The price you pay to have someone watch over you

Who or what am I?

I'm no lawman, no soldier, no hero standing tall.

Yet each must pay this price in turn, to have somebody to watch over us all.

Hints:

The answer is a single word, nine letters.

The answer involves wordplay. The answer is a word in itself, but also a portmanetau of two shorter words which are the answers to the second line.

Happy to offer hints, incorporate feedback if given!

• @luxmi12, have you cracked the riddle? Or are you affiliated with the OP? – CodeNewbie Aug 4 '15 at 10:06
• @CodeNewbie I've not cracked the riddle, no. The OP added some hints, I just altered the formatting :) – luxmi12 Aug 4 '15 at 11:00

You are a

Vigilante. Not a lawman, soldier or hero.

When you watch over someone, that is a

vigil

And the price we all pay is

ante, all the players in poker have to pay the 'ante' to play

And so the price you pay for someone to watch over you is literally a

vigil ante.

• what's more, the "in turn" hooks in very nicely to your paying explanation – Kate Gregory Aug 31 '15 at 13:36
• Congratulations! I'd give you the tick if i'd somehow not messed up and created two different accounts with the same name somehow... – Micat Sep 1 '15 at 9:04
• – Kevin Sep 1 '15 at 17:24

The price we pay is

Death

Reasoning:

Death is definitely not a lawman, soldier, nor a hero. And everyone dies at some point. When we die, we can a) take this in a religious direction and say that either God or Satan is watching over us or b) take it in a literal direction and say that people will be watching over us at the funeral/the burial.

• FWIW, I suspect reading your answer led my subconscious to the answer I've given below. Funny how that works. – BoboDClown Aug 5 '15 at 20:42

First,

I have interpreted "each ... in turn" to refer to the subjects of the first line ("lawman, soldier, hero"), rather than to "us all" in the second.

"Lifeguard"

because

Police (lawmen), Soldiers and other hero-types all dedicate their lives to guarding everyone else's.

• +1, this has to be the right answer. At the very least, as a nine letter word which answers the riddle, it should have more than one upvote after a day. – Roland Aug 6 '15 at 20:18

The price we pay for someone to "watch over us all" is

taxes - you are the IRS.

I'm no lawman, no soldier, no hero standing tall.

the "taxman" does not make laws, just enforces them. He doesn't fight, and is typically not considered a hero

Yet each must pay this price in turn...

As each of us grow older, and can no longer be considered a dependent, we must begin to file for taxes (I admit, not everyone is taxed, so it doesn't quite fit here)

to have somebody to watch over us all

Our tax dollars fund government agencies, including the long reach of the NSA, which actively engages in domestic surveillance (as famously exposed by Edward Snowden recently)

• We don't pay taxes "in turn". And each of us don't pay tax. The poor are not taxed. – CodeNewbie Aug 3 '15 at 13:31
• Would it be possible for you to edit this answer to include a more detailed explanation as to how it answers the question? Thank you! – Aza Aug 4 '15 at 15:41

I guess it is

Shelter (as in Residence, house)

I'm no lawman, no soldier, no hero standing tall.

Not a person.

Yet each must pay this price in turn, to have somebody to watch over us all.

Guards us against Climate, Animals and dangers. I am reading in turn as in generation by generation residing take turns to pay based on whoever is the bread earner of the family.

• Again, why "in turn"? – Javi Martínez Aug 3 '15 at 13:49
• @JaviMartínez Good point. – kanchirk Aug 3 '15 at 13:53

Maybe it is

a prayer

And you are

God

I'm no lawman, no soldier, no hero standing tall.


God isn't a lawman or a soldier, and he isn't considered as a hero (correct me if I am wrong)

Yet each must pay this price in turn, to have somebody to watch over us all.


God is listening to everyone, especially if we pray to him

• Please explain how your answer fits each line. In its current form, this answer has very little information. – CodeNewbie Aug 3 '15 at 13:54