Pre-war Blues Lyric Poetry: an Anthology

A - C

Akers, Garfield. 16

Cottonfield Blues‑Part 1. 16

Cottonfield Blues‑Part 2. 16

Dough Roller Blues. 16

Jumpin' and Shoutin' Blues. 16

Alexander, Texas. 17

Long Lonesome Day Blues. 17

Corn‑Bread Blues. 17

Section Gang Blues. 17

Levee Camp Moan Blues. 17

Yellow Girl Blues. 17

No More Woman Blues. 17

Sittin' on a Log. 18

Work Ox Blues. 18

The Risin' Sun. 18

I Am Calling Blues. 18

Double Crossing Blues. 18

Ninety‑Eight Degree Blues. 18

Water Bound Blues. 19

Awful Moaning Blues‑Part 1. 19

Awful Moaning Blues‑Part 2. 19

When You Get to Thinking. 19

Seen Better Days. 19

Frost Texas Tornado Blues. 20

Easy Rider Blues. 20

Amos, Blind Joe. 20

C and O Blues. 20

Anderson, . . . (Walter Taylor) 20

Thirty‑Eight and Plus. 20

Anderson, Jelly Roll 21

Free Woman Blues. 21

I. C. Blues. 21

Arnold, Kokomo. 21

Rainy Night Blues. 21

Milk Cow Blues. 21

Old Original Kokomo Blues. 22

Old Black Cat Blues. 22

Sissy Man Blues. 22

Front Door Blues. 22

Back Door Blues. 23

The Twelves. 23

Slop Jar Blues. 23

Black Annie. 24

Southern Railroad Blues. 24

Busy Bootin' 24

Let Your Money Talk. 24

Policy Wheel Blues. 25

Stop Look and Listen. 25

Big Leg Mama. 25

Milk Cow Blues‑No. 4. 25

I'll Be Up Some Day. 25

Shake That Thing. 26

Mister Charlie. 26

Long and Tall 26

Salty Dog. 26

Wild Water Blues. 27

Laugh and Grin Blues. 27

Mean Old Twister. 27

Red Beans and Rice. 27

Set Down Gal 27

Big Ship Blues. 28

Buddie Brown Blues. 28

Rocky Road Blues. 28

Head Cuttin' Blues. 28

Broke Man Blues. 29

Back on the Job. 29

Your Ways and Actions. 29

Tired of Runnin' from Door to Door. 29

My Well Is Dry. 29

Midnight Blues. 30

Bad Luck Blues. 30

Kid Man Blues. 30

Bailey, Kid. 30

Mississippi Bottom Blues. 30

Rowdy Blues. 31

Baker, Willie. 31

Mama, Don't Rush Me Blues. 31

No No Blues. 31

Weak‑Minded Blues. 31

Bad Luck Moan. 32

Crooked Woman Blues. 32

Rag Baby. 32

Weak‑Minded Blues. 32

Sweet Patunia Blues. 33

Barefoot Bill 33

My Crime Blues. 33

Snigglin' Blues. 33

Big Rock Jail 33

From Now On. 34

I Don't Like That 34

She's Got a Nice Line. 34

Squabblin' Blues. 34

Barefoot Bill's Hard Luck Blues. 35

One More Time. 35

Bad Boy. 35

Barner, Wiley. 35

My Gal Treats Me Mean. 35

If You Want a Good Woman‑Get One Long and Tall 36

Batts, Will 36

Country Woman. 36

Highway No. 61 Blues. 36

Baxter, Jim (Andrew and Jim Baxter) 36

Bamalong Blues. 36

K. C. Railroad Blues. 36

Beaman, Lottie. 36

Wayward Girl Blues. 36

Rolling Log Blues. 37

Goin' Away Blues. 37

Going Away Blues. 37

Rollin' Log Blues. 38

Bell, Anna. 38

Hopeless Blues. 38

Every Woman Blues. 38

Shake It, Black Bottom.. 38

I Don't Care Who Gets What I Don't Want 39

Bell, Ed. 39

Mamlish Blues. 39

Ham Bone Blues. 39

Mean Conductor Blues. 39

Frisco Whistle Blues. 40

Carry It Right Back Home. 40

She's a Fool Gal 40

Bennett, Will 41

Railroad Bill 41

Real Estate Blues. 41

Big Bill (Broonzy) 41

Down in the Basement Blues. 41

Starvation Blues. 42

Eagle Riding Papa. 42

Grandma's Farm.. 42

Skoodle Do Do. 42

I Can't Be Satisfied. 42

Skoodle Do Do. 43

Pussy Cat Blues. 43

The Banker's Blues. 43

Big Bill Blues. 43

Mr. Conductor Man. 43

Worrying You Off My Mind‑Part 1. 44

Bull Cow Blues. 44

How You Want It Done. 44

Long Tall Mama. 44

Mississippi River Blues. 45

C and A Blues. 45

Keep Your Hands Off Her. 45

Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down. 45

Rustlin' Man. 46

I've Got to Dig You. 46

When I Had Money. 46

Key to the Highway. 46

Bird, Billy. 46

Mill Man Blues. 46

Alabama Blues‑Part 1. 47

Alabama Blues‑Part 2. 47

Bird, John (Mae Glover) 47

Gas Man Blues. 47

Black Boy Shine (Harold Holiday) 47

Sugarland Blues. 47

Black Ivory King (Dave Alexander) 48

The Flying Crow.. 48

Black, Lewis. 48

Rock Island Blues. 48

Gravel Camp Blues. 48

Corn Liquor Blues. 48

Blackman, Tewee (Memphis Jug Band) 49

K. C. Moan. 49

K. C. Moan. 49

I Whipped My Woman With a Single Tree. 49

Blackwell, Francis Scrapper. 49

Kokomo Blues. 49

Penal Farm Blues. 49

Trouble Blues‑Part 1. 50

Trouble Blues‑Part 2. 50

Rambling Blues. 50

Blue Day Blues. 50

Down South Blues. 50

Hard Time Blues. 51

Back Door Blues. 51

No Good Woman Blues. 51

Blake, Blind. 51

Early Morning Blues. 51

Early Morning Blues. 51

Too Tight 52

Blake's Worried Blues. 52

Come On Boys Let's Do that Messin' Around. 52

Tampa Bound. 52

Stonewall Street Blues. 52

Black Dog Blues. 53

One Time Blues. 53

Bad Feeling Blues. 53

Brownskin Mama Blues. 53

Hard Road Blues. 53

Hey Hey Daddy Blues. 54

You Gonna Quit Me Blues. 54

Wabash Rag. 54

Doggin' Me Mama Blues. 54

Goodbye Mama Moan. 54

No Dough Blues. 55

Bootleg Rum Dum Blues. 55

Panther Squall Blues. 55

Walkin' Across the Country. 55

Search Warrant Blues. 55

Notoriety Woman Blues. 56

Low Down Loving Gal 56

Poker Woman Blues. 56

Doing a Stretch. 56

Fightin' the Jug. 57

Hookworm Blues. 57

Diddie Wa Diddie. 57

Too Tight Blues No. 2. 57

Police Dog Blues. 58

Georgia Bound. 58

Playing Policy Blues. 58

Righteous Blues. 58

Rope Stretchin' Blues‑Part 1. 59

Rope Stretchin' Blues‑Part 2. 59

Depression's Gone from Me Blues. 59

Blind Norris. 59

Sundown Blues. 59

Blind Percy. 60

Coal River Blues. 60

Fourteenth Street Blues. 60

Bogan, Lucille. 60

Sweet Patunia. 60

Levee Blues. 60

Jim Tampa Blues. 60

Coffee Grindin' Blues. 61

Pot Hound Blues. 61

My Georgia Grind. 61

They Ain't Walking No More. 62

Sloppy Drunk Blues. 62

Alley Boogie. 62

Black Angel Blues. 63

Tricks Ain't Working No More. 63

T N and O Blues. 63

Baking Powder Blues. 63

You Got to Die Some Day. 64

Lonesome Midnight Blues. 64

My Man Is Boogan Me. 64

Pig Iron Sally. 64

I Hate that Train Called the M. and O. 64

Tired as I Can Be. 65

Sweet Man, Sweet Man. 65

Reckless Woman. 65

Down in Boogie Alley. 65

Barbecue Bess. 65

Jump Steady Daddy. 66

Man Stealer Blues. 66

Stew Meat Blues. 66

Skin Game Blues. 67

Bonds, Son (Sleepy John Estes) 67

Weary Worried Blues. 67

Black Gal Swing. 67

80 Highway Blues. 67

