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Leadbelly
Ruler
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about... printing

* addition of December 2000
Ruler

Table Of Content (16 songs, 15 soundclips)

You are now in page 1

Page 1

Alabama Bound
Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie
Cotton Fields Back Home
Duncan And Brady (1)
Duncan And Brady (2)
Good Night Irene
Jumpin' Judy
Keep Your Hands Off Her

* Linin' Track
Midnight Special (1)
Midnight Special (2)
Red Cross Store Blues
Shorty George 2
Take This Hammer
The Grey Goose
The Rock Island Line

Ruler

Alabama Bound

soundclip


Traditional
recording of 19

from Bourgeois Blues: Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 2 (Smithsonian/Folkways 40045) & Leadbelly [Virgin] (Virgin 7243), copyright notice

I'm Alabama bound
I'm Alabama bound
And if the train don't stop and turn around
I'm Alabama bound

Oh, don't you leave me here
Oh, don't you leave me here
But if you must go anyhow
Just leave a dime for beer

Oh don't you be like me
Oh don't you be like me
Drink your good sweet cherry wine
And let that whiskey be

Well your hair don't curve
And your eyes ain't blue
Well if you don't want me, Polly Ann
Well I don't want you

 

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Ruler

Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Take This Hammer (Smithsonian/Folkways 31019), copyright notice

Bring me little water, Sylvie
Bring me little water, now
Bring me little water, Sylvie
Every little once in a while

Don't you see me coming?
Don't you see me, now?
Don't you see me coming?
Every little once in a while

 

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Ruler

Cotton Fields Back Home

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1 (Smithsonian/Folkways 40044), copyright notice

When I was a pretty little baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In them old cotton fields back home

Now, when them old fields get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home

It was down in Louisiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home

 

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Ruler

Duncan And Brady (Version 1)

soundclip


Traditional
recording of 19

from Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1 (Smithsonian/Folkways 40044), copyright notice

Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, little star
Up comes Brady in a 'lectric car
Got a mean look all 'round his eye
Gonna shoot somebody jus' to see them die

Duncan, Duncan was tending the bar
In walked Brady with a shining star
And Brady says, "Duncan you are under arrest"
And Duncan shot a hole in Brady's breast

Brady, Brady carried a .45,
Said it would shoot half a mile
Duncan had a .44
That what laid Mr. Brady so low

Brady fell down on the barroom floor,
"Please Mr. Duncan don' shoot me no more"
Women all cryin', ain't it a shame,
Shot King Brady, goin' shoot him again

"Brady, Brady, Brady, you know you done wrong
Walkin' in the room when the game was goin' on
Knockin' down windows, breakin' down the door
Now you lyin' dead on the grocery [barroom] floor

Women all heard that Brady was dead,
Goes back home and they dresses in red
Come a sniffin' and a sighin' down the street,
In their big mother hubbards and their stockin' feet

'Cause he been on the job too long

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Ruler

Duncan And Brady (Version 2)

soundclip


Traditional
recording of 19

from Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1 (Smithsonian/Folkways 40044), copyright notice

Duncan, Duncan was tending the bar,
in walked Brady with a shining star1
And Brady says, "Duncan you are under arrest"
And Duncan shot a hole in Brady's breast

Brady, Brady carried a .45,
Said it would shoot half a mile
Duncan had a .44
That what laid Mr. Brady so low

Brady fell down on the barroom floor,
"Please Mr. Duncan don' shoot me no more"
Women all cryin', ain't it a shame,
Shot King Brady, goin' shoot him again.

Brady, Brady, Brady, you know you done wrong,
walkin' in the room when the game was goin' on
Knockin down windows, breakin' down the door
Now you lyin' dead on the grocery floor

Women all heard that Brady was dead,
goes back home and they dresses in red
Come a sniffin' and a sighin' down the street,
in their big mother hubbards and their stockin' feet

__________
Note 1: alternatively "Up drives Brady in his 'lectric car".

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Ruler

Good Night Irene

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Take This Hammer (Smithsonian/Folkways 31019), copyright notice

Last Saturday night, I got married,
me and my wife settled down
Now me and my wife are parted,
I'm gonna take another stroll downtown

Sometimes I live in the country,
sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I take a great notion,
to jump into the river and drown

I love Irene, God knows I do,
I'll love her till the seas run dry
But if Irene should turn me down,
I'd take the morphine and die

Stop rambling, stop your gambling,
stop staying out late at night
Go home to your wife and your family,
stay there by your fireside bright

Top

Ruler

Jumpin' Judy


by
recording of 19

from , copyright notice

Jumpin' Judy, Jumpin' Judy
Jumpin' Judy, Jumpin' Judy
Jumpin' Judy, Jumpin' Judy
All over this world, all over this world

