La canción maldita de Robert Johnson

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Robert Johnson fue un músico de blues (bluesman) de color nacido el 8/5/1911 en Hazlehurst, Mississippi en USA.

El onceavo hermano en una familia de color, en una época y un país en los que se practicaba la segregación racial y en la que un hombre de color tenía un difícil futuro.

Para cuando cumplió 20 años ya se había casado dos veces, tenía una hija y se había semi-establecido en un pueblo llamado Robinsonville. Allí había escuchado a los bluesman más conocidos de su época; Son House, Willie Brown y Charley Patton. Johnson les solía oir tocar y se había hecho conocido de ellos pero siempre le consideraron una especie de novato-aprendiz.

En 1931 Johnson abandonó Robinsonville y supuestamente se dedicó a recorrer los pueblos, en autobús, tren o a dedo y a tocar en alguna esquina por las propinas. Conocía a alguna mujer del pueblo en el que estuviera y pasaba la noche con ella. Este era un modo de vida bastante común entre los músicos de blues de su época y los mejores, en vez de tocar en esquinas, tocaban en los bares y en los honky-tonks, que eran bares establecidos cerca de las plantaciones de algodón.

Para cuando regresó a Robinsonville en 1933, se había convertido en todo un virtuoso de la guitarra que escribía y tocaba sus propios temas, con una técnica y pasión interpretativa que asombró tanto a Son House, Willie Brown y compañía como al público. Tanto que no tardaron en desatarse los rumores; ¿dónde había estado los dos últimos años?, ¿cómo era posible que hubiera aprendido a dominar aquella técnica imposible a ojos de los demás en tan poco tiempo?.

Robert Johnson fotografiado por Hooks Bros.

Pronto se empezó a extender el rumor de que Robert Johnson había vendido su alma al diablo en un cruce de caminos a cambio de su talento musical. Un bluesman de su época, Tommy Johnson, lo afirmaba categoricamente. Esta leyenda está basada en el voodoo importado de África, donde existe una deidad, Ishu, con la que se puede pactar en los cruces de caminos.

También se comentaba que había estado tomando clases de otro bluesman, Ike Zinnerman. Sin embargo esta explicación agravó más la primera leyenda ya que se decía que el mismo Zinnerman había pactado con el diablo, ya que según parece, tenía por costumbre tocar la guitarra en el cementerio a media noche, para poder estar tranquilo y no molestar a los vecinos ni ser molestado. Según esta teoría el pacto habría sido firmado en un cementerio a medianoche en vez de en un cruce de caminos. La segunda hija de Zinnerman, fruto de su segundo matrimonio, confirmó años después que Robert Johnson había estado junto a Ike durante un año y que habían practicado en el cementerio por el motivo antes expuesto.

Y para más agravantes si cabe, las canciones de Robert Johnson y sus letras contienen continuas referencias a los cruces de caminos y al diablo en sí; “Cross Road Blues”, “Hellhound On My Trail”, “Me and the Devil Blues”. Es más, cuando tocaba Johnson solía ponerse de espaldas al público, celoso de que nadie descubriese su técnica e incluso a veces abandonaba el escenario repentinamente en medio de una actuación dejando al público con dos palmos de narices y comentando. Los rumores corrieron como la pólvora y la fama de Robert Johnson se disparó.

En 1936, Johnson conoció a H.C.Spier en Jackson, Mississippi, que tenía una tienda de discos y hacía sus veces de cazatalentos. Spier puso en contacto a Johnson con Ernie Oertle, que se ofreció a grabar al músico en San Antonio, Texas llevándose a cabo su primera sesión de grabación el 27/11/1936 en la habitación de un hotel, el hotel Ganter y que duró tres días.

La segunda y última sesión de grabación fue 7 meses después el 19/6/1937 en Dallas, esta vez en un oscuro almacén del centro, se desconoce exáctamente cual. Dentro del folklore que rodeaba a Johnson, Oertle en ocasiones ha sido considerado como la encarnación del mismo diablo cumpliendo parte de lo pactado con eñ bluesman.

Robert Johnson fotografiado por Hooks Bros.

Se grabaron un total de 29 canciones en 42 tomas distintas. Terraplane Blues fue el primer disco de Johnson publicado en formato EP, del que se vendieron unos pocos miles de copias para el escaso público de color capaz de comprarlos.