Boyd, Georgia. 67

Never Mind Blues. 67

Bracey, Ishman. 68

Saturday Blues. 68

Left Alone Blues. 68

Leavin' Town Blues. 68

My Brown Mama Blues. 68

Trouble‑Hearted Blues. 69

Trouble‑Hearted Blues. 69

The Four Day Blues. 69

Woman Woman Blues. 69

Suitcase Full of Blues. 70

Bust Up Blues. 70

Pay Me No Mind. 70

Bracey, Mississippi 70

You Scolded Me and Drove Me from Your Door. 70

Cherry Ball 70

Stered Gal 71

I'll Overcome Some Day. 71

Bradley, Tommie. 71

Adam and Eve. 71

Pack Up Your Trunk Blues. 71

Please Don't Act that Way. 71

Four Day Blues. 72

Window Pane Blues. 72

Brasswell, Frank.. 72

Guitar Rag. 72

Brown, Bessie. 72

Nobody But My Baby Is Getting My Love. 72

Brown, Hi Henry. 72

Titanic Blues. 72

Preacher Blues: 73

Nut Factory Blues. 73

Skin Man. 73

Brown, Richard Rabbit 73

James Alley Blues. 73

Brown, Willie. 74

M and O Blues. 74

Future Blues. 74

Bryant, Laura. 74

Dentist Chair Blues‑Part 1. 74

Dentist Chair Blues‑Part 2. 74

Bunn, Teddy. 75

It's Sweet Like So. 75

Pattin' Dat Cat 75

Burse, Charlie. 75

Tappin' that Thing. 75

I Got Good Taters. 75

Boodie Bum Bum.. 76

Butler, Sam.. 76

Some Screamed High Yellow.. 76

You Can't Keep No Brown. 76

Poor Boy Blues. 76

Jefferson County Blues. 77

Byrd, John. 77

Billy Goat Blues. 77

Old Timbrook Blues. 77

Calicott, Joe. 78

Fare Thee Well Blues. 78

Traveling Mama Blues. 78

Calloway, Blanche. 78

Lazy Woman's Blues. 78

Lonesome Lovesick. 78

Campbell, Bob. 79

Dice's Blues. 79

Shotgun Blues. 79

Starvation Farm Blues. 79

Campbell, Charlie. 79

Goin' Away Blues. 79

Campbell, Gene. 80

Wandering Blues. 80

Robbin' and Stealin' Blues. 80

Cannon, Gus. 80

Poor Boy, Long Ways from Home. 80

Heart Breakin' Blues. 80

Feather Bed. 80

Last Chance Blues. 81

Carr, Leroy. 81

Naptown Blues. 81

Gettin' All Wet 81

Papa Wants a Cookie. 81

Memphis Town. 82

Sloppy Drunk Blues. 82

Four Day Rider. 82

Alabama Woman Blues. 82

Low Down Dog Blues. 83

New How Long How Long Blues‑Part 2. 83

What More Can I Do. 83

Papa Wants to Knock a Jug. 83

I Keep the Blues. 84

Midnight Hour Blues. 84

Mean Mistreater Mama. 84

Hurry Down Sunshine. 84

Corn Licker Blues. 85

Hold Them Puppies. 85

Shady Lane Blues. 85

Blues Before Sunrise. 85

Take a Walk Around the Corner. 85

My Woman's Gone Wrong. 86

Southbound Blues. 86

Barrel House Woman. 86

Barrel House Woman No. 2. 86

I Believe I'll Make a Change. 87

Bo Bo Stomp. 87

Big Four Blues. 87

Hard Hearted Papa. 87

You Left Me Crying. 87

Broken‑Hearted Man. 88

Evil‑Hearted Woman. 88

Good Woman Blues. 88

Hustler's Blues. 88

Eleven Twenty‑Nine Blues. 88

You've Got Me Grieving. 89

Bread Baker. 89

Tight Time Blues. 89

Longing for My Sugar. 89

Shinin' Pistol 90

It's Too Short 90

Suicide Blues. 90

Carter, George. 90

Rising River Blues. 90

Hot Jelly Roll Blues. 90

Carter, Margaret 91

I Want Plenty of Grease in My Frying Pan. 91

Carter, Spider. 91

Don't Leave Me Blues. 91

Chatman, Bo. 91

I'm an Old Bumble Bee. 91

Ram Rod Daddy. 91

The Law Gonna Step on You. 92

Ants in My Pants. 92

I Want You To Know.. 92

Bo Carter Special 92

Beans. 92

Tellin' You 'Bout It 93

Sales Tax. 93

Let Me Roll Your Lemon. 93

Howlin' Tom Cat Blues. 93

I Get the Blues. 94

Rolling Blues. 94

All Around Man. 94

Dinner Blues. 94

Cigarette Blues. 95

Pussy Cat Blues. 95

The Ins and Outs of My Girl 95

Bo Carter's Advice. 95

Double Up in a Knot 96

Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me. 96

Sue Cow.. 96

Shake 'Em On Down. 96

Who's Been Here. 97

Let's Get Drunk Again. 97

Some Day. 97

Old Devil 97

Country Fool 97

Arrangement for Me‑Blues. 98

My Baby. 98

Policy Blues. 98

Honey. 98

Chatman, Lonnie. 98

It's a Pain to Me. 98

New Sittin' On Top of the World. 99

Please Baby. 99

Chatman, Peter (Memphis Slim) 99

Beer Drinking Woman. 99

You Don't Mean Me No Good. 99

Grinder Man Blues. 100

Empty Room Blues. 100

I See My Great Mistake. 100

Old Taylor. 100

I Believe I'll Settle Down. 100

Jasper's Gal 101

You Got to Help Me Some. 101

Two of a Kind. 101

Maybe I'll Loan You a Dime. 101

Me, Myself, and I 102

Whiskey and Gin Blues. 102

You Gonna Worry Too. 102

Caught the Old Coon at Last 102

Lend Me Your Love. 102

Church, Blind Clyde. 103

Number Nine Blues. 103

Pneumatic Blues. 103

Clark, Lonnie. 103

Broke Down Engine. 103

Down in Tennessee. 103

Clayton, Jennie. 103

I Packed My Suitcase, Started to the Train. 103

State of Tennessee Blues. 103

Bob Lee Junior Blues. 104

Cleveland, Big Boy. 104

Goin' to Leave You Blues. 104

Cole, James. 104

Mistreated the Only Friend You Had. 104

Cole, Kid. 104

Hard Hearted Mama Blues. 104

Niagara Fall Blues. 105

Coleman, Bob. 105

Sing Song Blues. 105

Coleman, Jaybird. 105

Man Trouble Blues. 105

No More Good Water. 105

Mistreatin' Mama. 106

Save Your Money‑Let These Women Go. 106

Coffee Grinder Blues. 106

Man Trouble Blues. 106

Coleman, Lonnie. 106

Old Rock Island Blues. 106

Wild About My Loving. 106

Collins, Chasey. 107

Walking Blues. 107

Atlanta Blues. 107

Collins, Sam.. 107

The Jail House Blues. 107

Devil in the Lion's Den. 107

Yellow Dog Blues. 108

Loving Lady Blues. 108

Riverside Blues. 108

Hesitation Blues. 108

Midnight Special Blues. 108

It Won't Be Long. 109

Do That Thing. 109

Lonesome Road Blues. 109

New Salty Dog. 109

Slow Mama Slow.. 109

I'm Sitting on Top of the World. 110

My Road Is Rough and Rocky. 110

Cooksey, Robert 110

Dollar Blues. 110

Hock My Shoes. 110

Covington, Blind Bogus Ben. 110

It's a Fight Like That 110

Boodle‑De‑Bum Bum.. 111

Cox, Ida. 111

Ida Cox's Lawdy, Lawdy Blues. 111

Wild Women Don't Have the Blues. 111

Misery Blues. 111

Blue Kentucky Blues. 112

Long Distance Blues. 112

Southern Woman's Blues. 112

Lonesome Blues. 112

Coffin Blues. 112

Rambling Blues. 113

Worn Down Daddy Blues. 113

You Stole My Man. 113

Crawford, Rosetta. 113

My Man Jumped Salty on Me. 113

Crudup, Arthur Big Boy. 114

Black Pony Blues. 114

Death Valley Blues. 114

If I Get Lucky. 114

Mean Old 'Frisco Blues. 114

Curry, Ben. 115

Fat Mouth Blues. 115

 


 

