Lyr Req: The Hostage (Tom Paxton) To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=38829
14 messages

Lyr Req: The Hostage (Tom Paxton)

11 Sep 01 - 04:10 PM (#547343)
Subject: Gray Iron Prison
From: Walking Eagle

Can anyone provide the lyrics for me for this song?

It starts out - - "I'm a guard in a gray iron prison, at least I was till now. It was never a picnic social, never a day..."

Judy Collins sang and recorded it in the '70s or '80s, but I've lost my recording of it.

Thanks

W.E.


11 Sep 01 - 04:37 PM (#547371)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: Sorcha

All I found was this page You might see if you recognize a title...sorry.


11 Sep 01 - 05:07 PM (#547413)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: Walking Eagle

Thanks for the help Sorcha. It wasn't there, but I did find something else interesting. My guess is that the song was written by someone else and covered by Judy.

W.E.


11 Sep 01 - 05:32 PM (#547433)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: Sorcha

Nothing showed on Google for gray, grey, prison guard, etc.


11 Sep 01 - 05:33 PM (#547434)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: Sorcha

Sorry, not quite true. Bob Dylan said he wrote a song called Prison Guard, but never recorded it, and to his knowledge, neither had anyone else.


12 Sep 01 - 03:40 AM (#547879)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOSTAGE (Tom Paxton)
From: GUEST,karen

Never posted here before so if this is all munged...hope someone will be kind and fix it for me. (Please)

The song is THE HOSTAGE by Tom Paxton

I'm a guard in gray iron prison
Least I was till now
It was never a picnic social, never a day
They never come in laughin'
And no one ever taught them how
It was damn hard work and you wouldn't believe the pay

It was early in the morning
Lord, I wasn't but half awake
When the cons went up and took us by surprise
I never was one for shakin'
But I found it hard to stand
With a six-inch blade held right between my eyes

We could hear the siren blowin'
Somebody yelling things
Then it got so quiet you could hear a bird walk by
They all had masks on their faces
They spoke with the voice of kings
"If they come in shootin', you know you're bound to die."

I turned to a buddy named Willy
I said, "Willy, it'll be all right
If they meant to kill us we'd be halfway down to hell
See they hijack a plane in the desert
And the government screams and cries
But to save our lives they open up a prison cell."

So the days kept a-comin' and a-goin'
Tension was a-gettin' high
But I wasn't too worried, I figured I knew the score
I knew they was talkin' to someone
I knew they was willin' to try
So I figured my freedom was a matter of a day or two more

Then Jesus, early this mornin'
The whirlybird dropped the gas
It made me puke and it brung me to my knees
The bullets came like hailstones
I heard the first one pass
Then they cut down Willy and they got Jim Kelly and me
They come in yellin' curses
Like they was crossin' the River Rhine
Shot down every goddamned thing they saw
And as I lay there wounded
I took another one in the spine
Poor Jim Kelly got another one in the jaw

They say we had our throats cut
By a band of desperate men
They say they saved just as many of us as they could
Well, the Governor, he should know it
And I think I'll say it again
That the Governor cut my throat and he cut it good

Yeah, let 'em take the Governor
Hold him for q couple of days
See who goes in shootin' to set him free
Hell, they'd open every jail in the country
And send 'em on their way
They'd never do to him what the Governor did to me


12 Sep 01 - 04:21 AM (#547891)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice

Tried to post a link to the Paxton webpage last night, but understandable congestion prevented it.

One of Paxton's most powerful songs, and, if I remember aright, based on a real occurrence.


12 Sep 01 - 11:15 AM (#548072)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: Walking Eagle

Thanks 'catters. It was based on the Attica uprising.

W.E.


12 Sep 01 - 03:45 PM (#548299)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOSTAGE (Tom Paxton)
From: wysiwyg

From GUEST,karen's post above-- thanks Karen, and welcome to Mudcat! See FAQ (top thread) for lots of cool stuff to avoid "munging"-- but munge ahead, we can fix 'em while you learn your way around!