A principios de Agosto de 1938, probablemente el Sábado 13, Robert Johnson tocaba junto a Sonny Boy Williamson y Honeyboy Edwards en un bar llamado Three Forks, que curiosamente estaba emplazado en un cruce de caminos, en concreto en el cruce de las autovías 82 y 49-E a 15 millas de Greenwood, Mississippi, donde había estado actuando dos semanas.

En el bar Johnson empezó a tirar los tejos a una mujer, como tenía por costumbre y en un momento dado, alguien le pasó una botella de whisky. Cuando se disponía a beber de ella, Sonny Boy Williamson le cogió del brazo y le dijo; “Hombre, no bebas de una botella abierta. Nunca sabes lo que puede haber dentro”. Johnson se enfadó y le respondió; “nunca vuelvas a quitarme una botella de la mano”. Fue su último trago.

A mitad del concierto tuvo que suspender la actuación y al salir a la calle cayó al suelo aullando de dolor. A partir de este momento no se sabe con exactitud que sucedió. Parece ser que hacía las 2:30am lo llevaron a la casa donde se alojaba en Greenwood, en el barrio de Baptist Town. Poco despúes parece que como no mejoraba fue trasladado a otra casa particular, probablemente en el 109 de Young Street donde recibió cuidados pero no por parte de un médico profesional. Tres dias después, el Martes 16/8/1938, Johnson moría.

…bebió de una botella de whisky envenenado…Se desconoce la causa real de su muerte y no hubo autopsia. Se cree que el marido de la mujer con la que ligaba en aquel bar era el propietario del local y que le había pasado una botella envenenada con estricnina, que entonces se usaba en los matarratas. Otra teoría indica que padecía de sífilis y después del envenenamiento, accidental o provocado, su situación se agravaría por una neumonía, enfermedad que fue incurable hasta 1946. También se ha especulado con que Johnson padeciese el síndrome de Marfan y que la enfermedad estuviese muy avanzada en ese momento. En todo caso parece ser que el diablo se iba a cobrar lo pactado inexorablemente el 16 de Agosto en otro cruce de caminos.

El supuesto efecto del pacto ha durado hasta nuestros días. La noticia de su muerte no transcendió y muchos le creían aun vivo a finales de 1938, incluido el productor John Hammond, quien mandó a buscarlo aquel mismo año para que participase en una serie de conciertos en el Carnegie Hall llamados “From Spirituals to Swing”.

Robert Johnson es citado como el artista más influyente de muchas de las grandes estrellas del rock; desde los Stones y Clapton hasta los White Stripes. Sus discos siguen vendiendose hoy en todo el mundo y se rodó una película sobre él, mientras que de sus contemporaneos, que lo consideraban un aprendiz, como Son House o Willie Brown ya nadie se acuerda salvo cuando se habla de Robert Johnson.

Las dos sesiones de grabación de Robert Johnson

The San Antonio sessions
Gunter hotel, San Antonio, Texas

Lunes, 23 de Noviembre de 1936
temas grabados:

1. Kind hearted woman blues
2. (I believe I’ll) dust my broom
3. Sweet home chicago
4. Rambling on my mind
5. When you got a good friend
6. Come on in my kitchen
7. Terraplane blues
8. Phonograph blues

Jueves, 26 de Noviembre de 1936
temas grabados:

9. 32-20 blues

Viernes, 27 de Noviembre de 1936
temas grabados:

10. They’re red hot
11. Dead shrimp blues
12. Cross road blues
13. Walking blues
14. Last fair deal gone down
15. Preaching blues
16. If I had possession over judgment dayDowntown Dallas warehouse Sessions
Almacén en el centro de Dallas, Texas, probablemente en el 508 de la calle Park Avenue

Sábado, 19 de Junio de 1937
temas grabados:

17. Stones in my passway
18. I’m a steady rollin’ man
19. From four till late

Domingo, 20 de Junio de 1937
temas grabados:

20. Hellhound on my trail
21. Little queen of spades
22. Malted milk
23. Drunken hearted man
24. Me & the devil blues
25. Stop breakin’ down blues
26. Traveling riverside blues
27. Honeymoon blues
28. Love in vain
29. Milkcow’s calf blues

Discografia de 1936 a 1938

Vinilos de 78RPM publicados por el sello Vocalion de American Record Corporation de 1936 a 1938

