IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY

Live 25 Mar 1977 version

[Spoken intro:] This is for the Cleveland Boys, because... I promised, I promised, I promised, I promised!

I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
I could walk like Brando right into the sun
And dance like a Casanova
With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
When I walk down the street I could feel its heartbeat
Sisters fell back, said, "Don't that man look pretty"
The cripple on the corner cried out, "Nickels for your pity"
Them downtown boys, they sure talk gritty
And it's hard to be a saint in the city

I was the king of the alley, I could talk some trash
I was the pimp's main prophet, crowned downtown at the beggar's bash
Was the pimp's main prophet, I kept everything cool
A backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
When the heat came down, it was left on the ground
The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
Showin' me a hand I knew even the cops couldn't beat
I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
It's hard to be a saint when you're just a...

And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
The tracks clack out the rhythm, their eyes fixed straight ahead
They ride the line of balance, hold on by just a thread
It's hot in these tunnels, you can get hit up by the heat
You get up to get out at your next stop, they push you back down in your seat
Your heart starts beatin' faster as you struggle to your feet
You're out of that hole and back up on the street

Them south side sisters sure look pretty
The cripple on the corner cried out, "Nickels for your pity"
Them downtown boys, they sure talk gritty
It's hard to be a saint in the city
So hard, say

It's so hard to be a saint in the city


Page last updated: 12 Jun 2011

Info

The above lyrics are for the live 25 Mar 1977 performance of IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY at Music Hall in Boston, MA. This was the last of four consecutive shows at the venue that concluded the 1977 Lawsuit Tour. The song was played in its traditional full-band arrangement.


Promotional ad for the March 1977 four-night at Music Hall, Boston, MA
[Taken from Brucebase]

Ticket stub for the 25 Mar 1977 show at Music Hall, Boston, MA
[Thanks Steve Hopkins]

Available Versions

List of available versions of IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY on this website:

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake).