Michelle Shocked

Shaking hands and fingers that do tremble

Soldier's joy has been a bitter pill

Though in battle a brave man I resemble

Alone I am a coward without will

Here's McGee from the great state of Missouri

To the Show-Me State Militia I belong

And to judge from the pride on the Confederate side

I'd say five hundred thousand rebels can't be wrong

A rebel stand is no place for a traitor

A loveless union cannot bend us to her will

Cannot command the soldiers who now hate her

Nor demand a bounty of her generals

I took a rifle ball in my shoulder

But my entire body filled with pain

I waited with them all at the field hospital

Oh God, another shot of morphine

Soldier's joy, oh what's the point in pleasure

When it's only meant to kill the pain

Lay down my arms and take the coffin's measure

Or take up arms and send me out to fight again

Shaking hands -- Was I a coward, was I brave?

Shaking hands -- I took the bitter pill

Tell the story on my grave, my soul they could not save

What the bullet could not kill, the needle will


Michelle Shocked (born Dallas, Texas, February, 1962) is the stage name of Michelle Karen Johnston, an American singer-songwriter.

As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony walkman. Released in England as ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ without Shocked’s authority, its success abroad enticed Mercury Records to offer the newcomer a recording contract. ... Read More