Come to the door ma and unlock the chain.
Well I was just passin' through and got caught in the rain.
There's nothing that I want, nothin' that you need say.
Just let me lie down a while and I'll be on my way.
I was no more than a kid when you put me on the Southern Queen.
With the police on my back I fled to New Orleans.
Well I fought in the dockyards for the the money that I made.
And the fight was my home and any blood was my trade.
Baton Rouge, Ponchatoula, and Lafayette town.
They payed me the moon, ma, to knock the man down.
Well I did what I did, yeah it come easily.
For as know ma, restraint and mercy were always strangers to me.
I fought champion Jack Thompson in a field full of mud.
Rain poured through the tent canvas and mixed with our blood.
In the twelfth, slipped my tongue over my broken jaw.
And I pounded his body into the floor.
Well the bell rang and rang and still I kept on.
'Til I felt my glove leather slip 'tween his skin and bone.
And the women and the money came fast and the days I lost track.
The women red, the money green, but the numbers were black.
I fought for the men in their silk suits to lay down their bets.
Well I took my good share, ma, I have no regrets.
I took the fix at the State armory with big Diamond Don*
Well from high in the rafters I watched myself fall.
He raised his arms, stomach twisted, and the sky it went black.**
I stuffed my bag with their good money, ma, and never looked back.
Understand in the end, ma, every man plays the game.
Well if you know anyone different then speak out his name.
Ma, if my face now, now you don't recognise.
Well just open the door and look into your dark eyes.
I ask of you nothin', not a kiss not a smile.
Just open the door and let me lie down for a while.
Now the gray rain is fallin' and my ring fightin's done.
So in the work fields and alleys, I take them who'll come.
If you're a better man than me then just step to the line.
Show me your money and speak out your crime.
There's nothin' I want, ma, nuthin' that you need say.
Just let me lie for a while and I'll be on my way.
Well tonight in Stockyard, a man draws a circle in the dirt.
I move to the center and take off my shirt.
I study him for the cuts, the scars, the pain, no time can erase.
I move hard to the left and I strike to the face.
Thanks to David Hulen
And thanks to Tom Moberly, who listened to the Asbury Park, november 1996 version of the song
Thanks to Chris, some explanation:
* There is a large Armory in Red Bank, which has been in the local news alot
lately. Prior to large arenas, boxing matches and wrestling, along with
dances were held at the local armory
** As the ref raised the challengers arms in victory, it sickened the singer
as he knew the challenger did not rightfully win the fight, the reference to
the sky turning black is another reference to that feeling, but as he says in
the next line " I stuffed my bag with their good money ma and never looked
back." Again having thrown the fight for the big payoff.
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