Cat and Mouse

Ry Cooder

Well I had an Uncle Charley, back in my hometown
Said, Don't take no mice to be your friend
'Cause they'll wait till you're asleep and steal your money and your food
And rat you out when the police come around

Later on I started travellin', seeing something of this world
And I learned to know a thing or two
Just because you've been told a story back in your hometown
Don't have to mean that story's always true

I remember it was winter and things were goin' bad
It rained and it snowed all day long
Nobody would feed me and I couldn't find no job
In a factory or workin' on a farm
I was laying in my suitcase and the snow was falling down
I didn't know what I was gonna do
When I heard a tiny voice out there in the dark
Saying, Brother, can I come in there with you?

Well right here in my bag I got some real good cheese
And a crust of bread or two
If you let me come in and get out of the snow
I'll share what I got with you

Don't take no mice to be your friend
Was the rule Uncle Charley always told
But the north wind kept howling and the snow kept blowin' down
And I couldn't leave him out there in the cold

Well he said his name was Lefty and he'd been traveling round
The secrets of this world to share with you
Mouse traps are set right-handed, get your cheese out from the left
We are many, Buddy, they are few

He said, They'll tell you lies to make you doubt your fellow man
Like cats and mice just can't get along
Well it suits the bosses, Buddy, and it serves them fine
'Cause it keeps us working folks from bein' strong

There's a better world a coming, Buddy
Which side are you on?
Don't let the big men take it, Buddy
Which side are you on?
It's your country, too, Buddy
Which side are you on?
It's time to take a stand, Buddy
Which side are you on?


Boy, it's a fact mice ain't no good --
Old Charley always said they'll treat you bad
But I'm here to tell you people, and I want it understood
Lefty is the truest friend I'd ever had