   Akers, Garfield

      Cottonfield Blues‑Part 1

          Memphis, c. 23 Sept. 1929

          (M‑201‑ ) Vo‑1442 OJL‑2

I said look a‑here mama : what in the world are you trying to do

You want to make me love you : you going to break my heart in two

I said you don't want me : what made you want to lie

Now the day you quit me fair brown : baby that's the day you die

I'd rather see you dead : buried in some cypress grove

Than to hear some gossip mama : that she had done you so

It was early one morning : just about the break of day

And along brownskin coming : man and drove me away

Lord my baby quit me : she done set my trunk outdoors

That put the poor boy wandering : Lord along the road

I said trouble here mama : and trouble everywhere you go

And it's trouble here mama : baby good gal I don't know

      Cottonfield Blues‑Part 2

         Memphis, c. 23 Sept. 1929

         (M‑202‑ ) Vo‑1442 OJL‑2

I got something I'm going to tell you : mama keep it all to yourself

Don't you tell your mama : don't you tell nobody else

I'm going to write you a letter : I'm going to mail it in the air

Then I know you going to catch it : babe in this world somewhere

I'm going to write you a letter : I'm going to mail it in the sky

Mama I know you going to catch it : when the wind blows on the line

Ooh : mama I don't know what to do

I knows you'll go : leave me all lowdown and blue

Ooh : that's the last word you said

And I just can't remember : babe last old words you said

      Dough Roller Blues

         Memphis, c. 21 Feb. 1930

         (MEM‑776‑ ) Vo‑1481 OJL‑11

And I rolled and I tumbled : and I cried the whole night long

And I rose this morning : and I didn't know right from wrong

Have you ever woke up : and found your dough‑roller gone

Then you wring your hands : and you cry the whole day long


And I told my woman : just before I left your town

Don't you let nobody : tear the barrelhouse down

And I fold my arms : and I begin to walk away

I said that's all right sweet mama : your trouble's going to come some day

      Jumpin' and Shoutin' Blues

           Memphis, c. 21 Feb. 1930

           (MEM‑777‑A) Vo‑1481 OJL‑8

Lord I know my baby : sure going to jump and shout

When the train get here : I come a‑rolling out

Lord I tell you it wasn't no need : of mama trying to be so kind

Ah you know you don't love me : you ain't got me on your mind

Mmm : you ain't got me on your mind

And it's what is the need : of baby trying to be so kind

Mmm : tried to treat her right

But you started with another man : and stayed out every day and night

Says I ain't going down : this big road by myself

If I can't get you mama : I'm going to get somebody else

Mmm : what you want your babe to do

Says I know it's something : gal it ain't no use

               Alexander, Texas

       Long Lonesome Day Blues

         New York, 11 Aug. 1927

         (81213‑A) OK‑8511 Rt RL‑315

Yes today has been : a long old lonesome day

Lord it seem like tomorrow : going to be the same old way

Oh tell me pretty mama : how you want your rolling done

Don't want to do : just like my old‑time rider done

Don't a woman act funny : she's going to put you down

She *jumped in the bay* : with a case of

Woman *use the jelly* : I like those old‑time

       Corn‑Bread Blues

         New York, 12 Aug. 1927

         (81223‑A) OK‑8511 Rt RL‑315

I've got a brownskin woman : she lives up on that hill

Lord the fool trying to quit me : man but I love her still

She was a *broad back middy* : and a gambling stomping whore

She got a new way of getting down : have to get low as a toad

Some of [these, you] women : I just can't understand

They cook corn bread for their husbands : and biscuits for their men

      Section Gang Blues

         New York, 12 Aug. 1927

         (81224‑B) OK‑8498 Rt RL‑312

I been working on the section : *section* thirty‑two

I'll get a dollar and a quarter : I won't have to work hard as you

Oh nigger licked molasses : and the white man licked them too

I wonder what in the world : is the Mexican going to do

Oh captain captain : what's the matter with you

If you got any Battle Ax : please sir give me a chew

Water boy water boy : bring your water around

If you ain't got no water : set your bucket down

Oh captain captain : what time of day

Oh he looked at me : and he walked away

      Levee Camp Moan Blues

         New York, 12 Aug. 1927

         (81225‑B) OK‑8498 RBF RF‑9

Lord they accused me of murder : I haven't harmed a man

Oh they accused me of forgery : I can't write my name

Oh I went all around : that whole corral

Lord I couldn't find a mule : with his shoulder well

Oh I worked old Maude : and I worked old Belle

Lord I couldn't find a mule : Maggie with his shoulder well

Mmm : mmm

Mmm : Lord that morning bell

Lord she went up the country : and but she's on my mind

Oh if she don't come on the big boat : she better not land

      Yellow Girl Blues

         San Antonio, 9 Mar. 1928

         (400442‑B) OK‑8801 His HLP‑31

Some of these women : I just can't understand

They run around here : with one another's man

Oh black woman evil : brownskin evil too

Going to get me a yellow woman : see what she will do

Going to get me a heaven : heaven kingdom of my own

So these brownskin women : can cluster around my throne

      No More Woman Blues

         San Antonio, 9 Mar. 1928

         (400446‑A) OK‑8624 Rt RL‑312


Lord she won't pick cotton : girl won't pick no corn

Baby I don't see why : you want to hang around me so long

And it's one two three four : five six seven eight nine

When I count them blues : the men and women is mine

Lord if I get lucky : mama in this world again

I ain't going to fool with no more women : and a mighty few men

Mmm : mmm

Lord I walked all last night : and all last night before

      Sittin' on a Log

         San Antonio, 10 Mar. 1928

         (400454‑B) OK‑8624 Rt RL‑312

I was sitting on a log : just like a doggone dog

That's the mean old woman : come and crossed my heart

Says I went to the church : and they called on me to pray

I fell down on my knees : and forgot just what to say

Oh Lordy mama : what am I to do

I'm going to stay right here : wait on something new

      Work Ox Blues

         New York, 15 Nov. 1928

         (401330‑A) OK‑8658 Sw S‑1276

Mama I ain't going to be : your old work ox no more

You done fooled around woman : let your ox get gored

She will get up early in the morning : just awhile before day

Then cook your breakfast : man rush you away

Come in daddy : know my ox is gone

You can never tell : when your ox is coming back home

You can never tell : what the double‑crossing women will do

Says they will have your buddy : then play fake on you

      The Risin' Sun

         New York, 15 Nov. 1928

         (401331‑A) OK‑8673 Sw S‑1276

My woman got something : just like the rising sun

