I feel the irons on my wrist and lament it’s come to this;
When they hang me from the gallows tree, “Such as life,” you’ll hear me hiss.
I’m not the reddest handed bandit here, but I’m the one who’ll take the fall;
This smoking gun’s been smothered by the long arm of the law.
The Chaplin says, “The end is started, and your Judgement has begun,
Prayers can lead to God’s forgiveness for all the foolish things you’ve done.
You’ve got tonight to find some peace of mind before you leave this world.”
And I hope and pray that I may never get what I deserve.
Take me down to the river, Preacher, take me by the hand,
Take me down to the river, mend the soul of a broken man,
Drown me in forgiveness, wash these bloody hands of mine,
Take me down to one last river, Lord,
Let me testify.
I believe in God’s benevolence,
And I have seen with my own eyes,
in the river just outside the gate,
Sunday sinners get baptized.
And I’ll pray for my redemption,
But I’m quite sure that he won’t hear,
I’ve never had that watered cross,
trickle in my ear.
The chaplain’s face it grew sadder,
He said “you’ve not been christened, Son?”
“No,” I said, and I hung my head,
“Is there nothing to be done?
If I could get down to that river,
Can’t you see how cleansed I’d be?
The latest lamb, in God’s hands.
And my soul would be set free.”
They take me to the river banks,
Two guards and the chaplain.
The moonlight shines on the holy tides,
My prayers have been answered.
I take my sodden walk to Jesus,
All piety and grace.
The guards release my shackles,
But they cannot read my face.
The deepest breath that I can take,
As I plunge under the water.
The chaplain had the kindest ways,
But he could have been a whole lot smarter.
Two kicks and I’m traveling,
Beneath the muddy waters gleam.
And by the time I take a second breath,
I’m a hundred yards downstream.