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Bukka White
Ruler
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[Bukka White]

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All lyrics on this site are for private study, scholarship, or research purposes only. Read the copyright notice before printing/copying anything from this page.

about... printing

* addition of June 2000
Ruler

Table Of Content (10 songs, 9 soundclips)

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Page 1

* Alabama Blues
Bukka's Jitterbug Swing
District Attorney Blues
Fixin' To Die Blues
High Fever Blues

Parchman Farm Blues
Pinebluff, Arkansas
Sleepy Man Blues
Strange Place Blues
When Can I Change My Clothes

Ruler

Alabama Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from Sky Songs, Vol. 1 (Arhoolie CD-323), copyright notice

I never will go back to Alabama, that is not the place for me
I never will go back to Alabama, that is not the place for me
You know they killed my sister and my brother, and the whole world let them peoples go down there free

I never will love Alabama, Alabama seem to never have loved poor me
I never will love Alabama, Alabama seem to never have loved poor me
Oh God I wish you would rise up one day, lead my peoples to the land of pea'

My brother was taken up for my mother, and a police officer shot him down
My brother was taken up for my mother, and a police officer shot him down
I can't help but to sit down and cry sometime, think about how my poor brother lost his life

Alabama, Alabama, why you wanna be so mean
Alabama, Alabama, why you wanna be so mean
You got my people behind a barbwire fence, now you tryin' to take my freedom away from me

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Bukka's Jitterbug Swing

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

Hey, come on you women, let's do the Jitterbug swing
When you do the Jitterbug swing, you know you will be doing a thing
Hey, I can't stand it long, I'm telling you women, I can't stand it long

Hey, every time I ask you, you won't let me follow you home
You must have some rounder, lyin' in your arms
Hey, you women workin' on my nerves
Hey, you women workin' on my nerves
Hey, you gonna drive me in my blood
Hey, please, m'am, don't say, "Uh uh"

Top

Ruler

District Attorney Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 1940, Chicago

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He will take a woman's man and leave her cold in hand
District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He will take a woman's man and leave her cold in hand

The District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He has caused a many mens to be in some distant land
District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He has caused so many women to be cold in hand

The District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
Ain't no woman but he sho' will take a woman's man
District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He will take a woman's man and leave her cold in hand

The District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He can tell just where when he gonna take a woman's man
District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He will take a woman's man and leave her cold in hand

The District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He taken me from my woman, cause her to love some other man
District Attorney sho' is hard on a man
He will take a woman's man and leave her cold in hand

Top

Ruler

Fixin' To Die Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 1940, Chicago

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

I'm lookin' funny in my eyes and I believe I'm fixin' to die, believe I'm fixin' to die
I'm lookin' funny in my eyes and I believe I'm fixin' to die
I know I was born to die but I hate to leave my children cryin'

Just as sho' as we livin', just as sho' we born to die, sho' we born to die
Just as sho' as we livin', sho' we born to die
I know I was born to die but I hate to leave my children cryin'

Your mother treated me, children, like I was her baby child, was her baby child
Your mother treated me like I was her baby child
That's why's I find it so hard to come back home to die

So many nights at the fireside, how my children's mother would cry, how my children's mother would cry
So many nights at the fireside, how my children's mother would cry
'Cause I told the mother I had to say goodbye

Look over yonder, on the burying ground, on the burying ground
Look over yonder, on the burying ground
Yon' stand ten thousand, standin' still to let me down

Mother take my children back, before they let me down, before they let me down
Mother take my children back, 'fore they let me down
I don't need for them to screamin' and cryin' on the graveyard ground

Top

Ruler

High Fever Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

I'm taken down with the fever, and it won't let me sleep
I'm taken down with the fever, and it won't let me sleep
It was about three o'clock, before he would let me be

I wish somebody, would come and drive my fever away
I wish somebody, come and drive my fever away
This fever I'm havin', sho' weaves in my way

The fever I'm havin', sho' is hard on a man
The fever I'm havin', sho' is hard on a man
They don't allow my lover, come and shake my hand

I wonder what's the matter with the fever, sho' is hard on a man
I wanna know what's the matter, how come this fever hard on a man
Doctor said "ain't the fever, that's your lover has another man"

Doctor get your fever gauge, and put it under my tongue
Doctor get your fever gauge, and put it under my tongue
Doctor says, "All you need, your lover in your arms"

I wants my lover, come and drive my fever away
I wants my lover, come and drive my fever away
Doctor says she'll do me more good in a day, than he would in all of his days

Top

Ruler

Parchman Farm Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

Judge give me life this mornin' down on Parchman Farm1
Judge give me life this mornin' down on Parchman Farm
I wouldn't hate it so bad, but I left my wife in mourn

Oh, goodbye wife, all you have done gone
Oh, goodbye wife, all you have done gone
But I hope some day, you will hear my lonesome song