1936

  • Kind Hearted Woman/Terraplane Blues [Vocalion 03416]
  • 32-20 Blues/Last Fair Deal Gone Down [Vocalion 03445]
  • (I Believe I’ll) Dust My Broom/Dead Shrimp Blues [Vocalion 03475]
  • Rambling On My Mind/Cross Road Blues [Vocalion 03519]
  • Come On In My Kitchen/They’re Red Hot [Vocalion 03563]
  • Walking Blues/Sweet Home Chicago [Vocalion 03601]

1937

  • From Four Till Late/Hellhound On My Trail [Vocalion 03623]
  • Malted Milk/Milcow’s Calf Blues [Vocalion 03665]
  • Stones In My Passway/I’m a Steady Rolling Man [Vocalion 03723]
  • Stop Breaking Down Blues/Honeymoon Blues [Vocalion 04002]
  • Little Queen Of Spades/Me and The Devil Blues [Vocalion 04108]

1938

  • Preaching Blues/Love In Vain [Vocalion 04630]

Todas las letras de Robert Johnson

* por orden de grabación

1. Kindhearted Woman Blues

I got a kindhearted woman
do anything in this world for me
I got a kindhearted woman
do anything in this world for me
But these evil hearted women,
man they will not let me be
I love my baby
my baby don’t love me
I love my baby, oooohhh
my baby don’t love me
But I really love that woman,
can’t stand to leave her be
Ain’t but one thing
makes Mr Johnson drink
Its worried bout how you treat me baby
I begin to think
Oh my babe, my life don’t feel the same
You breaks my heart,
When you call me Mr So and So’s name

She’s a kindhearted woman
she studies evil all the time
She’s a kindhearted woman
she studies evil all the time
You wells to kill me
as to have it on your mind

2. (I believe I’ll) dust my broom

I’m gointa get up in the mornin
I believe I’ll dust my broom
I’m gointa get up in the mornin
I believe I’ll dust my broom
Girlfriend the black man you’ve been lovin
girlfriend can get my room

I’m gonna write a letter
telephone everytown I know
I’m gonna write a letter
telephone every town I know
If I can’t find her in West Helena
she must be in East Monroe I know

I don’t want no woman
wants every downtown man she meets
I don’t want no woman
wants every downtown man she meets
She’s a no good dooney
they shouldn’t allow her on the street

I believe, I believe I’ll go back home
I believe, I believe I’ll go back home
You can mistreat me here babe,
but you can’t when I’m back home

And I’m gettin up in the mornin
I believe I’ll dust my broom
I’m gettin up in the mornin
I believe I’ll dust my broom
Girlfriend the black man you been lovin
girlfriend can get my room

I’m gonna call up Chiney
see is my good girl over there
I’m gonna call up China
see is my good girl over there
I can’t find her on Phillipine’s island
she must be in Ethiopia somewhere

3. Sweet home chicago

Oh baby don’t you want to go
Oh baby don’t you want to go
Back to the land of california
to my sweet home chicago

Oh baby don’t you want to go
Oh baby don’t you want to go
Back to the land of california
to my sweet home chicago

Now one and one is two
two and two is four
I’m heavy loaded baby
I’m booked I gotta go

Cryin baby
honey don’t you want to go
back to the land of california
to my sweet home chicago

Now two and two is four
four and two is six
You gonna keep monkeyin round here friend-boy
you gonna get your business all in a trick

But I’m cryin baby
honey don’t you wanna go
Back to the land of California
to my sweet home chicago

Now six and two is eight
eight and two is ten
Friend-boy she trick you one time
she sure gonna do it again

But I’m cryin hey hey
baby don’t you want to go
back to the land of california
to my sweet home chicago

I’m goin to california
from there to Des Moines Iowa
Somebody will tell me that you
need my help someday

cryin hey hey
baby don’t you want to go
back to the land of california
to my sweet home chicago

4. Rambling on my mind

I got ramblin
I got ramblin on my mind
I got ramblin
I got ramblin all on my mind
Hate to leave you my baby
but you treats me so unkind
I got mean things
I got mean things all on my mind
Little girl, Little girl
I got mean things all on my mind
Hate to leave you here babe
but you treats me so unkind.
Runnin down to the station
catch the first mail train I see
Runnin down to the station
catch that old first mail train I see
I got the blues bout Miss So and So
and the child got the blues bout me
And I’m leavin this morning
with my arm fold up and cryin
And I’m leaving this morning
with my arm fold up and cryin
I ahte to leave my baby
but she treats me so unkind
I got mean things
I got mean things on my mind
I got mean things
I got mean things all on my mind
I got to leave my baby
cause she treats me so unkind

