Heading
Shift

It's hard to be too big for your boots, if your boots are too big for you.

I was with Shift here in town then not meanest among squires
To serve the ragged lords and gentlemen, the bachelor of lies
To laugh among the lunatics as the smile behind the rage
Now a jackass now a drummer boy and now a lady's page

Shuffling uphill with my conscience snuff the candle out and go
To the fat bejewelled warriors in the taproom down below
Where strutting among the turkeycocks with their fingernails ablaze
Stands the cat among the courtiers now
God pays

And I'm the potboy in the corner now as the Devil takes his chair
Puts his whiskered arm around you and he leads you to the stair
To the whispering of the curtains and the murmur in the hall
Let the Devil take the hindmost
And God will pay for all

But Shift went off to the war to play his valour in the field
He's left his dogs behind him and his men to pay the bills
And all his ladies at the window with their robes in disarray
Are crying to the heavens Our Lord has gone away

And though all the mincing gallants did their best to play the part
There were none so brave of bearing there and none so sound at heart
As to stoop to soil their fingers or to labour all their days
When the fruits are dry and withered
And God witholds the wage

Then like a head without a chicken through the double-breasted doors
Comes the dazed and stumbling messenger bearing tidings from the war
Into the inner council chamber where he bows his head and kneels
Saying Shift is dead in battle now
God has paid the bill

With all the Bloods and the Bounds and the Red-Setter Hounds
Shift came down and we've been working his will
And if the Warts and the Weans and his Quarrelsome Queans
Hadn't intervened
We'd be working it still

With all the ladies in their mourning and the gallants in their drink
All the groping in the corners and the vomit in the sink
Stands a figure on the rooftops with the wind upon his face
Saying God has paid the sinner now I will take his place

And through the corridors and casements in the early morning gloom
As dawn beats through the shutters of the late departed's room
To the wardrobe in the corner then the furtive figure creeps
And he robes himself in splendour saying
God will play for keeps

But the sleeves fall to my ankles and there's wrinkles in the hose
The size eleven boots become entangled in the robe
As all the rings fall from my fingers and the swordbelt round my knees
Comes a voice from up above My Boy
God is not deceived

Chords:
Intro. E
Chorus C#m E C#m B
Verse A B C#m D E