Everyone considered him the coward of the country He'd never stood one single time to prove the country wrong His mama named him Tommy but the folks just called him yellow Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prison I looked after Tommy 'cause he was my brother's son I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy "son, my life is over but yours has just begun" "promise me, son, not to do the things I've done walk away for trouble if you can It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek I hope you're old enough to understand Son, you don't have to fight to be a man"
There's someone for everyone and Tommy's love was Becky In her arms he didn't have to prove he was a man One day while he was working, the Gatlin boys came calling They took turns to Becky (there was three of them )
Tommy opened up the door and saw his Becky crying The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand He reached above the fireplace, and took his daddy's pictures As his tears fell on his daddy's face, he heard these words again
"promise me, son, not to do the things I've done walk away for trouble if you can It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek I hope you're old enough to understand Son, you don't have to fight to be a man"
the Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroom one of them got up and met him half way cross the floor when Tommy turned around they said "he look ! Old yellow'sleaving But you couldn't heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door
Twenty years of crawling was bottled up inside him He wouldn't hold nothing back, he let 'em have it all When Tommy left the barroom, not a Gatlin boy was standing He said, "this one's for Becky ", as he watched the last one falling And I heard him say
"I promised you, dad, not to do the things you've done I walk away for trouble when I can Now please don't think I'm weak I didn't turn the other cheek And papa, I should hope you understand Some times you gotta fight when you're a man