Shaking Hands (Soldier’s Joy)

Shaking (Dm) hands and fingers that do tremble
Soldier’s Joy has been a bitter pill
Though in (G) battle, a brave man I (Dm) resemble
Alone I am a coward (A7) without will (Dm)

Pierce McGee (Dm) from the great State of Missouri
To the Show-Me-State militia I belong
And to judge (G) from the pride on the Confederate side (Dm)
I’d say five hundred thousand rebels(A7) can’t be wrong (Dm)

A rebel stand (Dm) is no place for a traitor
A loveless Union cannot bend us to her will
Cannot command (G) the soldiers who now hate her (Dm)
Nor demand the fealty of her (A7) generals (Dm)

I took (Dm) a rifle ball in my shoulder
But my entire body filled with pain
I (G) pleaded with them all at the field hospital (Dm)
“Oh, God, another shot (A7) of morphine!” (Dm)

Soldier’s Joy (Dm), oh what’s the point in pleasure
When it’s only meant to kill the pain
Lay down my arms (G) and take the coffin’s measure (Dm)
Or take up arms and send me out (A7) to fight again (Dm)

Shaking hands (Dm)…was I a coward, was I brave?
With shaking hands, I took the bitter pill
Now tell the story (G) on my grave, my soul they (Dm) could not save
What the bullet would not kill, (A7) the needle will (Dm)

Arkansas Traveler (Mercury 1992) / Arkansas Traveler (Mighty Sound 2004)

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I started traveling on the premise that I could be poor anywhere, and that’s when the music caught up with me. I wasn’t chasing the music.