Oh listen you men, I don't mean no harm
Oh listen you men, I don't mean no harm
If you wanna do good, you better stay off old Parchman Farm

We got to work in the mornin', just at dawn of day
We got to work in the mornin', just at dawn of day
Just at the settin' of the sun, that's when the work is done

I'm down on Parchman Farm, but I sho' wanna go back home
I'm down on Parchman Farm, but I sho' wanna go back home
But I hope some day I will overcome

__________
Note 1: Parchman Farm, the state prison in Parchman, Mississippi. Parchman was a complex of 15 labor camps covering a large area in Mississippi, a closed society of black men who were offered as "contract" labor to farms, railroads and industries of many sorts, passed around to do labor for the financial benefit of both the contractor and the state who sold them.

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Ruler

Pinebluff, Arkansas

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

Whoo, well, I got a little woman in Pinebluff, Arkansas
She was the sweetest little woman that your men most ever saw

Gonna get up in the mornin', baby, with the risin' sun
Whoo well, in the mornin', baby, with the risin' sun
If this train don't run, gonna be some walkin' done

My baby she's callin' me, she called me up on the phone
Whoo well, she's callin' me, she called me up on the phone
She said, "Daddy, daddy, I don't jive, come on hurry home"

My baby says, "I'm tired goin' to bed and moan"
Oh well, she says, "Tired of goin' to bed and moan"
She said, "I ain't had no lovin', daddy, daddy, since that you been gone"

Well, she says, "I'm tired, daddy, singin' to you lonesome songs"
Oh well, she says, "I'm tired of singin' to you lonesome songs"
She says, "I ain't even here, daddy, I ain't even here anymore"

My baby says, "I'm tired, daddy, hearin' my bedsprings groan"
Ooo, well, she says, "I'm tired a-hearin' my bedsprings groan"
She said, "I declare if you want me, daddy, you better hurry on"

Top

Ruler

Sleepy Man Blues


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

When a man gets trouble in mind, he wanna sleep all the time
When a man gets trouble in mind, he wanna sleep all the time
He doesn't can sleep all the time, the trouble won't worry his mind
Won't worry his mind

I'm feelin' worried in mind, and I'm tryin' to keep from cryin'
I'm feelin' worried in mind, and I'm tryin' to keep from cryin'
I am standin' in the sunshine, to keep from weakin' down
Keep from weakin' down

I want somewhere to go, but I hate to go to town
I want somewhere to go, to satisfy my mind
I would go to town, but I hate to stand around
Hate to stand around

I wonder what's the matter with my right mind, my mind keep me sleepin' all the time
I wonder what's the matter with my right mind, my mind keep me sleepin' all the time
But when I had plenty money, my friend would come around
Would come around

If I had my right mind, I would write my women a few lines
If I had my right mind, I would write my women a few lines
I will do most anything, to keep from weakin' down
Keep from weakin' down

Top

Ruler

Strange Place Blues

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 19

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

I'm a stranger at this place and I'm lookin' for my mother's grave
I'm a stranger at this place and I'm lookin' for my mother's grave
Well it seems like to me, ooh well, well some of us goin' to wail

I was at mother's grave, when they put my mother away
I was at mother's grave, when they put my mother away
And I can't find no one ooh, well, to take her place

After my mother was put away, I thought my wife would take her place
After my mother was put away, I thought my wife would take her place
I'll show you the difference 'tween a mother and a wife, well, my wife done throw me away

I wished I could find someone to take my mother's place
I wished I could find someone to take my mother's place
And if I can't find no one, ooh well, well you'll find me at her grave

I'm standin' on my mother's grave and I wished I could seen her face
I'm standin' on my mother's grave and I wished I could seen her face
I'll be glad when that day comes, ooh well, well when it be to dive me away

Top

Ruler

When Can I Change My Clothes

soundclip


by Booker T. Washington White a.k.a. Bukka White
recording of 1940, Chicago

from The Complete Sessions 1930-1940 (Travelin' Man 3) & The Complete Bukka White (Columbia CK-52782), copyright notice

Never will forget that day when they had me in Parchman1 Jail
Would no one even come and go my bail
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

So many days I would be sittin' down
I would be sittin' down lookin' down on my clothes
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

So many days when the day would be cold
They would carry me out into the rain and cold
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

So many days when the day would be cold
You can stand and look at the convicts' toes
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

So many days I would be walkin' down the road
I can hardly walk for lookin' down on my clothes
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

Never will forget that day when they taken my clothes
Taken my citizen's cloths and throw them away
I wonder how long before I can change my clothes
I wonder how long 'fore I can change my clothes

__________
Note 1: like Parchman Farm Blues, a song about his time in prison and in particular the uniform he had to wear; Bukka couldn't wait until the day when he could change back into his civilian clothes.

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
May 28 2000


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