Ballade of the Common Lot

by Gail White

“Tout aux tavernes et aux filles”—Villon

Are you a dot-com millionaire?
Maybe you’ve staged a corporate raid,
Or filled an editorial chair,
Or opened a stand for lemonade?
Labor, profession, job, or trade,
Whether your means are great or small,
Whatever way your cash is made,
Women and whiskey drain it all.

Taverns are open everywhere,
Pouring the drinks in bright cascade.
Women in silken underwear
Seem all too easy to persuade.
Temptation’s touch you can’t evade—
Who can resist her siren call?
She takes your cash by ambuscade—
Women and whiskey drain it all.

None but the rich deserve the fair;
Beauty is fortune’s accolade.
Wine is a cure for every care—
Only the poor does drink degrade.
Money can make your whims obeyed,
It causes Troy and Eve to fall.
But here let’s call a spade a spade—
Women and whiskey drain it all.

L’Envoi

No matter how the bills were paid
In spring, we’ll be in debt by fall,
Either by getting drunk or laid,
Women and whiskey drain it all.


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