You can never tell : when that work is done

It's no use to worrying : about the days being long

Neither worry about your rolling : because it's sure going on

She got something round : and it look just like a bat

Sometime I wonder : what in the hell is that

      I Am Calling Blues

         New York, 20 Nov. 1928


         (401349‑A) OK‑8801 His HLP‑31

Listen here woman : I'm calling on your name

You got me in trouble : and you say you ain't to blame

Don't you never drive : a stranger from your door

He may be your best friend : mama says you don't know

My woman got something : and I ain't ashamed

When I love my woman : it puts me in a strain

      Double Crossing Blues

         San Antonio, 15 June 1929

         (402639‑B) OK‑8745 Yz L‑1032

Some men like dogging : I just declare I don't

Babe if you think I'm same your mistreating men : I declare I won't

Let's stop our foolishness : and try to settle down

Says I [always] [wants, likes] a woman : that do not run around

I used to have a woman : good as any in this town

She had so many men : she kept me always crying

      Ninety‑Eight Degree Blues

         San Antonio, 15 June 1929

         (402640‑A) OK‑8705 Yz L‑1004

I'm going to get up in the morning : do like Buddy Brown

I'm going to eat my breakfast : man and lay back down

When a man get hairy : know he needs a shave

When a woman get musty : you know she needs to bathe

I've got something to tell you : make the hair rise on your head

Got a new way of loving a woman : make the springs screech on her bed

If you don't believe I love you : look what a fool I've been

Woman if you don't believe I love you : ah look what a shape I'm in

I says I love my baby : better than I do myself

If she don't love me : she won't love nobody else

      Water Bound Blues

         San Antonio, 15 June 1929

         (402642‑A) OK‑8785 Rt RL‑327

Now my home's on the water : spending awhile on land

I was trying to find a woman : that ain't got no man

Says I used to have a friend : by the name of Sam

Says we was ragged and dirty : some called us a tramp

Says I stole my woman : from my friend they call him Sam

Says that scoundrel got lucky : stoled her back again

I was raised on the desert : born in a lion's den

Says my chief occupation : taking *musky* men women


Says I never had a woman : couldn't get her back again

Says I traveled over this country : every kind of man

      Awful Moaning Blues‑Part 1

         San Antonio, 15 June 1929

         (402643‑B) OK‑8731 Rt RL‑327

I been moaning moaning : ever since you been gone

Going to find a new way of moaning : bring my woman back home

Says I went back home : and I looked up side the wall

Says I could not find : my woman's clothes at all

      Awful Moaning Blues‑Part 2

         San Antonio, 15 June 1929

         (402644‑B) OK‑8731 Rt RL‑327

Mmm : mmm

I been moaning woman : ever since you been gone

Says I went back home : and I looked up on the shelf

Says I'm getting mighty tired : sleeping by myself

Says I went back home : and I walked up and down the hall

Says I spied another mule : pawing in my stall

Says I moaned early in the morning : moaned late late at night

I was trying to moan to your satisfaction : till I treat my woman right

Mmm : mmm

Says I'm going to moan going to moan : till I treat my baby right

      When You Get to Thinking

         San Antonio, 27 Nov. 1929

         (403359‑B) OK‑8764 Fly LP‑103

A married woman : best woman ever been born

Only trouble you have : is trying to keep her at home

My woman left me this morning : but I blame myself

That backbiting man taken my woman : now he's going to the west

I can't sleep at night : when I lay down to take my rest

Say the woman I love Lord : she is my partner's maid

      Seen Better Days

         San Antonio, 9 June 1930

         (404112‑B) OK‑8890 Rt RL‑316

I seen better days : when times wasn't so hard

Says my woman got mad : and drove me out of her yard

I wonder what can the matter : with poor Betsy Mae

Lord she got mad : and drove poor me away

Says I wonder what's the matter : with my troublesome mind


Says I must be thinking : about my woman I left behind

My woman she got something : works like sleeping pills

It takes all of my time : to try to keep my backbone still

That's why I can't keep from thinking : times I used to have

Sometime I think : Lord I declare I declare

      Frost Texas Tornado Blues

         San Antonio, 9 June 1930

         (404117‑B) OK‑8890 Rt RL‑316

I was sitting looking : way out across the world

Said the wind had things switching : almost in a twirl

Says I been a good fellow : just good as I can be

Says it's Lord have mercy : Lord have mercy on me

Mmm : mmm

Says I been a good fellow : just as good as a man could be

Some *lost their baby* : was blowing for two three miles around

When they come to their right mind : they come on back to town

Said rooster was crowing cows was lowing : never heard such a noise before

Does it seem like hell was broke out : in this place below

      Easy Rider Blues

         Fort Worth, 30 Sept. 1934

         (FW‑1138) Vo‑02856 Yz L‑1010

Says I wonder where : my easy rider gone

She's a easy rider : but she do right not so long

Some give her a nickel : some give her a lousy dime

She's a easy rider : but she do right all sometime

I wonder what's the matter : you ain't got no settled mind

Says I got a little woman : ??? behind

Say it's in the morning : so late in the night

When she's loving you man : she loves you just right

I say every time : that evening sun go down

We gets in the bed : and we stay there a great long time

It takes midnight *watch* : the early rising sun

I looked out the window : says here my baby comes

What you going to do mama : when your thing give out

I'm going to telephone you : *we all* jump and shout

I ain't going to tell no story : tell you no doggone lie

Say when you get to loving : man I near about die

               Amos, Blind Joe

      C and O Blues

         probably Chicago, c. July 1927

         (   ) Vo‑1116 OJL‑17


Did you ever wake up : between midnight and day

And felt for your rider : she done eased away

Fourteen long years : C and O run by my door

My fair brown told me this morning : she didn't want me no more

If you don't want me baby : what makes you wine and cry

You put that thing on me mama : and let a black child die

Which a‑way which a‑way : did the C and O leave your town

She's gone west baby : *Capital* Creek Junction bound

My mama told me baby : two long years ago

If you fool with that little woman : you'll have nowhere to go

Want all of you men : to clearly understand

Take a Alabama woman : sure going to quit you for another man

I love you baby : tell the whole round world I do

I love you baby : don't care what you do

               Anderson, . . . (Walter Taylor)

