Lightnin' Hopkins
Ruler
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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.

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* = most recent additions of October 1999
Ruler

Table Of Content (88 songs, 52 soundclips)

You are now in page 2

Page 1

Page 2

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* Abilene
* Ain't It Crazy
* Another Fool In Town
Back Door Friend
Bad Luck And Trouble
Bald Headed Woman
Black Cat
Black Ghost Blues
Blues For My Cookie
Breakfast Time
* Burnin' In L.A.
California Mudslide
* California Showers
Candy Kitchen
Catfish Blues
Cemetery Blues
* Coffee Blues
Contrary Mary
Darling, Do You
Remember Me?

Death Bells
Don't Keep My Baby Long
* Don't Think 'Cause You're Pretty
* Feel So Bad
Found My Baby Cryin'
Fugitive Blues
Gambler's Blues
* Give Me Back That Wig
* Goin' Back And Talk To Mama
Goin' Back Home
Going To Dallas, To See My Pony Run
Grandma Told Grandpa

* Grievance Blues
* Grosebeck Blues
Happy Blues For John Glenn
* Highway Blues
Home In The Woods
I'm Coming Home
I'm Tired Of Trouble
* I Worked Down On The Chain Gang
* It's A Sin To Be Rich, It's A Low-down Shame To Be Poor
Jailhouse Blues
Jake Head Boogie
* Katie Mae
Last Affair
* Life I Used To Live
Little School Girl
Lonesome Dog Blues
Lonesome Graveyard
* Lonesome Home
Long Way From Home (1)
Long Way From Home (2)
* Long Way From Texas
Love Me This Mornin'
Lovin' Arms
Mama And Papa Hopkins
* Mama's Baby Child
* Miss Loretta
Mistreated Blues
Morning Blues
* Mr. Charlie
My Black Name
My Grandpa Is Old Too
My Suggestion
Never Miss Your Water

No Education
One Kind Favor I Ask Of You
* Picture On The Wall
Prison Blues Come Down On Me
Ride In Your New Automobile
Rock Me, Mama
Rosie Mae
Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On
Santa Fe Blues
Short Haired Woman
Smokes Like Lightnin'
Some Day Baby
Stool Pigeon Blues
Talkin' Some Sense
The Foot Race Is On
The Howling Wolf
* Tom Moore's Farm
Too Many Drivers
Trouble Blues
Vietnam War
* War News Blues
Wonder Why
You're Too fast
Your Own Fault Baby, To Treat Me The Way You Do

Ruler

 



Grievance Blues

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1949, Houston

from Texas Blues (Arhoolie 2006), copyright notice

Grieving over you, babe, darling, I have almost lost my mind
I been grieving over you, babe, till I have almost lost my mind
Yes, you know, it have settled on my brain, and it almost drove me blind

You know, I can't eat for thinking, you know, and I can't hardly see for crying
You know, I can't eat for thinking, I can't hardly see for crying
Yes, you know, it have settled on my brain, and it have almost drove me blind

I done grieved over you, woman, till I done got weak in my knees
I done grieved over you, baby, till I done got weak in my knees
Yes, l'm just wandering around this world and I ain't got nobody to care for me

 

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Ruler

Grosebeck Blues

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1947

from Early Recordings, Vol. 2 (Arhoolie 2010), copyright notice

Boy, you may go to Grosebeck1 to have your trial, but you know the next penitentiary's after while
You may go to Grosebeck to have your trial, ooh, and the next penitentiary's after awhile
Yes, if you want to go to penitentiary in a hurry, man, you just go to Grosebeck and have your trial

Yeah, you know, my mama called me, boys, and I answered, "Ma'am?"
She said, "Son are you tired of working?" I said, "Mama, oh mama, yes I am"
Then, you know, my papa called me, peoples, and I answered, "Sir?"
He said, "Son, if you're tired of working down there, what the hell you're gonna stay there for?"

Grandma said, "Son, if you had been a good boy, yes, and stayed at home, you'd have been working for your mama, I'm talking about, and picking up chips on your grandma's farm"
I can't do nothing but hang my lonesome head and moan

Yes you know they got a dog named Rattler
You know she's a water dog
You know she can swim big Brazos2, I done swear, man, that dog can walk a foot log

__________
Note 1: Grosebeck, ;
Note 2: Brazos, river about 840 miles (1350 kilometers), central Texas flowing SE into Gulf of Mexico.

