1. Pay the Piper

From the recording Every Soul Grows to the Light

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Pay the Piper

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Written over the course of years, this song imagines a meeting between the Piper (who works for his money) and the Devil (who gets money by creating need, lack and fear.) This song features Michael Smith, songwriter of The Dutchman, considered one of the greatest songs of all time, and the acclaimed trio Sons of the Never Wrong.

Jenny Bienemann, vocals and guitar; Andon Davis, guitar; Klem Hayes, bass; Heather Lynne Horton, violin; Bruce Roper, accordion; Ron Lazzeretti, harmony vocals; Jodi Walker, harmony vocals; Sue Demel, Deborah Maris Lader, and Bruce Roper on harmony vocals; Michael Smith as the Devil.


Jenny Bienemann
Each morning on this very street
The Piper and the Devil’s paths cross, and their eyes meet
The Piper is aching, he rubs tired eyes
The Devil is laughing, leaning against the side of his gleaming Rolls Royce
He says, “Hey Piper, hey friend,
See you dropping your invoice always at the end of a hard day
They see you coming, they start running
They pay what’s owing by throwing crumpled dollar bills over their shoulder
"Now me, I get paid
I mean, paid; I mean, really really really really well paid
Down on one knee, that’s how they greet me
With all their money in smooth piles of thousand dollar bills
"Allelu-YUM!  They’re under my thumb
If they think that it will help they’ll eat it by the ton.
"Friend, you work too hard
You gotta let life knock ‘em down, cause when they drop their guard
The tinest thing, they think the sky is falling
It’s appalling how fast they pick up when they see it’s me calling
"Piper, use your brain
No one wants to pay for what they use, wait till they’re in pain
If they think you’ll cure, they will pay for sure
Even when it hurts they’ll never stop to ask if you’re a blessing or a curse
Allelu-YAY!  The Devil saved the day!
If they think that you will save them, they will pay and pay .”
            The Piper says to his nemesis
            “I see what you always miss
             How each soul grows to the light
             How all your work can be undone in one flash of insight.
              "Allelu-MAN!  They just got the plan
              Now they know they have to save themselves,
              You’re on the lam.”
Each morning it goes this way
The Devil gets his feelings hurt and hits the highway
The Piper is kneeling, he is bending low
To lift a daisy to his buttonhole