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Tom Ames Prayer Chords

Steve Earle

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Tom Ames Prayer

	  (G)Everyone in Nagadoches knew Tom Ames  
would come to some bad (D)end, 
Cause the (Em)sheriff had caught him stealing (C)chickens and such from the 
(G)time that (D)he was (G)ten. 
 
(G)One day his daddy took a 10-dollar bill  
and he tucked it in his (D)hand, 
He said (Em)I know you're headed for (C)trouble son, 
 your (G)mama wouldn't (D)under(G)stand. 
 
(G)So he took his dad's money and his brother's old bay 
 and he left without a word of (D)thanks, 
Fell (Em)in with this crowd in a (C)border town 
 and he (G)took to (D)robbin' (G)banks. 
 
(solo over) 
Em-C-   G-   D 
Em-C-   G -  D -G 
 
(G)Outside the law his luck a-run out fast, 
 a few years came and (D)went; 
Til he was (Em)trapped up in an alley in (C)Abilene 
 with (G)all but (D)four shells (G)spent. 
 
(G)And he realized then that prayin' was the only thing 
 he hadn't ever (D)tried; 
He (Em)didn't know quite how to (C)do it 
but he (G)looked up (D)to the (G)sky. 
 
(G)He said "You don't owe me nothin and as far as I know, Lord 
I don't owe nothin' to (D)you 
(Em)I ain't askin for a (C)miracle Lord 
a (G)little bit of (D)luck will (G)do. 
 
(G)You know I ain't never prayed before 
cause it always seemed to (D)me 
that (Em)prayin was just like (C)beggin' 
and I (G)don't take (D)chari(G)ty. 
 
break: 
 
Em C G D 
Em C G D G 
 
(G)Lord, I've had some breaks in my life 
as you already (D)know 
I've (Em)had some help from the good lord and the (C)devil himself's 
been (G)strictly (D)touch and (G)go.  
 
(G)Right here now with my back to the wall 
I can't help but re(D)call 
how they (Em)nearly hung me for (C)stealin' a horse 
in (G)Ft. (D)Smith, (G)Arkansas 
 
(G)Judge Parker said guilty and his gavel came down 
just like a cannon (D)shot 
I (Em)went away (C)quietly 
I beg(G)an to (D)file and (G)plot. 
 
(G)They sent that old preacher down to my cell 
he said, "the lord is your only (D)hope, 
(Em)he'll be the only friend you (C)have, son 
when you (G)hit the (D)end of Parker's (G)rope." 
 
(G)Well, I guess he could've kept on preachin' til Christmas 
but he turned his back on (D)me 
(Em)I put a homemade blade to that (C)golden throat  
and asked the (G)deputy (D)for the (G)key. 
 
(G)Ah, but who in the hell am I talkin to? 
there ain't no one here but (D)me 
single strum each chord 
(Em)So he cocked both his pistols, (C)spit in the dirt, 
and (G)walked in(D)to that (G)street. 
	  

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