Harry Chapin - Dirt Gets Under The Fingernails Lyrics

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Now he was a man who worked with his hands

Only in a motor, he found peace

He could make an engine sing like a bird

He could find his only kind of release

When he was up to the elbows in the grease



She dreamed of a time for painting

As she was cleanin' up his stains from the rug

She'd play all day with their children

And try to meet him with a welcome and hug

As he came shufflin' through the house with a shrug



I tell you dirt gets under the fingernails

And hate gets under the skin

But a dream got a way of gettin' down to the bone

And the heart of a body that it's in



While he was makin' magic with his piston machines

She was cleanin' up the mess, he'd left behind

She was tryin' to make it through to the end of the day

With a little empty time

And do the paintin' that meant peace of mind



I tell you dirt gets under the fingernails

And hate gets under the skin

But a dream got a way of gettin' down to the bone

And the heart of a body that it's in



Well one day she didn't bother 'bout makin' his bed

She hurried all the children out the door

And she let the bills and the marketing go

And she went and almost bought out an art supply store



It just so happened that day he got to thinkin'

Of the grease that always covered up his skin

So he left the garage a little early

He got a shave and a manicure and trim

Came out clean as a plaster mannequin



He came home in a hurry

But he almost didn't recognize the place

It looked like, it'd been hit by a hurricane

There was canvas fillin' every open space

And she had paint all over her face



I tell you dirt gets under the fingernails

And hate gets under the skin

But a dream got a way of gettin' down to the bone

And the heart of a body that it's in



They both stood stunned into silence

Then their laughter exploded like a shout

And he went out to make some magic in the kitchen

The clean man learnin' what cookin' was about

And the dirty girl paintin', her messy heart out



I tell you dirt gets under the fingernails

And hate gets under the skin

But a dream got a way of gettin' down to the bone

And the heart of a body that it's in

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