-door.

He's lonesome-like, so he gits run in,To git the hang o' the world ag'in;But the laundry circles he moves in thereMakes him sigh for the country air,—

So it's Good-by gals!...