ARTIST: Peter S. Beagle
TITLE: When I Was a Young Man
Lyrics and Chords

[Last Unicorn]

[Beagle's original melody hasn't been published; this poem is most often sung to the traditional tune of "The Ash Grove", the chords of which are shown below.]

When I was a young man and very well thought of
I couldn't ask aught that the ladies denied
I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins
And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied

/ D - Em A / D G A D / :

   But I said to myself "Ah, they none of them know
   The secret I shelter and savor and save
   I wait for the one who will see through my seeming
   And I'll know when I love by the way I behave"

   / D - Em A / Bm - E7 A / D - Em A / D G A D /

The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens
The ladies went by me like snow on the wind
I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled
And I sinned and I sinned and I sinned and I sinned

   But I said to myself, "Ah, they none of them see
   There's part of me pure as the whisk of a wave
   My lady is late but she'll find I've been faithful
   And I'll know when I love by the way I behave"

At last came a lady both knowing and tender
Saying you're not at all what they take you to be
I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking
And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea

   And I say to myself when there's time for a word
   As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved
   "Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger
   And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved"

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