Ballad of Forty Dollars Lyrics

by Tom T. Hall

The man who preached the funeral
Said it really was a simple way to die
He laid down to rest one afternoon
And never opened up his eyes

They hired me and Fred and Joe
To dig the grave and carry up some chairs
It took us seven hours
And I guess, we must have drunk a case of beer

I guess, I ought to go and watch them put him down
But I don't own a suit
And anyway when they start talkin' about
The fire in hell, well, I get spooked

So, I'll just sit here in my truck
And act like I don't know him when they pass
Anyway, when they're all through
I've got to go to work and mow the grass

Well, here they come and who's that
Ridin' in that big ol' shiny limousine
Mmh! look at all that chrome, I do believe
That that's the sharpest thing I've seen

That must belong to his great uncle
Someone said, "He owned a big ol' farm"
When they get parked, I'll mosey down
And look it over, that won't do no harm

Well, that must be the widow in the car
And would you take a look at that?
That sure is a pretty dress
You know, some women do look good in black

Well, he's not even in the ground
And they say that his truck is up for sale
They say, she took it pretty hard
But you can't tell too much behind the veil

Well, listen ain't that pretty
When the bugler plays the, 'Military taps'
I think that when you's in the war
They always hide 'n' play a song like that

Well, here I am and there they go
And I guess, you'd just call it my bad luck
I hope he rests in peace, the trouble is
The fellow owes me forty bucks