5. When you got a good friend

When you got a good friend
that will stay right by your side
When you got a good friend
that will stay right by your side
Give her all of your spare time
love and treat her right
I mistreated my baby
and I can’t see no reason why
I mistreated my baby
and I can’t see no reason why
Everytime I think about it
I just wring my hands and cry
Wonder could I bear appologize
or would she sympathize with me

would she sympathize with me
She’s a brownskin woman
just as sweet as a girlfriend can be

babe, I may be right ay wrong
Babe its your opinion
oh I may be right ay wrong
Watch your close friend baby
then your enimies can do you no harm
When you got a good friend
that will stay right by your side
When you got a good friend
that will stay right by your side
Give her all of your spare time
love and treat her right

6.Come on in my kitchen

You’d better come on in my kitchen
babe it going to be rainin outdoors
Ah the woman I love
took from my best friend
Some joker got lucky
stiole her back again
You’d better come on in my kitchen
babe it going to be rainin outdoors
Oh-ah she’s gone
I know she won’t come back again
I’ve taken the last nickel
out of her nation sack
You’d better come on in my kitchen
babe it going to be rainin outdoors
When a woman gets in trouble
everybody throws her down
Lookin for her good friend
none can be found
You’d better come on in my kitchen
babe it going to be rainin outdoors
Winter time’s comin
its gonna be slow
You can’t make the winter babe
thats dry long so
You’d better come on in my kitchen
babe it going to be rainin outdoors

7. Terraplane blues

And I feel so lonesome
you hear me when I moan
When I feel so lonesome
you hear me when I moan
Who been drivin my terraplane
for you since I’ve been gone
I’d said I flashed your lights mama
your horn won’t even blow
I even flash my lights mama
this horn won’t even blow
Got a short in this connection
hoo-well, babe, its way down below
I’m on hist your hood momma
I’m bound to check your oil
I’m on hist your hood momma mmmm
I’m bound to check your oil
I got a woman that I’m lovin
way down in Arkansas
Now you know the coils ain’t even buzzin
little generator won’t get the spark
Motors in a bad condition
you gotta have these batteries charged
But I’m cryin please
please don’t do me wrong
Who been drivin my terraplane now for
you-hoo since I’ve been gone
Mr Highwayman
please don’t block the road
Puh hee hee
ple-hease don’t block the road
Casue she’s restrin (?) a cold one hindred
and I’m booked I gotta go
Mmm mmm
mmmm mmmm mmm
You ooo oooo oooo
you hear me weep and moan
Who been drivin my terraplane
for you since I’ve been gone
I’m on get deep down in this connection
keep on tanglin with your wires
I’m on get deep down in this connection
hoo-well keep on tanglin with your wires
And when I mash down your little starter
then your spark plug will give me a fire.

8. Phonograph blues

Beatrice, she got a phonograph
and it won’t say a lonesome word
Beatrice, she got a phonograph
and it won’t say a lonesome word
What evil have I done
what evil has the poor girl heard
Beatrice I love my phonograph
but you have broke my windin chain
Beatrice I love my phonogra-ooo
honey you have broke my windin chain
And you’ve taken my lovin
and give it to your other man
Now we played it on the sofa now
we played it side the wall
My needles have got rusty babe
they will not play at all
Now we played it on the sofa
we played it side the wall
My needles have got rusty
and it will not play at all
Beatrice I go crazy
baby I will lose my mind
And I go crazeeeee
honey I will lose my mind
Why dont-ya bring your clothes back home
and try me one more time
She got a phonograph
and it won’t say a lonesome word
She got a phonograph
ooo-won’t say a lonesome word
What evil have I done
or what evil have the poor girl heard

9. 32-20 blues

If I send for my baby
and she don’t come
If I send for my baby
man, and she don’t come
All the doctors in Hot Springs
sure can’t help her none

And if she gets unruly
thinks she don’t wan do
If she gets unruly
thinks she don’t wan do
Take my 32-20 now and
cut her half in two

She got a 38 special but I believe its much too light
She got a 38 special but I believe its much too light
I got a 32-20, got to make the camps alright

If I send for my baby
and she don’t come
If I send for my baby
man, and she don’t come
All the doctors in Hot Springs
sure can’t help her none

