The Price I Pay


Billy Bragg is a songwriter who follows in the footsteps of giants like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Many of his songs dive into the guts of the working class, the poor, and the victims of capitalism, racism, and war. 
This isn’t one of those songs. He’s also a genius at writing songs about love and the intricacies of romantic relationships. 
My favorite of his albums is a collection called Workers Playtime, from 1988. Under the album title are the prescient words, “Capitalism is killing music.”
Love is a wonderful thing – the most wonderful thing – but it exacts a terrible price if you surrender to it completely, which is the only way to do it if you want to do it right. When your love finds an unequal weight on the other side of the see-saw you can spend a lot of time with your ass in the dirt. And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do. 

My friend said 
She could see no way ahead
And I was probably better off without you
She said to face up to the fact 
That you weren’t coming back
And she could make me happy like you used to
But I’m sorry to say 
I turned her away
Knowing everything she said was true
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
There’s something inside 
That hurts my foolish pride
To visit the places we used to go together
Not a day goes by 
That I don’t sit and wonder why
Your feelings for me didn’t last forever
Girl I love you so much 
That sometimes it’s such
I’d walk a mile with a stone in my shoe
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
So keep that phone out of my way 
For the things I must say
Are empty if you don’t believe they’re true
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine, among others. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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