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
Well I sit and I pray
In my broken down Chevrolet
While I'm singin' to myself
There's got to be another way

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
Take away, take away
Never to return again
Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain

Well I've searched and I've searched
To find the perfect life-
A brand new car and a brand new suit
I even got me a little wife
But wherever I have gone
I was sure to find myself there
You can run all your life
But not go anywhere

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
Take away, take away
Never to return again
Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain

Well I'll pass the bar on the way
To my dingy hotel room
I spent all my money
Been drinkin' since a half past noon
I'll wake there in the mornin'
Or maybe in the county jail
Times are hard getting harder
I'm born to lose and destined to fail

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
Take away, take away
Never to return again
Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain


Lyrics submitted by dragonflower44

Ball and Chain Lyrics as written by Michael Ness

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ball and Chain song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +7
    General Comment

    Not sure the song is 'about' anything. Kustom 22 was close. What this song is, is a prayer. The hit bottom, gutter-wallowing, soul-wrenched plea for help to God from someone at the end of their rope. The 'ball and chain' can be anything, gambling, sex, you name it. For Mike Ness it was drugs and alcohol.

    Something to ponder is that I firmly believe God listens to prayers like this a whole lot more than He does to the vapid, empty prayers full of 'thous' and 'thines' of some fat pedophile Bishop in flowing robes.

    Yes indeed, this is an extremely spiritual and insightful song.

    duhaaston September 16, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    It's a story about struggling with alcoholism. The Ball and Chain is alcohol.

    In the first verse he talks about a broken nose and an empty bottle of gin. Probably from a bar fight. He hits rock bottom and decides "There's got to be another way"

    In the second verse he picks himself up and has some success, but the ball and chain drags him back into his old ways. "Wherever I have gone, I was sure to find myself there" - I think he's talking about the bar. "You can run all your life, but not go anywhere". Setting up for the third verse.

    In the third verse, he finds himself back into destructive behavior from drinking.

    ZTranceon April 07, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I love this song. its awesome to listen to on a bad day.

    Now Imperfecton April 22, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I don't know if 'happy' is the correct word for it, but the song does have a certain 'you're not here, but you're not all that far from here' quality about it that can act as a catharsis if you're in the right circumstance whne you happen to hear it. Maybe people get cheered up not so much by the song itself, but by the fact that they can listen to Ball & Chain for their wallowing without having to resort to country music schlock. I know that'd cheer me up.

    rolekion March 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    But wherever I have gone I was sure to find myself there You can run all your life But not go anywhere

    Those lines are utterly brilliant. You can try to escape your pain by traveling, finding new friends, taking drugs, etc. But you can't . Because you can't escape from yourself.

    illrideron August 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    This song is ALL about Mikes struggle to get and stay clean! It's loaded with references about a certain 12 step program???

    monkeydadon January 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Take away this Ball n Chain! Ball meaning drugs Chain meaning alcohol! I've tried all other ways, but nothing seems to work. I've prayed, please take this addiction away from me!! But then again here we go again! After a while you start to believe your born to lose and destined to fail! Not True though! Great Song! Great Lyrics! Peace Out!!!!!

    dayatatime01on January 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is a freakin classic

    AnAhiEMon June 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song never fails to cheer me up a little

    crick23on June 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I've rediscovered this song these days! It's awesome!

    rayneon September 27, 2002   Link

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