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Billy Austin




My name is Billy Austin

I’m Twenty-Nine years old

I was born in Oklahoma

Quarter Cherokee I’m told

Don’t remember Oklahoma

Been so long since I left home

Seems like I’ve always been in prison

Like I’ve always been alone

Didn’t mean to hurt nobody

Never thought I’d cross that line

I held up a filling station

Like I’d done a hundred times

The kid done like I told him

He lay face down on the floor

guess I’ll never know what made me

Turn and walk back through that door

The shot rang out like thunder

My ears rang like a bell

No one came runnin’

So I called the cops myself

Took their time to get there

And I guess I could’a run

I knew I should be feeling something

But I never shed tear one

I didn’t even make the papers

‘Cause I only killed one man

but my trial was over quickly

And then the long hard wait began

Court appointed lawyer

Couldn’t look me in the eye

He just stood up and closed his briefcase

When they sentenced me to die

Now my waitin’s over

As the final hour drags by

I ain’t about to tell you

That I don’t deserve to die

But there’s twenty-seven men here

Mostly black, brown and poor

Most of em are guilty

Who are you to say for sure?

So when the preacher comes to get me

And they shave off all my hair

Could you take that long walk with me

Knowing hell is waitin’ there

Could you pull that switch yourself sir

With a sure and steady hand

Could you still tell youself

That you’re better than I am

My name is Billy Austin

I’m twenty-nine years old

I was born in Oklahoma

Quarter Cherokee I’m told


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