Mudcat Café message #2650918 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102273   Message #2650918
Posted By: Stringsinger
07-Jun-09 - 07:53 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Buddy Can you Spare a Dime - who was Al?
Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a D
The reason it's "brother" is to then contrast the name with the end of the song which says,
"Buddy, can you spare a dime?" The "Buddy" part makes the stark observation of the
words of a panhandler. The removal of the term "buddy" from "brother" means the distance
poverty brings to people during a Depression. The "buddy" is a desperate plea. It used to be "Al all the time". Al was everyone's friend until he became destitute. That's what economic collapse does to a country as we are about to find out.

Yip was the most subtle of lyricists.