 

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Ruler

Happy Blues For John Glenn

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1963

from Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 or Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

People I was sittin' this mornin' with this on my mind
Said there ain't no livin' man who gone around the world three time
But John Glenn did
Yes he did
He did it, I'm talkin' about him
Only did it for fun

Half a million dollars made him feel so well
He got to eatin' his lunch and couldn't hardly tell
He said I feel all right
John Glenn said it
Everybody was laughin',
and dipped in the gritty

It was a million prayer went up,
prayin' that he would land
I looked at a schoolhouse full of men and they didn't know what to say
But they said "Let him come back, God
Please let him land
You know that's the onliest man ever did it
And you're the helpin' hand"

I see'd him when he left but I didn't see him when he land
But I knowed he was doin' all right when they said it is OK to give him a great big hand
He'll be in on the ship
They say he's on deck
His mother say I know my son gonna make it, it ain't never been no mistake

You know I wanna tell you somethin', this ain't lyin'
You know that man must had on his mind flyin'
It ain't nobody will take that for his tryin',
unless they gonna build him his own self airplane and they gonna go flyin'
They told him "Don't worry, this is true
You may miss me for a few minutes but I'll be back to see about you", he did!
Yes he did
Yes when he done it, didn't know what had happened the helicopter say

You know they tested that boy's body, even test his heart
They knowed he was all right when he was gettin' to start
I mean he's made it!
He went around the world three times
You know he went and got him an airplane,
and he made up and had it on his mind

That's what he had on his mind
He didn't have no kid and he didn't have no digs
He just had it in his mind flyin'

__________
This song was recorded in 1963, right after John Glenn made his three orbits in
space, the first American to do so. This transcription is rather tentative, mainly because Lightnin' frequently had to hurry to fit his lines to the meter!

 

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Ruler

Highway Blues

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1953, Houston

from Lightnin' Hopkins (Blues Classics 30), copyright notice

I was traveling fast one of these days, talking 'bout I was on my way down to the highway 80
That's when I know'd I'm going to meet that lady
I'm going to take my girl have some fun, if my money don't spend, I can shoot my gun
I'm going, yes, I'm going, yes, I'm going on that highway

(Spoken: Now look here, folks. Here's a little poem I'm going to tell you, but I didn't know it right then but I'm going to say it because I found out later that it was all right. Yes, come on in there where we can get it good)

You know there's a place you can put your money down, take your girl, go there and clown
I'm going to, I'm going to clown
I'm going to clown with you peoples, God knows I'm going to break 'em
(Spoken: I didn't know why I didn't know that place was there, but I didn't)

She spoke out loud, "Don't make me mad"
Looked up this morning, she had everything I had
I was mad with the world
I was mad with the world
Reason why I was mad, I didn't know why she done it for

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Ruler

Home In the Woods

by Robert Ellen
recording of early 1950's

from Sittin' In With (Mainstream 905), copyright notice

I'm gonna find me another home, I'm gonna find it way out in the woods
I'm gonna find me another home, find it way out in the woods
So I can let all them no good women know, whoa, I don't mean them no good

Yes everybody tells me,
in my neighborhood
You mess with a woman she don't mean you no good
I'm gonna find me a home, way out in the woods
So I can let all these old no-good women know, I don't mean them no good

She used to be a good woman but she didn't do what she should
And that's the reason I'm gonna find me a home out in the woods
I don't mean them no good
Still I want you to know
I did the best I could.

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Ruler

I'm Coming Home

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1970

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

I'm comin' home baby,
darlin' I ain't doin' no good out there
I'm comin' home now darling,
I ain't doin' no good out there
I know it don't make you much difference,
but I want you to feel my care

You didn't tell me to leave,
baby, I just left on my own
You didn't tell me to leave,
little girl, I just left on my own
That's the reason I want you to make me welcome,
look out, I'm comin' home

Did you get my letter,
tell you I'd be home before long?
Did you get my letter,
tell you I'd be home before long?
Well, it don't make no difference if you didn't get it,
look out, po' Lightnin' comin' home

