Blind Alfred ReedĀ  - HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVEĀ 

First performance: 20/04/2006


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song 65 times and played it during every show of the Seeger Sessions tour. The song was also performed during two off-tour stops on 09 May 2006 at St. Lukes Church, London during the Sold On Song special for BBC and on 05 Jun 2006 at NBC Studio's, Burbank, CA, during The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. 
 
 
2006-04-20 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
2006-04-24 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
2006-04-25 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
2006-04-26 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
2006-04-30 - NEW ORLEANS FAIRGROUNDS, NEW ORLEANS, LA (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)
2006-05-05 - POINT THEATRE, DUBLIN, IRELAND
2006-05-07 - MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS ARENA, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
2006-05-08 - HAMMERSMITH APOLLO, LONDON, ENGLAND
2006-05-09 - LSO ST LUKE'S, LONDON, ENGLAND (BBC)
2006-05-10 - PALAIS OMNISPORTS DE PARIS-BERCY, PARIS, FRANCE
2006-05-12 - DATCH FORUM, MILAN, ITALY
2006-05-14 - PAVELLÓ OLÍMPIC DE BADALONA, BARCELONA, SPAIN
2006-05-16 - HEINEKEN MUSIC HALL, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
2006-05-17 - FESTHALLE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY
2006-05-20 - OSLO SPEKTRUM, OSLO, NORWAY
2006-05-21 - HOVET, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
2006-05-27 - TWEETER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, MANSFIELD, MA
2006-05-28 - NISSAN PAVILION, BRISTOW, VA
2006-05-30 - GERMAIN AMPHITHEATER, COLUMBUS, OH
2006-05-31 - VERIZON WIRELESS MUSIC CENTER, NOBLESVILLE, IN
2006-06-03 - GLENDALE ARENA, GLENDALE, AZ
2006-06-05 - GREEK THEATRE, LOS ANGELES, CA
2006-06-05 - STUDIO 3, NBC STUDIOS, BURBANK, CA (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)
2006-06-06 - SLEEP TRAIN PAVILION, CONCORD, CA
2006-06-10 - WELLS FARGO ARENA, DES MOINES, IA
2006-06-11 - XCEL ENERGY CENTER, ST. PAUL, MN
2006-06-13 - FIRST MIDWEST BANK AMPHITHEATER, TINLEY PARK, IL
2006-06-14 - BRADLEY CENTER, MILWAUKEE, WI
2006-06-16 - BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER, CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH
2006-06-17 - DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATRE, CLARKSTON, MI
2006-06-19 - SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY
2006-06-20 - TWEETER CENTER AT THE WATERFRONT, CAMDEN, NJ
2006-06-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
2006-06-24 - PNC BANK ARTS CENTER, HOLMDEL, NJ
2006-06-25 - PNC BANK ARTS CENTER, HOLMDEL, NJ
2006-10-01 - PALAMALAGUTI, BOLOGNA, ITALY
2006-10-02 - PALAISOZAKI, TORINO, ITALY
2006-10-04 - VILLA MANIN, UDINE, ITALY
2006-10-05 - ARENA DI VERONA, VERONA, ITALY
2006-10-07 - ARENA SANTA GIULIANA, PERUGIA, ITALY
2006-10-08 - PALAMAGGIÒ, CASERTA, ITALY
2006-10-10 - PALALOTTOMATICA, ROME, ITALY
2006-10-12 - COLOR LINE ARENA, HAMBURG, GERMANY
2006-10-13 - SPORTPALEIS AHOY, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
2006-10-19 - PLAZA DE TOROS DE LAS VENTAS, MADRID, SPAIN
2006-10-21 - ESTADIO CIUTAT DE VALÈNCIA, VALENCIA, SPAIN
2006-10-22 - PLAZA DE TOROS DE GRANADA, GRANADA, SPAIN
2006-10-24 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA, SPAIN
2006-10-25 - PABELLÓN DEPORTIVO, SANTANDER, SPAIN
2006-10-28 - PARKEN STADIUM, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
2006-10-29 - OSLO SPEKTRUM, OSLO, NORWAY
2006-10-30 - GLOBE ARENA, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
2006-11-06 - KÖLNARENA, COLOGNE, GERMANY
2006-11-07 - SPORTPALEIS, ANTWERP, BELGIUM
2006-11-09 - THE NEC ARENA, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
2006-11-11 - WEMBLEY ARENA, LONDON, ENGLAND
2006-11-12 - WEMBLEY ARENA, LONDON, ENGLAND
2006-11-14 - HALLAM FM ARENA, SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND
2006-11-17 - POINT THEATRE, DUBLIN, IRELAND
2006-11-18 - POINT THEATRE, DUBLIN, IRELAND
2006-11-19 - POINT THEATRE, DUBLIN, IRELAND
2006-11-21 - ODYSSEY ARENA, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND
2012-04-29 - NEW ORLEANS FAIRGROUNDS, NEW ORLEANS, LA (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)
2014-05-03 - NEW ORLEANS FAIRGROUNDS, NEW ORLEANS, LA (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)
2014-05-06 - CYNTHIA WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION, HOUSTON, TX
 

Songinfo

"How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? " is an American folk song originally recorded on December 4, 1929 in New York City. It was written, composed, and performed by Blind Alfred Reed, accompanying himself on the violin. The song tells of hard times during the Great Depression. It is considered an early example of a protest song.
 
There was once a time when everything was cheap.
But now prices almost puts a man to sleep.
When we pay our grocery bill,
we just feel like making our will.
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Other cover versions

 

Bruce on the artist

Bruce told Australian journalist Sean Sennett on 05 Jun 2006 before the Tonight Show taping in Los Angeles:
 
"Jon Landau, my manager, sent me a tape of Ry Cooder doing the song, and I just liked it musically. He kind of sang the Blind Alfred Reed lyric, but for me there was a place to make it more current." Springsteen reworked the song for his Seeger Sessions tour. He kept only the last verse from Blind Alfred Reed's version, and wrote 3 additional verses related to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans) disaster and its aftermath. It is reported that he did record the song in studio with the Seeger Sessions Band during the last of the three "Seeger Sessions", but he did not include it on his 2006 cover album, We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions. Bruce and his Seeger Sessions band played the song at a "private" rehearsal on 13 Apr 2006 at the Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ. The song was played during all 4 public rehearsal shows for The Seeger Sessions tour: 20, 24, 25, and 26 Apr 2006 at the Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ.

Lyrics

Well the doctor comes 'round here with his face all bright
And he says "in a little while you'll be alright"
All he gives is a humbug pill, a dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

"Me and my old school pals had some mighty high times down here
And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain't fair"
He took a look around, gave a little pep talk, said "I'm with you" then he took a little walk
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to Hell
Martha, get me my sixteen gauge and some dry shells
Them who's got got out of town and them who ain't got left to drown
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

Go ahead!

Got family scattered from Texas all the way to Baltimore
Yeah and I ain't got no home in this world no more
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact, a righteous train rollin' down this track
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live