Got out of prison back in '86 and I found me a wife
Walked the clean and narrow
just tryin' to stay out and stay alive
Got a job at the rendering factory,it ain't gonna make me rich
In the darkness before dinner comes
Sometimes I can feel the it
I got a cold mind to go tripping across that thin line
I'm sick of doin straight time

My uncles at the evenin' table makes his living runnin' hot cars
Slips me a hundred dollar bill, says
"Charlie, you best remember who your friend are."
I got a cold mind to go tripping across that thin line
I ain't makin' straight time

Eight years in, it feels like you're gonna die
But you get used to anything
Sooner or later it becomes your life

Kitchen floor in the evening, tossin' my little babies high
Mary's smilin', but she watches me out of the corner of her eye
Seems you can't get any more than half free
I step out onto the front porch, and suck the cold air deep inside of me
Got a cold mind to go tripping cross that thin line
I'm sick of doin' straight time

In the basement, huntin' gun and a hacksaw
Sip a beer, and thirteen inches of barrel drop to the floor

Come home in the evening, can't get the smell from my hands
Lay my head down on the pillow
And, go driftin' off into foreign lands



Lyrics submitted by oofus

Straight Time song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe Charcter in the song comes out of Jail and starts trying to live the "Straight Life" but is finding it hard. Even Mary, who we can assume is his wife, seems tentative about him:

    "Mary's smilin', but she watches me out of the corner of her eye
    Seems you can't get any more than half free"

    I think it paints a good picture of people who have been locked up for a long time and how hard it is for them to get a job, or even just be trusted in general.

    As for what he's doing with the shotgun, ...He uses the hacksaw to saw off the shotgun, drinks some beer and kills himself "Sip of beer and thirteen inches of barrel drop to the floor" - No matter what he does he just can not seem to live the straight life, and everyone, including his wife still judge him on the past.

    The last paragraph is used for symbolizm "Can't get the smell from my hands, lay my head down on the pillow and go driftin off in foreign lands" Can't get the smell from my hands means he can't change what hes done, and driftin off in foreign lands can refer to the afterlife.


    -Another take could be that he did his time in jail, comes out but just finds it so hard to live "the straight life" (Got a cold mind, to go tripin cross that thin line, i'm sick of doing straight time"
    Whatever it was that he did to be in jail for 18years, perhaps killing - he "trips across that thin line" and goes out and kills again, and he can't change what he's done "Can't get the smell from my hands"


    vipercwfon December 10, 2009   Link

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