Top

Ruler

I'm Tired Of Trouble

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1969

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

Tired of so much trouble,
trouble I've been havin' all my days
Tired of so much trouble,
oh Lord, had it all my days
Some time I be troubled,
and the woman, gonna take poor Lightnin' to his grave

I told my mama I was in trouble,
something I didn't want her to know
Told poor mama I was in trouble, yeah, yeah
boys, I went as fast as I could go
Mama said, "son, you in home now,
I'll pray you don't be trouble no more"

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Ruler

I Worked Down On The Chain Gang


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1963, Philadelphia

from Hootin' the Blues (Prestige/Folklore 14021), copyright notice

Yeah, you know I worked on the railroad, I even worked down on that chain gang
Yeah, you know I worked on the railroad, oh boy and I worked down on the chain gang

Yeah they put me in jail when it was raining, honey that was the best for me
Throwed me in the jail when it was raining, honey and that is the best for me
You know the jail kept me in from the wet, I didn't have no place to stay, don't you know

When I workin' on the chain gang, ball and chain all around my leg
I was workin' on the chain gang, ball and chain all around my leg
I said, "Please don't drive me too hard, I'm an old man", they say, "We don't pay no attention to the age"

He said, "Who sent you down here, boy, what did you break in this jail for?"
"Who sent you down here, boy, what did you break in this jail for?"
He say, "You look like a man would kill your mother (and I believe he did),
oh boy what did you kill that old woman for?"
(A sad time, and I had to cry...)

I said, "Mmmmm mister jailer, will you please sir bring me the key"
I said, "Mmmmm mister jailer, will you please sir bring me the key"
I says, "I just want you to open the door, 'cause this ain't no place for me"

 

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Ruler

It's A Sin To Be Rich,
It's A Low-Down Shame To Be Poor

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of May 1972

from It's A Sin To Be Rich (Gitanes ), copyright notice

You know that it's a sin to be rich but it's a low-down shame to be poor
It is a sin to be rich, you know that it's a low-down shame to be poor
You know a rich man ain't got a chance to go to heaven and a poor man got a hard way to go

You know I don't wanna be rich, I just wanna stay between rich and poor
No, I don't wanna be rich, I just wanna live between rich and poor
Yes, when I die you know I wanna go to heaven, that's when Po' Lightnin' will have a chance to go

Gabriel gonna be the next man to blow that trumpet, I wants to be there when he blow (blow, Gabriel)

Whoa, he gonna be the next man blow that trumpet, I wants to be there when po' Gabriel blow
Whoa, that's when the world be off with the people and I can lay there and rest for sure
Everybody!

 

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Ruler

Jailhouse Blues

soundclip


by Clarence Smith
recording of 1946 and 1961-1964 resp.

from Sittin' In With (Sony Legacy) & Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 and Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

Well I wouldn't mind staying in jail, but I've gotta stay there so long
Well I wouldn't mind staying in jail, but I've gotta stay there so long
You know it seem like all my friends, you know they done shook hands and gone

Thirty days in jail, with my back turned to the wall
Thirty days in jail, with my back turned to the wall
Yes you know some other skinner must be kickin' in my stall

Hey mister jailer please, will you please bring me the key
Hey mister jailer, will you please sir bring me the key
I just want you to open the door, cause this ain't no place for me

 

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Ruler

Jake Head Boogie

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from The Fifties: Juke Joint Blues (Capitol or Virgin 86304), copyright notice

We got drunk last night man, yes, and the night before
We got drunk last night man, yes, and the night before
Come home tellin' me, yes gonna get drunk some more

I don't want no Dixie woman talkin' 'bout man in my face
I don't want no Dixie woman talkin' 'bout man in my face
There's a whole lot of women, just rarin' to take her place

This time now baby, just got to let you go
This time now baby, just got to let you go
Come home tellin' me that you won't get drunk no more

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Ruler

Katie Mae

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1946, Los Angelos

from Best Of The Blues, Vol. 2 (Imperial 12259, Aladdin 167), copyright notice

Yeah, you know Katie Mae is a good girl, folks, and she don't run around at night
Yeah, you know Katie Mae is a good girl, folks, and she don't run around at night
Yeah, you know you can bet your last dollar Katie Mae will treat you right