Well you kick and stomp and beat me
Well you kick and stomp and beat me
Well you kick and stomp and beat me
Tha's all I know, thats all I know

Yonder come my captain
Yonder come my captain
Yonder come my captain
Who has been gone so long, who has been gone so long

Gonna tell him how you treat me
Gonna tell him how you treat me
Gonna tell him how you treat me
So you better git gone, so you better git gone

Top

Ruler

Keep Your Hands Off Her

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs (Smithsonian/Folkways CD SF 40010) & Singing of Leadbelly (Folkways FA 2488), copyright notice

Keep your hands off, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, you know what I said
You know she don't belong to you

She's a heavy-hipped1 mama, she's go the great big legs
She's a heavy-hipped mama, she's got the great big legs
She's a heavy-hipped mama, she's got the great big legs
Walking like she walkin' on soft boiled eggs

Keep your hands off, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, you know what I said
You know she don't belong to you

Her name is Josie and she ain't so nosey
Her name is Josie and she ain't so nosey
Her name is Josie and she ain't so nosey
But boy, she sure is cosey

Keep your hands off, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, you know what I said
You know she don't belong to you

She's a heavy-hipped mama and she's built up straight
She's a heavy-hipped mama and she's built up straight
She's a heavy-hipped mama and she's built up straight
She's got just what it takes

Keep your hands off, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, keep your hands off her
Keep your hands off her, you know what I said
You know she don't belong to you

_________
Note 1: heavy-hipped mama, back in those days heavy women were considered beautiful. Skinny women like Naomi Campbell for instance were definitely not considered to be the definition of female beauty.

Top

Ruler

Linin' Track

soundclip


traditional arranged by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from We Shall Be Free, Volume 2 (Albatros VPA 8303), copyright notice

Oh boys, is you right?
Done got right!
All I hate 'bout linin' track
These ol' bars 'bout to break my back

Oh boys, can't you line 'em, Jack-a Jack-a
Oh boys, can't you line 'em, Jack-a Jack-a
Oh boys, can't you line 'em, Jack-a Jack-a
See Eloise go linin' track

Moses stood on the Red Sea shore
Smotin' that water with a two-by-four

If I could I surely would
Stand on the rock where Moses stood

Mary an' the baby lyin' in the shade
Thinkin' on the money I ain't made

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Ruler

Midnight Special (version 1)

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Leadbelly [Virgin] (Virgin 7243), copyright notice

Well you wake up in the morning, hear the ding dong ring,
You go a-marching to the table, see the same damn thing
Well, it's on a one table, knife, a fork and a pan,
and if you say anything about it, you're in trouble with the man

Let the midnight special, shine her light on me
Let the midnight special, shine her ever-loving light on me

If you ever go to Houston, you better walk right, you better not stagger, you better not fight
Sheriff Benson will arrest you, he'll carry you down
And if the jury finds you guilty, penitentiary bound

Yonder come little Rosie, how in the world do you know
I can tell her by her apron, and the dress she wore
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
She goes a-marching to the captain, says, "I want my man"

"I don' believe that Rosie loves me", well tell me why
She ain't been to see me, since las' July
She brought me little coffee, she brought me little tea
Brought me damn near ever'thing but the jailhouse key

Yonder comes doctor Adams, "How in the world do you know?"
Well he gave me a tablet, the day befo'
There ain't no doctor, in all the lan'
Can cure the fever of a convict man

 

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Ruler

Midnight Special (version 2)

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from, copyright notice

Yonder come Miss Rosie, how in the world do you know
Well I know by the apron and the dress she wore
Well an umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
Well I'm gonna ask the governor, he turn a-lose a-my man

Let the midnight special, shine the light on me
Let the midnight special, shine the ever-lovin' light on me

When you get up in the mornin', when that big bell ring
You go and march to the table, see the same damn thing
Knife and fork are on the table, there's nothin' in my pan
And if you say anything about it, havin' trouble with the man

Well I went to the nation and to the territo(ry)
Well I thought about the girl I love, in that Mexico

If you ever go to Houston, oh you better walk right
And you better not squallow and you better not fight
Sheriff Rocko will arrest you, Eddie Boone will take you down
You can bet your bottom dollar, penitentiary bound

Well jumpin' little Judy, she was a mighty fine girl
Well Judy brought jumpin' to this whole round world
Well she brought it in the mornin', just a while before day
She brought me the news, that my wife was dead
That started me to grievin', then hollerin' and a-cryin'
Then I had to give the worry about a been a long time

__________
Note: version as sung with the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet.

 