      Thirty‑Eight and Plus

         Richmond, Ind., 14 Feb. 1930

         (16266‑B) Ge‑7157 Fwy FJ‑2801

I woke up this morning : about half past four

Told my girl : I couldn't use her no more

Look here pretty mama : what you done done

You done made me love you : now your man done come

Say God made a woman : he made her mighty funny

Ring around her mouth : is just as sweet as any honey

Say I got a key : shine like gold

The women all tell me : satisfied their soul

??? : treat me right

??? *women* : ??? *side*

Going away pretty mama : won't be back till fall

If I don't get back then : I won't be back at all

Said a monkey and a baboon : setting in the grass

One said no : and the other said yes

               Anderson, Jelly Roll

      Free Woman Blues

         Chicago or Richmond, Ind., 19 Apr. 1927

         (12718‑B) Ge‑6135 Rt RL‑340

Six bits ain't no dollar : six months ain't no long time

If you want to come to your baby : you can see me any time

Take me for your prisoner : let that one I love go free

Six months in the workhouse : sure ain't hard for me

If you take me back baby : I'll let you be my boss

Let you do anything : but nail me on the cross

Baby baby baby : I got all my clothes out on pawn


I'm going to wake up one morning : and have all my glad rags gone

      I. C. Blues

         Chicago or Richmond, Ind., 19 Apr. 1927

         (12722) Ge‑6135 His HLP‑22

Trouble trouble : ever since I been a man

Seems like me and trouble : is just running hand and hand

I've had trouble in Rock Island : also on the old S T

But I seem so miscontented : every time I ride the big I C

Very next time I ride the I C : that long whistle blow

I'm going to hop right on : won't even stop to pack my clothes

When that I C train : goes hurrying around that lonesome bend

I'll be back to see my baby : but the Lord only knows when

               Arnold, Kokomo

      Rainy Night Blues

         Memphis, 17 May 1930

         (59938‑2) Vi‑23268 Yz L‑1012

Now it was early one morning mama : I was on my way to school

Lord that's when I got the notion : to break my mama's rule

Oh the blues : falling like showers of rain

I tell you once in a while moment : think I hear my baby call my name

Lord I cried last night mama : then I cried the whole night long

Going to do right mama : then I won't have to cry no more

Lord I don't feel welcome : pretty mama no place I go

Because the little woman I love mama : has a‑drove me from her door

      Milk Cow Blues

         Chicago, 10 Sept. 1934

         (C‑9428‑B) De‑7026 BC‑4

Hollering good morning : I said blues how do you do

Fell mighty well this morning : can't get along with you

I cannot do right baby : when you won't do right yourself

Lord if my good gal quits me : well I don't want nobody else

Now you can read out your handbook : preach out your Bible

Fall down on your knees and pray : the good Lord to help you

Because you going to need : you going to need my help some day

Mama if you can't quit your sinning : please quit your lowdown ways

Says I woke up this morning : and I looked outdoors

Says I know my mamlish milkcow pretty mama : Lord by the way she lows

Lord if you see my milkcow buddy : I said please drive her home

Says I ain't had no milk and butter mama : Lord since my cow been gone

Says my blues fell this morning : and my love come falling down

Says I'll be your lowdown dog mama : but please don't dog me around


Takes a rocking chair to rock mama : a rubber ball to roll

Take a little teasing brown mama : just to pacify my soul

Lord I don't feel welcome : eee no place I go

Lord the little woman I love mama : have done drove me from her door

      Old Original Kokomo Blues

         Chicago, 10 Sept. 1934

         (C‑9429‑B) De‑7026 BC‑4

Now one and one is two mama : two and two is four

Mess around here pretty mama : you know we got to go

Crying oh : baby don't you want to go

Back to the *living light* city : to sweet old Kokomo

Now four and one is five mama : five and one is six

You mess around here pretty mama : you going to get me tricked

Now six and one is seven mama : seven and one is eight

You mess around here pretty mama : you going to make me late

Says I told you mama : when you first fell across my bed

You been drinking your bad whiskey : and talking all out your head

I don't drink because I'm dry mama : don't drink because I'm blue

The reason I drink pretty mama : I can't get along with you

Now eight and one is nine mama : nine and one is ten

You mess around here pretty mama : I'm going to take you in

Now ten and one is eleven mama : eleven and one is twelve

You mess around here pretty mama : you going to catch you a lot of hell

      Old Black Cat Blues

         Chicago, 15 Jan. 1935

         (C‑9653‑A) De‑7050 CC‑25

I believe : that I got those black cat blues

Lord if I win on Friday : please Saturday night I'm sure to lose

Yes the black cat blues mama : ain't nothing but a doggone heart disease

Said I was broke and disgusted : I didn't have no money for Christmas Eve

Yes this black cat blues mama : don't mean no one nar' no good

Said all my friends done forgot me : everybody's down on me in my neighborhood

Lord some folks said blues and trouble nothing : but evil running across your mind

When you get to setting down thinking : about the black gal treated you so nice and kind

Oh if the black cat blues was money : I would be rich as Henry Ford

Lord if the black cat blues don't leave me mama : Lord I've got to get further down the road

      Sissy Man Blues

         Chicago, 15 Jan. 1935

         (C‑9654‑A) De‑7050 CC‑25

I believe : I believe I'll go back home


Lord acknowledge to my good gal mama : Lord that I have done you wrong

Now I'm going to ring up China yeah man : see can I find my good gal over there

Says the Good Book tells me : that I got a good gal in this world some where

Oh and the church bells is toning yeah man : on one Sunday morning

Hollering some old dirty deacon : I mean rung that bell stole my gal and gone

Lord if you can't send me no woman : please send me some sissy man

Lord I woke up this morning : with my Port China tickets in my hand

I'm going to sing these blues mama yeah man : and I'm going to lay them upon your shelf

Lord you going to hear these blues again mama : well you sure got to sing them yourself

      Front Door Blues

         Chicago, 15 Jan. 1935

         (C‑9655‑A) De‑7156 BC‑4

Says I knocked on my front door mama : my good gal wouldn't seem to let me in

Says it must be another rounder : laying up with my old black hen

Says it thunders and lightnings : and the rain begins to fall

Says it must've be another mule : mama kicking in my stall

Says I'm going to buy me a thirty‑two twenty mama : with a long six inch barrel

Says I'm going to kill that mule : then I'm sure going kill my gal

Then I'm going to Caruthersville mama : just to take that right‑hand road

Says I never quit walking : till I walked up in my mama's door

Says I'll be sad and I'll be lonesome : worried I'll be blue

Says I'm tired : of being worried with you

      Back Door Blues

         Chicago, 15 Jan. 1935

         (C‑9656‑A) De‑7156 CC‑25

Says the blues come down the alley : headed up to my back door

Says I had the blues today mama : just like I never had before

Blues and trouble : have been my best friends

I says when my blues leave me : my trouble just walked in

Now some folks says blues is trouble : nothing but evil running across your mind

Lord when you setting down thinking about someone : have treated you so nice and kind

