Ball and Chain Blues

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Ball and Chain Blues - Peg Leg Howell, with Jim Hill
Spanish tuning, capoed up, Jim Hill, mandolin

I laid in jail, back turned to the wall
I laid in jail, back turned to the wall
Says, a Georgia woman was the cause of it all

They arrested me, carried me 'fore the judge
They arrested me, they carried me 'fore the judge
Said, the judge wouldn't allow me to say a mumbling word

I asked the judge, "What might be my fine?"
I asked the judge, "What might be my fine?"
Said, "A pick and shovel, deep down in the mine"

I told the judge, "I ain't been here before"
I told the judge, "Ain't been here before"
"If you give me light sentence, I won't come here no more"

"Mr. Judge, Mr. Judge, please don't break so hard"
"Mr. Judge, Mr. Judge, please don't break so hard"
I've always been a [poor boy?], never had no job

And the next day, carried the poor boy away
The next day, they carried that poor boy away
Say, the next day, I laid in ball and chains

Take these stripes off my back, chains from 'round my leg
Stripes off my back, chains from 'round my leg
This ball and chain about to kill me dead



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