Old man on a barstool watching TV Got up and came over to sit closer to me He said "You look familiar to someone I knew But when were your age we were older than you Jimmy was twenty and I seventeen And to us there was nothing but girls and machines Jimmy got married and I went to war I still don't know what we were doing it for But if you'll buy me a drink--turkey on ice Then I could give you some advice
"You just stay in the bar For as long as you can As long as you're drinking Then you've got the world in your hand
"There's no shame in hanging your world by a string And you know there's no harm in not thinking a thing But trying to find a place for yourself in this world Is like trying to make a wife of an American girl If you'll trade me a drink for a story or two Then you'll know what you need to do
"You just stay in the bar For as long as you can You know love is for sissies It's whiskey that makes you a man"
Now the old man got up and stumbled out in the street He'd been drinking all day and left his bar tab with me I didn't have the money to cover his bill But I found me a man who looked like me, younger still And said, "Buy me a drink and I'll tell you a tale About the old man who taught me so well
You just stay in the bar For as long as you can Hell I know you're a friend I can tell by the shakes in your hand You just stay in the bar For as long as you dare As long as you're tipping Then you've got a good friend somewhere