Published: March 19, 2009
I once knew a cop by the name of Pete
A copper, a copper
His manners were perfect and couldn't be beat
Was proper, was proper
He was a nice guy--
Couldn't hurt a small fly
Without him, the force: incomplete.
This copper was really the nicest I knew
So pleasant, so pleasant
I'd always give Peter the finest I'd brew
A present, a present
He'd say, "Hi!" with a smile,
Make my life worthwhile
We were friends -- Inseparable, us two.
But on one summer morning, while out on his beat,
An average day, aside from the heat
Was burning! Was burning!
He found a drunk driver
A prison survivor
Out on bail, but he'd catch this cheat!
And so he began a high-speed chase
He's speeding! He's speeding!
He pulled the car over and won the race
But to his surprise,
Before his own eyes,
The man floored it and sped out of the place.
He found the car crashed a mile down the road
On fire! On fire!
The driver was dead: croaked like a toad
A pyre! A pyre!
But under the rubble
There was yet more trouble:
A girl, trapped under the load.
The girl screamed shrilly with obvious pain
And fear! And fear!
Unable to help her, though it was a strain
To hear! To hear!
But what could he do?
It's not like he knew
Can't just wait for the weather to rain.
He couldn't approach her though he wanted to try
The heat! The heat!
A crowd gathered 'round, watched the smoke drift to the sky
Poor Pete! Poor Pete
Stood in front of the mob
But all heard, with a sob
The girl scream that she wanted to die.
He couldn't just kill her: That'd be a crime!
The law, the law
But to let her suffer: Not worth a dime!
A flaw, a flaw
Decisions to make,
Lives to take,
And still the girl screamed all this time.
And so the crowd shouted with no lack of breath,
"Just kill her! Just kill her!"
He stood, indecisive, just like Macbeth
A pillar, a pillar
Didn't know what to do,
And as he thought it through,
She screamed as she burned to her death.
And after what happened in poor Peter's tale
So tragic, so tragic
That cop quit work, disappeared without a trail
Like magic, like magic
Poor Peter's gone
They say he's withdrawn
Some have searched, but to no avail.
But you see the man there who looks like a flop-er?
The drunkie, the drunkie
Who'll drink beer after beer 'till he's out full and proper?
The junkie, the junkie
I knew that man, once
Wasn't always a dunce:
I tell ya, he once was a copper.