"When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back"
"When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back" is a song written by Steve Clark and Johnny MacRae. The song -- a bittersweet reflection of a condemned inmate's life, looking back at all the bridges he burned and wished could be repaired -- was recorded by several country music artists, including Sam Neely, Bill Anderson and the band Confederate Railroad.
"When You Leave That Way ... ," told in first-person narrative, begins with the man remembering some things about his childhood with fondness: his mother, waking to the rooster's crow and listening to Arthur Godfrey. However, his relationship with his father is very strained; after the two get into a fight one morning, the boy runs away and never returns home, beginning his troublesome life as a drifter.
Later, the man tries to settle down and eventually gets engaged to a young woman; however, on his wedding day, he leaves her standing at the altar. Later, he begins a relationship with another woman who is married; when her husband walks in on them, he shoots and kills him, eventually leading to his death sentence. (Just before the revelation of the latter of these events, he mournfully tells how he wishes he could repair his broken relationships with his parents and hold his young son.)
He burns his final bridge when a clergyman comes in to his jail cell to speak with him, shortly before he is to be put to death; however, the man tells him to go away.