Live 28 Apr 2005 version

[Spoken intro:] Thank you. This is a song uh, I tend to like, like to write songs about people whose souls are at risk. And uh, probably goes back to uh... Could've been back to being told that every day for 8 years as a child (chuckles) at school. Those things tend to stick with you, you know what I mean, they just (chuckles). But uh, I later on found out that writing about it momentarily put, put my own soul at ease, and so I gravitated towards these kinds of characters. This is a song about a young guy who gets in trouble and has to leave his home at a young age, he goes to New Orleans and ends up as a fighter and uh, becomes quite a champion but shorts himself, shorts himself bad in the end. And uh, the whole song is kind of a, is a conversation that he has with his mother, towards the end of his life he comes back home and has this conversation with his mother through a locked door. This is called "The Hitter".

Come to the door, Ma, and unlock the chain
I was just passin' through and got caught in the rain
There's nothin' I want, nothin' that you need say
Just let me lie down for a while and then I'll be on my way

I was no more than a kid when you put me on the Southern Queen
With the police on my back I fled to New Orleans
I fought in the dockyards and with the money that I made
And the fight was my home and blood was my trade

Baton Rouge, Ponchatoula, and Lafayette town
Well they paid me their money, Ma, I knocked the men down
I did what I did yeah it come easily
You know restraint and mercy, Ma, were always strangers to me


I fought champion Jack Thompson in a field full of mud
Rain poured through the tent to the canvas and mixed with our blood
In the twelfth I slipped my tongue over my broken jaw
And I stood over him, pounded his bloody body into the floor
Well the bell rang and rang and still I kept on
'Till I felt my glove leather slip 'tween his skin and bone

Then the women and the money came fast, in the days I lost track
The women red, the money green, but the numbers were black
I fought for the men in their silk suits to lay down their bets
I took my good share, Ma, I have no regrets

I took the fix at the state armory with big John McDowell
From high in the rafters I watched myself fall
As they raised his arm, my stomach twisted and the sky it went black
I stuffed my bag with their good money, Ma, and I never looked back

Understand, in the end, Ma, every man plays the game
If you know me one different then speak out his name
Ma, if my voice now you don't recognize
Just open the door and look into your dark eyes
I ask of you nothin', not a kiss not a smile
Just open the door and let me lie down for a while

Now the gray rain's fallin' and my ring fighting's done
So in the work fields and alleys I take all who'll come
If you're a better man than me then just step to the line
Show me your money and speak out your crime
There's nothin' I want, Ma, nothin' that you need say
Just let me lie down for a while and I'll be on my way

Well tonight in the shipyard a man draws a circle in the dirt
I move to the centre and I take off my shirt
I study him for the cuts, the scars, the pain
No man, no time can erase
I move hard to the left and I strike to the face



The above lyrics are for the live 28 Apr 2005 performance of THE HITTER at Nokia Live At Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, TX, during the Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour.

Ticket stub for the 28 Apr 2005 show at Nokia Live At Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX
Ticket stub for the 28 Apr 2005 show at Nokia Live At Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX
(Taken from Brucebase)

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE HITTER on this website:

THE HITTER [Album version]
THE HITTER [Live 13 Nov 1996 version]
THE HITTER [Live 28 Apr 2005 version]

Page last updated: 04 Oct 2016