Rooster, Alice in Chains

There are some select Alice in Chains songs that I have a particular respect for; they're the ones you can unfailingly hear real emotion behind, something that I feel is all too rare in so much music today. Rooster is the most profound for me. It was written by Jerry Cantrell who wrote it for his father, Jerry Cantrell Sr, whose nickname was Rooster and served in the Vietnam War. 

This was taken from a 1992 interview of Cantrell speaking to Guitar for the Practicing Magazine, and it was in response to the question, "Do you feel you communicate with (your father) with this song?" This is his response:

"He's heard this song. He's only seen us play once, and I played this song for him when we were in this club opening for Iggy Pop. I'll never forget it. He was standing in the back and he heard all the words and stuff. Of course, I was never in Vietnam and he won't talk about it, but when I wrote this it felt right...like these were things he might have felt or thought. And I remember when we played it he was back by the soundboard and I could see him. He was back there with his big gray Stetson and his cowboy boots — he's a total Oklahoma man — and at the end, he took his hat off and just held it in the air. And he was crying the whole time. This song means a lot to me. A lot."

Ain't found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere
Wife and kids, household pet
Army green was no safe bet
The bullets scream to me from somewhere

Here they come to snuff the rooster, oh yeah
Yeah, here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain't gonna die

Here they come to snuff the rooster, oh yeah
Yeah, here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain't gonna die

Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my home land
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God, please won't you help me make it through?

Here they come to snuff the rooster, oh yeah
Yeah, here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no you know he ain't gonna die