2nd Place Winner, November/December 2013 Contest: “Dirt Beneath My Nails”

2nd Place
“Dirt Beneath My Nails”
By Larry Black
Asheville, North Carolina

Videos by American Songwriter

Friends are always asking
why I do the work I do,
wearing dirt beneath my nails
when the working day is through.
Receiving very little for
the sweat that’s on my brow
on the chance that my tomorrow
will improve upon my now.
But there’s something satisfying
in an honest day’s work.
As long as I can feel it,
I don’t mind the dirt.

The dirt beneath my nails
penetrates my soul.
It makes me who I am.
It keeps my spirit whole
The dirt beneath my nails
isn’t common grime
It’s the working man’s testament
and I’m proud to call it mine

I’d hate to be white collar
beneath a pseudo sun,
herding numbers down a paper trail,
always under the gun.
And the assembly line’s monotony
for me would be pure hell.
It makes for a different type
of dirt beneath the nails
Long ago I made my choice,
and that choice has made me
The person in the mirror
is who I want to see

(Repeat Chorus)

I’m sure there’ll be dirt
beneath my nails when I die.
The morticians needn’t waste their time,
there’d be no use to try
to make my digits pearly,
totally dirt free.
If that were the case,
it wouldn’t be me
lying in that coffin
as the final dirt sails,
thrown in by men
with dirt beneath their nails.

(Repeat Chorus)


Click here to see Larry’s Songspace Profile.

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