Listen to Good Man Down

When my father passed away in 2007, I struggled with the challenge of writing a song to honor him. As much as I loved him, it was difficult to properly eulogize his particular moral ambiguity. Shortly afterward, my friend (everybody’s friend) Kirk Rundstrom passed away, leaving me with the same quandary. This song is my eventual answer.


Good Man Down

© 2007 Bryan Masters

Em  F#m  G  Am  D

   G                                       D
A bedtime story like this won't let a man sleep
        Am                  C      G                  D
It’s a tale of loss and redemption and the secrets we keep
          G
And the voices we hear all alone
                          D
when the world's fallen quiet
         Am                          C             G
And the distance between where you are right now
                       D
and the dark and the light
           C                                G
Well you know what to do and you know what for
           Am                    C
When the night is as black as a Bible
       G                D
and wild as a Broadway whore
      C                                    G
Open one more bottle of fire and pass it around
         Em              G    Am  D
'Cuz tonight we'll remember
                 Em   F#m  G   Am  D  Em   F#m  G   Am  D
Another good man down

He had an eye for beauty and an ear for the truth
Chrome plated and ten feet tall and bulletproof
But every day, every coin, every story has two sides you see
We all know that beauty and truth can't always agree

Well you know what to do and you know what for
When the night is as cold as a razor and hard as the jailhouse door
Open one more bottle of fire and pass it around
'Cuz tonight we'll remember
Another good man down

        C
You’ll find your reward when they tally the score
             G
And you’ve come out one step ahead
         D
And the tables have turned and you find that you've earned
           G
One more slice of daily bread
                 C
But man they're slicing it thin so you stick out your chin
      G                        D
And take another swing at the shadows on the wall
                   Em   F#m  G   Am  D  Em   F#m  G   Am  D
And brother that's everything

So we'll measure the man by the way he faces himself
And stares down the demons of passion and time 
and despair and ill health
And we’ll circle the wagons for family 
and good work and prayer
At the end of the day that's the proudest victory 
the man can declare

Well you know what to do and you know what for
When the night is as loud as a pistol at an 
all-night Quick Stop store
Open one more bottle of fire and pass it around
'Cuz tonight we'll remember
Another good man down

Bryan Masters Music/ASCAP