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NO MAN STANDS ALONE - The Ballad of Barney Ross

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Below is the poem entitled NO MAN STANDS ALONE - The Ballad of Barney Ross which was written by poet Art Wright. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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NO MAN STANDS ALONE - The Ballad of Barney Ross

CHORUS
No man stands alone
in the street, the ring or the combat zone
some lay in the gutter
some sit on a throne
but no man stands alone

At the age of fourteen 
he had a dream
to become a rabbi 
Chicago 1924
then his dad was killed by men
who tried to rob the family store
his brothers and sisters were sent away
to an orphanage where they would stay
and though his faith was blown away
he vowed to bring them home someday

To God and man revenge he swore
he walked with gamblers, 
hoods and whores
he fit right in 
then on a whim
he walked into a boxing gym
he fought Canzoneri in ‘33
for the lightweight title victory
he made up with God 
and finally
he could reclaim his family

Those McLarnon fights 
were the stuff of lore
the only man 
to ever put him on the floor
he won two out of three, 
then in the Armstrong bout
he nearly died 
but was never knocked out
then in 1941
the Japanese pulled a sneaky one
so he joined the marines 
and he got a gun
and he sailed into the rising sun

On Guadalcanal, 
he fought so brave
overmatched like old King Dave
he put twenty attackers 
in an early grave
for the one marine 
whose life he saved
in a hospital bed 
for months and days
they kept him in a morphine haze
then sent him home 
strung out and beat
to the pushers on the mean, mean street

Hollywood was very keen
to put his story on the silver screen
but they focused on the drug abuse
he tried to sue 
but what’s the use?
Barney Ross was brave and strong
they couldn’t keep him down for long
his rabbi said that he must try
to be a model Jew in the public eye

but from the public eye he slipped
like a phantom radar blip
they say he hunted Nazi criminals
and he ran some guns to Israel

Barney Ross was brave and strong
I thought that he deserved a song
he did some bad
he did some good
and he saved the world
the best he could

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