"Best for the Best" as written by and Josh / Ritter....
Once I knew a girl in the hard hard times
She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes
Now she's gone but when I wear it she crosses my mind
And if the best is for the best then the best is unkind

I realized that Illinois was more than I could stand
They say working's best cause poverty is hell on a man
Now I ride a lazy river through the Mississippi fan
And if the best is for the best then the best can be damned

I spent a few years on the Queen of Spain
She was a leaky little boat that went up in flames
When the boiler blew some people started naming names
But if the best is for the best I guess the best is to blame

I spent a few more as the Cairo Crown
A heavyweight wrestler in the Midwest towns
But I was lonesome for a girl who could pin me down
They say the best is for the best but that's not what I've found

Now I listen to my sweetheart and I listen to my thirst
I don't spend time listening to other people's words
Sometimes they're right most times the reverse
They say the best is for the best when the best?s for the worse

Once I knew a girl in the hard hard times
She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes
Now she's gone but when I wear it she crosses my mind
And if the best is for the best then the best is unkind


Lyrics submitted by EffulgentEnnui, edited by tpeverett1

"Best for the Best" as written by Josh Ritter

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Best for the Best song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenton the live cd/dvd 'in the dark' josh introduces this song "this song is dedicated to mark twain, who said loyalty to your country always, loyalty to your government when it deserves it". which makes me think there's a political subtext here that i'm missing.
    anyone noticed the huge number of mark twain allusions in josh's songs?
    wookie007on October 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of my favorite cuts from Josh.

    I wouldn't downplay the possible political message. He did open the song on the live album with a Mark Twain quote that is highly political and I believe that it fits well. Josh was highly critical of the Bush administration and I think this is a potential stab at it i.e. "if the best is for the best then the best is unkind". A relationship going awry is correct or rather somebody hurting the narrator, in the case of this song it can be both the government or an old partner.

    wdr1907on December 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song.
    tbsbrandnewdcjewon March 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSort of like "The one who got away" message.
    "If the best is for the best then the best is unkind"
    is a fucking amazing lyric.
    Little_Earthquakeson May 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenton the live cd/dvd 'in the dark' josh introduces this song "this song is dedicated to mark twain, who said loyalty to your country always, loyalty to your government when it deserves it". which makes me think there's a political subtext here that i'm missing.
    anyone noticed the huge number of mark twain allusions in josh's songs?
    wookie007on October 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm from Illinois, so I see that in a lot of Josh Ritter's refrences.

    Cairo is a town in southern Illinois, Little Egypt.
    daisycaiton February 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwookie007: i haven't seen the live cd, but if he said the song is dedicated to mark twain then i'd guess it is more biographical (e.g., twain worked as a steamboat pilot on the mississippi) than a reference to his political beliefs?
    wei1on June 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeems like its about a girl/s that either broke up/never went out with the guy because it was for the best. But this not what he's found. Great song.
    amhereston February 13, 2010   Link

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