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Song

Lyrics by: Bobby Russell
# Debut Chart
80 Dec '68 Hot 100
15 Dec '68 Country

Lyrics

[SPOKEN] He was born one mornin' It was cold and it was snowin' And from the start he never had a chance And though the doctors said he couldn't live His mama had some faith to give N' they brought him to her and his mama named him Vance


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He was sick a long time then I used to sit by him I'd rub his head and he would squeeze my hand But he never cried, he'd grit his teeth and smile at me 'Cause he couldn't speak And that's when I began to respect the little man And I think Vance was three right about then He started school and one day He came home and at the doorway I could tell The little man didn't want to come inside He had met a girl but her boyfriend Smitty Had caught him walkin' home with her And nearly killed Vance But then Vance never cried And the only thing that Smitty hurt was pride And he said [SUNG] 'Papa do you become a man when you're twenty-one?' And I said 'Age doesn't make a man a man, my son' [SPOKEN] He looked at me so puzzled with eyes so young and kind N' I think Vance was seven about that time [BRIDGE] I guess they say that first love is the very best At least it was with Vance 'Cause he'd scratched 'Becky' on his desk But Becky went with Smitty and Vance was very small And he used to dream what it'd be like to be tall And then a few years later Vance came in one day And told me and his mama that he had to go away To be fitted for a uniform And though his mama she'd a tear He kissed her and said he'd see us in two years And he looked at me and said 'Papa, I'm gonna be a man' [BRIDGE] Well, two years to the day Vance came walkin' in the driveway n' I didn't recognize him from his size till he got near He came in and he hugged his mama And said 'Hey, Papa, little man, wanna go with me somewhere n' grab a beer?' So we're sittin' at this table when This fella at the bar started buggin' Vance Callin' him 'Soldier' But Vance kept his cool And he said 'Papa, that guy is Smitty and he's to be pitied now' 'Cause that's the same guy that used to bully me in school' Then Smitty said the wrong thing When he brought up Becky's name n' Vance finally stood and said 'Boy, what did you say?' And it did my heart so much good when Vance hit ole Smitty And it took two of Smitty's friends to carry him away Well, Vance left the very next mornin' n' It was cold and it was snowin' And from the first, life hadn't been much fun But he had finally made a stand n' He'd become a self-made man and Incidentally, he had just turned twenty-one

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