The Winners

Lyrics: Rudyard Kipling
Music: Bob Weir

Played by Bob Weir with Rob Wasserman, Ratdog and other bands.

What is the moral? Who rides may read
When the night is thick and the tracks are blind
A friend in a pinch is a friend indeed
But a fool to wait for the laggard behind
Down to Gehenna or up to the throne
He travels the fastest who travels alone

White hands cling to a tightened rein
Slipping a spur from a booted heel
Tenderest voices cry "turn again"
Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel
High hopes faint on a warm hearth stone
He travels the fastest who travels alone

One may fall but he falls by himself
Falls by himself with himself to blame
One may attain and to him is is pelf (note 1)
Loot of the city in gold or fame
Plunder of earth shall be all his own
Who travels the fastest and travels alone

[repeat previous verse]

Wherefore the more ye be holpen and stayed (note 2)
Stayed by a friend in the hour of toil
Sing this heretical song I have made
His be the labor and yours be the spoil
Win by his aid and his aid disown
He travels the fastest who travels alone

Travels alone
He travels the fastest who travels alone
Alone
Travels alone
He travels the fastest who travels alone
Travels alone
Travels alone
He travels the fastest who travels alone
Notes
(1) "pelf" means "money; riches; lucre; gain; -- generally conveying the idea of something ill-gotten or worthless
(2) "holpen" is an obsolete form of "helped"

Bob Weir Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      fall 1988 Weir/Wasserman: Live Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman
      5 Sep 1989 Fall 1989: The Long Island Sound Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman
      6 Sep 1989 Fall 1989: The Long Island Sound Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Live!

Scaring The Children Downloads
Background
This poem is subtitled "An envoi to 'The Story Of The Gadsbys'" - an "envoi" is effectively a postcript, and "The Pride Of The Gadsbys" was a play (or a series of fragments of plays) written earlier by Kipling.

I haven't read "The Story Of The Gadsbys", so I can't comment on how the references in this poem relate to it. If anyone can help on this, please let me know.


 


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