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Johnny Cash
"The Masterpiece" lyrics

The Masterpiece

There was an old stone-cutter
Who lived in a cabin
On the mountain side
And the old stone-cutter knew
It won't be long before he died

And all around his cabin
Were statues the man had made
Statues that the buyers said
Were all of a mediocre grade

With his calloused hands he lit a lamp
And laid down his head on his handmade table
And he softly whispered, "Lord
I'm old and shaky
And I'm hardly able
But give me strenght and wisdom
And give me a week at least
And I'll climb up to the top of this mountain
And chisel out a masterpiece"

The very next morning
He felt new strenght
And he took his brand new hammer
And the sharpest chisel
He began to climb the mountain
His old feet slipping
In the freezing drizzle

When he finally reached the top
He shouted to a world
That didn't hear
"I'll carve my masterpiece
Out of this marble boulder here"

So the hammer beat the chisel
And he hammered till an image grew
Then he stopped to look it over
To appraise his work
When he was through

It was a boy carrying a crippled boy
And the old man said
"It isn't my masterpiece
I'll call it charity
And then a masterpiece of mine will be"

So the hammer beat the chisel
Till another immage in a marbel grew
Then the wind began to blowing
And he sat and rested
When he was through

It was the image of a mother
Holding her child
He said, "This is love
As the world would know
But it isn't my masterpiece"
And he began again
As it began to snow

The hammer beat the chisel
As the snow fell harder
And the wind grew and grew
He fell to his knees holding a stone
And he threw down his hammer
And his chisel too

He lay frozen face down in the snow
But one hand was held for the world to see
Cut in the marble
Was his masterpice
Three neatly carved letters

Authors: Johnny Cash