I’m gonna shoot my pistol, gonna shoot my Gatlin gun
I’m gonna shoot my pistol, gotta shoot my Gatlin gun
You made me love you
now your man has come

Ah-oh
baby where you stay last night
Ah-ah
baby where you stayed last night
You got your hair all tangled
and you ain’t talkin right
Got a 38 special boys, it do very well

10. They’re red hot

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a girls, say she long and tall
She sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
She got two for a nickel, got four for a dime
Would sell you more, but they ain’t none of mine
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yes, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a letter from a girl in the room
Now she got something good she got to bring home soon, now
Its hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got em for sale
They’re too hot boy!
The billy got back in a bumble bee nest
Ever since that he can’t take his rest, yeah
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes you got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Man don’t mess around em hot tamales now
Cause they too black bad, if you mess around em hot tamales
I’m onna upset your backbone, put your kidneys to sleep
I’ll due to break away your liver and dare your heart to beat bout my
Hot tamales cause they red hot, yes they got em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got em for sale, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
You know grandma left and grandpa too
Well I wonder what in the world we chillun gon do now
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Me and my babe bought a V-8 Ford
Well we wind that thing all on the runnin board, yes
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
They’re too hot boy!
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes, now she got em for sale
You know the monkey, now the baboon playin in the grass
Well the monkey stuck his finger in that old ‘Good Gulf Gas’, now
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah Hot tamales and they’re red hot,
yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a girls, say she long and tall
Sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah

11. Dead shrimp blues

I woke up this mornin
and all my shrimp was dead and gone
I woke up this mornin ooh
and all my shrimp was dead and gone
I was thinin about you baby,
why you hear me weep and moan

I got dead shrimp here
someone is fishin in my pond
I got dead shrimp here, ooh
someone fishin in my pond
I served my best bait baby
and I can’t do that no harm

Everything I do babe you got your mouth stuck up
Hole where I used to fish, you got me posted up
Everything I do,
You got your mouth stuck up
And the hole where I used to fish baby
you’ve got me posted out

I got dead shrimp here
someone fishin in my pond
I got dead shrimp here
someone fishin in my pond
Catchin my goggle eyed perches
and they barbequein the bone

Now you take my shrimp babe
you know you turned me down
I couldn’t do nothin, till I got myself unwound

You taken my shrimp
oohh know you turned me down
Babe, I couldn’t do nothin, untill I got myself unwound

12. Cross road blues

I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee
I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)’at I got the croosroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I’m sinkin down
And I went to the crossraod momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossraod baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress

13. Walking blues

I woke up this mornin
feelin round for my shoes
Know bout at I got these
old walkin blues
woke up this mornin
feelin round oh for my shoes
but you know bout at I got these
old walkin blues
Lord I feel like blowin my
woh-old lonesome home
Got up this mornin, my little
Bernice was gone , Lord
I feel like blowoon my
lonesome home
Well, I got up this mornin
woh-all I had was gone
Well-ah leave this mornin if I have to
woh ride the blind ah
I’ve feel mistreated and I
don’t mind dyin
Levin this mornin ah
I have to ride a blind
babe, I been mistreated
baby, I don’t mind dyin
Well, some people tell em that the worried
blues ain’t bad
Worst old feelin I most
ever had
some people tell me that these
old worried, old blues ain’t bad
Its the worst old feelin,
I most ever had
She got a
Elgin movement from her head down
to her toes
Break in on a dollar most any-
where she goes, ooo oooooooooo
To her head down to her toes
spoken: oh honey
Lord, she break in on a dollar
most anywhere she goes

14. Last fair deal gone down

It’s the last fair deal goin’ down, last fair deal goin’ down
It’s the last fair deal goin’ down, good lord
On that Gulfport Island Road Eh Ida Belle, don’t cry, this time,
Ida Belle, don’t cry, this time
If you cry about a nickel, you’ll die for a dime
She wouldn’t cry, but the money won’t mine I love the way you do,
i love the way you do
I love the way you do, good lord
On this Gulfport Island Road My captain’s so mean on me,
my captain’s so mean on me
My captain’s so mean on m’mmmm, good lord
On this Gulfport Island Road Take camp tain he and see,
camp ain’t he and see
At scal ain’t be at seen, good lord
On that Gulfport Island Road Ah, this last fair deal goin’ down,
it’s the last fair deal goin’ down
This’ the last fair deal goin’ down, good lord
On this Gulfport Island Road I’m workin’ my way back home,
i’m working my way back home
I’m workin’ my way back home, good lord
On this Gulfport Island Road And that thing don’t keep a ringin’ so soon,
that thing don’t keep a ringin’ so soon
And that thing don’t keep a ringin’ so soon, good lord
On that Gulfed and Port Island Road

