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Although "ball and chain" is usually used to humorously refer to ones Significant Other, it can also be used to mean any other sort of yoke (physical or otherwise) that holds one back. Originally the "ball and chain" referred to the heavy iron ball that was attached to a prisoner's leg to hobble him.

In Nethack, you are stuck with a ball and chain if you read a cursed or uncursed Scroll of Punishment. The ball and chain is not completely useless, though, you can pick it up and use it as a weapon (albeit a very poor one), or if you polymorph into a rust monster you can eat it for sustenance.

Ball and Chain was actually the first song I ever played on guitar for a girlfriend. Now I realize that this may not have been a great idea, but I explained that I had a limited repertoire, and the song was not indicative of my feelings towards her. Besides, the song's more about a guy's drinking problem and everything that's dragged him down than just about a woman. Oh, and just for information, the girl I was going out with was basically just using me to go to prom. The price of being trusting I guess.

So without any further ado, here's a rough sketch of how to play the song on the guitar.

Ball and Chain
By Social Distortion
From the Social Distortion album

Intro, chorus, bridges, everything:

The song really is quite easy to play. The timing of the rhythm section is not tough to get down, and the solos seem to be roughly built on a pentatonic scale starting at the seventh fret.
For information on how to play these chords, I would suggest The Everything Guide to Guitar Chords.

If you have any questions regarding this, or have suggestions for more information to put here, let me know

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