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Artist: Steely Dan
Album: Pretzel Logic

Charlie Freak had but one thing to call his own
Three weight ounce pure golden ring no precious stone
Five nights without a bite
No place to lay his head
And if nobody takes him in
He'll soon be dead
On the street he spied my face I heard him hail
In our plot of frozen space he told his tale
Poor man, he showed his hand
So righteous was his need
And me so wise I bought his prize
For chicken feed

Newfound cash soon begs to smash a state of mind
Close inspection fast revealed his favorite kind
Poor kid, he overdid
Embraced the spreading haze
And while he sighed his body died
In fifteen ways

When I heard I grabbed a cab to where he lay
'Round his arm the plastic tag read D.O.A.
Yes Jack, I gave it back
The ring I could not own
Now come my friend I'll take your hand
And lead you home


by Gonzo on 2/28/2009 12:57am
I particularly like the Christmas bells
by LeftCoast on 4/14/2009 2:05pm
While not an overly-emotional person, I never fail to cry whenever I sing this song. The vivid picture it paints of greed, regret, and redemption are even more meaningful in these desperate and uncertain times.
by Ioannis Pegios on 11/12/2009 2:09pm
I love this song since i first heard it back in 1977. Pure Genius. By far the best song in Pretzel Logic
by Existential Loneliness on 10/24/2010 6:13pm
by kearo on 2/9/2011 3:36pm
brilliant album thought provoking song loved it.
by Lime on 8/11/2011 8:45pm
Beautifully sad song. One of their best I think.
by kiwi on 1/16/2012 3:09pm
I love this song.
by SL on 7/1/2012 6:20pm
So brilliantly tragic. This song always reduces me to tears.
by Greg on 10/10/2012 2:49pm
When you've been addicted and got straight this is all the more painful. Some of my friends didn't make it. You don't know the guilt I feel for helping them do this to themselves. Only God knows why it didn't happen to me.
by BUDnl on 5/29/2014 12:12am
I was 15 in 1974 when I heard this song first and it moved me then. Now, 40 years later, it STILL moves me to tears. Becker and Fagen are epic!

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