SONGS:
-- You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance --
released 1981


Found on:

Inner City Front (1981) & (2002)

Waiting For A Miracle, Singles 1970-1987 (1987) [compilation album]

You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance (1997) [live album]

Rumours of Glory - box set Disc 3 (2014) [compilation album]
Lyrics:

Woman cry -- chase man down street crying "No Chuckie, no, please don't"
Another girl comes they run along St. Andrew, turn south on Kensington
Meanwhile Chuckie beats it down the alley by the chicken packer's
By the time I reach the corner they've all vanished
Just a deaf kid talking like Popeye to a large fleshy laughing man in a blue shirt

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you're dealing with love and romance

Down the alley past the fire escape a woman is talking on the telephone
Kitchen light spills out, laughter riding on its beam
In the maze of moebius streets we're trying to amuse ourselves to death
Under the deep sky that's squatting so close over us tonight
You'd think it was trying to hatch us
The numb and confused
The battered and bruised
The counters of cost
And the star-crossed

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you're dealing with love and romance

Confused and solo in the spawning ground
I watch the confusion of friends all numb with love
Moving like stray dogs to the anthem of night-long conversations,
of pulsing rhythms and random voltage voices
In spite of themselves, graceful as these raindrops creeping spermlike across the car window
Stay or leave, give or withold, hesitate or leap
Each step splashing sparks of red pain in every direction
And through it all, somehow, this willingness that asks no questions

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you're dealing with love and romance




Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this song, by date:

  • 1990 - "A small crawl through a newly discovered urban landscape of love, lust and speakeasies. I was living next door to a chicken slaughterhouse near Kensington Market in Toronto at the time."

    - from "Rumours of Glory 1980-1990" (songbook), edited by Arthur McGregor, OFC Publications, Ottawa, 1990. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.

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    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.