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Two Men in the Building Lyrics

Words and music by Steve Gillette

Original recording from Texas & Tennessee CD (MP3 clip)
Quartet recording from Fourtold CD (MP3 clip)
Read Steve's comments on the song Chapter 59 Excerpt from "The Code"

On the night before my twenty-first birthday
November, in Paris, in 1963
In a little hotel off the Boulevard Michelle
Near the Roman ruins at Saint-Germain-Des-Prés
Came a knock on the door, said the word was on the wire
Said they've wounded your President when he drove into the crossfire
He was hurt real bad, and he may not make it through the night.
There were two men in the building, two more in the bushes on the right.

(They say that) Bobby was the problem, he was comin' down too hard
On Hoffa and Marcello, Traficante and Giancana
They were angry with the President, they were taking him out
He was breakin' his promise to get the boys back into Havana
New Orleans and Chicago brought the battle down to Dallas
They took the Teamster's pension fund, they built the Caesar's Palace
They had a good thing going and they weren't gonna let it go without a fight
There were two men in the building, two more in the bushes on the right

By the time he'd come of age, my dad was flying transports
Into Peleliu and Kwajalein in the great Pacific conflict.
Navigating in the dark, five thousand miles of ocean,
By stars I still haven't seen.

He's been a judge and a sailor, a skier and a piano player,
And everything that a young man could ever want to be
He's heard the wisdom and the lies and everything in between.
And for the longest time not a word would pass between
Experience and innocence impatient with each other.
Two generations waiting, waiting for the heat to turn to light.

And a long time to come before I could lay me down at night
Without the two men in the building, the two men in the bushes on the right.

© 1998, Compass Rose Music, BMI


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