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The Caretaker

The Caretaker

I live in the cemetery. Old Caretaker they call me.
In the summer, I cut the grass, and in the winter, I dig the weeds.
When a funeral comes, the people cry and pray.
They bury their dead, then they all go away.
But through their grief, I still can see
Their hate and greed and jealousy.
So here I work, and I somehow hide
From a world that rushes by outside.
And each night when I rest my head,
I'm as contented as the peaceful dead.

But who's gonna cry when old John dies?
Who's gonna cry when old John dies?

Once I was a young man, dashing with the girls.
Now no one wants an old man. I've lost my handsome curls.
But I wanna say, when my time comes,
Lay me facin' the risin' sun.
Don't lay flowers where my head should be.
Maybe God will let some grow for me.
And all the little children that I love like my own,
Will they be sorry that old John's gone?

Who's gonna cry when old John dies?
Who's gonna cry when old John dies?

Sung by Johnny Cash on "Songs Of Our Soil," COL 494896 2, 1959.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III