If you join, please send me a PM so you can see how that feature works. (All in the FAQ.)

~Susan

=========================================================

THE HOSTAGE
by Tom Paxton

I'm a guard in grey iron prison
Least I was till now
It was never a picnic social, never a day
They never come in laughin'
And no one ever taught them how
It was damn hard work and you wouldn't believe the pay

It was early in the morning Lord,
I wasn't but half awake
When the cons went up and took us by surprise
I never was one for shakin'
But I found it hard to stand
With a six-inch blade held right between my eyes

We could hear the siren blowin'
Somebody yelling things
Then it got so quiet you could hear a bird walk by
They all had masks on their faces
They spoke with the voice of kings
"If they come in shootin', you know you're bound to die."

I turned to a buddy named Willy
I said, "Willy, it'll be all right
If they meant to kill us we'd be halfway down to hell
See they hijack a plane in the desert
And tHe government screams and cries
But to save our lives they open up a prison cell."

So the days kept a-comin' and a-goin'
Tension was a-gettin' high
But I wasn't too worried, I figured I knew the score
I knew they was talkin' to someone
I knew they was willin' to try
So I figured my freedom was a matter of a day or two more

Then Jesus, early this mornin'
The whirlybird dropped the gas
It made me puke and it brung me to my knees
The bullets came like hailstones
I heard the first one pass
Then they cut down Willy and they got Jim Kelly and me

They come in yellin' curses
Like they was crossin' the River Rhine
Shot down every goddamned thing they saw
And as I lay there wounded
I took another one in the spine
Poor Jim Kelly got another one in the jaw

They say we had our throats cut
By a band of desperate men
They say they saved just as many of us as they could
Well, the Governor, he should know it
And I think I'll say it again
That the Governor cut my throat and he cut it good

Yeah, let 'em take the Governor
Hold him for a couple of days
See who goes in shootin' to set him free
Hell, they'd open every jail in the country
And send 'em on their way
They'd never do to him what the Governor did to me


13 Sep 01 - 02:10 PM (#549019)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: GUEST,Karen

Whoa! And what a FAQ that is...I think I lost a few birthdays in there. Ah well, at least it was very interesting. Feels like I've only scratched the surface, though.

Thanks very much for the welcome and unmunging, WYSIWYG. I noted that some requested information for sign-up was more than I feel comfortable with giving anymore. It's kind of on a note of "if you can't know, I don't have to suspect you", if old things should start up again. Don't want to do kind souls that injustice. Have sensed many kind souls and seems to be a lot of them collected hereabouts.

So, will pass on the membership, for the time being, at least, but will lurk around when I can as long as nobody minds.:-)

Thanks again for the welcome and assistance.


13 Sep 01 - 03:50 PM (#549120)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: wysiwyg

Karen, just keep posting and giving the same name so we can work you into the Who's Who we all carry in our heads!

Most of the info asked was option, I thnk?

Anyway all music nuts are welcome, members or not. If you hadn't posted, for instance, I wouldn't have learned the word MUNGE... is that right? First BODGING from Junkyard Wars (Scrapheap), now this!

Last week it was MUNGLIN'. As in a spiritual, "No mo' ho' munglin' "

Cracks me up!

~S~


13 Sep 01 - 08:43 PM (#549477)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: GUEST,Karen

Ok, it's a deal but I have to tell you...don't grow too confident in that word....Merriam Webster says, huh?? Oh well,WYSIWYG, I guess it's ok since you knew what I meant.:-)


13 Sep 01 - 09:18 PM (#549504)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gray Iron Prison
From: wysiwyg

*g*


18 Jan 12 - 09:49 PM (#3292535)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Hostage (Tom Paxton)
From: GUEST,Jill

The song was written by Tom Paxton and is known as the Hostage