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Way I Behaved

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Way I Behaved

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Way I Behaved
(Peter Beagle in The Last Unicorn)

When I was a young man, and very well thought of
There was nought I could ask that the ladies denied.
I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins,
And I never spoke love, but I knew that I lied.
     But I said to myself, "Ah, there's none of them knows
     The secret I shelter, and savor, and save.
     I wait for the one who can see through my seeming
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

The years they passed 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, there's none of them knows
     There's a part of me pure as the whisk of a wave.
     My love may be late, but she'll find I have been faithful
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

At last came a lady, both knowing and tender
Who said "You are 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 know how I loved by the way I behaved".

Sings well to The Ashgrove
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III