I was standin' outside of a hotel in Houston, blinkin' my eyes in the bright morning sun
A feller next to me said where are you headed?
I told him to Nashville, cause that's where I'm from
I said I had one or too many last evening, brother I damn near fell off of my stool
He said yeah, whiskey gets 'em, and whiskey gets many
But listen son, nothin' kills people like greed.
I said huh, and I turned to him and he was a cowboy
Bout fifty years old in a big western hat.
Sir if you said that greed killed more people than whiskey
If my taxi don't come tell me more bout that.
He said I knew a guy who made millions on millions,
Then he turned right around and made millions on that
He had crude oil and blue chips and good barns and feed lots
He could touch an old steer and it’d just turn into fat.
And he coveted the money that other folks lived on.
He never spent nickels he thought he could keep.
It was money that made him a nighthawk and a worrier,
And soon it was money that robbed him of sleep.
And they buried him deep in a west Texas graveyard.
They put up a tombstone of all he had done,
And I am the man that he fired for a few beers.
But I'm sure feeling good in the west Texas sun!
I shook hands with that man and I crawled in the taxi,
And I thought of the two things that I keep doing wrong,
The man said that the greed killed more people than whiskey,
And I'm sittin' here hung over writin' a song!
Tom T. Hall, Greed Kills More People Than Whiskey.
The allure of fame, fortune, and that proverbial brass ring has little hold on me. The trappings of wealth always struck me as such a waste. My Dad and I were discussing money once when I was a kid, and he asked me how much money was enough? I sat and thought about it for a minute then replied that if I could always have twenty bucks in my pocket, that that would be enough. I could afford a cheeseburger if I wanted one, or a couple of gallons of gas. What more can any man ask of life?
I felt that way twenty-five years ago, and I haven’t changed my mind.
I must admit that it has become much harder to keep that Andrew Jackson in my pocket than it used to be, but it doesn’t rob me of sleep at night.