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Patches
by Chairmen Of The Board

I was born and raised down in Alabama
On a farm way back up in the woods
I was so ragged the kids would call me patches
Papa used to kid me about it
Of course deep down inside
He was thinkin he had done all he could do
My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a shovel in his hand
See, education he never had
But he did wonders when the time got bad
A little money from the crops he raised
Barely paid the bills we made
Oh life had kicked him down to the plow
When he tried to get up life would kick him back down
One day papa called me to his dyin bed
Put his hands on my shoulders And in tears he said
Patches, I'm depending on you son
To pull the family through My son, it's all left up to you

Two days later papa passed away
I became a man that day
So I told mama I was gonna quit school
But she said that was dad's strictest rule
So every morning 'fore I went to school
I fed the chickens and I chopped wood too
Sometimes I felt that I couldn't go on
I wanted to leave this but I wanted a home
But I always remembered what my daddy said
With tears in his eyes on his dyin bed
He said, "Patches, I'm depending on you son
I tried to do my best, It's up to you to do the rest

But then one day a strong rain came
And washed all the crops away
And at the age of thirteen I thought I was carrying
The weight of the whole world on my shoulders
And you know, mama knew what I was going through, Cause
Everyday I had to work the fields
Cause that's the only way we got our meals
You see, I was the oldest of a family
And everybody else depended on me
Every night I heard my mama pray
Lord, give him the strength to face another day
Though years have passed and all the kids are gone
I aimed to take my mama to a brand new home
God knows people that I shed a tear
My daddy's voice helped me through the years
Sayin, "Patches, I'm depending on you son
To pull the family through My son, it's all left up to you
I could still hear papa when he'd say
Patches, I'm depending on you son
I tried to do my best It's up to you to do the rest".

Contributed by Sarah W. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Madi Adkins

3 people hit the wrong button

Moutton Noir

Written & produced by Eddie Holland. Capitol Records refused to release this as a single. Meanwhile Rick Hall of Fame Records cut a cover version with Clarence Carter. The Chairmen Of The Board were denied a copper bottomed hit!

Slip Kid

Powerful song

John Flanagan

A song for all times and all people.

jrye5

A lot of people lived lives like this in the rural Deep South.  Rick Bragg, the author, Rick Hall, the man responsible for most of the music produced in Muscle Shoals, all had childhoods that were incredibly rough.   Wonderful testament to the human spirit.

Chuck Pattillo

Just to clarify, this is the original version by the songwriter General Johnson and recorded in Detroit. You're thinking of Clarence Carter's cover version which was recorded later at Muscle Shoals.

Jay

It’s so good but It hurts so much

Paul Morson

Powerful

Andy Paton

Pure gold

Mr. Fox

A song that millennials will never understand

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