Life Is a Beautiful Thing
copyright ©2001 by Blind Lemming Chiffon
Tune: Ballad of Carl Martin, by Steve Goodman

 
A while back, I read an interview with Arlo Guthrie in some magazine.
They asked him how he could bring kids in this world
Who might inherit his defective genes.
What if Woody's parents had thought like that,
Or even mine, or yours instead...
Arlo just smiled, looked that fool in the eye,
And here is what he said:
Now back in the 70s, they made Arlo listen
To some guy singing a song.
Arlo didn't even want to hear it,
'Cause that just happened all day long.
Turns out this guy was Steve Goodman,
And you probably know what that means.
Pretty soon, the whole country was riding
On the City of New Orleans.

The first time I got to see Steve in concert
It was twenty-some years ago,
In downtown Denver at the Oxford Hotel,
And he sure knew how to put on a show.
When he broke a string in the middle of a song,
He kept on singing while he changed the string.
He was back in tune before he reached the end.
He knew that life is a beautiful thing.

Steve played so hard on some Motown tunes,
It bent my mind right out of shape,
He did a song he said he'd written the night before,
Something 'bout videotape.
He did Turnpike Tom, and so many songs
I'm not even sure he's finished yet,
And when he got done, he asked the whole audience
To stick around for his second set.

I got to hear Steve one more time, with Prine,
At the Rainbow Music Hall.
Not long after, both the Rainbow and Steve
Made their final curtain call.
Seems to me he packed more living in 36 years
Than I could fit in 92,
And if Steve were here, he'd sing us one more song,
And the message would shine right through.