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"Ball & Chain" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Gary Osborne. It is the third track on his 1982 album Jump Up! and was released as a single in the United States in September that year. It features Pete Townshend of The Who on acoustic guitar.

"Ball & Chain"
Single by Elton John
from the album Jump Up!
B-side"Where Have All the Good Times Gone" (alternate version)
ReleasedSeptember 1982
RecordedSeptember-October 1981
GenreRock, acoustic pop
LabelGeffen (US)
Rocket (UK)
Songwriter(s)Elton John, Gary Osborne
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"Ball & Chain"
"All Quiet On The Western Front"

Lyrical meaningEdit

The song is basically about bad love, simply a relationship that is just not working. The singer feels that they have "a ball and chain hanging around [their] heart". Osborne also added some French words into the song.

Musical structureEdit

The song opens with Pete Townshend's percussive guitar playing, and subtle piano from Elton John. The song then builds to a climactic finish, placing the final verse one octave higher.



Country music artist Kathy Mattea covered the song on her 1985 album From My Heart.