15. Preaching blues (Up Jumped the Devil)

Mmmmm mmmmm I’s up this mornin’
ah, blues walkin’ like a man
I’s up this mornin’
ah, blues walkin’ like a man
Worried blues
give me your right hand

And the blues fell mama’s child
tore me all upside down
Blues fell mam’s child
and it tore me all upside down
travel on, poor Bob
just cain’t turn you ’round
The blu-u-u-u-ues
is a low-down shakin’ chill
spoken: Yes, preach ‘em now.

Mmmmm mmmmm
is a low-down shakin’ chill
You ain’t never had ‘em, I
I hope you never will
Well, the blues
is a schin’ old heart disease
spoken: Do it. now.
You gon’ do it?
Tell me about it.

Let the blues
is a low-down achin’ heart disease
Like consumption
killing me by degrees
I can study rain
oh, ohm drive, oh, oh, drive my blues
I been studyin’ the rain and
I’m ‘on drive my blues away
Goin’ to the ’stil’ry
stay out there all day

16. If I had possession over judgment day

If I had possession
over judgment day
if I had possession
over judgment day
Lord, the little woman I’m lovin’ wouldn’t
have no right to pray

And I went to the mountain
lookin’ far as my eyes could see
And I went to the mountain
lookin’ far as my eye could see
Some other man got my woman and the -’a
lonesome blues got me

And I rolled and I tumbled and I
cried the whole night long
And I rolled and I tumbled and I
cried the whole night long
Boy, I woke up this mornin’
my biscuit roller gone
Had to fold my arms and I
slowly walked away
spoken: I didn’t like the way she done
Had to fold my arms and I
slowly walked away
I said in my mind, “Yo,”
trouble gon’ come some day

Now run here, baby
set down on my knee
I wanna tell you all about the
way they treated me

17. Stones in my passway

I got stones in my passway
and all my roads seem dark at night
I got stones in my passway
and all my roads seem dark at night
I have pains in my heart
they have taken my appetite
I have a bird to whistle
I have a bird to sing
Have a bird to whistle
and I have a bird to sing
I have a woman that I’m lovin
boy, but she don’t mean a thing
My enemies have betrayed me
have overtaken poor Bob at last
My enemies have betrayed me
have overtaken poor Bob at last
And ‘eres one thing certainly
they have stones all in my pass
Now you tryin to take my life
and all my lovin too
You laid a passway for me
now what are you tryin to do
I’m cryin please
please let us be friends
And when you hear me howlin in my passway rider
ple-ease open your door and let me in
I’ve got three legs to truck home
boys please don’t block my road
I’ve got three legs to truck home
boys please don’t block my road
I’ve been fellin ashamed about my rider
babe, I’m booked and I got to go

18. I’m a steady rollin’ man

I’m a steady rollin man
I roll both night and day
I’m a steady rollin man
hmmm hmmm I roll both night and day
But I haven’t got no sweet woman
hmm mmm boys to be rollin this way
I’m the man that rolls
when icicles hangin on the tree
I’m the man that rolls
when icicles hangin on the tree
And now you hear me howlin, baby
hmm hmmm mmm down on my bended knee
I’m a hard workin man
have been for many years I know
I’m a hard workin man
have been for many long years I know
And some cream puffs usin my money
ooh well babe, that’ll never be no more
You can’t give your sweet woman
everything she wants in one time
ooh hoo ooo You can’t give your sweet woman
everything she wants in one time
Well boys, she get ramblin in her brain
hmmm mmm mmm some other man on her mind
I’m a steady rollin man
I roll both night and day
I’m a steady rollin man
hmmm hmmm I roll both night and day
But I haven’t got no sweet woman
hmm mmm boys to be rollin this way

19. From four till late

From four till late
I was wringin my hands and cryin
From four till late
I was wringin my hands and cryin
I believe to my soul
that your daddy’s Gulfport bound
From Memphis to Norfolk
is a thirty six hour ride
From Memphis to Norfolk
is a thirty six hour ride
A mans like a prisoner
and he’s never satisfied
A woman is like a dresser
some man is always ramblin through its drawers
A woman is like a dresser
some man is always ramblin through its drawers
It cause so many men
wear an apron overhaul
From four until late
she get with a no good bunch and clown
From four until late
she get with a no good bunch and clown
Now, she won’t do nothin
but tear a good mans reputation down
When I leave this town,
I’m ‘onna bid you fare…farewell
When I leave this town,
I’m ‘onna bid you fare…farewell
And when I return again
you’ll have a great long story to tell

