"Beg Steal Or Borrow" as written by Graeme Hall, Tony Cole and Steve Wolfe....
So your home town's bringing you down
Are ya drowning in the small talk and the chatter
Or you gonna step into line like your daddy done
Punching the time and driving life's long ladder

You've been howling at the moon like a slack jawed fool
And breaking every rule they can throw on
But one of these days it's gonna be right soon
You'll find your legs and go and stay gone

Young man, full of big plans and thinking about tomorrow
Young man, going to make a stand
You beg, steal, you borrow
Ya beg, ya steal, ya borrow

Well all the friends that you knew in school
They used to be so cool now they just bore you
Well look at them now, already pulling the plow
So quick to take to grain like some old mule

Young man, full of big plans and thinking about tomorrow
Young man, going to make a stand
You beg, steal, you borrow
You beg, you steal, you borrow

Dreaming of the day
You're gonna pack your bags
Put the miles away
Oh, just grab your girl and go
Where no one knows you
What will all the old folks say?

So the home town's bringing you down
Are you drowning in the small talk and the chatter?
Or you gonna step into line like your daddy done
Punching the time and climbing life's long ladder

Young man, full of big plans and thinking about tomorrow
Young man, going to make a stand
You beg, steal, you borrow
You beg, you steal, you borrow

Lyrics submitted by wheresthelove024

"Beg Steal or Borrow" as written by Raycharles Jack Lamontagne


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Beg Steal Or Borrow song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentAwesome song to go with an awesome album!
    Juveluveon September 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWhen I heard this song I immediately thought it was a Joni Mitchell cover-- but apparently it is not, although it may be a conscious nod to her music/style.

    Yeah it's definitely about growing up, but I think it's a bit more nuanced than that.

    To me it's actually a very sad/melancholy/nostalgic song. It almost seems like it could be an old man thinking back on his life, or perhaps an older man imparting advice to a younger man. There's this sort of ambivalence about striking out on his own and leaving the hometown, and the young man is at this crossroads in his life: he could "step into line like your Daddy done," essentially conform to society's/his family's expectation and "pull the plow" like his friends are doing -- OR -- he could leave and "stay gone." (And "what will all the old folks say?")

    There's this romanticism about just up and leaving, escaping it all. (He's "dreaming of the day.") Yet, the chorus hints at the darker side of that course: possibly living in poverty, having to beg and steal etc. It remains unknown whether the "big plans" actually have a chance of success or if the young man's choice to leave is actually a poor choice which will lead to suffering and ruin (probably what the "old folks" would say to persuade him to stay). And so in that way it sort of reduces to the themes of possibility/adventure/freedom vs deterministic certainty. Or another way to put it would be risk vs safety. I think it's interesting that we never find out for sure what he eventually chooses.

    I think ultimately because he's "drowning in the small-talk" and being suffocated by his hometown-reality, he almost has no choice in terms of leaving. Yes it would be "safer" to stay, but maybe he's just a different kind of person than those content to conform and remain at home, and he needs to see more in life/more of the world than his peers/elders. In the process of growing up and maturing, especially if you are "different" in some way, the moment in life that is the subject of the song; it can be extremely difficult emotionally. It is not easy to realize just who you are, what you want in life, what stands/sacrifices you are indeed willing to make. Although it is a struggle, that process of self-realization is really at the core of who we become when we reach adulthood.

    Maybe this fact is only fully understood in retrospect, and while one is going through the process it is just confusing and terrifying. And this is where the bittersweet quality of the song comes into play, in that if it is an old man looking back on his life-- he's remembering that turning point in his life and how he felt, both the fear and the freedom, the sense of possibility... but now that he's reaped the harvest of those choices he can understand it in a way that is more complete.
    Hewoahon January 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationRay L. grew up in Morgan, Utah during his teen years. It is a very small religious farming community. I live by this town and have several friends from there. My friends who went to school with him say he hated living there. I think this song is about his experience living there and leaving it -having to beg, steal, and borrow to move on.
    efyjennon December 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt basically states about a person moving on with their life, leaving the friends that weren't worth it behind along with the hometown.

    Basically about growing up.
    MusicISLife22on March 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMan, I really can empathize with Ray L. here because my small town is drowning me in the small talk and the incessant chatter.
    HeyitsEmon February 13, 2013   Link

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