Tommy Shaw Lyrics Archive

Give 'Em Hell Harry
Written by Tommy Shaw
Lead Vocals by Tommy Shaw

Harry Truman was born to play piano
That’s all he ever thought about
From the first time he touched those ivory keys
He never had a single doubt

Started playing for all the kin folks
Then in honky tonks and bars
Never once entertained the thought
Of playing a silly six sting guitar

He was a piano player dog gone it, case closed

As he made his way to the gigs he’d play
He found the roads in an awful state
I’m not talking about Missouri per se
But the thoroughfares weren’t so great

Without really knowing what it might involve
He asked the County Commission for a job
They recognized his steel resolve
And said “You’re hired Bob”

He said “My name is Harry. Harry Truman.”

Give ‘em hell Harry give ‘em hell
When the lights came on they rang your liberty bell
From Missouri to the White House
There’s one thing Harry knew
If you don’t learn to milk a cow
They’ll never ask you to

Because Harry’s mind was sharp and nimble
Those citizens were in luck
 He strapped his family’s old upright Kimble
Up in the bed of his county truck

And every day on his lunch break
All that summer long
He’d park his truck beside the lake
And play a medley of popular songs

The man sure knew how to string ‘em together too

It’s funny, those roads Harry built
Led him to the White House
Under good old FDR
His piano now drew high class crowds
And he was smoking  50 cent cigars

Somewhere out in New Mexico
They were building atom bombs
But how on earth was Harry to know
What the hell was going on

See, he’d been left in the dark about an awful lot

Until that fateful day
When Harry and the rest of the nation got
The news that the President has passed away

And in an instant the music stopped and the weight
Of the world fell upon his shoulders

They sent him across the ocean to a summit
With Churchill and Stalin too
They posed for pictures out by the bar-b-que grill
Then they went inside for stew

Grumpy old Churchill was soon filled with doubt
Over all of Stalin’s demands
All Harry could think about
Was Stalin’s tiny little hands

Couldn’t be much of a piano player, that’s for certain

Give ’em hell Harry…

Well he travelled wide and he travelled far
And when all was said and done
He went back home and opened up a piano bar
And he called it “Jefferson’s Favorite Son”

Quit shaving, grew his hair down past his shoulders
And wore a fringed John Lennon vest
Got snide remarks from some of the local elders
But he was loved by all the rest

Then every December as time marched on
He’d put on a red velvet suit
And perform his medley of holiday songs
To a 21 gun salute

Give ‘em hell Harry Truman, Give ‘em hell


The Great Divide 2011 Pazzo Music Studio CD, Vinyl
Adapted from the Styx Lyrics Archive formerly hosted at
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