Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

Last Call — Dave Van Ronk

Last Call

And so we’ve had another night
of poetry and poses
And each man knows he’ll be alone
when the sacred gin mill closes

And so we’ll drink the final glass
each to his joy or sorrow
And hope the numbing drunk will last
’til opening tomorrow

And when we stumble back again
like paralytic dancers
Each knows the questions he will ask
and each man knows the answers

And so we’ll drink the final drink
that cuts the brain in sections
Where answers never signify
and there aren’t any questions

I broke my heart the other day
it’ll mend again tomorrow
If I’d been drunk when I was born
I’d be ignorant of sorrow

And so we’ll drink the final toast
that never can be spoken
Here’s to the heart that is wise enough
to know when it’s better off broken

Dave Van Ronk
June 30 1936 – Feb 10 2002

One thought on “Last Call — Dave Van Ronk

  1. The version of this song in _When the Sacred Ginmill Closes_ by Lawrence Block has the line, “till opening tomorrow,” instead of “’til opening tomorrow” as set out here. The present version is standard American English and Block’s is not — but Block is spot on in the UK and I think American English simply has this standard wrong. Great English poetry and literature for hundreds of years has had this “till,” and a great deal of published American literature has it also. Time for a change, IMO.

    Thanks. I’ll bring it up at the next meeting of Nitpickers Anonymous.

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