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War You Choose

from Ticket to Fly by Mike Lawson & Friends



Written around 1989, Lawson released an earlier version of this with a different arrangement on a cassette album "Underground." This revamped version of that song followed a different groove, and enlisted the help of Joe Louis Walker, who was in town recording an album with Steve Cropper. Joe joined Mike at Studio C in the old RCA building where the Ticket to Fly album was recorded following a day of sessions with Cropper. He played slide on a fanned fret "Fan Electro" guitar built for him by Ralph Novax, which he gifted to Lawson after the session.


What's that baby? You know I don't want to know
Take me out there, where the cold wind blows
"Cuz I'll go fly off into the night
I've been running, baby all my life

This old man told me long ago, "it's gonna be a hard row for you to hoe
Live and learn, sometimes you'll burn. Get in line and wait your turn"

Hold on now, I didn't catch what you said
You know it's hard to try when all you feel is dread
I fought the battle but I missed the war
I'm not leaving like I did before

This old man, he said to me, "everybody got a right to be free. Sometime you'll win, sometimes you'll lose, it all comes down to the war that you choose"

Get back Jack, hey, I don't remember that
I got a feeling that ain't where it's at
I can see it, you made it so hard to miss
You got everyone living the life of Sisyphus

This old man, he's a long time gone, but I can still hear him carrying on
"It's not if you win, it's not if you lose, it all comes down to the war that you choose."


from Ticket to Fly, released May 19, 1998
Mike Lawson - Guitar, Vocals
Fred Bogert - Keyboards
Joe Louis Walker - Slide Guitar
Harvey Benschvise - Bass
Happy Levon - Drums


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Mike Lawson & Friends Nashville, Tennessee

Mike Lawson has, over 30 years, recorded and/or performed together with Merl Saunders, Vince Welnick, Vassar Clements, Pete Sears, Gary Talley, John McEuen, Bob Welch, Dennis Robbins, Joe Louis Walker, Jorma Kaukonen, Phil Keaggy, Jack Casady, Scott Guberman, Dianne Davidson, Noah Wall, Tyra Juliette, Bill Vitt, Rob Wasserman, Michael Cleveland, Phil Madeira, and a host of other amazing friends. ... more

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