Ballad Of Poor Marcel

let me tell you the story about Poor Marcel
how he lived and how he died
how the point of his own hand
did cut him in his stride
I knew him well from mornings
when I watched him rob the shoes
of old men asleep with wine
with only shoes to lose

he never said a word
and he never made a sound
he never left a footprint
when he walked upon the ground
with a black patch eye
and a face of solid stone
he came and went just like a ghost
and always went alone

it was in the middle of the afternoon
the day was hot and bright
when two small boys
came into his sight
“who are you” they said to him
“and tell us what you have”
Marcel, he just turned his back
I never saw him laugh

the oldest was eleven
and the youngest he was eight
Marcel pulled a knife
and he flashed it in their face
“get out of here” he said to them
“or I’ll cut you to the bone”
they ran off away in fright
and left him there alone

it was on the very next morning
as the sky was growing gray
that two men pulled the knives
that were to take his life away
someone cried “isn’t anybody here
a man could bleed to death
oh my god
what kind of place is this?”

then someone come a-runnin’
but by then it was too late
for Poor Marcel had already met his fate
the air hung hot
there was running on the ground
and all you could hear
was that park murder sound

on the blanket where the preacher slept
Marcel’s blood did flow
“I’m afraid that your time has come
I think you’d better know”
and seven hours later
as the police shook their heads
seven hours later
Poor Marcel was dead

I think about these things
as I go along my way
how we may never understand
the world and all its ways
but I just told the story
call it truth or call it lie
it’s just about Poor Marcel
how he lived and how he died