20. Hellhound on my trail

I gotta keep movin
I gotta keep movin
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
Umm mmmm mmm mmmmmm
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
And the days keeps on worryin me
theres a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail

If today was Christmas Eve
If today was Christmas Eve
and tommorow was Christmas Day
spoken : Aow wouldn’t we have a time baby

All I would need my little sweet rider just
to pass the time away huh huh
to pass the time away
You sprinkled hot foot powder mmmm
mmm around my door
all around my door
You sprinkled hot foot powder
all around your daddy’s door hmm hmm hmm
It keep me with ramblin mind rider
every old place I go
every old place I go
I can tell the wind is risin
the leaves tremblin on the tree
tremblin on the tree
hmmm hmmm hmm mmm
All I needs is my sweet woman
and to keep my company hey hey hey hey
my company

21. Little queen of spades

Now, she is a little queen of spades, and the men will not let her be
Mmmm, she is the little queen of spades, and the men will not let her be
Everytime she makes a spread, hoo fair brown, cold chill just runs all over me
I’m gon’ get me a gamblin’ woman, if the last thing that I do
Eee, gon’ get me a gamblin’ woman, if it’s the last thing that I do
Well, a man don’t need a woman, ooh fair brown, that he got to give all his money to
Everybody say she got a mojo, now she’s been usin’ that stuff
Mmmm, mmmm, ‘verybody says she got a mojo, ’cause she been usin’ that stuff
But she got a way trimmin’ down, hoo fair brown, and I mean it’s most too tough
Now, little girl, since I am the king, baby, and you is a queen
Ooo eee, since I am the king baby, and you is a queen
Le’s us put our heads together, hoo fair brown, then we can make our money green

22. Malted milk

I keep drinkin’ malted milk1, try’n to drive my blues away
I keep drinkin’ malted milk, try’n to drive my blues away
Baby, you just as welcome to my lovin’, as the flowers is in May

Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushin’ to my head
Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushin’ to my head
And I have a funny, funny feelin’, and I’m talkin’ all out my head

Baby, fix me one more drink, and hug your daddy one more time
Baby, fix me one more drink, and hug your daddy one more time
Keep on stirrin’ my malted milk mama, until I change my mind

My door knob keeps on turnin’, it must be spooks around my bed
My door knob keeps on turnin’, must be spooks around my bed
I have a warm, old feelin’, and the hair risin’ on my head

23. Drunken hearted man

I’m a drunken hearted man
my life seem so misery
I’m the drunken hearted man
my life seem so misery
And if I could change my way of livin’
it t’would mean so much to me

I been dogged and I been driven
eve’ since I left my mother’s home
I been dogged and I been driven
eve’ since I left my mother’s home
And I can’t see no reason why
that I can’t leave these no-goods womens alone

My father died and left me
my poor mother done the best that she could
My father died and left me
my poor mother done the best she could
Every man likes that game you call love
but it don’t mean no man no good
Now, I’m the drunken hearted man
and sin was the cause of it all
spoken: Oh, play ‘em now
I’m a drunken hearted man
and sin was the cause of it all
And the day that you get weak for no-good women
that’s the day that you bound to fall

24. Me & the devil blues

Early this mornin’
when you knocked upon my door
Early this mornin’, ooh
when you knocked upon my door
And I said, “Hello, Satan,”
I believe it’s time to go.”

Me and the Devil
was walkin’ side by side
Me and the Devil, ooh
was walkin’ side by side
And I’m goin’ to beat my woman
until I get satisfied

She say you don’t see why
that you will dog me ’round
spoken: Now, babe, you know you ain’t doin’ me
right, don’cha
She say you don’t see why, ooh
that you will dog me ’round
It must-a be that old evil spirit
so deep down in the ground

You may bury my body
down by the highway side
spoken: Baby, I don’t care where you bury my
body when I’m dead and gone
You may bury my body, ooh
down by the highway side
So my old evil spirit
can catch a Greyhound bus and ride

