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DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)

01 Nov 08 - 12:17 PM (#2481677)
Subject: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: John Hardly

I stumbled upon this very powerful song the other day. After an internet lyrics search netted me a goose egg, I thought I'd post my transcription here. If you wish to hear the song, there's a youTube link below.

It's What You Do With What You've Got
(Si Kahn)

You must know someone like him
He was tall and strong and lean
With a body like a greyhound
And a mind so sharp and keen
But his heart, just like a laurel
Grew twisted 'round itself
'Til almost everything he did
Brought pain to someone else

Well, it's not just what you're born with
It's what you choose to bear
It's not how big your share is
It's how much you can share
It's not the fights you dreamed of
It's those you've really fought
It's not what you've been given
It's what you do with what you've got

Oh, what's the use of two strong legs
If you only run away?
And what's the use of the finest voice
If you've nothing good to say?
What's the use in strength of muscle
If you only push and shove?
And what's the use in two good ears
If you can't hear those you love?

Between those who use their neighbors
And those who use the cane?
Between those in constant power
And those in constant pain?
Between those who run to glory
And those who cannot run?
Tell me which ones are the cripples
And which ones touch the sun?

Which ones touch the sun?


It's What You Do With What You've Got


01 Nov 08 - 12:31 PM (#2481691)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: quokka

A friend of mine has just recorded this brilliant song...I love it. Very powerful.


01 Nov 08 - 12:41 PM (#2481698)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: Willa

A Si Kahn song - I love it.


01 Nov 08 - 01:47 PM (#2481753)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: John Hardly

Thanks for the tip. Knowing that it's a Si Kahn song, I was able to find his lyrics. Subtly different but maybe they fill in some blanks I wondered about.


01 Nov 08 - 03:28 PM (#2481798)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: peregrina

Often sung by Dick Gaughan and on three of his CDs (here).
And Roy Bailey does it too.


01 Nov 08 - 03:47 PM (#2481808)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: The Borchester Echo

Roy Bailey's been opening his set with it for the past 20 years, and the way Dick Gaughan performs it is magnificent. Eddi Reader is very . . . histrionic.


01 Nov 08 - 03:56 PM (#2481814)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: The Borchester Echo

Oh, and maybe someone could change the title of the thread to It's Not Just What You're Born With.


01 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM (#2481822)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: It's What You Do
From: The Borchester Echo

That posted itself, omitting a wodge.

What I wrote was change the thread title to What You Do With What You've Got which is the title as Si Kahn wrote it.

And I continued with:

And while they're about it they should change the Digitrad where it is listed as It's Not Just What You're Born With.


01 Nov 08 - 09:01 PM (#2482054)
Subject: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: Joe Offer

John Hardly's lyrics and the lyrics in the Digital Tradition are close to the original, but here's what's in the CD booklet for the Si Kahn retrospective album, In My Heart

WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT
(Si Kahn)

You must know someone like him,
He was tall and strong and lean,
Body like a greyhound,
Mind so sharp and keen
But his heart, just like a laurel,
Grew twisted on itself,
'Til almost everything he did
Brought pain to someone else.

CHORUS:
It's not just what you're born with,
It's what you choose to bear;
It's not how large your share is,
But how much you can share;
It's not the fights you dream of,
But those you really fought;
It's not just what you're given,
But what you do with what you've got.


For what's the use of two strong legs,
If you only run away?
What good is the finest voice,
If you've nothing good to say?
What good are strength and muscle,
If you only push and shove?
What's the use of two good ears,
If you can't hear those you love?
CHORUS

Between those who use their neighbor
And those who use a cane,
Between those in constant power
And those in constant pain,
Between those who run to evil
And those who cannot run,
Tell me, which ones are the cripples,
And which ones touch the sun?
CHORUS

Copyright Joe Hill Music
filename[ BORNWITH
DC


The Eddi Reader recording uses an interesting tune that is completely unrelated to Si Kahn's tune. I like the Si Kahn version better, but it's the one I've known for years.
-Joe-


01 Nov 08 - 10:44 PM (#2482120)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kah
From: Charley Noble

They don't come much better than Si Kahn for living out what he is writing about.

Charley Noble


01 Nov 08 - 11:14 PM (#2482135)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kah
From: RTim

It was hearing this song that made me stop singing for a number of years - I did not seem to have enough to say. Tim Radford


02 Nov 08 - 06:30 PM (#2482785)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kah
From: Musket

Dates me, really does.

Many years ago, heard Roy Bailey sing it and went away and learned it.

Says something of the time that I changed a line to be topical;

"Botha runs to evil, Mandela cannot run"

If I were to do it again, there would be a danger I sang that line instead of the normal one. Leave it to others then. (Especially Dick Gaughan..)


02 Nov 08 - 08:18 PM (#2482867)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: Joe_F

Very sensible. Rubs in my shame: I am always (day)dreaming of fights. Doesn't make me behave any better, tho.


26 Mar 14 - 12:25 PM (#3612943)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: GUEST,Rob

Anyone know the guitar chords to this song?? I'd love to learn it!


27 Mar 14 - 08:53 AM (#3613155)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: GUEST

https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr


31 Oct 16 - 03:22 PM (#3817436)
Subject: What You Do With What You've Got
From: GUEST,Me

Eddi Reader's version of this wonderful song is exquisite


01 Nov 16 - 03:38 AM (#3817495)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: GUEST,Some bloke

Coincidence that this thread has come back. The Musket version hadn't been sung for donkeys years so I sat down only the other day and worked out a totally different arrangement. It'll get an airing tonight at a local folk club.


07 Dec 18 - 12:40 PM (#3965285)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: GUEST,Pregoid

Anyone got a copy of the Gas Mark V version of What You Do With What You've Got?


11 Sep 19 - 05:41 PM (#4008433)
Subject: RE: DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn)
From: open mike

I want to learn this.....got the lyrics printed out and when i went to work out the tune I kept doing "the yellow rose of Texas" and it fits in well to the meter!   I need to substitute another plant for "laurel" as, that being my actual name, i feel funny singing about laurels twisting around themselves...I may insert "bindweed" or some such!