Michael (Poor Michael Went Down)

Lyrics: Ron McKernan
Music: Ron McKernan

One of the songs recorded by Pigpen for an unreleased solo album. It circulates under a variety of titles including "Michael", "Poor Michael Went Down", "Queen Of Santa Fe II" and "Gas Station Rap"

Well you know I left my home when I was seventeen years of age
And I started hitch hiking from San Francisco down to L.A.
And I, I met this man give me a ride
And finally dropped me by the side said, "Here son, have a dime"
I say, "Thank you" and he was on his way

So I got down in the big city and I was trying to get myself a job, yes I was
But there wasn't no jobs around
I couldn't seem to find any way to make ends meet
And this man at the gas station, he says
"Son you need yourself a job?" and I said "Mister, I surely do"
He said "Well come on in, I'll give you a dollar and a quarter an hour"
And I sure was happy at that time

So I worked in the gas station for a while
And I got myself a little place to live, yes I did
Things were going pretty good until one day
I kind of got down on my luck and a dollar and a quarter an hour if you can't
If you can't work more than three or four hours on overtime, you need a lot of money
A lot more money than you're getting to keep yourself alive, I really do

So I met up with these guys and we went walking around the neighborhood
Found this other gas station we figured we'd check it out pretty good
So we decided we was gonna rob this gas station
Because there was no other way to get no money

And we made our plans very carefully
And then one night when there was no one around
We went over there on that side of town
And we broke into the gas station and we robbed the cash register
And just at the time when were making our escape
Here come a policeman walking up the street
He yelled "Halt!" and we got scared
And threw the money up in the air
We started running and he started too
He's hollering "Halt!" and then he began to shoot
I was lucky I got over a fence
My other friend made it around the corner
But my other buddy he went down

And Michael you should have stopped when the man told you
Because if that bullet wouldn't have hit you
You would have been living
And what I'm trying to say now
Is that if you find yourself in a situation
Where you could get killed or you could live, live if your pride will let you

'Cause Michael went down by a policeman's bullet
He didn't have to go down if he were to stop
He had some pride wouldn't let him quit that runnin'
But now Michael's in the ground
Michael why did you keep on running?
Michael your pride done got you killed
You should have knowed that cop had had a pistol on his side
Why didn't you stop before you was killed?