25. Stop breakin’ down blues

Everytime I’m walkin’ down the streets
Some pretty mama strat breakin’ down with me
Stop breakin’ down, yes stop breakin’ down
The stuff I got’ll bust your brains out, baby
Ooh, it’ll make you lose your mind. I can’t walk the streets,
now consolate my mind
Some no good woman she starts breakin’ down
Stop breakin’ down, please stop breakin’ down
The stuff I got’ll bust your brains out, baby
Ooh, it’ll make you lose your mind Now, you saturday night womens,
you love to ape and clown
You won’t do nothin’ but tear a good man reputation down
Stop breakin’ down, please stop breakin’ down
The stuff I got’ll bust your brains out, baby
Ooh, it’ll make you lose your mind Now, I give my baby, now, the 99 degree
she jumped up and throwed a pistol down on me
Stop breakin’ down, please stop breakin’ down
Stuff I got’ll bust your brains out, baby
Ooh, it’ll make you lose your mind I can’t start walkin’ down the streets
But some pretty mama don’t start breakin’ down with me
Stop breakin’ down, please stop breakin’ down
The stuff I got’ll bust your brains out, baby
Ooh, it’ll make you lose your mind

26. Traveling riverside blues

If your man get personal, want you to have your fun
If your man get personal, want you to have your fun
Just come on back to Friars Point, mama, and barrelhouse all night long
I got womens in Vicksburg, clean on into Tennessee
I got womens in Vicksburg, clean on into Tennessee
But my Friars Point rider, now, hops all over me
I ain’t gon’ to state no color, but her front teeth crowned with gold
I ain’t gon’ to state no color, but her front teeth is crowned with gold
She got a mortgage on my body, now, and a lien on my soul
Lord, I’m goin’ to Rosedale, gon’ take my rider by my side
Lord, I’m goin’ to Rosedale, gon’ take my rider by my side

We can still barrelhouse baby, on the riverside
Now you can squeeze my lemon ’til the juice run down my…
’til the juice rune down my leg, baby, you know what I’m talkin’ about
You can squeeze my lemon ’til the juice run down my leg
That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, now
But I’m goin’ back to Friars Point, if I be rockin’to my head

27. Honeymoon blues

Betty Mae, Betty Mae, you shall be my wife someday
Betty Mae, Betty Mae, you shall be my wife someday
I wants a little sweet girl, that will do anything,
that i say Betty Mae, you is my heartstring, you is my destiny
Betty Mae, you is my heartstring, you is my destiny
And you rolls across my mind, baby, each and every day
Li’l girl, li’l girl, my life seem so misery
Hmm hmm hmm, little girl, my life seem so misery
Baby, i guess it must be love, now, hoom mmm, lord that’s takin’ effect on me
Some day i will return, with the marriage license in my hand
Some day i will return, hoohoo, with the marriage license in my hand
I’m ‘on’ take you for a honeymoon, in some long, long distant land

28. Love in vain

“I wanna go with our next one myself.”

And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
Well, it’s hard to tell, it’s hard to tell
when all your love’s in vain
All my love’s in vain

When the train rolled up to the station
I looked her in the eye
When the train rolled up to the station
and I looked her in the eye
Well, I was lonesome, I felt so lonesome
and I could not help but cry
All my love’s in vain

When the train, it left the station
with two lights on behind
When the train, it left the station
with two lights on behind
Well, the blue light was my blues
and the red light was my mind
All my love’s in vain

Ou hou ou ou ou
hoo, Willie Mae
Oh oh oh oh oh hey
hoo, Willie Mae
Ou ou ou ou ou ou hee vee oh woe All my love’s in vain

29. Milkcow’s calf blues

Tell me, milkcow, what on earth is wrong with you
Hoo hoo, milkcow, what on earth is wrong with you
Now you have a little new calf, hoo hoo, and your milk is turnin’ blue
Your calf is hungry, and I believe he needs a suck
Your calf is hungry, hoo hoo, I believe he needs a suck
But your milk is turnin’ blue, hoo hoo, I believe he’s outta luck
Now I feel like milkin’ and my, cow won’t come
I feel like chu’in’ and my, milk won’t turn
I’m cryin’ pleease, pleease don’t do me wrong
If you can old milkcow, baby now, hoo hoo, drive home
My milkcow been ramblin’, hoo hoo, for miles around
My milkcow been ramblin’, hoo hoo, for miles around
Well, she been troublin’ some other bull cow, hoo hoo, in this man’s town

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