Yeah, you know I try to give that woman everything in the world she need,
that's why she don't do nothing but lay up in the bed and read
You know she walks just like she got oil wells in her backyard
Yes, you'll never hear that woman whoop and holler and cry and talking 'bout these times being hard

You know some folks say she must be a Cadillac, but I say she must be a T-model Ford
Yeah, you know some folks say she must be a Cadillac, but I say she must be a T-model Ford
Yeah, you know she got the shape all right, but she can't carry no heavy load

I say goodbye, goodbye poor Katie Mae, these are the last words that I got to say
I say goodbye, goodbye poor Katie Mae, these are the last words I got to say
Yes, if I don't see you tomorrow I hope I'll meet you early the next day

 

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Ruler

Last Affair

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from Blue Lightnin' (Jewel 5000), copyright notice

I found out you were leavin' me baby, leavin' on the next train that runs
I found out you were leavin' me baby, leavin' on the next train that runs
Now tell me how you can go away, darlin' not a thing that I have done

But if you just gotta go, don't bother me to worry too well
But if you just gotta go, don't bother me to worry too well
Yes, I hope that you'll be happy, whenever I get over there

I guess I'll say goodbye, this will be my last affair
I guess I'll say goodbye, this will be my last affair
Still I hope you'll be happy baby, when I meet you over there

Just a singin' for my baby, for a man to walk away
Just a singin' for my baby, for a man to walk away
Yes, she leaves my home, and I've done everything

 

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Ruler

Life I Used To Live

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1954, Houston

from Flash Lightnin' (Diving Duck 4307, Herald 428), copyright notice

You know the life I used to live, Lord, I ain't going to live it no more
You know the life I used to live, I ain't going to live it no more
Well, I used to live so reckless, was losing friends everywhere I go

I'm going to change my way of living, I'm going to join the church again
I'm going to change my way of living, I'm going to join the church again
Then I can go 'round and talk religious to my friends, I can shake hands among all my friends

I'm going to say goodbye, goodbye, I ain't goin' to live that life no more
Bye bye, bye bye, ain't going to live that life no more

 

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Ruler

Little School Girl

Traditional
recording of 1970

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

Little school girl,
let me tote1 your books to school today
Please, little school girl,
let me tote your books to school today
She said, "I says you's a bad boy,
mama said please keep you away"
(spoken: That's what she said about Lightnin')

Mama want to know what you're doin',
yes, after you get out of her sight
She said "If I let you tote my books,
still I know, Sam, that ain't right"
When I get back home with my mother and dad,
that's where I might have a fight

I told the school teacher,
little school girl carryin' too heavy a load
Yes, I told that school teacher,
little girl was carryin' too heavy a load
She say, "You better get your big, bare feets,
Lightnin', make it down the road"

(spoken: That little school girl was all right in her place,
but she got me, so I walked away and I say...)

Good mornin', little school girl,
how have you been today?
Good mornin' little school girl,
how have you been today?
I say I'll tote your books, I'll tote your books,
darlin', 'cause you are goin' my way

__________
Note 1: tote, to carry by hand.

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Ruler

Lonesome Dog Blues

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from Blue Lightnin' (Jewel 5000), copyright notice

I got a dog in my back yard, howled the day my baby's gone
I got a dog in my back yard, howled the day my baby's gone
Yes he puts my mind on a wonder, how that thing was goin' along

You know a thing's so sad, when a dog feels it deep down in his heart
You know a thing's so sad, when a dog feels it deep down in his heart
Guess you know a man can't help but mess around her,
when a dog in his backyard hates to see them part

 

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Ruler

Lonesome Graveyard

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1964
from
Sittin' In (Sony Legacy) & Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 and Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

Sleep on, sleep on, sleep on
Little girl, sleep on, just sleep on
Sleep on, sleep on,
Little girl, just sleep on, sleep on
Well I know you're dead and resting darling, but one day,
I know the graveyard's gonna be my home

(every living people got to die, human beings)

Mama was rocking by the window,
howling: my poor child is dead, yes she's dead
Yeah you know my poor child is dead and gone

(What made me feel so good, she said this:)

Sleep on, sleep on son,
Do you know your mother is coming on?
Whoa the graveyard ain't too beautiful,
but it will give you a home so long

