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Tom Ames Prayer, by Steve Earle
appears on Steve Earle, "Train a Comin"
and Robert Earl Keen, "Gringo Honeymoon"
(G)Everyone in Nagadoches knew Tom Ames
would come to some bad (D)end,
Cause the (Em)sheriff had caught him stealing (C)chickens and such from the
(G)time that (D)he was (G)ten.
(G)One day his daddy took a 10-dollar bill
and he tucked it in his (D)hand,
He said (Em)I know you're headed for (C)trouble son,
your (G)mama wouldn't (D)under(G)stand.
(G)So he took his dad's money and his brother's old bay
and he left without a word of (D)thanks,
Fell (Em)in with this crowd in a (C)border town
and he (G)took to (D)robbin' (G)banks.
Em-C- G- D
Em-C- G - D -G
(G)Outside the law his luck a-run out fast,
a few years came and (D)went;
Til he was (Em)trapped up in an alley in (C)Abilene
with (G)all but (D)four shells (G)spent.
(G)And he realized then that prayin' was the only thing
he hadn't ever (D)tried;
He (Em)didn't know quite how to (C)do it
but he (G)looked up (D)to the (G)sky.
(G)He said "You don't owe me nothin and as far as I know, Lord
I don't owe nothin' to (D)you
(Em)I ain't askin for a (C)miracle Lord
a (G)little bit of (D)luck will (G)do.
(G)You know I ain't never prayed before
cause it always seemed to (D)me
that (Em)prayin was just like (C)beggin'
and I (G)don't take (D)chari(G)ty.
(G)Lord, I've had some breaks in my life
as you already (D)know
I've (Em)had some help from the good lord and the (C)devil himself's
been (G)strictly (D)touch and (G)go.
(G)Right here now with my back to the wall
I can't help but re(D)call
how they (Em)nearly hung me for (C)stealin' a horse
in (G)Ft. (D)Smith, (G)Arkansas
(G)Judge Parker said guilty and his gavel came down
just like a cannon (D)shot
I (Em)went away (C)quietly
I beg(G)an to (D)file and (G)plot.
(G)They sent that old preacher down to my cell
he said, "the lord is your only (D)hope,
(Em)he'll be the only friend you (C)have, son
when you (G)hit the (D)end of Parker's (G)rope."
(G)Well, I guess he could've kept on preachin' til Christmas
but he turned his back on (D)me
(Em)I put a homemade blade to that (C)golden throat
and asked the (G)deputy (D)for the (G)key.
(G)Ah, but who in the hell am I talkin to?
there ain't no one here but (D)me
(single strum each chord)
(Em)So he cocked both his pistols, (C)spit in the dirt,
and (G)walked in(D)to that (G)street.
(break and end.)