Mississippi Fred McDowell
Ruler
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[Mississippi Fred McDowell]

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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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Ruler

Table Of Content (21 songs, 20 soundclips)

.

61 Highway
Bye And Bye
Early This Morning
Fred's Worried Life Blues
Gravel Road Blues (1)
Gravel Road Blues (2)
I'm Going Over The Hill
I Heard Somebody Call
I Looked At The Sun
I Walked All The Way From East St. Louis
Keep You Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Kokomo
Look Way Down That Lonesome Road
Louise
My Heavy Load
Shake 'em On Down
When I Lay My Burden Down
Write Me A Few Lines
You Gonna Be Sorry
You Gotta Move (1)
You Gotta Move (2)

Ruler

61 Highway

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Lord, that 61 Highway is the longest road I know
Lord, that 61 Highway may be the longest road I know
She run from New York City, down the Gulf of Mexico

Lord, it's some poor sand down, Greyhound buses don't run
Lord, it's some poor sand down, Greyhound buses don't run
Just go to work with me baby, look down Highway 61

I said please, please see somebody for me
I said please, please see somebody for me
If you see my baby, tell her she's alright with me

I'm gonna buy me a pony can, pay for fox-trot and run1
I'm gonna buy me a pony can, pay for fox-trot and run
Lord, when you see me comin', pretty mama, I'll be on Highway 61

I started school one Monday mornin', Lord, I throwed my books away
I started school one Monday mornin', baby, I throwed my books away
I wrote a note to my teacher, Lord, I'm gonna try 61 today

Lord, if I have to die, baby, fo' you think my time have come
Lord, if I have to die, baby now, fo' you think my time have come
I want you to bury my body, out on Highway 61

Lord, it's amazin', baby, Lord, don't want you to have no fun
It's amazin', baby, don't want you to have no fun
Just come down to my little cabin, out on Highway 61

__________
Note 1: "pony can, pay for fox-trot and run", this part of the song is hard to decipher, I'm open for suggestions here.

 

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Ruler

Bye And Bye

soundclip


traditional arranged by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

Bye and bye, gone to see the king
Bye and bye, gone to see the king
Bye and bye, gone to see the king
Lord, I wouldn't mind dyin' down there

Lord, I hear, can't go by myself
Lord, I hear, can't go by myself
Lord, I hear, can't go by myself
Lord, I wouldn't mind dyin' down there

Hallelujah, glory to his name
Hallelujah, glory to his name
Hallelujah, glory to his name
Lord, I wouldn't mind dyin' down there

 

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Ruler

Early This Morning

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

Lord, I woke early this morning, Lord, I was laid down on my floor
You know, woke early this morning, I was laid down on my floor
Lord, no one to love me, no one to love me, baby, even no place to go

Lord, when you get home, baby, sit down and write me a few of your lines
Lord, when you get home, baby, sit down and write me a few of your lines
Lord, that'll be..., Lord, mama, turn my worryin' mind

Lord, sometime I wonder, baby, what's gonna come of me
Lord, sometime I wonder, baby, what's gonna come of me

 

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Ruler

Fred's Worried Life Blues

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

You made me weep, and you made me moan
When you call me to leave my, my happy home
But someday, you ain't gonna worry my life anymore

You told everybody, in your neighborhood,
what a dirty mistreater, didn't mean you no good
But someday, you ain't gonna worry my life anymore

When I had money, I had plenty friends
I ain't got no money, baby, honey even no friends
But someday, you ain't gonna worry my life anymore

If I had money, like Henry Ford
I'd have me a woman on, on every road
But bye bye, you ain't gonna worry my life anymore

 

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Ruler

Gravel Road Blues (version 1)

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

I'm goin' down that gravel road, take that right hand road
I'm goin' down that gravel road, take that right hand road
Lord, I ain't gonna stop walkin' 'till I get in sweet mama's door

Well, that girl I'm lovin' got that great long, curly hair
Well, that girl I'm lovin' got that great long, curly hair
Lord, her mama and her papa sure don't 'low1 me there

I got to study some scheme to get my baby to herself
I got to study some scheme, Lord, to get my baby to herself
Lord, I love that woman, I don't want nobody else

I looked down that road, baby, just as far as I could see
I looked down that road just as far as I could see
There was a bunch of women, Lord, they be followin' me

Well, the brook run into the ocean, the ocean run into that deep, blue sea
Lord, the brook run into the ocean, the river run into that deep, blue sea
You ought to seen the women, Lord, they be fishin' after me

__________
Note: this song is an imitation of Willie Newburn's "Roll And Tumble Blues", Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside" and Furry Lewis' "Goin' To Brownsville". All versions are derived from Newburn's recording;
Note 1: 'low, allow.

