“Johnny Paycheck was the stage name of Donald Eugene Lytle (May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003),”

“In 1985, Paycheck was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in jail for shooting a man in Hillsboro, OH after he fired a .22 pistol, grazing the man’s head with a bullet. Paycheck claimed the act was self-defense. After several years spent fighting the sentence, in 1989 he began his sentence, spending 22 months in prison before he was pardoned by the Governor of Ohio.”

Johnny  Paycheck

 

The Song  is titled   “I’m the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)”   the  lyrics are below:

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPBylLtWsAo

 

” I cant sell my momma short on loving me
I guess that’s why she let me go so far
Momma always stopped me short of stealing
I guess thats why I had to steal that car.

She told me not to smoke it
But I did and it took me far away
And I turned out to be
The only hell mama ever raised.

I rode  into Atlanta, stolen tags and almost out of gas
I had to get some money, and lately I’d learned how to get it fast
Those neon lights was calling me and somehow I had to get downtown
I reached into the glovebox, another liquor store went down.

Chorus:
And I sing “Precious Memories,” take me back to the good ol’ days
I can hear my momma singing, “Rock of Ages” cleft for me
She tried to turn me on to Jesus, but I turned on to the devil’s ways
And I turned out to be the only hell my moma ever raised.

When they put those handcuffs on me, Lord how I fought to resist
But that agent clamped ’em tighter, ’til that metal bit into my wrist
They took my boots and my billfold, my fingerprints, and the profile of my face
Then they locked away the only hell my moma ever ever raised.

Chorus:
And I sing “Precious Memories,” take me back to the good ol’ days
I can hear my momma singing, “Rock of Ages” cleft for me
She tried to turn me on to Jesus, but I turned on to the devil’s ways
And I turned out to be the only hell my moma ever raised…

 

She told me not to smoke it but I did and it took me far away”

One of the best throw away lines in country music.

 

“Those neon lights was calling me and somehow I just had to get downtown.”

Poor country boy being    enticed by the allure  of the city.

 

They took my boots and my billfold, my fingerprints and the profile of my face.”

“They”,  being the police:  I reach out to anyone who has ever been “bum rushed” by the cops to tap into the helplessness and humiliation such an encounter usually brings.  Paycheck does an excellent job of putting this across.

“Billfold”, not wallet;  delightfully  ethnic!

 

 

 

 

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