The Unwelcome Guest

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Billy Bragg

Stephen William Bragg (born 20 December 1957) — known as Billy Bragg — is an English alternative rock musician and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, and his lyrics mostly deal with political or romantic themes. His music career has lasted more than thirty years. more »


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To the rich man's bright lodges 
I ride in this wind 
On my good horse, I call you 
My shiny black Bess 

To the playhouse of fortune 
To take the bright silver 
And gold you have taken 
From somebody else 

And as we go riding 
In the damp foggy midnight 
You snort, my good pony 
And you give me your best 

For you know and I know 
Good horse 'mongst the rich ones 
How oftimes we go there 
An unwelcome guest 

I never took food 
From the widows and orphans 
And never a hardworking man I oppressed 

So take your pace easy 
For home soon like lightning 
We soon will be riding 
My shiny black Bess 

No fat rich man's pony 
Can ever overtake you 
And there's not a rider 
From the east to the west 

Could hold you a light 
In this dark mist and midnight 
When the potbellied thieves 
Chase the unwelcome guest 

I don't know, good horse 
As we trot in this dark here 
That robbing the rich 
Is for worse or for best 

They take it by stealing 
And lying and gambling 
And I take it my way 
My shiny Black Bess 

I treat horses good 
And I'm friendly to strangers 
I ride and your running 
Makes my guns talk the best 

And the rangers and deputies 
Are hired by the rich man 
To catch me and hang me 
My shining black Bess 

Yes, they'll catch me napping one day 
And they'll kill me 
And then I'll be gone 
But that won't be my end 

For my guns and my saddle 
Will always be filled 
By unwelcome travelers 
And other brave men 

And they'll take the money 
And spread it out equal 
Just like the Bible 
And the prophets suggest 

But men that go riding 
To help these poor workers 
The rich will cut down 
Like an unwelcome guest

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Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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    "The Unwelcome Guest Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Oct. 2020. <>.

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