Relax Your Mind

This song was recorded by Leadbelly (Hudie Ledbetter) in New York City in 1948 for Folkways. Leadbelly hoped it might be adopted by the National Traffic Safety Council. He truly believed that driving would be safer if we'd just all relax, and he was probably right. It was subsequently recorded by Jim Kweskin and the jug band and others.

Leadbelly played this at a much brisker tempo. I find this speed more relaxing. The style is more like Gus Cannon than Leadbelly.

I was practicing this song with one of my old groups in the 60's/70's (maybe 'Lord Greystoke and the Southern Flyers', 'July Alley' or 'The Lonesome Neutron Band') and we added the "Yellow" verse. At least that's how I remember it.

Lyrics: 

Oh, when you're drivin' in your automobile,
Keep your hands on that steerin' wheel;
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

Relax your mind, relax your mind,
And you'll feel so fine sometimes,
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

Now, when the light turns green,
You put your foot on the gasoline,
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

And when the light turns red,
Put your foot on the brake instead;
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

Relax your mind, relax your mind,
Makes you feel so fine some time,
Sometime you got to relax your mind.

When the light turns yellow
You got to turn around and hug your fellow
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

When the traffic light turns blue,
What in the world are you gonna do?
Sometime, you got to relax your mind, your mind.

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