 

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Ruler

Gravel Road Blues (version 2)

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Fred McDowell, Vol. 2 (Arhoolie F1027), copyright notice

I'm goin' down that gravel road, take that right hand road
I'm goin' down that gravel road, take that right hand road
Lord, I ain't gonna stop walkin' 'till I get in sweet mama's door

Well, the girl I'm lovin' she got great long, curly hair
Well, the girl I'm lovin' she got great long, curly hair
Lord, her mama and her papa sure don't 'low me there

Lord, I'm going away, baby, don't you want to go
Lord, I'm going away, baby, don't you want to go
Lord, I'm going somewhere, where I ain't never been before

Don't look your house lonesome when your dough roller gone
Don't look your house lonesome when your dough roller gone
'Cause it gonna kill you, cooking till she comes home

Now run here, baby, set down on my knee
Now run here, baby, set down on my knee
I want'a tell you all about the way they treated me

__________
Note: this song is an imitation of Willie Newburn's "Roll And Tumble Blues", Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside" and Furry Lewis' "Goin' To Brownsville". All versions are derived from Newburn's recording.

 

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Ruler

I'm Going Over The Hill

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

I'm goin' over the hill
I'm goin' on over the hill
I'm goin' over the hill
Yeah, as soon as I can make me a few round

Finally master see me, just a few more ups and down
I'm goin' on over the hill
I'm goin' over the hill,
I'm goin' over the hill,
I'm goin' over the hill,

 

Oh well, I went in the valley, I didn't go to stay
Soon God had me child,
I stay down there all day
I went on over the hill

When I get to heaven, gon' sit right down
Askin' master, just to get my starry down

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Ruler

I Heard Somebody Call

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Lord I heard somebody, keeps on callin' me
Lord I heard, Lord I heard, yes somebody, keeps on callin', callin' me
Lord I heard, baby don't worry
Lord I heard, Lord I heard, yes somebody, keeps on callin'

I got a gal in Cuba, I got three in Spain
Gal in Cuba, Lord I got, three in Spain
Lord, one in Memphis, scared to call
Woman in Memphis Lord, Lord I'm scared,
scared to call her name, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord

I got the meanest woman, Lord, that you ever seen
Meanest woman, Lord I have ever, ever seen
Ask for whiskey, give me gas, gasoline
Ask for whiskey and give me, gasoline
Lord I got the mean, meanest woman, Lord I ever, ever seen Lord

 

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Ruler

I Looked At The Sun

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

I looked at the sun, baby, Lord, it was gittin' low
I looked at the sun, baby, Lord, it was gittin' low
You know, I looked at my fair brown standin' in her door

________
Note: haven't been able to verify these lyrics yet on completeness and correctness.

 

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Ruler

I Walked All The Way From East St. Louis

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

I walked all the way from East St. Louis to town
Lord, I walked all the way, darling, from East St. Louis to town
You know I did not have but that one poor lousy dime

Well, dark cloud a risin', baby, I wonder what's gonna' come of me
Lord, a dark cloud a risin', baby, I wonder what's gonna' come of me
Lord, I wonder what's gonna come of me

Well, the next time I start a... boy, I gonna' have my baby by my side
Well, the next time I start a... boy, I gonna' have my baby lay by my side
Lord, if I make it to St. Louis, baby, we gon' stop on the other side

 

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Ruler

Keep You Lamp Trimmed And Burning

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

Just keep-a your lamp all trimmed up and burning
Just keep-a your lamp all trimmed up and burning
Just keep-a your lamp all trimmed up and burning
See what the Lord has done

Now here don't you get worried
Now here don't you get worried
Now here don't you get worried
See what the Lord has done

I have started on my journey
I have started on my journey
I have started on my journey
See what the Lord has done

Here I stand with my soul and my heart
Here I stand with my soul and my heart
Here I stand with my soul and my heart
See what the Lord has done

 

