“But little they know

That it’s so hard to find

One rich man in ten

With a satisfied mind”

Is there one rich man in ten with a satisfied mind? Is one out of ten or less an empirically accurate portrayal of the spiritual health of the upper class? Is it really so hard to find a rich man with a satisfied mind? Should we be feeling sorry for all those “poor” 1% ers? This song, this old country song written by Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes and recorded extensively – by Johnny Cash, Porter imagesWagoner, Dylan, Baez, even Ella Fitzgerald! (I heard it first performed by Ian and Sylvia) – clearly posits a highly negative correlation between wealth and satisfaction. Last I looked, one out of ten is not exactly great odds.

Is it really easier to find satisfaction when you’re poor? Sounds like a load of “you know what” to me. However it is undeniably true that happiness is not easily purchased. As the Beatles said, “money can’t buy me love”. And, in general, most would agree that “better rich than poor”. Well, Bumbastories doesn’t want to get too heavy or philosophical at this juncture, but certainly many people have given this issue a lot of thought.

“Money, Money, Money, Money!” chanted the O’Jays. They cautioned that “Money is the root of all evil”. But, as a wise man once said (and I’ll conclude with this quote), “Rich or poor, it’s good to have money.”

Satisfied Mind is one of the first country songs I heard and that I tried to play on guitar. It’s pretty simple. I like the way it springs into the fifth each verse. I’m not sure of the lyrics anymore so I only played the tune on the harmonica, which is just as well. But here are the lyrics for your reading (and singing) pleasure. (As always, you are invited to please sing along).

How many times have
You heard someone say
If I had his money
I could do things my way

But little they know
That it’s so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind

Once I was winning
In fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed for
To get a start in life’s game

Then suddenly it happened
I lost every dime
But I’m richer by far
With a satisfied mind

Money can’t buy back
Your youth when you’re old
Or a friend when you’re lonely
Or a love that’s grown cold

The wealthiest person
Is a pauper at times
Compared to the man
With a satisfied mind

When my life has ended
And my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones
I’ll leave there’s no doubt

But one thing’s for certain
When it comes my time
I’ll leave this old world
With a satisfied mind

How many times have
You heard someone say
If I had his money
I could do things my way

But little they know
That it’s so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind

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