Le répertoire de Dave Van Ronk était pour l’essentiel celui des chansons traditionnelles, et en particulier du blues. Mais il n’a pas pour autant négligé d’y introduire quelques chansons « à texte ». Celles qu’il a lui-même écrites, comme Losers ou Another Time And Place, que l’on trouve sur ce site, mais aussi certaines chansons de Joni Mitchell, comme Both Sides Now (que l’on trouve sur ce site sous le titre Clouds), ou encore cette belle version de That Song About The Midway, très caractéristique de son auteure par le regard de folie un peu désespérée qu’elle jette sur sa propre vie.

THAT SONG ABOUT THE MIDWAY

I met you on a midway at a fair last year
And you stood out like a ruby in a black man’s ear
You were playing on the horses, you were playing on the strings
You were playing like a devil wearing wings

Wearing wings, you looked so grand wearing wings
Do you tape them to your shoulders just to sing
Can you fly? I heard you can, can you fly?
Like an eagle doin’ your hunting from the sky

I followed with the sideshows to another town
And I saw you in a trailer on the camping grounds
You were betting on some lovers, you were shaking up the dice
And I thought I saw you cheating once or twice

Once or twice, I heard your bid once or twice
Were you wondering, was the gamble worth the price
Pack it in, I heard you did, pack it in
Was it hard to fold a hand you knew could win

So lately you’ve been hiding, it was somewhere in the news
And I’m still at these races with my ticket stubs and blues
And a voice calls out the numbers and it sometimes mentions mine
And I feel like I’ve been working overtime

Overtime, I’m getting tired overtime
Always playin’ one more hand for one more dime
Slowin’ down, I’m gettin’ tired, slowin’ down
And I envy you the valley that you’ve found

‘Cause I’m midway down the midway
Slowin’ down