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Ruler

Red Cross Store Blues

soundclip


by
recording of 19

from Memorial, Vols. 3 & 4 (Collectables 5604), copyright notice

I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She come down Justine, tell me I wanna talk with you in just a little while
Ain't you goin' down and fight for your wife and child?
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She come down here and she shook my hand
She said, "Daddy I want you to go down there and fight for me like a man"
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She said the Red Cross people they treat you mighty fine
They mixing everything up with whiskey and wine
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She come down here talkin' to me about the war
I told her baby I ain't done nothing to go there for
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She come down here and she fell down on her knees
I said baby I have to look somewhere for your butter and cheese
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

She said Daddy I just come down here to tell you so
You better go running down to that Red Cross store
I told her no!
Baby you know I don't wanna go
Justine I ain't goin'
Down to no Red Cross store

 

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Ruler

Shorty George 2

soundclip


by
recording of 19

from Take This Hammer (Smithsonian/Folkways 31019), copyright notice

Well-a Shorty George1, he ain't no friend of mine
Well-a Shorty George, he ain't no friend of mine
He's taken all the women and left the men behind

Well-a Shorty George, he done been here and gone
Yes, Shorty George, he done been here and gone
Lord he left many a poor man a great long way from home

Well my baby caught the Katy, I caught the Santa Fee
Well she caught the Katy, I caught the Santa Fee
Well, you can't quit me, baby, can't you see

Well I went to Galveston, work on the Mallory Line
Went to Galveston, Lord on the Mallory Line
Babe you can't quit me, ain't no use tryin'

Shorty George, travelin' through the land
Shorty George, he's travelin' through the land
Always looking to pick some woman's poor man

When I get back to Dallas, I'm gonna walk and tell
When I get back to Dallas, gonna walk and tell
That the Fort Bend Bottom is a burning hell

__________
Note 1: Shorty George was the train that took convicts (and visitors) to and from the prison.

 

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Ruler

Take This Hammer

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Leadbelly [Virgin] (Virgin 7243), copyright notice

Take this hammer, carry it to the captain
Take this hammer, carry it to the captain
Take this hammer, carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone
Tell him I'm gone

If he asks you was I runnin'
If he asks you was I runnin'
If he asks you was I runnin'
Tell him I was flyin'
Tell him I was flyin'

If he asks you was I laughin'
If he asks you was I laughin'
If he asks you was I laughin'
Tell him I was cryin'
Tell him I was cryin'

They wanna feed me cornbread and molasses
They wanna feed me cornbread and molasses
They wanna feed me cornbread and molasses
But I got my pride
Well, I got my pride

 

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Ruler

The Grey Goose

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Leadbelly [Virgin] (Virgin 7243), copyright notice

Well, las' Monday mornin', Lawd, Lawd, Lawd,
Well, las' Monday mornin', Lawd, Lawd, Lawd

My daddy went a-huntin'
Well, he carried along his zulu1
Well, along come a grey goose
Well, he throwed it to his shoulder,
an' he ram his hammer' way back

Well, he pulled on de trigger
Well, down he come a-windin'
He was six weeks a-fallin'
He was six weeks a-findin'
An' he put him on de wagon,
An'he taken him to de white house

He was six weeks a-pickin'
Lordy, your wife an'my wife,
Oh, they give a feather pickin'
An' they put him on to parboil2
He was six months a-parboil',
An' they put him on de table,

Now, de fork couldn' stick him,
An' de knife couldn't cut him
An' they throwed him in de hog-pen,
An' he broke de ol'sow's jawbone

An' they taken him to de sawmill,
An' he broke de saw's teeth out
An' de las' time I seed him,
Well, he's flyin' across de ocean,
Wid a long string o' goslin's,
An' they all goin': quank quink-quank

__________
Note 1: zulu, ;
Note 2: parboil, .

 

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Ruler

The Rock Island Line

soundclip


by Leadbelly
recording of 19

from Leadbelly [Virgin] (Virgin 7243), copyright notice

Cat's in the cupboard and she can't find me
Oh the Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line
Oh the Rock Island Line is the road to ride
If you want to ride, you gotta ride it like you're flyin'
Get your ticket at the station on the Rock Island Line

Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong
Lawd you gonna miss me when I'm gone
Oh the Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line
Oh the Rock Island Line is the road to ride
If you want to ride, you gotta ride it like you're flyin'
Get your ticket at the station on the Rock Island Line

Jesus died to save our sins
Glory to God I'm gonna see Him again
Oh the Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line
Oh the Rock Island Line is the road to ride
If you want to ride, you gotta ride it like you're flyin'
Get your ticket at the station on the Rock Island Line

Moses stood on the Red Sea shore
Smothin' the water with a two-by-four
Oh the Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line
Oh the Rock Island Line is the road to ride
If you want to ride, you gotta ride it like you're flyin'
Get your ticket at the station on the Rock Island Line

 

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
December 16 2000


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