uncle earl picked up a pick when he was four years old
he never would let go of it for love or life or gold
when the sun was high he’d sit outside
pickin on the old front porch
when the sun went down he’d be sitting around
pickin on the living room couch

in between pickin he’d pick some more
just to keep in shape
if you asked him, “earl, what in the world,”
this is what he’d say …

“if you’re gonna pick, you gotta pick
pickers can’t be choosers”

little ricky rocket, he wanted to pick and that’s all he ever wanted
got in trouble with the man, got thrown in the can
just started pickin with the jailhouse band
his friends said “rick, what’s it like to pick with all of them bad-newsers?”
he just said …

“if you’re gonna pick, you gotta pick
though there’s winners and there’s losers
You gotta pick through thin and thick,
pickers can’t be choosers

“you gotta pick here, you gotta pick now
you even gotta pick when momma don’t allow

“you’ll play any place they’ll let you play
some dark dive full of boozers
with the folkies and the okies and the hoosiers
with grassers and with bluesers
the jazzers and the juicers
laughers and boo-hoozers
pickers can’t be choosers

“now if you need to pick
then you’re gonna pick
for one-sers and for two-sers
for louds and crowds and rudesters
for chickens and for roosters
I’m tellin you friend, in the bitter end
picksters can’t be choosters”

copyright © 2023 by Michael Hurwicz

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