Always With Me
I see you watch 'em fixin' up that platform,
The way your hand keeps touchin' at your throat,
I notice from your face that you seem fearful,
And know that you're a friend who wouldn't gloat.
Your soulful eyes seek mine in search of answers,
To understand the horror of it all,
Come with me, Kid, where we can do some jawin',
And ponder some on what I can recall.
It's knowin' I could meet my end by hangin'.
The tightenin' of a knot around my throat.
To feel my neck a-stretchin' as I'm fallin',
While jeered until I'm dead, by angry folk.
Or always have to look over my shoulder,
And sleep with one eye open every night.
To heed that any man I meet could kill me,
While prayin' I still have the strength to fight.
I'd sooner pass with honor in a shoot-out,
Than swingin' by my neck under a tree,
And while I know my friends will stand beside me,
I worry they could die defendin' me.
This burden's always with me, and I'm weary,
My time could come with any taken breath,
That ain't the way I want to end my journey,
And end it will, I ain't afraid of death.
Until that time I'll go on bein' wary,
While offerin' myself to those in need,
This man of simple means who stands for justice,
Is prayin' justice comes, and I'll be freed.
But if the hangman's noose should be my callin',
And vigilance has failed to see me through,
I'll figure that God's mandate is I'm guilty
And destined not to live as free men do.