Said you roll and you tumble : till it almost make you blind

When you get to thinking about your good gal : well you almost to lose your mind

I said when you start walking : your mind running every way

If you think about that old black woman : Lord that led you off astray

      The Twelves

         Chicago, 18 Jan. 1935

         (C‑9671‑A) De‑7083 Say SDR‑163

Says I want everybody : fall in line

Shake your shimmy : like I'm shaking mine


You shake your shimmy : shake it fast

If you can't shake your shimmy : shake your yas yas yas

Says *I am* with your mama : out across the field

Slipping and a‑sliding : just like an automobile

I hollered at your mama : I told her to wait

She slipped away from me : just like a Cadillac Eight

Say I like your mama : sister too

I did like your papa : but your papa wouldn't do

I met your papa : around the corner the other day

I soon found out : that he was funny that a‑way

Says I went out yonder : New Orleans

The wildcat jumped : on the sewing machine

The sewing machine : sewed so fast

Sewed ninety‑nine stitches : up his yas yas yas

Says God made Adam : made him stout

He wasn't satisfied : until he made him a snout

He made him a snout : just as long as a rail

He wasn't satisfied : until he made him a tail

He made him a tail : just to fan the flies

He wasn't satisfied : until he made him some eyes

He made him some eyes : just to look on the grass

He wasn't satisfied : then he made his yas yas yas

He made his yas yas yas : so he couldn't get a trick

He wasn't satisfied : until he made him sick

He made him sick : and then made him well

You know by that : the big boy's coughing in hell

      Slop Jar Blues

         Chicago, 5 Feb. 1935

         (C‑9776‑A) De‑7092 Say SDR‑163

Says I feel just like mama : throwing my slop jar in your face

Said you done lost your mind : and let that old *out‑minder* take my place

Now I could cut your throat mama : and drink your blood like wine

Because you's a dirty old buzzard : and you sure done lost your mind

Mama here I am : right out in the cold again

Says the woman that I'm loving : got brains just like a turkey hen

Says I'd rather be a catfish : down in the Gulf of Mexico

Than to hear the woman that I'm loving : say sweet papa I got to go

Then I cried : till my pillow got soaking wet

Says I walked all the way up Beale Street : I bowed my head at every old gal I met

      Black Annie

         Chicago, 5 Feb. 1935


         (C‑9777‑A) De‑7092 Say SDR‑163

Well I stood on the corner mama : and I looked two blocks and a half

Lord I never seed Black Annie : but I sure God heard her laugh

Then I went down the alley : with my gatling gun in my hand

Just to kill my woman : for loving another man

Now it's trouble trouble : I been had it all my days

Well it seems like trouble : going to follow me to my grave

Now my love is just like water : you can turn it off and on

Now when you think I'm loving you mama : well I done turned you off and gone

Now I'm going to set my picture : Lord up on your shelf

Lord if you don't live with me mama : well you ain't going to live with nobody else

      Southern Railroad Blues

         Chicago, 18 Apr. 1935

         (C‑9921‑A) De‑7139 Say SDR‑163

Says my gal she caught the Southern : and the fireman he rang the bell

And the engineer he left the station : just like a bat up out of hell

Said I waved my hand : she didn't even look around

Said and I felt like dropping : right down on the ground

Mama here I am : down on my bended knees

Says I'm crying to the good Lord : send me back my good gal if you please

Said now I got a notion : to leave this lonesome town

Says my gal she caught the Southern : and I know she done put me down

Now my old bones is aching : and my hair is turning grey

Said I'm going back home mama : and I'm going back there to stay

      Busy Bootin'

         Chicago, 18 Apr. 1935

         (C‑9923‑A) De‑7139 Say SDR‑163

Busy booting : and you can't come in

Come back tomorrow night : and try it again

I met your mama : in the alley way

She's catching hunkies : both night and day

Don't you remember : last Friday night

You go out in the street : and you want to fight

Keep talking : about your neighbor next door

I caught her boogie‑woogying : down on the floor

Don't you remember : when my door was locked

I had your mama : on the chopping block

Pretty mama : I'm telling you

I'm sick and tired : of the way you do

Stop knocking : on my windowpane

You tell what you see : don't you call my name


      Let Your Money Talk

         Chicago, 18 Apr. 1935

         (C‑9924‑ ) De‑7191 BC‑4

Let your money talk let your money talk : let your money talk let your money talk

If you feel like riding : and don't want to walk

Now you look so neat and you look so neat : and you talk so sweet you talk so sweet

Now you can't get by no matter how you try : on your dead beat

Let your money talk let your money talk : so we can hear so we can hear

If you ain't coming back tell me right now : leave a dime for beer

Let your money talk let your money talk : put it in my hand put it in my hand

If you like your cool kind beer pretty mama : we can rush the can

If you go to the butcher if you go to the butcher : to get you sausage grind your sausage grind

If he can't get it in the front door : he don't want it behind

You want your ashes hauled you want your ashes hauled : and ain't got no man ain't got no man

Just lay it on the wood pretty mama : I do the best I can

If you want to boogie‑woogie if you want to boogie‑woogie : and haven't got the price haven't got the price

Just let the landlady know man : and she will put it on ice

And now if you can't see if you can't see : if you deaf and dumb you deaf and dumb

