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Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song

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michaelr 02 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM
toadfrog 03 Jul 03 - 01:25 AM
Big Tim 03 Jul 03 - 04:48 AM
Walking Eagle 03 Jul 03 - 02:55 PM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jul 03 - 03:11 PM
Raptor 03 Jul 03 - 03:49 PM
michaelr 03 Jul 03 - 07:30 PM
Felipa 19 Jan 23 - 08:40 AM
Felipa 19 Jan 23 - 09:01 AM
Felipa 19 Jan 23 - 09:32 AM
robomatic 24 Jan 23 - 05:25 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM

Saw an old "Sessions at West 54th" with Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band (together!). Steve, who is a tireless anti-death penalty activist, sang a devastatingly brilliant song which he wrote from the viewpoint of a Death Row prison guard... it contains "Unit One" in the chorus.

Anyone have the lyrics to this?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: toadfrog
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 01:25 AM

You might try THIS WEBSITE. I'm not a real fan, but you might be able to find it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: Big Tim
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 04:48 AM

The song is "Ellis Unit One" from the movie "Dead Man Walking" starring Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn (1995). The soundtrack album is a great one with original songs by Springsteen, Cash, Vega, Lovett, Nusrat Feteh Ali Khan (great Pakistani singer), Waits, Shocked, MC Carpenter, Earle, Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder.

If you can't get the lyrics froma website, I'll post them later.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 02:55 PM

I found them at the website that Toadfrog provided. Can anyone provide music or chords?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 03:11 PM

Probably... Steve Earl tends tend to write songs of 3 or 4 chords at most...

Also check out his song "I'm Going Over Yonder"... another great death row song...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: Raptor
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 03:49 PM

Both "Billy Austin" And "Over Yonder" Are Steves Death row songs And are in Double drop D tunings.

"Billy Austin" Is on "THE Other Kind" ALBUM AS well As "Shut up and die like an Aviator" Steve Earl Live

"Over Yonder" is on the "Trasindental Blues" Album As well as The New Steve Earl Live Concert From Convocaton Hall In Toronto Now out on DVD

"Ellis Unit one" Lyrics can be found atHere Can be Found on the "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack as well as on the program Steve Earle Live at The Ottawa Blues Festival


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Subject: Lyr Add: ELLIS UNIT ONE (Steve Earle)
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 07:30 PM

Thanks all. Here are the lyrics:

ELLIS UNIT ONE (Steve Earle)

I was fresh out of the service
It was back in '82
I raised some Cain when I come back to town
I left to be all I could be
Come home without a clue
Now, I married Dawn and had to settle down

So I hired on at the prison
Guess I always knew I would
Just like my dad and both my uncles done
And I worked on every cell block
Now, things're goin' good
But then they transferred me to Ellis Unit One

Swing low
Swing low
Swing low and carry me home

Well, my daddy used to talk about them long nights at the walls
And how they used to strap 'em in the chair
The kids down from the college and they'd bring their beer 'n all
'N when the lights went out, a cheer rose in the air

Well, folks just got too civilized
Sparky's gatherin' dust
'Cause no one wants to touch a smokin' gun
And since they got the injection
They don't mind as much, I guess
They just put 'em down at Ellis Unit One

Swing low
Swing low
Swing low and carry me home

Well, I've seen 'em fight like lions, boys
I've seen 'em go like lambs
And I've helped to drag 'em when they could not stand
And I've heard their mamas cryin' when they heard that big door slam
And I've seen the victim's family holdin' hands

Last night I dreamed that I woke up with straps across my chest
And something cold and black pullin' through my lungs
'N even Jesus couldn't save me though I know he did his best
But he don't live on Ellis Unit One

Swing low
Swing low
Swing low and carry me home
Swing low
Don't let go
Swing low and carry me home


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Subject: Lyr ADD: Billy Auston by Steve Earle
From: Felipa
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 08:40 AM

also

BILLY AUSTIN
by Steve Earle

My name is Billy Austin
I'm Twenty-Nine years old
I was born in Oklahoma
Quarter Cherokee I'm told

Don't remember Oklahoma
Been so long since I left home
Seems like I've always been in prison
Like I've always been alone

Didn't mean to hurt nobody
Never thought I'd cross that line
I held up a filling station
Like I'd done a hundred times

The kid done like I told him
He lay face down on the floor
Guess I'll never know what made me
Turn and walk back through that door

The shot rang out like thunder
My ears rang like a bell
No one came runnin'
So I called the cops myself

Took their time to get there
And I guess I could'a run
I knew I should be feeling something
But I never shed tear one

I didn't even make the papers
'Cause I only killed one man
But my trial was over quickly
And then the long hard wait began

Court appointed lawyer
Couldn't look me in the eye
He just stood up and closed his briefcase
When they sentenced me to die

Now my waitin's over
As the final hour drags by
I ain't about to tell you
That I don't deserve to die

But there's twenty-seven men here
Mostly black, Brown and poor
Most of them are guilty
Who are you to say for sure?

So when the preacher comes to get me
And they shave off all my hair
Could you take that long walk with me
Knowing hell is waitin' there

Could you pull that switch yourself sir
With a sure and steady hand
Could you still tell youself sir?
That you're better than I am

My name is Billy Austin
I'm twenty-nine years old
I was born in Oklahoma
Quarter Cherokee I'm told


Source of lyrics: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Steve Earle
Billy Austin lyrics © Wb Music Corp., Duke Of Earle Music, Warner Olive Music Llc.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Over Yonder by Steve Earle
From: Felipa
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 09:01 AM

Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Brian Peters - PM
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 07:49 AM

As a guest called 'cittern' mentioned twenty years ago, Steve Earle has long been a vocal opponent of the death penalty and has spent time with Death Row prisoners. To 'Ellis Unit One', mentioned previously, you can add 'Over Yonder'

OVER YONDER (Jonathan's Song)

The warden said he'd mail my letter
The chaplain's waitin' by the door
Tonight we'll cross the yard together
Then they can't hurt me anymore.

I am going over yonder
Where no ghost can follow me
There's another place beyond here
Where I'll be free I believe.

Give my radio to Johnson
Thibodeaux can have my fan
Send my Bible home to Mama
Call her every now and then.

I suppose I got it comin'
I can't ever pay enough
All my rippin' and a runnin'
I hurt everyone I loved.

The world'll turn around without me
The sun'll come up in the east
Shinin' down on all of them that hate me
I hope my goin' brings 'em peace.

You can read Steve's account of the background to the song here:
Death in Texas https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2001/jan/22/features11.g2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: Felipa
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 09:32 AM

more of this ilk - see the list of related threads at the top of the page
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=128473 Until the Day I Die

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=29850 Steve Earle sees a friend killed - is a discussion based on the Guardian article Death in Texas about the inspiration for Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Steve Earle death row song
From: robomatic
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 05:25 PM

I'm a fan of Steve Earle but perhaps not enough of one; and will look for this.


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