I wouldn't mind dying,
po' Lightnin' would just have to lay dead so long
Wouldn't mind dying,
but I'd have to lay dead so long
That I wouldn't have a chance to come back here and tell my friends,
no nobody, what is going on

Told my baby, don't worry if I die, darling,
I know I'm gonna leave your little bed warm
Don't worry if po' Lightnin' lay down and die,
'cause I'm gonna leave your little bed very warm
Whoa you know, I can't worry when I'm dead and gone, but one thing,
little girl, I know you is coming home

 

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Ruler

Lonesome Home

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1947, Houston

from Original Folk Blues (Kent 523, Gold Star 624), copyright notice

Ain't it lonesome, ain't it lonesome, sitting in your home alone
Ain't it lonesome, ain't it lonesome, sitting in your home alone
Yes, you know, when your wife done quit your black self and the girl you love is gone

Yeah, you know she kind of like Katie Mae
I give her everything in the world she needs
That's why she don't do nothing, man, but lay up in the bed and read

And you know, she's kind of like Katie Mae
Boy, I give that woman everything in the world she needs
Yes, that's why, you know, she don't do nothing, man, lay up in the bed and read

Yes, you know I bought her a radio, I even bought her a'electric fan
She said, "Sam. I'm gon' lay here and read and God knows I won't have no other man"
That made me feel so good till I don't know what to do
Yes, darling, every dollar poor Sam makes, you know, he got to bring it back home to you
(Got to play it out right here)

Still, I say, can't a woman act funny, I'm talking about when she got another man?
You know she won't look straight at you, boy, she always raising sand1
Can't a woman act funny, boy, when she got another man
Yes, you know she won't look straight at you, then she's always raising sand

__________
Note 1: raising sand, fussing and fighting.

 

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Ruler

Long Way From Home (Version 1)

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1968

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

Next time I take a trip, down south, baby,
baby, I may take you and we'll be through
(spoken: I know you be wonderin' what we be through with,
but I'm gonna tell ya, next time I take a trip down south)
Little girl I may take you and we'll be trough
Yes, we'll be through with these people's keep on a tellin' us,
in this world, what they want us to do

Last time I'm gonna tell you, little girl, somebody's got to go
Last time I got to tell you, little girl, somebody's got to go
You know it may be, ol' Lightnin', baby, neither one of us sure don't know

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Ruler

Long Way From Home (Version 2)

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from probably Talkin' Some Sense (Jewel 5001), copyright notice

Any time a take a trip down South-a ways babe, I may take you with me too
Any time a take a trip down South-a ways babe, I may take you with me too
Yeah, but two or three people keep tellin' me, what in the world do they want us to do

Last time I'm gonna tell you, little girl, somebody's gotta go
Last time I'm gonna tell you, little girl, somebody's gotta go
You know it may be you or me, baby, either one of us, sure don't know

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Ruler

Long Way From Texas

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1950, New York

from The Blues (Mainstream 311), copyright notice

I come all the way from Texas just to shake glad hands with you
I come all the way from Texas just to shake glad hands with you
Yes, but when I seed in your smiling face I didn't know just what to do

I ought to been knowing these things for a great long time
I ought to been knowing these things for a great long time
You know it take me for quite awhile 'fore I made it up in my mind
(Spoken: Got to play it a minute)

I'm gonna tell all my friends just as soon as I go back home
I'm gonna tell all my friends just as soon as I go back home
Know they all gonna get on and wonder what is I been waiting on

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Ruler

Love Me This Mornin'

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1970

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

Love me this mornin',
ol' Lightnin' is fixin' to go away
Love me this mornin',
ol' Lightnin' is fixin' to go away
I may not be gone for ever,
but I'm tryin' to make up in my mind to stay

Whoa, I'm tryin to make up in my mind to stay

Tell me, baby,
little girl do you got anything else to say?
Tell me, oh,
little girl do you got anything else to say?
Ol' Lightnin', he goin' away to leave you,
this time po' Lightnin' he may stay
(spoken: one mo' time)

Yeah!