Don't stand around looking cute : and on a bum

      Policy Wheel Blues

         Chicago, 15 July 1935

         (90158‑A) De‑7147 CC‑25

Now while you playing policy buddy : play four eleven and forty‑four

When you get your money : then pack your bags and go

Crying oh : look what that [policy wheel, coal‑field, greyhound] have done to me

Says it done took all my money : and but it still won't let me be

Now while you playing policy : play four eighteen and fifty‑six

You can pile up your black money : because you sure going to get it fixed

Now when you change your numbers : play thirteen thirty‑two and fifty‑one

But be careful buddy : because you might have to run

Now while you playing policy buddy : play five nine and fifty‑nine

But be careful buddy : because you might lose your mind

Now *ask you to* about gambling : play eleven seventeen and sixty‑one

If they don't give you your money : go buy you a gatling gun

Now if you wake up in the morning : ain't got nothing on your mind

Play that old country number : that you call three sixty‑nine

Now you can break out your windows : and look down at your glass

Think you going to get my money mama : that's your yas yas yas

      Stop Look and Listen


         Chicago, 23 July 1935

         (90201‑A) De‑7181 BC‑4

Oh stop and listen : hear those bells a‑tone

I found my faro : lying on a cooling board

Says today has been : a long old lonesome day

Seems like tomorrow : mama going to be the same old way

Now don't your house look lonesome : when a hearse roll in front of your door

I found my faro : lying on a cooling board

Says and it smokes like lightning : and it *faro* shine like gold

I wouldn't have seen her : not to save nobody's soul

Lord then I ain't going down : that big road by myself

If I don't carry you : mama I'm going to carry somebody else

And I followed my faro : to the new burying ground

Watch the pallbearers : when they lay my faro down

      Big Leg Mama

         Chicago, 11 Sept. 1935

         (90314‑A) De‑7116 Say SDR‑163

Now it's mama mama mama : please keep your big legs down

So I can stop old John Russell : Lord from hanging around

Says I load coal in the morning : and I cut corn late at night

When I come on home : and you and John Russell sure don't treat me right

Says I hate like the devil : to declare war in my happy home

Says I loaned you my money : and then you stole my gal and gone

Now you going to hear thunder and lightning : from the end of my pistol barrel

Says you stole my money : then you turned around and took my gal

Now my *old back* is a‑breaking : and my lights is a‑burning low

When I load this carload of coal captain : I sure ain't going load no more

      Milk Cow Blues‑No. 4

         Chicago, 11 Sept. 1935

         (90316‑A) De‑7163 CC‑25

I can't get my milk in the morning : I can't get my cream no more

And I want somebody to come here : help me get this bull from my door

Says I went out to my barn this morning : he didn't have one word to say

He was laying down by my heifer's side : please on a pile of hay

Then I walked away : and I hung my head and cried

Says I feel so lonesome : I ain't got my heifer by my side

Now there's nothing that I could do : for that old bull has tea‑rolled me

When I get myself another heifer : I'm going to move back to Tennessee

Says I'm still in love with my milkcow : I just can't stand the way she do

I don't mind her drinking her whiskey : but please don't ballyhoo

      I'll Be Up Some Day

         New York, 18 Feb. 1936

         (60515‑ ) De‑7172 Say SDR‑163

Says I've been traveling mama : all by myself

When I had you baby : you thought I had somebody else

But that's all right mama : I'll be up some day

And just like you did me baby : I'm going to do you the same old way

Says I asked my baby : to take me back once more

She said you ain't got no money : sweet papa there is the door

Said now I ain't got no money : and no place to go

I asked you for a little small favor : and you drove me from your door

Now I've got a little sweet woman : that I can call my own

I want your *turning‑gate* women : to please leave me alone

Ever since you been gone mama : I've been about to lose my mind

But I got another little sweet woman : and I don't want your three sixty‑nine

      Shake That Thing

         Chicago, 9 July 1936

         (90795‑A) De‑7212 CC‑25

Says down in Georgia : where the dance is new

Ain't nothing to it : because it's easy to do

Now the old folks started it : and the young folks too

Old folks teaching the young ones : what to do

Said grandpa Johnson : grabbed sister Kate

Shook her like he shaking : jelly on a plate

Says old Uncle Jack : he is a jellyroll king

He got a hump in his back : just from shaking that thing

Says now I sees it : just a little funny swing

You don't need no lesson : to shake that thing

      Mister Charlie

         Chicago, 24 Oct. 1936

         (90958‑A) De‑7261 CC‑25

Why shouldn't I take a chance mama : when good luck comes along

Seems like everybody's down on me : always somebody's doing me wrong

Says I can't live for loving : but I just can't help myself

Now the little woman I'm loving quit me : well I sure don't want nobody else

Oh Mr Charlie : why don't you leave my gal alone

Well you keep on kicking her : you bound to break up my happy home

And it was early this morning : I was walking down the avenue

Says I had a good spirit : thought I was strolling along with you

Says I turned around : and I wrung my hands and cried

Says I felt so lonesome : I didn't have my baby by my side


      Long and Tall

         Chicago, 12 Jan. 1937

         (91070‑A) De‑7306 CC‑25

Says I love you mama : but you don't even care for me

Because you a long tall woman : and I sure God ain't going to let you be

Now she's long and she's tall : shaped just like a cannonball

Says I found that woman : where the Southern cross the Yellow Dog

Then I heard the church bells toning : way out on Dago Hill

Then my heart struck sorrow : I guess you know just how I feel

Says now tell me mama : what make you do me like you do

Now some day you going to want me : and I swear and I won't want you

Some people crave high yellow : please give me my black and brown

Now if you mess with me mama : I'm sure going to turn your damper down

      Salty Dog

         Chicago, 12 Jan. 1937

         (91070‑A) De‑7267 Rt RL‑318

Now just one thing : that worry my mind

All of these womens : ain't none of them mine

Scaredest I ever been : in my life

Old Uncle Bud liked to caught me : kissing his wife

Now big fish little fish : playing in the water

Come on back here man : and give me my quarter

Just like looking for a needle : in a bed of sand

Just try to find a woman : ain't got no man

Says God made a woman : and he made her mighty funny

The lips around her mouth : just sweet as any honey

Old Uncle Bud : he's a man like this

He saves his money : and use his fist

      Wild Water Blues

         Chicago, 12 Mar. 1937

         (91134‑A) De‑7285 Cor CP‑58

I woke up this morning : I couldn't even get out of my door

Said this wild water got me covered : and I ain't got no place to go

Now I hear my mama crying : but I just can't help myself

Now this wild water keep on rising : I got to get help from someone else

Now good morning Mr wild water : why did you stop in my front door

Says you reaches from Cairo : clean down to the Gulf of Mexico

Now don't you hear your mother crying : weeping and moaning all night long

Because old man wild water done been here : took her best friends and gone

Now look a‑here Mr wild water : why do you treat me so doggone  mean


Says you took my house out of Cairo : carried it down in New Orleans

      Laugh and Grin Blues

         Chicago, 12 Mar. 1937

         (91135‑A) De‑7285 CC‑25

Now when you happy mama : everybody smiles with you

Just as soon as you feel down‑hearted: the whole round world turns blue

Now when the sun is shining : everybody's happy as can be

Just as soon as it start to raining : you quiver just like a leaf on a tree

Now I got something to tell you mama : and I really want you to  understand

Every man you see wearing britches : he sure God ain't no monkey‑man

Now when I had plenty money : everybody want to be my friend

Just as soon as I got ragged and hungry : now they all wants to laugh and grin

Now I'm going to tell all you people : when I get on my feet again

Says you need not ask for no small favors : just go ahead laugh and grin

      Mean Old Twister

         Chicago, 30 Mar. 1937

         (91161‑A) De‑7347 BC‑4

Now this dark cloud is rising : and it's thundering all around

Look like something bad is going to happen : you better lower your airplane down

Now that mean old twister's coming : poor people running every which a‑way

Everybody's got to wonder : what's the matter with this cruel world today

Now my mama told me : when I was only five months old

If you obey your preacher : the good Lord is going to bless your soul

Now the daylight is failing : and the moon begin to rise

I'm just down here weeping and moaning : right by my mama's side

Now I'm going home : I done did all in this world that I could

Says I got everybody happy : around here in my neighborhood

      Red Beans and Rice

         Chicago, 30 Mar. 1937

         (91162‑A) De‑7347 BC‑4

When I was down in Georgia : I was doing mighty well

Since I been here in Chicago : I been catching a plenty hell

Says I'm going down to the station : ain't going to take no one's advice

Says I'm going back to Georgia : where I can get my red beans and rice

Now these Chicago women : have give me such a hard way to go

Says they done took all my black money : and they got me running from door to door

Now I been setting here looking : way down that lonesome road

Says I'm raggedy and I'm hungry : and I ain't got no place to go

Now I been rolling : I been rolling from sun to sun

Says I got where I can't get no loving : not until my payday comes


      Set Down Gal

         Chicago, 30 Mar. 1937

         (91166‑A) De‑7361 OJL‑20

Said I ain't no preacher : I'm just a bachelor man

Some of these days mama : you bound to understand

Now set down gal : stop your crazy ways

Got trouble in the land : you're going to need my help some day

Now when I want it : I want it awful bad

If I don't get it : you know it's going to make me mad

Said I asked my mama : to not to be so rough

She ain't the type : to keep on strutting her stuff

Says I asked my baby : not to be so mean

She acts like a woman : from down in New Orleans

Now come on baby : stop this up and down

Don't like to catch you : start to messing around

      Big Ship Blues

         Chicago, 30 Mar. 1937

         (91167‑A) De‑7361 Say SDR‑163

Now this big ship was a‑rocking : and my body's filled with aches and pains

Now if I get across the Atlantic Ocean : good people I will not live to Spain

Now the big tide is rising : you better lower your anchors down

Now if we don't make the circle : we never will get back to New York town

Now why don't you people quit laughing : I feel mighty sad in my mind

Said this big fog go to rising : and a cyclone is right behind

Now I feels bad : nobody seems to want to go my way

Says this big ship going to leaking : right between midnight and day

Now I see something shining : daylight is breaking all around

Soon as we make a few more lurches : I will be right back in New York town

      Buddie Brown Blues

         Chicago, 23 Oct. 1937

         (91299‑A) De‑7449 CC‑25

Captain rung the bell this morning : just at the break of day

Said now it's time for you to go rolling : buddy why don't you be on your way

Mama you can cook my breakfast : great God don't you burn my bread

Do and I'm going to take my black hand razor : I'm going to cut you on your doggone head

