Ball and Chain

The band Social Distortion was part of my addiction, coming home late at night an watching Another State of Mind on Night Flight. Mike Ness was kind of a punk hero and the documentary showed him drunk and defending his drinking.

Social Distortion’s self titled album was released in 1990, the same year I got sober. It was full of songs about addiction and recovery. Mike Ness had gotten sober too!

It may sound silly, but it was a big deal. I was 19, in a college town, and there were relatively few young people in the local recovering community. I feared the rest of my life would be filled with boredom and the conviction that my addiction and recovery left me forever socially defective. Mike Ness was punk and sober. He made the culture of recovery cool and attractive. I had plenty of “addiction music” over the years, this was my first recovery music.

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
Well, 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 searched
To find a 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
Well, I’m sick 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, 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
I’ve been drinkin’ since a half past noon

Well, I’ll wake there in the mornin’
Or maybe in the county jail
Times are hard gettin’ harder
I’m born to lose and destined to fail

Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain
well, 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, take away this ball and chain

The Next Round

PeaPod recently posted this song. I like Frank Turner, but had never heard this song. To me, it’s a great song and it’s a great recovery song.

PeaPod’s post has inspired me to do occasional posts with addiction and recovery themed songs that speak to me. Please feel free to make suggestions, but I’m not really interested in music about getting high or active addiction unless it’s done with a looking back perspective or wanting to change.

Consider this the first in the series.

I drink cause im thirsty
I drink cause im dry
Im not yet quite thirty
But i feel like im dieing

I drink cause I want to
Cause I need to
Cause I dont what else to
Do with my time
I wont say it
You can see it, in my eyes

You drink cause your lonely
You drink cause your sad
You always claim every party
Is the best time you ever had
You drink cause your scared of life on
Living off your own company
You wont say it
But i can see it in your eyes

All of the things I could become
A lonely drunkard isnt one
Which I would’ve wished
When I was young

The drink has drunk my days away
I tried to live like Hemingway
But life just doesn’t work that way
The pills don’t kill the pain
They just delay

We drink cause we’re scared that
If we should stop
The good will go away
That the bad times will not
What if its over and we’re sober
And we feel like we’re fixing to die
What now?, don’t say it
cause I can see it in your eye

The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me
The next rounds on me