Po' Lightnin' may leave this time or stay

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Ruler

Lovin' Arms

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1969

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

I can remember, when I was layin' up in your lovin' arms
I can remember, when I was layin' up in your lovin' arms
Sounds like I could hear "just take it easy Lightnin' ",
you don't have to worry because she's already home
Such a long time
Yes, you know it would drive a poor man 'way from home
Such a long time
Do you know that 'd drive a poor man away from his home?
Whoa, he got the Misses out, when he can't lay up in her lovin' arms
(spoken: All right, I got to play right here)

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Ruler

Mama And Papa Hopkins

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from Golden Classics Pt. 3: Mama & Papa Hopkins (Collectables
COL-5145)
, copyright notice

I wonder why my mama don't love my papa no more?
I guess my daddy been doing somethin' wrong
I wonder why my mama don't love my papa no more?
Yeah, my daddy must been doing somethin' wrong
You know, I asked my mama, I said "Mama, what's the trouble?"
She looked at me and said, "Boy, you'd better go head on"

I looked at my mama, she looked at me unconcerned,
I told my mama, "Don't forget mama, you never gets too old to learn"
That time I was talkin' my daddy, walked in the door,
Said, "Let that boy alone, 'cause he's tellin' you something right, don't ya know?"
Mmmmm, you never gets too old to learn
Still, I say my papa must-a done somethin' wrong,
oh yeah, to 'cause my mama's heart to ruin

Well, you take two old people that's been together a long time,
they don't want children's or nobody else messin' round their bidness
See, that's what I'm talkin bout!
But, the reason why I was talkin', 'cause my mama,
I didn't want her to feel too bad over what papa do
And I don't want papa to feel too bad over what mama do
And I had-a tell 'em

You two people is livin', you been together for a great, long time
You two people's been livin', yeah you been together for a great, long time
Yeah, you know you had four boys and one girl to raise,
now, ya better get bad things off your mind
Y'all just get together and try to get along,
'cause, you ain't got many more days here

You know, then papa told mama, "come, sit down on my knee"
Said, "Little things I've did, will you please, forgive me?"
And it made me feel so good, man, I went truckin' on down the line
You know I wa't'nt gonna leave 'til I get them old folks together,
whoa yeah, and get bad things of they mind
Sho'h 'nough

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Mama's Baby Child

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1948

from Lightnin' Hopkins And The Blues (Imperial 12211), copyright notice

I was born'd on the levee, I'm my mama's baby child
I was born'd on the levee, I'm my mama's baby child
Yes, you know, it ain't but one thing I hate, some women have made mama's baby wild

Yes, if I'd have listened, yes, to what my mama said
If I'd have listened, yes, to what my mama said
Yes, you know, I wouldn't be here this evening, I'm talking about, with a hung-down head

Yes, you know, I'm going back home to mama, fall down on my mama's knee
I'm going back home to mama, fall down on my mama's knee
Yes, you know, I'm gonna ask my mama, "Please, ma'am, pray for me"

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Miss Loretta

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1948

from Lightnin' Hopkins And The Blues (Imperial 12211), copyright notice

Whoa, miss Loretta, where did you get all these good looking women from?
Well, well, miss Loretta, Lord, will you please tell me, baby, where did you get all these good looking women from?
She said they come in here unexpected, you know they was blowed in here by a storm

I said, "Sugar mama, sugar mama, now will you please come back to me?
Sugar mama, sugar mama, won't you please, ma'am, come back to me?
Yes, I say bring me my granulated sugar, oh Lord, and ease my misery"

Yes, miss Loretta, here's something I got to tell you I want you to do
Long as you live, I want you to keep these women 'round here with you
I said miss, please ma'am, miss Loretta, keep these womens here with you

'Cause I might be a sugar maker and I may make it just as sweet as sugar can be
Yeah, you know I went to church last night; I didn't get there on time
They called on me to pray and I had praying on my mind,
thinking about miss Loretta and the women, yes, man, they was on my mind
Yes, I thought about how nice miss Loretta was and how the women treated me so nice and kind

 

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Ruler

Mistreated Blues

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from The Complete Aladdin Recordings (Aladdin/EMI E2-96843),
copyright notice

Baby, you mistreated me all the time
Baby, you mistreated me all the time
Yes, you know I hope some day baby,
that you will change your mind

Baby, now what wrong have I done
Baby, now what wrong have I done
You try to mistreat me baby,
when I try to have my fun

Baby, it's all comin' back to you
Baby, it's all comin' back to you
You're gonna be sorry darlin',
that you treat me like you do

