I'm in Jail

from by The Gated Community

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An epic, picaresque fantasy inspired by the homeless, migrant laborers, the industrial reserve army, and Billy Joe Shaver.


If you see me on the corner sitting up with a bottle of gin
You don’t need a doctor to find out what’s the shape I’m in
No one cares about a wastrel, he’s a scoundrel in the dirt
So they leave him to lay hurt beyond the pale

You may think you know me but you haven’t got a clue
If I ask for money it’s because I know you
I am peering in between you, seeing through a tear-stained soul
And a face blacked up with coal to mend the veil

I’m in jail, I’m in jail
(He's in jail, he's in jail)
I’ll be hanging from the lamppost in the sky
(Hallelujah, he's in jail!)
I was born in Alabama, in Atlanta I’ll post bail
And I’m proud to be a man ’til the day I die

I will feed you tales of dragons, I will conjure them with speed
I will pour you several flagons, give you everything you need
I was once a Chinese tailor, soon I’ll be a shipping clerk
Many hands can do this work and without fail

He’s a poet, he’s an angel, and he’s innocent as hell
But the burn mark on his shoulder has another truth to tell
Of a night when he was branded, he cried “wolf” too many times
Now they need something that rhymes with a pint of ale

I’m in jail, I’m in jail
I’ll be swinging from the rafters up on high
I was brave in Madagascar, in Manassas I turned tail
And I’m proud to be a man ’til the day I die

Well I traveled to the coastline, crossed the border in a day
Seeking out the velvet goldmine while machine-press-baling hay
The police then came to get me, swept me up in a blanket raid
Never to be paid a rusty nail

Every child is born a sinner, every worker dies a saint
Who has bought the family dinner on a used-up can of paint
There’s a carcass out there rotting on the side of every road
So I’ll pack my heavy load and then set sail

I’m in jail, I’m in jail
I’ll be scrounging for a cigarette to buy
I was down in Matamoros when Virginia read my mail
And I’m proud to be a man ’til the day I die


from Country Hymn, released September 17, 2016
words by Sumanth Gopinath, music by The Gated Community
copyright 2016

Sumanth Gopinath: lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Rosie Harris: banjo, backing vocals
Beth Hartman: backing vocals
Teresa Gowan: fiddle
Johnny Becker: mandolin, backing vocals
Cody Johnson: electric bass
Paul Hatlelid: drums



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The Gated Community Minneapolis

The Gated Community is a country/bluegrass/Americana band with rock influences based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota and has been in existence since early 2006.


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