I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I dont want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things Ive done.
I dont want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I dont want to dress myself up in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all mens respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I dont want to think as I come and go
That Im bluster and a bluff or just an empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself--and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be,
Self-respecting and conscience free!