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Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late last month
Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixin' Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call him Johnny 99
Dawn in that part of town where when you hit red light you don't stop
Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatin' to blow his top
When an off duty cop snuck up on him on from behind
Out in front of the club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99
Well the city suplied a public defender but the judge was mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared poor Johnny down
Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year will make it even Johnny 99
A fist fight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted judge don't take my boy this way
Well son you got any statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away
Yes judge I got debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin' my mortgage they was takin' my house away
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man
But it was more than all this that put that gun in my hand
And your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
If you can take a man's life for the thoughts that are in his head
Then won't you sit back in that chair and think it over one more time
And let 'em shave off my hair and burn Johnny 99



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/j/johnny_cash/johnny_99.html

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