"Lucky Ball & Chain" as written by and John C Flansburgh John Linnell....
I lost my lucky ball and chain
Now she's four years gone
Just five feet tall and sick of me
And all my rattling on

She threw away her baby-doll
I held on to my pride
But I was young and foolish then
I feel old and foolish now

Confidentially
She never called me baby-doll
Confidentially
I never had much pride
But now I rock a barstool
And I drink for two
Just pondering this time-bomb in my mind

I lost my lucky ball and chain
Now she's four years gone
Just five feet tall and sick of me
And all my rattling on

She walked away from a happy man
I thought I was so cool
I just stood there whistling
"There goes the bride" as she walked out the door
"There goes the bride" as she walked out the door

I could shake my tiny fist
And swear I wasn't wrong
But what's the sense in arguing
When you're all alone?
Sure as you can't steer a train
You can't change your fate
And when she told me of that day
I knew I'd lost my home

Confidentially
I never told you of her charms
Confidentially
We never had a home
But this railroad apartment
Was the perfect place
When she'd sit and hold me in her arms

I lost my lucky ball and chain
Now she's four years gone
Just five feet tall and sick of me
And all my rattling on

She walked away from a happy man
I thought I was so cool
I just stood there whistling
"There goes the bride" as she walked out the door
"There goes the bride" as she walked out the door
"There goes the bride" as she walked out the door


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"Lucky Ball And Chain" as written by John C Flansburgh John Linnell

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Lucky Ball & Chain song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis is actually my favorite tmbg song. Partly because I don't know too much of them,but mainly because this is the one where they actualy make sense, without needing to read their site.

    He speaks about his girlfriend (ball&chain), who left him because she couldn't stand his blabbering and weirdness. And he is angry with her for that, but mostly he hates himself, and thinking he doesn't deserve her.
    bartoshekon May 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could shake my tiny fist
    and swear I wasn't wrong
    But what's the sense in arguing
    when you're all alone?

    I just love those words :) Great song!
    obsessedon January 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought I was a divorce, referring his wife to "ball and chain" but it just hit me that he could be going to jail. How they used to wear those ball chained to their ankles. and she wont take him back when he gets out of jail

    I could shake my tiny fist and say I wasn't wrong
    what's the sense of arguing
    when your all alone

    like what's the use in fighting in the courts becuase he's lost everthing, so what does it matter if he goes to jail, seeing as he's lost him home anyways.
    StrawberryGashes13on April 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno, its has nothing to do with jail. it is about lossing his wife in divorece and now he is sitting in the bar drinking himself to death wondering where it all went wrong and blaming himself for it.
    johneminton November 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLOL jail?!

    I think he was bragging till his wife got sick of him and continued to be a prideful ass till she finally left him. And now he sees how stupid he was to ignore the signs and i think the train metaphore means that he.... couldnt change her mind and bring her back i guess, because her mind was already set. Now he is alone, drinking himself silly, thinking about everything that happend, everything he did wrong.
    mimii_tsoon December 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with the wife thing the jail is tight stretch. BUT i do think the ball and chain reffers to the wife because marriage is binding. so it is sort of sarcastic in a way to say "you lost a ball and chain" because it is attatched to you. I think it was a good way to put his ex because this whole song has a sarcastic tone.
    triplejumpbumpon September 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningActually I sort of know the story behind this song. My friend's mom used to date John Flansburgh for a while, and apparently this song was written about her. Crazy, no?
    senorwaffleson May 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song references the Phil Spector-produced Darlene Love song "The Boy I'm Gonna Marry"'s lines:

    He smiled at me and the music started playing
    'Here Comes the Bride' when he walked through the door

    Let's all pretend that Phil Spector died in 1970, or at worst right after that Ramones record.
    GeraldFnordon June 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't be the only one who thinks this, it's a song about a doll being outgrown
    "she threw away her baby doll"
    "she never called me baby-doll"
    "just five feet tall" (average for a 14-16 year old girl, usually when old dolls are getting thrown out)
    "when she'd sit and hold me in her arms"

    now I don't know about you guys, but I can't see a 5ft tall woman holding anybody of normal height in their arms

    but this is just me rattling on, keep believing it's about a divorce if you want

    and before I hear "but he talks about drinking at a bar" it's TMBG, you should expect weird personification like that (see Birdhouse in your soul)
    thedreamlordon April 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first verse lyrically reminds me of this old Irish song: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    JohnnyLurgon November 27, 2012   Link

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