SNL Transcripts: Johnny Cash: 04/17/82: Elton John performs “Ball and Chain”



 Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Season 7: Episode 17





81q: Johnny Cash / Elton John

Elton John performs “Ball and Chain”

…..Johnny Cash
…..Elton John

[FADE IN on Johnny Cash at home base, where he stands bedecked in classic Elton John attire: a huge gold robe, a pink feather boa reaching to the floor, blinding gold chains on his chest, and outsized glasses with pink feathers sticking out of the lenses. Audience hoots in approval.]

Johnny Cash: [grinning and waving his arms] Workin’ with our special guest… [applause] Working with our special guest has been a big thrill for me. He’s a wonderful entertainer, and you can’t work with a guy like Elton John without having his showmanship and flash rub off on ya–so… Elton, I hope ya don’t mind, but I took the liberty of, uh, borrowin’ these threads, and ladies and gentlemen… once again… Elton John.

[Cash gestures to his left. FADE to Elton at his piano with the band behind him. The drummer hits it a second or two later.]

Elton John: [ singing ]“I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
And you were the one to blame
For tearin’ my world apart.

I got a heart so true,
You got a heart of ice.
A little more love from you,
It could’ve been paradise.

I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
And if it’s all the same,
Maybe we should part.

And I say,
Do-do-do-do-doo
Do-do-do-do
Do-do do-do, yeah.

Do-do-do-do-do
Do-do-do-do
Do-do do-do.

You had to tie me down,
Oh, inside a cage of doubt.
I’m sick of bein’ kicked around,
So this is where I get out.

I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
And if it’s all the same,
Maybe we should part.

And I say, Do-do-do-do-do…
[repeat]

Oooooooh-wee, baby,
You tried to hold me
But you were slowly
Drivin’ me insane.

Oooooooh-wee, baby.

[changes keys]

I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
And you were the one to blame
For tearin’ my world apart.

I got a heart so true,
You got a heart of ice.
A little more love from you,
It could’ve been paradise.

[changes back to original key]

I couldn’t take the pain,
You couldn’t take my love,
So I’m gonna quit this game,
‘Cause, baby, I’ve had enough.

I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
And if it’s all the same,
Maybe we should part.

And I say, Do-do-do-do-do…
[repeat]

I got a ball and chain,
Hangin’ around my heart,
(Around my heart)…

[Repeat the refrain and chorus twice, and then the band kicks into the finish.]

Ball and chain…
Ball and chain…

And I’m sayin, Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo…”

[They repeat the chorus once more, and then the song ends. Audience cheers heartily as Elton leaps from the piano bench, kicks up his heels, and stands proudly with his band.]

Audience Member: OHHHHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHHHH!!!

[Elton shakes his left earlobe, a la Carol Burnett, and acknowledges the cheers. FADE to black.]

Submitted by: Sean

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Ebony & Ivory


Ebony & Ivory

Producer…..Tim Kazurinsky
Frank Sinatra…..Joe Piscopo
Secretary…..Tony Rosato
Stevie Wonder…..Eddie Murphy


[ open on a Recording Studio ]

Producer: Everything’s ready. We’re all set to record, as soon as he gets here, Mr. Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra: [ turns around ] Good.. good.. good. Son, come here. Come here. [ grabs his shoulder ] How does the album sound so far?

Producer: Oh, it’s excellent, Mr. Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra: Thank you, thank you, that’s very nice. I want to do some tunes that the young people will enjoy. That’s why I’m calling this album “Frank Sings Tunes the Young People Will Enjoy”.

Secretary: [ opens door and peeks in ] Uh.. excuse me, Mr. Sinatra, Sir? He’s here.

Frank Sinatra: Show him in.

[ Secretary pulls Stevie Wonder into the recording studio ]

Frank Sinatra: Stevie Wonder! Stevie Wonder! You are aptly named! Like I’ve said many times, you are truly a wonder!

Stevie Wonder: Thank you, Frank.

Frank Sinatra: Let me ask you something: Do you do your own hair?

Stevie Wonder: Uh.. no, I don’t.

Frank Sinatra: Then you’ve got no excuse! Little joke, Stevie, it looks great. Come on over here to the piano. It’s right in front of you, my friend. [ Stevie sits ] You alright there?

Stevie Wonder: You know, Frank, I feel it is a.. tremendous honor to be.. recording with you.

Frank Sinatra: Thank you, Stevie. I feel the same. I am very much into that tune you do with the Beatle kid – uh, what’s his name? The one that looks like a broad?

Stevie Wonder: His name is Paul McCartney, Frank.

Frank Sinatra: Yeah, yeah, yeah.. that’s the dude. Uh.. would you be so kind as to run down that song for me, Stevie? Please?

Stevie Wonder: Alright. [ plays piano ] “Ebony and Ivory
live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my..”

Frank Sinatra: [ interrupting ] Stevie, Stevie.. hold it, Stevie. Now, something tells me that this is more than a song about playing the piano.

Stevie Wonder: Uh.. uh.. Frank, it’s about racial equality and unity of all people.

Frank Sinatra: Well, uh.. I don’t understand. When I think of Ebony, I think of a magazine that most people do not buy. And when I think of Ivory, I think of a soap that floats.

Stevie Wonder: Ebony and Ivory are the black and white keys on the piano, Frank.

Frank Sinatra: Alright, Stevie, I know that. You know that. But it’s too artsy for the public – capiche? Now, I talekd to the master, Sammy Kahn. Now, Sammy is a marvelous, marvelous songwriter – no offense, Stevie. And, uh.. Sammy thinks we should go with something like Chocolate and Vanilla. Or, how about this: “Life is an Eskimo Pie, why don’t we take a bite?”

Stevie Wonder: I’m afraid that might be a bit offensive to some people.

Frank Sinatra: Hey, who cares what the Eskimos think – they don’t buy records, huh? [ thinking ] Okay, Stevie.. let’s see.. Ebony and Ivory, huh? Ebony and Ivory.. [ stops ] Hey, Stevie, waht the hell are we beating around the bush for? This is 1982. Let’s get right to the point! Huh? Hey, take it from the top. Swing it, Stevie! With a bounce, baby! [ sits next to Stevie ] [ Stevie starts the song again ]

Frank Sinatra: “You are black, and I am white
Life’s an Eskimo Pie, let’s.. take a bite!
That was groovy thinkin’
Lincoln, when you set them freeeeeee…

We all know
Cats are the same
Maine to Mexico.
Good. Bad.
Guys and chicks!”

Stevie Wonder: “I am dark, and you are light.”

Frank Sinatra: “You are blind as a bat, and I have sight!
Side by side, you are my amigo,
Negro, let’s not fiiiiiiiight!”

Stevie Wonder: “Ebony, ivory
Living in perfect harmony.”

Frank Sinatra: “Salt and pepper,
Sammy and Dean
Stevie and me are peachy keen!”

Stevie Wonder: “You are white.”

Frank Sinatra: “You are black – and who cares!”

Who cares, baby!

[ zoom out to fade ]

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