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Going To Memphis

Johnny Cash

Ride this train to Pionridge Mississippi see that levee there.
It's built to hold back the waters of Ol' Man River when he gets on a rampage.
And he gets on a rampage, believe me.
One of these days he's gonna come right over that levee.
And we're gonna have to head for the hills again.
And you know how that levee was built, Mister.
Not with machines, it is built with elbow grease.

They got the men off the farms out of the houses,
Even out of the honky tonks on Saturday night.
I don't hardly know how it happened to me, it happens fast.
I just remember I was in the Green Lantern in Natchez one Saturday night,
And somebody pulled a knife and somebody threw the bottle.
And the next thing I knew I had a chain on my leg and a shovel in my hand.

It seemed like the whole world come down on me.
They whipped us like mules and when they did feed us
There was always a fight or a killin' over who's gonna get the biggest piece of meet.
Whereas the boss man did't care about the killin'.
That is less you killed a good worker then you get killed.
If you complain about anything he just liable to give you a chance to get away,
You know what I mean.
They take the chains off your legs and beg you to run so they can shoot you.

Bring a drink of water Leroy
bring a drink of water (no)
If I could get to mercy man
he's give me some I know

I got a gal in Vickburg
Bertha is her name
Wish I's tied to Bertha
instead of this ball and chain

I'm goin' to Memphis (that's right Lord) yeah (uh huh)
But dues took all my money
wouldn't let me see the cards
I owen the boss about a hundred years
for sleepin' in his backyard

I'm goin' to Memphis (yeah Memphis) yeah I'm goin' to Memphis (now)
Like a bitter weed I'm a bad seed
but when that levee's thru and I am too
Let the honky tonk roll on
come mornin' I'll be gone

I'm goin' to Memphis yeah Memphis
I never been to Chicago
but it must be a mighty fine place (that's right)
I couldn't get past Tennessee
with Mississippi all over my face (uh huh)

I'm goin' to Memphis (that's right Lord Memphis)
Well the freezin' ground at night
is my own foldin' bed
Polk salad is my bread and meat
and it will be till I'm dead

Well I brought me a little water
in a Mr Prince Albert can
But the bossman caught me drinkin'
it and I believe he broke my hand (hm hm)

They all call me crazy
for sassin' Mr Scott
My brother was killed for a deed I did
but I disremember what (yeah)

Well another boy is down
the shovel burned him out
Let me stand on his body
to see what the shoutin's about

I'm goin' to Memphis yeah I'm goin' to Memphis hmm
Like a bitter weed I'm a bad seed
but when that levee's thru and I am too
Let the honky tonk roll on
come mornin' I'll be gone

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