Social Distortion - Ball And Chain

First performance: 17/05/2008


Bruce performed the song only once:
2008-05-17 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ 
In between leg 3 and 4 of the "Magic" tour,  Bruce joins Mike Ness onstage for four songs. 



"Ball and Chain" is a hit song by Social Distortion, a Southern California punk rock band, written by Mike Ness in 1987, featured on their self-titled album, released in 1990, as well as on Live at the Roxy (1998). In the words of lead singer/writer Mike Ness, "Ball and Chain" is "a hard luck story," a forceful cry, a lament, a plea, a "folk prayer."

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Springsteen has long been a major fan of Southern California punk/rave band Social Distortion. He touted their album Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell as his favorite record of the year in a Rolling Stone interview in 1992.
Bruce had 4 performances with lead singer Mike Ness : 


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 singing 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

[Verse 2]
Well I've searched and I've searched
To find the 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


[Guitar Solo]

[Verse 3]
Well I'll pass the bar on the way
To my dingy hotel room
I spent all my money
I've been drinking since half past noon
Well I'll wake there in the morning
Or maybe in the county jail
Times are hard getting harder
I'm born to lose and destined to fail