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I Sliced Pastrami for the CIA (And Found God)

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I Sliced Pastrami for the CIA (And Found God)

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I Sliced Pastrami for the CIA (And Found God)
(Sherwood Ross)

I ran a kosher deli
Down old Virginia way
Not far from the Pentagon
And the CIA
An Admiral got heartburn
Two generals passed away
That's when my country called on
To trick for the U.S.A.

Oh, I was whisked to Langley
In a foreign service car
Asked to go to Cuba
Set up my deli bar
"Irving, slice the same pastrami
You fix here every day
Let's hope Big Enchilada
Is gonna come your way."

cho: Oh, I sliced pastrami for the CIA
     The CIA, the CIA
     It was Fidel deedle deedle deedle dee all day
     Down old Havana way.

Armed with just a butcher knife
And a roll of Cuban bills
They flew me in a southeast line
They dropped me in some hills
I floated to Havana
And I am proud to say
I set up a little deli
Hoping he'd drop in someday

One day soon it happened
In the afternoon lunch crowd
This bearded man he entered
So arrogant and proud
"I hear you got pastrami
That could give the devil fright
Don't be chintzy with the mustard
Let's see if they are right."

Now I knew he was a tough guy
The Mafia missed its turn
But where they failed with poison
I'd nail him with heartburn
They could not make his beard fall
So that he'd look less virile
Boldly I sliced a double one
I'd freeze his Cuban smile.


Well, Fidel took one bite from it
His sunbrowned face turned white
He began to choke and gasp
But asked for another bite
Just then the sky split open
A voice cried loud and shrill:
"Irving take back that pastrami
I said Thou Shalt Not Kill!"

Fidel, he got angry
But I was out of reach
Miraculous this hand comes down
I'm flown half price to Miami Beach
Now I'm back at my  old deli
And somehow very proud
I sliced pastrami for the CIA
And that's how I found God!


Copyright Sherwood Ross, 1982
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