Statesboro Blues

Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell recorded this song in 1928 and it is probably of his own composition. A few people have revived it recently, notably Taj Mahal, Rory Block, Dave Van Ronk, Chris Smithers and the Allman Brothers. I heard it for the first time by the Holy Modal Rounds, those bizarre purveyors of psychedelic old time country.

It is a good old blues and there's not much more to say about it. So, here goes.

Lyrics: 

Wake up mama; turn you lamp down low
Wake up mama; turn you lamp down low
Have you got the nerve to drive Papa McTell from your door?

My mother died and left me reckless, my daddy died and left me wild, wild, wild.
My mother died and left me reckless, my daddy died and left me wild, wild, wild.
No I'm not good lookin' but I'm some sweet woman's angel child.

She's a mighty mean woman--do me this-a way
She's a mighty mean woman--do me this-a way
When I leave this town pretty mama goin' away to stay.

Once loved a woman, better'n any I'd ever seen
Once loved a woman, better'n any I'd ever seen
Treated me like I was a king and she was a doggone queen.

Sister tell your brother, brother tell your auntie now,
Auntie tell your uncle, uncle tell my cousin, cousin tell my friend
Goin' up the country, mama don't you wanna go?
May take me a fair brown, may take one or two more.

Big Eighty left Savannah, lord he did not stop
You oughta saw that colored fireman when he got that boiler hot
You could reach over in the corner, mama, 'n' hand me my travelin' shoes
You know by that I've got them Statesboro Blues.

Mama, sister got 'em, Auntie got 'em, brother got 'em, friend got 'em, I got 'em
Woke up this morning, we had them Statesboro Blues,
I looked over in the corner; Grandma and Grandpa had them too.

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