Life is Cheap

Life is cheap, death is free.
Examine the world and soon you'll see.
For each man that passes on,
Two or three will soon be born.

The woeful tears of all mankind,
Would scarcely fill the meanest lake,
And the birds will sing as always
Even as the solemn knelling of the
Rusty church-bell fills the valley,
And weeping wracks the widowed-bride.

Life is cheap, death is free.
Your family pet devours a rabbit.
Who shall mourn the loss of this poor creature
Who stole the cabbage from your garden?
Mourn him not; he shall be reborn tenfold next spring.

Life is cheap in the city.
People kill for leather jackets,
Or for sport or racial hatred.
What's one life to an angry youth
Who lives to escape life through drugs and adventure?
What is death to a man who knows that
A mere flick of a trigger is enough to extinguish his life?

Life is cheap in times of warfare,
People perish by the thousands.
Tanks and planes command a fortune;
G.I.s will fight for beans and meat-paste.
A soldier knows his life means nothing,
He is a cog within the wheel,
And he alone can do nothing,
For his strength lies with his comrades.

Life is cheap to you and me.
Does a stranger's sorrow truly move you?
A man shall lie dying in the gutter while
Elsewhere you are making love to a spouse or a stranger.
Why don't you weep, for every minute
A man expires from starvation.
Disease and murder claim another as you climax.

Disney was on acid when he claimed the world is small.
So many faces, names, and places will I never know or see.
The world is far bigger than I could ever imagine,
Each man a full-length novel though they all end the same,
And everyone's a stranger even to their friends.
No one can really feel another's pain, and who should care to?
A man tastes enough of his own pain to fill volumes,
And who would care to read those volumes?

Life is cheap and death is free.
Survival is but animal instinct,
Hardwired into your mind by countless years of evolution.
For 'tis common sense that a species with a "will" to live
Will continue to propagate while those without shall become extinct.
'Tis vain to suggest some divine purpose anoints us,
We who see but through our own eyes.
Instead we are the prince of beasts, talking apes with fancy toys.
We've learned to change our cages more to our liking,
But we'll never learn to change ourselves.

Life is cheap and death is free,
But it's best not to ponder this too seriously.
Just laugh at all the petty fools who claim they are wise,
And claim to have discovered an underlying purpose.
Yes, laugh at them while your eating.
Laugh at them in your sleep.
Laugh at them while making love.
Laugh at them even as you weep.
For in the end, when misfortune strikes,
You will be prepared, and they will be taken by storm.
Just live and love and do your business,
And don't expect the world to care.

Life is cheap, death is free.
But play the game regardless.
Life may be cheap, but at very least,
It can be entertaining.
For in pain there is drama,
And in joy there is song,
And the earth's a gallery of masterpieces
With scenes to suit all diverse tastes.
There's harmony in what we see,
To Hell with reason or with purpose.
Just drink your fill of sights and sounds,
And move on for the next man,
Or try your hand at painting the world,
So others may admire it.

Life is cheap, but this doesn't mean,
That it must be filled with misery.
Happiness too is cheap for those who revel in what they have,
And those who close their ears to sorrow
Will find it visits them less often.

George Chadderdon © 1992