- Ball and Chain (Social Distortion song)
Name = Ball and Chain
from Album = Social Distortion
March 27, 1990
Recorded = 1989
Length = 5:44
Label = Epic
Last single = "Story of My Life" (1990)
This single = "Ball and Chain" (1990)
Next single = "Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash cover)" (1990)
In the words of lead singer/writer
Mike Ness, "Ball and Chain" is 'a hard luck story', [Mike Ness, Introduction to performance of 'Ball and Chain', "Live at the Roxy"] a forceful cry, a lament, a plea, a 'folk prayer', [Mike Ness, Liner Notes, "Live at the Roxy"] which opens with the lines
:Well it's been ten years and a thousand tears:and look at the mess I'm in,:a broken nose and a broken heart:an empty bottle of gin...
and for which the chorus is
:"Take away, take away":"Take away this ball and chain":"I'm lonely and I'm tired":"And I can't take any more pain"
Long after its first release, "Ball and Chain" remains a concert staple.
* The song was played on episodes of "
My Name Is Earl" and on "Scrubs" as well as the film"Jarhead" (2005)
* The song was covered frequently in concert by the late '90s Atlanta indie band Alastor led by Elizabeth Elkins, who went on to form The Swear.
Mike Nessrecorded a "Honky Tonk" version of this song on his solo album " Under the Influences" in 1999.
* The song was also transcribed in the January 2005 issue of "
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