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Social Distortion – Ball And Chain lyrics

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    As Mike Ness has said himself, "B&C" is basically a 'street prayer' from a desperate addict/alcoholic who's literally begging for recovery from the disease. I think the substance here is clearly alcohol (from the 'empty bottle of gin' reference) but the "B&C" could obviously be anything from booze, to drugs, or even to an obsessive love affair---Nessie clearly left this open for interpretation, which makes the prayer all the more powerful, since any listener can assign any real-life tangible referent to the symbolic ball & chain. I think this is probably Social D's most powerful (post- Mommie's Little Monster lp, of course!) song, with the pleading vocal as the music all stops for that super emotional and heavy a capella chorus--- as the speaker/addict *begs* for strength & redemption. You can tell this ain't the first time our speaker has tried to quit, & prayed for someone/ something/ (God?) to "...take away the Ball & Chain," and sadly that it prob'ly won't be the last time, either. Great lyrics under an amazing vocal delivery make this a classic S. D. Song, & a staple for anyone who has struggled with substance abuse in their own lives.
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