I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a super-nova
I could walk like brando right into the sun, an' dance just like a casanova
With my black-jack and jacket and my hair slicked sweet
Silver studs on my duds just like a harley in heat
When I strut down the street I can hear its' heartbeat
The sisters fell back and said "don't that man look pretty"
The cripple on the corner cried out "penny, nickels for your pity"
Them gasoline boys down-town, they sure talk gritty
It's so hard to be a saint in the city
I was the king of the alley, mama, I could talk some trash
I was the prince of the paupers, crowned down-town at the beggars' bash
I was a pimps main prophet, I kept everything cool
Just a back-street gambler with the luck to lo..ose
And when the heat came down it was left on the ground, mama
Devil appeared to me like jesus through the steam in the street, an'
Showed me a hand that even the cops couldn't beat
And I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat, and it's so hard to be a saint when you're just a poor bo..oy out on the street
And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
As the tracks clack out the rhythm, the eyes fixed straight ahead
They ride the line of balancin', hold on by just a thread
Well, it's too hot in these tunnels, you can get hit up by the heat
When you get up to get out at your next stop, but they push you right down in your seat
And your heart starts beatin' faster as you struggle to your feet
Then you're out of that hole!, back on the street
And them south-side sisters, they sure look pretty
And the cripple on the corner cries out "nickels for your pity"
And them down-town boys, they sure talk gritty
It's so hard to be a saint in the c..c..city