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Red Dress

from No Man Band by Rachel Ammons

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about

many times when people are using drugs they are trying to escape a prison of pain in their life

This song is partially based on a true story of a woman who could not have children but drove a school bus. she was unhappy and depressed. one day her friend gave her something to make her "feel better" and she was hooked from the first time.

she drained her savings, took from family and friends, then went to the streets. she tried to get help but couldn't afford it and couldn't qualify for free help, and even if she had there are sometimes waiting lists of many months during which some folks lose the motivation to even try and get clean.

her low point was one night out of money and needing a fix she walked into a corner store with her hand in a bag acting like she had a gun and robbed them. she ended up running to a park instead of getting drugs and she laid on a park bench all night with the money, crying in the rain over where she had ended up. the next morning she went back to the store and returned the money, and got arrested.

being in prison ironically gave her the help she had asked for previously and she got clean. when she got out she discovered she had gone from a prison of metal bars back out into a world where she was still imprisoned in a different way, unable to ever work with children again and barred from many jobs.

i believe that as a society we judge too harshly and without enough compassion for the details of individuals' lives, ignoring their hearts and sometimes the content of their character while focusing on aberrant or criminal activity. we may not be able to help everyone but we should try.

lyrics

RED DRESS
Girl knows how to work it
Came late with a red dress on
Listen up quit laughin’ at me
Read my lips
better guard Your sons.
She does what She wants to,
long legs got a heart of stone
mama knows she’s a problem,
stays out late
leaves her man at home

Some of us got no reason
To be dead or alive
escapin’ pain can make you do evil
Most people
just been Tryin’ to survive

Gina wore red
when she was under the weather
Best friend said she could make
her feel better.
Seemed like a fine Idea at the time,
baby didn’t know that her soul
was on the line
Spent every dime
that she owned
before she stole roll
from everyone close.
deep down she was a good woman
but you’d never know

Some of us got no reason
To be dead or alive
escapin’ pain can make you do evil
Most people
just been Tryin’ to survive
And some of us got no dreams
they all died on the vine
They’re goin to hell
in search of a healer, Time after time

6 months later
she was lookin for help
But she couldn’t qualify

we rehabilitate the rich
keep the poor woman
out of the public eye.
18 months on a waiting list
rock bottom hit like an iron fist
She would never hurt anyone
so she robbed the store
with her hand in a bag sayin’ it’s a gun

Some of us got no reason
To be dead or alive
escapin’ pain can make you do evil
Most people
just been Tryin’ to survive
And some of us got no dreams
they all died on the vine
They’re goin to hell
in search of a healer Time after time
They say you can’t save everybody
Lord you can’t change nobody’s mind
And maybe some of us are
unreachable, unteachable
but what if we try?

credits

from No Man Band, released February 28, 2020

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Rachel Ammons Arkansas

Rachel Ammons is rooted in the most primitive and raw beginnings of the Blues but constantly explores new sounds with her own soulful interpretation.

Her performances are frequently improvisational, and share an uncontrived emotionality best experienced live. During sets, which can stretch to 3 hours, she follows one rule above all: Play What You Feel.
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