Billy Austin

Song Author Steve Earle Lyrics by: Steve Earle Performer: Steve Earle Submitted by: davepeers
[D]My name is Bill[G]y Austin and [A]I'm twenty-nine year[D]s old
I was [G]born in Oklah[D]oma quarter[Bm] Cherokee I'm tol[Bm]d    [A]    [G]    
Don't remember Oklah[D]oma been so [G]long since I left [A]home
Seems like I've[G] always been in [Bm]prison like I've [G]always been a[Bm]lon   [A]e   [D]    

Didn[D]'t mean to hurt [G]nobody never [A]thought I'd cross that [D]line
I held [G]up a filling [D]station like I'd [Bm]done a hundred ti[Bm]mes   [A]    [G]    
The kid done like I [D]told him he [G]lay face down on the [A]floor
guess I'll [G]never know what [Bm]made me turn and [G]walk back through that [Bm]doo   [A]r   [D]    

The [D]shot rang out like [G]thunder my [A]ears rang like a [D]bell
[G]No one came [D]runnin' so I [Bm]called the cops m[Bm]yse   [A]lf  [G]    
Took their time to [D]get there and I [G]guess I could'a [A]run  
I [G]knew I should be feeling [Bm]something but I [G]never shed tear [Bm]one   [A]    [D]    

I di[D]dn't even make the [G]papers 'cause I [A]only killed one [D]man  
but my [G]trial was over [D]quickly and then the [Bm]long hard wait [Bm]beg   [A]an  [G]    
Court appointed [D]lawyer couldn't [G]look me in the [A]eye  
He just stood [G]up and closed his [Bm]briefcase when [G]they sentenced me to [Bm]die   [A]    [D]    

Now [D]my waitin's [G]over as the [A]final hour drags [D]by  
I [G]ain't about [D]to tell you that I [Bm]don't deserve to [Bm]die   [A]    [G]    
But there's twenty-seven [D]men here [G]mostly black, brown and [A]poor
M[G]ost of em are [Bm]guilty who are [G]you to say for [Bm]sur   [A]e?  [D]    

So w[D]hen the preacher comes to get [G]me and they s[A]have off all my [D]hair
Could yo[G]u take that long walk [D]with me knowing [Bm]hell is waitin' t[Bm]her   [A]e?  [G]    
Could you pull that [D]switch yourself Sir, with a [G]sure and steady [A]hand?
Could y[G]ou still tell yous[Bm]elf, Sir, that you're [G]better than I [Bm]am?   [A]    [D]    

[G]My name is Billy [D]Austin I'm [G]twenty-nine years [A]old  
I was [G]born in Oklah[Bm]oma quarter [G]Cherokee I'm [Bm]told   

My name is Billy Austin and 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 em 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


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