Baby, got to go and leave you here
Baby, got to go and leave you here
But maybe some day baby,
you will feel my care

 

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Morning Blues

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 19

from The Complete Aladdin Recordings (Aladdin/EMI E2-96843),
copyright notice

You know I went down to my baby's house, fell down on my knees,
crying please, please help poor me, help old me

She said, "Lightnin' I wished I was rich and you were poor"
The meals that you've been getting, I will see that you never get them no more
She's talking to me and I'm down on bended knee
Somebody help me, help me, please

You know I went to my house, wasn't nobody there but me
That was trouble, that was worry, Lord, Lord, like the whole world would see
Somebody please help me, I've been wondering about my fate
Her little smiling, baby, I can't see

Well I'm about to make it up in my mind to let her go ahead on
Baby, you go have a good time, while I walk my floor and moan
You may not miss me now, but you're gonna miss me when I'm gone
Well I just can't do nothing but cry, I just got to walk my floor and moan

 

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Mr. Charlie

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1968, Houston, Texas

from Free Form Patterns (), copyright notice

(Spoken, without accompaniment:)

Once in the country there was a little boy; every morning that he would go to the table with his little two sisters and brothers, you know, he would go there, he couldn't talk but his mother didn't know what was wrong with him so... she would go to the table in the morning, she would fix for breakfast, she'd fix toast and coffee, enough, coffee for the tin, toast for the eggs for the church, then she would ask and say, "what you want this morning?" Oh mama, toast and milk, you know things like that you know. But the little old boy he couldn't talk good, so she asked him say "what you want son"? Said "sa-sa-a I want-t t-t-t-" She said "Hush". Say "I tell you what to do. You just hush, I just go bring you what I bring the rest of 'em, cause one of these days I'm gonna learn you how to talk."

She goin' back and she fixes, the next morning same thing. "So what would you children want this morning?" "Butter 'n toast mama." Get around to the little old boy, say "What you want"? He say, "bu-bu-bu- bu-bu-bu..." she say "Lord, have mercy," that's what mama said and she walked away, say "wonder what's wrong with my child?"

He heard her. But you know the little boy couldn't do no better. So after he'd find out that mama couldn't understand him, and he couldn't understand the way his mama was doin' him, he packed up his little flower sack, and he decide that he would leave.

So when he left, on his way, he run up on a old rollin' mill, what they call Mister Charlie's. So he walked up to mister Charlie, mister Charlie was workin' round in his rose bushes 'n things... so he taps him: "mi-mi-mi..." say "Mister!" But he didn't know his name that time. The man straightened up and said "my name is mister Charlie". He say "mi-mi-ch-ch-ch-ch-" He said "but boy I ain't got to fool with you, you can't work." He said, "me-me can work!"

So the man went on workin' and he'd tap him again. He said "me-me-me wanna home". He said "look, boy, I've got a old bunk house out in the back," said "and if you promise me that you will stay in this bunk house, and watch my mill, and keep the fire from burning my mill down," say "I live two blocks up the road," say "and if you see the mill's on fire, say you run up and tell me the mill's on fire, you got a home and meal as long as I've got it." "Ta-ta-ta-ta-thank you mister Charlie." So the little old boy went to bunkin' that night.

Sho' enough, late one Sunday morning, mister Charlie's mill caught on fire. Which he'd forgot about what he had told the little boy. The little boy run up to him, he was cleaning out his front yard, makin' it beautiful with them rose bushes, you know with them red rose bushes you know how to keep 'em red those rose bushes, and the little boy run up there, tapped him on his back, and he raised up and said "Hey son, why here's you again."

"Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye" and he was pointing back toward the mill, tryin' to tell him his rollin' mill was on fire. So mister Charlie said, "I ain't got time to fool with you." So the little boy stuttered too bad for him to understand. So mister Charlie stooped over him again, he pat him on the back, said "ye-ye-ye-ye-your ro-ro-" he said "Wait a minute." He said, "if you can't talk you must sing", and he hollered:

(sung)

Whooooooa mister Charlie, do you know your rolling mill is burnin' down?
Mister Charlie, do you know your rolling mill is burnin' down?
Mister Charlie said if you ain't got no water boy, just let that old mill burn on down

Little boy was lonesome, he walked off and cried, he said,,,
He walked back and he said it one more time

Whooooooooa mister Charlie, I won't have no place to stay
Mister Charlie, I won't have no place to stay
Mister Charlie said Boy, you'll have a home with me, just as long as there is a day

Little boy sighed and he tell it one more time
He hollered at him:

Whooooooa mister Charlie, do you know your rolling mill is burnin' down?
Mister Charlie, do you know your rolling mill is burnin' down?
Mister Charlie said, "If you ain't got no water boy, just let that old mill burn on down"

 

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Ruler

My Black Name

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1962

from Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 or Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

I can hear my black name ringing, oh hurryin' down the line
I can hear my black name ringing, oh hurryin' down the line
Whoa she got another man now, little girl won't pay me no mind

You know that woman said that she loved me, but now I believe she was lyin'
Yes she said that she loved me, but now I believe she was lyin'
Whoa, I don't believe she love me no more Spider*,
I believe I'm driving away my turn

Whoa, that woman done quit me, and I'm just about to lose my mind
That black woman done quit me, and I'm just about to lose my mind
Whoa yeah, my black name was ringing, oh hurrying down the line

 

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Ruler

My Grandpa Is Too Old

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1961

from Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 or Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

I want all you young people to know what to do,
leave my grandpa alone 'cause he done got old too
That's my grandpa, that's my grandpa,
that's my grandpa, sweetest man I ever saw

Mama told me, oh, day of old,
your grandpa stood by, tell this is told
Now don't bother my grandpa 'cause he done got old too
I ain't jivin', I ain't jokin',
ain't gonna never bother you

My grandpa he shouts for joy,
been takin' care of me ever since I was a boy
He getting old now,
and he really is
Really I know it 'cause I'm old myself

My grandpa says "Son, take me a walkin',
say I wanna go where's the coolest place you know"
I say "Why, grandpa?",
'cause grandpa's getting old

Tell all you people, done want you to understand,
grandpa once have been a young man
He getting old now
He's getting to be an old man
He can't remember 'morrow, but he still understands

He look at me and he say, "What's this all about?
Give me my pipe son", and he had it in his mouth
He's an old man, you know he don't got the mind,
you see he don't hardly know what he's doing
But he's still my grandpa
But he ain't nothin' else to turn

Tell all you young people, I don't mean no harm,
I just want you to leave my grandpa alone
He says I've got old now, have pity on me

If you bother my grandpa,
I'm the one you gotta see

My dear old dad
My dear old dad

 

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Ruler

My Suggestion

by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1968

from Lightnin' Hopkins The Ultimate Texas Bluesman (Bluetab BTAB CD-1000), copyright notice

My suggestion,
little girl, it may not be just the same as your'n
My suggestion,
little girl, it may not be just the same as your'n
Yeah, you know it's just like little red ants,
some, yes, is goin' an' they come
(spoken: Ev'rybody gettin' together here. It kind-a seem little funny)

Tell me baby,
yes, do you know where you're at right now?
(spoken: Ol' girl gettin' outta line. I got to talk to her a little bit")
Tell me, mmm,
little girl do you know where you're at right now?
She said, "I'm just thinkin', out in this lonesome world somewhere"
(spoken: Poor little girl, I love her, it don't make no difference nobody do wit'me)

But if I lose you, darlin',
yes, I've got to go and look for me another friend
Whoa, I got to go and look for me another friend
Then I might have to tell the good Lord and the people,
whoa, Lord, this is the end

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Ruler

Never Miss Your Water

soundclip


by Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins
recording of 1962

from Complete Prestige/Bluesville Recordings (Bluesville 7PCD-4406-2 or Prestige 4406-2), copyright notice

Never miss your water till your well run dry
Never miss your water till your well run dry
You know you never miss your little woman until she says goodbye

Whoa you know, I'm my papa's baby, I'm my mama's baby child
You know I'm my papa's baby, oh mama's baby child
Whoa you know you never miss your water, Lord until your well go dry

You know I've been wonderin', what makes a well run dry?
Whoa you know, I've been wonderin', wonderin', oh boy what makes a well run dry?
You know that's when the earth done settle down on the water,
ain't no more water passing by

 

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 7 2000


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