Ball And Chain

Album: Once Again (1971)
Play Video


  • Not to be confused with the Big Mama Thornton song "Ball 'N' Chain", this Stuart Wolstenholme composition runs to 4 minutes 49 seconds and is the 3rd track on side 2 of the Once Again album, which was released in the UK on February 5, 1971.

    It features a distorted lead vocal effected by singing through a paper cup with the bottom pushed out. The album was apparently recorded in some haste so that one verse was accidentally sung twice, there was no time to re-record it, and the missing verse was apparently lost forever, but appears in the official biography of the band.

    If I could live my whole life again
    I would not be on this prison train
    And I'd have no trouble from my ball and chain:

    "Without the prison reference, the meaning of the song is more obscure, although it still makes a convincing allegory of the human condition". >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"