The Good Samaritan 
(on a Harley)

At a song-writers’ workshop in Mitla the SIL members who were participating were encouraged to try, in English, the same assignments their language associates were doing in Nahuatl or  Mixtec or whatever.  (This was the same workshop from which the extra verses to Oh God Our Help resulted.)  One assignment was to take a tune and a Bible story and turn the story into verses which would fit the tune. I tried a couple of things that didn’t work all that well, and then talked about it to our neighbor at the time, my good buddy Roger Reeck. He suggested a tune I hadn’t known, which he knew as “The Battle of New Orleans” or “The War of 1812”. (I’ve since been told it’s an old banjo tune whose original name was “The 8th of January”, which sounds like the name of a Mexican hamlet.) Anyhow, he and I got started telling a Cotton-Patch-style version of the story of the Good Samaritan to that tune, and had a lot of fun with it. 

In the first version the Samaritan was a black man, as the Cotton-Patch version has it. But a couple of years later he metamorphosed into a biker. —Dad (=David)

The Good-hearted Harley Rider
R. Reeck  & D. Tuggy
(Tune: The 8th of January, a.k.a. The War of 1812, a.k.a. The Battle of New Orleans)
Hear it sung

1.  This guy took a bidnis trip down to Jericho,
    He hadn’t gotten very far when, well, whaddya know,
Some robbers popped up from the rocks, and gave him quite a thrill,
   
They stole his stuff, and roughed him up and rolled him down the hill.

 Chorus: He’s bleedin like a pig, just a-layin in the sun
                They smashed up his face, and his arm, they done break it,
         He’s a-moanin and a-groanin, ain’t havin no fun,
                C’mon, you gotta hep him or he  ain’t a-gonna make it.

2.  Some fancy-looking preacher come a-strollin on by, 
    He heared him cough, it ticked him off, he didn’t wanna try
To hep no ugly-looking bloody nasty mess;
    He’s preachin a revival and he’s gotta look his best.

 Chorus: Th’guy’s bleedin like a pig, just a-layin in the sun
                Fightin for a breath, just listen to him cough,
         He’s a-moanin and a-groanin, ain’t havin no fun,
                C’mon, you gotta hep him or he’s gonna kick off.

3.  A high-falutin lawyer come and seen him layin there,
    He figured he could hep him but he just didn’t care,
He’ll sue the pants off anyone if he can make a buck,
    But here he sees he gets no fees, so he decide’ to truck.

 Chorus: Th’guy’s bleedin like a pig, just a-layin in the sun
                Three cracked ribs and a busted up arm,
         He’s a-moanin and a-groanin, ain’t havin no fun,
                C’mon, you gotta hep him or he’s gonna buy the farm.

4.  And then this big old biker dude, all tattoos, beard and dirt, 
   
He seen the guy a-squirmin there, and figured he was hurt,
He propped him on his chopper, and he ambulanced him home,
    And fixed him up and fed him till he’s well enough to roam.

 Chorus: He was bleedin like a pig, just a-layin in the sun,
                Watch them buzzards circle as they start’ to get the smell,
         He’d given up a-hopin, figured he’s ’bout done,
                But the biker dude patched him up and hepped him get well.

5.  Now, which one of these would you rather be around, 
   
The preacher-man, the lawyer, or the baddest man in town?
I reckon I’d go for the one who showed some love.
    Well, that’s the man to be like, says the Savior up above.

 Chorus: When you’re bleedin like a pig, or jus’ hurtin inside,
                Tryin to keep your marbles, feeling mighty sore and lame
         You need a friend to hep you, to stand by your side;
                Jesus says to hep out your neighbor just the same.



 


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