Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Livin’ On The Chain Gang  

I sang this song to my little guy when I was driving and he’s now obsessed with it. Because he’s playing it over and over and over and over again on his Spotify account, he’s hooked me back into it.

Because of the truth in the lyrics.

You get a power chord and then a vocal melody. Did Skid Row try and recreate “Still Of The Night”?

It follows the same structure and in truth Coverdale and Sykes tried to recreate “Jailhouse Rock” with “Still of the Knight”.

Turn on the TV, Cause I got nowhere to go
Seems that there’s a little trouble down in Mexico
A 13-year-old boy robs a store so he can eat
And they got him doing time while killers walk the streets

Has anything changed in Mexico since this song was written?
Drug cartels obliterate families and villages while the killers still roam at large. Hell, some of them might have passports to enter Australia or the U.S. Meanwhile, small petty crimes get punished.

Once Bach sings “streets” he holds the note forever while the single note riff kicks in. Like “Still Of The Night”.

A hungry politician is the wolf that’s at the door
Hell-bent on submission and feeding’ on the poor
We could stare into the sun if we would open up our eyes
But we paint ourselves into a corner coloured in white lies

So true. Politicians want applause, want to be liked and want to please their donors. So while they seek submission from the poor, they then submit themselves to their donor and the corporations who are paying them millions to introduce laws to benefit their business model.

Busted on a rock pile
Getting dusted in the heat
Shackled to the system
And dragging’ my feet

Once you borrow money from an institution, you need to pay it back. And before long, you realise you are shackled to the system. If you don’t pay it back, you start to default. Default a few more times and your name is added to a credit database. And suddenly life becomes harder. The system is designed to benefit the rich and only the rich.

I’m riding on a breakdown
Another white knuckled shakedown
Feels like I’m living’ on a chain gang
I’m riding on a breakdown
A suicidal shakedown
Feels like I’m living’ on a chain gang

There are so many cool combination of words to unpack.

Riding on a breakdown means trying to live your life while the system of authority collapses all around you or your relationship goes bad or your mental state starts to border crazy.

A white knuckled shakedown means squeezing your hand into a fist because you’ve been conned, lost money or had some injustice done to you by a corrupt law enforcement officer or a corrupt corporation.

A suicidal shakedown means doing something dangerous or undertaking something dangerous because you’ve been conned, lost money or had some injustice done to you by a corrupt law enforcement officer or a corrupt corporation.

Living on a chain gang is comparing modern life to being a group of prisoners chained together to perform physically challenging work as a form of punishment.

A con man’s intuition can wash your sins away
Send your contribution and he’ll save your soul today
What can he know, has he been through hell and back
He takes the cash and drives it home in a brand new Cadillac

Ponzi schemes, religious preachers and shady business people litter our lives. And everyone wants to make money. Swipe your credit card here and your soul will be saved. Send a few dollars and your soul will be saved. Give someone $20K and they promise to turn it to $100K. Everyone is scheming and dealing.

I guess it does feel like living on a chain gang.

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5 thoughts on “Livin’ On The Chain Gang  

  1. Awesome that a younger generation is Living on the Chain Gang!
    Great read and kudos to your son who turned the old man back into the song!
    Props to him!

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