Don’t claim copyright unless you ACTUALLY made something

One of my friends, Roy Atkinson, used to make a living as a singer/songwriter. I love the songs he wrote, and while I missed getting to hear him sing when he retired from being a musician, I loved getting to geek out with him talking about his new career in computers.

But today, he noticed something on the internet: someone was claiming one of his songs as their own.  Now, the person isn’t attempting to make any money off the song, but when I did a search on the lyrics, that site was the only one that came up. Nowhere was there any reference to Roy’s 1982 album “Beginnings and Ends”, where this song is track 4 on side 1.

The dude was claiming to have written the song for a woman he met, and had the audacity to write:

(Song is copyrighted) **Please don’t steal**
“Another Bottle of Wine” -for [woman’s handle redacted]

I could not allow that to stand.

So I went to the Internet Archive, and I found an archive of the song lyrics and guitar tablature from another friend’s cover of the song in 1994 that was captured by the Wayback Machine off my website in January 1998.  Hopefully, here it will get a little Google love and that plagiarist’s bad copy of the lyrics won’t be the only hit in Google, and my friend can get the credit he deserves.

Pay the Bill in the Morning
by Roy Atkinson
as sung by Dennis D’Asaro.

Dennis capoed 3 (in C) when he played this 1 Dec 94. It is rekeyed here to be in D (capo 1)
Transcription thanks to Alan Catelli (

D         D/F#          Bm
It was a casual conversation
G      A                D
In a casual kind of a place
G      A            D      Bm
Just a passing fasination
G             Bm                           A
Though I must say she had an interesting face

She was a small town girl, a bit lonesome;
I was one of the boys in the band.
Small town girls, good Lord, I've know some;
I was getting tired of the one night stands...

I said:

 D              A                Bm    Bm/A
"Bring us down another bottle of wine, Maria;
G            A                D
Let us have another hour of time.
G       A                 D            G    Em
I'll go home when I can stand to be alone,
              Bm                   A
But here and now I'm doing just fine...
Bring me some wine..."

She said that she had a man in the service;
I said, "Well, I've got a woman back home."
She said, "You're looking kinda nervous."
I said, "Yeah, I'd really rather be gone."

She said, "Well, you can't help what your feeling;
And, my friend, neither can I:
Sometimes you can't touch the ceiling
Even if you're reaching for the sky."

And she said,

Well, I guess I know what your thinking:
And, my friend, you're thinking it wrong.
If you think what I'd been drinking
Made me want to take the girl home.

Sometimes you pay the bill in the morning
For the place where your spending the night.
You can't say you had no warning
When deep in your heart you know it ain't right...


Sometimes, its something she says that's worth keeping...
Sometimes, its something you read in her smile...
Lets you go home, spend the night sleeping,
Sometimes, that's what you need for a while.

Sometimes you pay the bill in the morning
For the bed where your spending the night.
Please don't say you never had warning
When deep in your heart you know it ain't right...

Chorus (ad libbed)