There Ain't No Good Chain Gang!

Johnny Cash Vinyl Record Memories

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Johnny Cash Songs and song lyrics can be pretty humorous at times.

Remember "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"?

This song, "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" was actually one of the first songs Johnny recorded with Waylon Jennings back in 1978. The song was released on a Johnny Cash Album titled I Would Like to See You Again and reached #2 on the country music charts.

There Ain't No Good Chain Gang is written and sung from the perspective of a prison inmate, writing back home to his family. He tells of the lessons he's learned while incarcerated; the chorus lays out the four main lessons learned:

"There ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman",
"I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James",
"You don't go writing hot checks down in Mississippi", and
"There ain't no good chain gang".

Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings would also work together as The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.


Ain't No Good Chain Gang.
Humor does well on Johnny Cash Songs.


The album only reached #23 but the album title song did chart at #12.

The other duet with Waylon on this album was titled "I Wish I Was Crazy Again" and only made it to #22.

Again, many of the Johnny Cash Songs that seem to do really well are his prison songs and those with a little humor in them.

The song was written by Hal Bynum and Dave Kirby. Bynum has written over 200 songs for country music artists but you might remember one in particular he co-wrote for Kenny Rogers in 1977 called "Lucille."


There Ain't No Good Chain Gang
Recorded by Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings
Written by Hal Bynum, Dave Kirby

Bet it ain't rainin' back home
Bet your sister's still on the phone
Bet Momma's in the kitchen...cooking fried chicken
Wishing that I hadn't done wrong

Yeah, Momma, don't you worry about it none though
Everything's gonna be all right, Momma
They're teaching us a lot of new things in here, Momma
Things Like...

There ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman
And I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James
And you don't go writin' hot cheques...down in Mississippi
And there ain't no good chain gang

Papa's readin' yesterday's mail
Wishin' that the hay was all baled
I bet he's a-wishin'...we could go fishin'
And here I am a-laying in jail

There ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman
And I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James
And you don't go writin' hot cheques...down in Mississippi
And there ain't no good chain gang.

There ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman
And I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James
And you don't go writin' hot cheques...down in Mississippi
And there ain't no good chain gang

And you don't go writin' hot cheques...down in Mississippi
And there ain't no good chain gang


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