Now my captain done called me : Lord and I got to go

Because he's on his old black stallion : and he's riding from door to door

Now I will be so glad : when my payday comes

Says I'm getting so tired mama : rolling from sun to sun

Now I'm going to get up in the morning : do just like old Buddy Brown


Says I'm going to eat my breakfast : please and lay back down

      Rocky Road Blues

         Chicago, 23 Oct. 1937

         (91300‑A) De‑7449 CC‑25

Now my road is rocky : but it won't be rocky long

Says I been catching the devil : ever since my good gal been gone

Says my mama told me : Lord when I was quite a child

Son you must always remember : Lord that you was born to die

Now I got so many wagons : till I done cut that good road down

Because the little woman that I been loving : said she do not even want me around

Says she won't write me no letter : she won't send me no telegram

She just a hard‑headed woman : and she don't even give a damn

Now I'm going to smoke my reefer : drink my good champagne and wine

Say I ain't going to let these hard‑headed women : make me lose my mind

      Head Cuttin' Blues

         Chicago, 3 Nov. 1937

         (91331‑A) De‑7417 BC‑4

I believe to my soul : there's a black cat sleeping under my bed

Every time I get drunk : my woman wants to cut my head

She keeps me running : ducking and dodging all night long

Every time I get drunk : I don't mean to treat nobody wrong

Now listen here mama : I ain't going to do it no more

When I get full of my good whiskey : you got me running from door to door

Now I'm leaving you mama : Lord and it won't be long

Now if you don't believe I'm leaving : please count the days I'm gone

Now just as sure as a freight train : rolls up in the yard

Says I'm going to go far : take two dollars to send me a postal card

      Broke Man Blues

         Chicago, 3 Nov. 1937

         (91332‑A) De‑7417 CC‑25

Well I dreamed last night now : that my old shack was falling down

And when I woke up this morning : my poor head was going round and round

Now I'm going to be a robber and a cheater : I'm going to take that to be my game

And when I make my black money : I'm going on back home to Mary Jane

Now when I was a schoolboy : I would not take no one's advice

Now I'm just a broke man : nobody seems to want to treat me right

Now my poor heart is aching : and I really don't know what to do

Says I got a strong notion : coming right on back home to you

Now I'm going to close conversation : and I have no more to say

And a since I been a broke man : nobody seems to want to go my way


      Back on the Job

         Chicago, 3 Nov. 1937

         (91333‑A) De‑7390 Say SDR‑163

Some of these days you're going to miss me : mama Lord when I'm gone

Now just go ahead and forget it : and try to carry my good works on

Now I'm going away mama : but I'll be back some day soon

Just don't lose your head : let no lowdown rounder have my room

Mama here I am : right back on the job again

Says I've had no loving : Lord since God knows when

Now you acted bad : and you don't obey my rules

Because I'm back home again : I'm going to take you to a brand new school

Now listen here mama : go ahead and set down and be yourself

But the next time I go strolling : just try to find you someone else

      Your Ways and Actions

         New York, 11 May 1938

         (67344‑A) De‑7510 Say SDR‑163

Now your ways and your actions : speaks almost as loud as words

Because your dreamy eyes told me something : Lord that I never heard

Now you know that you love me : mama why don't you tell me so

Because you always hanging around : knocking on my door

Every time I see you baby : my flesh begin to crawl

Says why don't you be good : but my mule is kicking in your stall

How can I miss you : mama Lord when I got dead aim

Says I feel so different : till this old world don't look the same

Now there's nothing that I can do : I did all in this world that I could

Now she's gone and left me : she didn't mean me no good

      Tired of Runnin' from Door to Door

         New York, 11 May 1938

         (67346) De‑7464 Say SDR‑163

I'm getting so tired : of running from town to town

For when I wake up in the morning : my head is going around and around

Some of these days : Lord and it won't be long

Says I'm going to run lucky : and find me a happy home

Now I'm going to keep on traveling : till *such another* comes my way

Says my woman get a chance to see me : not until the sunshiny day

Now I been waiting for tomorrow : look like tomorrow ain't going never come

Every day seems like Monday : just at the rising sun

Now my poor heart is aching : and my head can't rest no more

Says I'm getting so tired : of running from door to door

      My Well Is Dry

         New York, 11 May 1938

         (63748‑A) De‑7540 CC‑25

Says I never missed my water : not until my well went dry

Says I never missed sweet Annie : not until she said goodbye

Hey Lord sweet mama : tell me when you're coming back again

Says I ain't had none of your loving : Lord since God knows when

Now the mailman he passed : but he did not leave no news

Says he left me standing here : with the doggone aching‑heart blues

Well I ain't going to be no fool man : I'm going to hold up my head and walk

Says my woman get a chance to see me : but they all hear me when I talk

Says I holler in the morning : I begin to moan late at night

Says I got a hard‑hearted woman : and she don't know how to treat me right

      Midnight Blues

         New York, 11 May 1938:

         (63750‑A) De‑7510 Say SDR‑163

In the morning : right between midnight and day

I'm going to pack my suitcase : and start to drift away

My gal she got ways : just like a snake in the grass

If I don't leave here soon : my life won't never last

It's so hard : to get right up and change your mind

When someone that you love : has been left behind

Sooner or later : one of us has got to walk away

She says I don't mind you going : but please don't go away to stay

Now I don't care baby : if the wind don't never change

If your coming don't bring sunshine : it sure God will bring rain

      Bad Luck Blues

         New York, 12 May 1938

         (63753‑A) De‑7540 CC‑25

Now there's trouble trouble : I been having all my days

Now it seems like troubles : going to put me in my lonesome grave

Now my woman she got ways : just like a wildcat in the woods

She always raising hell and disturbance : right here in my neighborhood

I'm scared to stay here : scared to leave this old bad‑luck town

So when I wake up every morning : my head is going round and round

Now listen here people : I don't want no one's advice

I done changed my way of living : going to find someone to treat me right

I'm going to tell everybody : what bad luck I've had in my life

I'd kill my sister and my brother : not a woman *break my line*

      Kid Man Blues


         New York, 12 May 1938

         (63754‑A) De‑7464 Say SDR‑163

Now my [old] heart is ticking : just like a clock up on the wall

Says I tried to be good : but my woman treats me like a dog

Now I've got my name written : right on my right arm

Every time I want to leave : I know she's got to come back home

Now you said that you loved me : what make you treat me so unkind

You just old hard‑headed woman : but I believe you about to lose your mind

Now you can tell your kid‑man : he needn't take it so doggone hard

Because if he messes with me : going to crack him right on his nog

Now that's all I got to say mama : I ain't going to let you worry my mind

When I go away to leave you : I will stop by to see you sometime

               Bailey, Kid