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Ruler

Kokomo

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Well, it's Kokomo me baby, Kokomo me right
Kokomo your daddy, I'll be back tomorrow night
Cryin' I, baby don't you want to go, down to that livin' light city, sweet old Kokomo

Well, it's Kokomo me babe, Kokomo me twice
Kokomo your daddy like you did the other night
Cryin' I, baby don't you wanna go, down to that livin'ice city, sweet old Kokomo

Well, I ain't never loved, baby, hope I never will
'Cause the way that you been lovin', gonna get somebody killed
Cryin' I, baby don't you want to go, down to that livin' light city, sweet old Kokomo

 

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Ruler

Look Way Down That Lonesome Road

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of 19

from Good Morning Little School Girl (Arhoolie 424), copyright notice

Well, they look way down that lonesome road
Look way down that lonesome road
Look way down, Lord
Look way down, Lord
Look way down that lonesome road

Well, I'm gwine home on the mornin' train
I'm gwine home on the mornin' train
I'm gwine home, Lord
I'm gwine home, Lord
I'm gwine home on the mornin' train

Well, that evenin' train may be too big
Evenin' train may be too big
Evenin' train, Lord
Evenin' train, Lord
Evenin' train may be too big

Well, back, back hearse and get your load
Back, back hearse and get your load
Back, back hearse, Lord
Back, back hearse, Lord
Back, back hearse and get your load

 

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Ruler

Louise

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

I said, Louise, the sweetest girl I know
I said, Louise, the sweetest girl I know
She call me to warm Chicago, down the Gulf of Mexico

Now look-y here Louise, somebody, fishin' in my pond
She ain't know that I'm pushin', mama ground, you know
Oh Louise, honey please don't do me wrong

Lord, I had no lovin', honey since Louise been gone
Now look-a here baby, that river, bank of sand
You don't, ... the clothes you wear

Lord Louise, honey please don't do me wrong
Lord, I had no lovin', honey since Louise been gone
won't come down, she don't

Lord, place where she never land

You know my mama bought me a ...
Came early mornin' I swear mama lord, late at night
Lord Louise, honey please don't do me wrong
Lord, I had no lovin', honey since Louise been gone

...
Lord Louise, honey please don't do me wrong
Lord, I had no lovin', honey since Louise been gone

...
Lord Louise, honey please don't do me wrong
Lord, I had no lovin', honey since Louise been gone

_________
Note: lyrics not yet complete, any help is welcome ;-)

 

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Ruler

My Heavy Load


by Mississippi Fred McDowell / Willie "Big Mama" Thorton
recording of 19

from , copyright notice

Packin' up my trouble, movin' on down the road
Uh um mm, movin' on down the road
Yeah, I'm lookin' for a place, child, to dump this heavy load

Yeah, why do I worry, why do I have to cry?
Oh ho, why do I worry, oh, why do I have to cry?
You know I was good to the man I love, I wonder why did he have to say goodbye

Oh ho, why do I have to carry this heavy load
Oh ho, why do I have to carry this heavy load
Say I'm gonna keep on travelin', down this old lonesome road

Hey, hey, hey, I get worried sometime
You know my burden is gettin' awful heavy
Lord I know I'm so weary, you know, my baby's gone
Oh, but my burden's heavy

Hey, hey, travelin' on down this lonesome road
Travelin' on down that lonesome road
Yeah, hey, baby, I got to ease my heavy load

 

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Ruler

Shake 'em On Down

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

If you see my baby, Lord, standing round
Somebody, Lord, must be shakin' on down
Lordy, must I holler, must I shake 'em on down!

If you come to my house, Lord, you don't find me round
Somebody, Lord, must be shakin' on down.…

Put your needle down, baby, let your backbone move!
Ain't no one in town can shake it down like you.…

Me and my woman went round the hill to get some ice
We found time to shake 'em down twice.…

 

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Ruler

When I Lay My Burden Down

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Hallelujah, when I lay my burden down
Oh glory, glo', hallelu', when I lay my burden down
I'm goin' home to, oh, when I lay my burden...

Oh, I'm goin' home
Live with Jesus, when I lay my burden down

All my troubles will be...
Oh, when I lay my...
Mmm, my troubles, when I lay my burden down

I'm gonna meet my lovin' mother, when I lay my burden down
I'm gonna meet my..., when I lay my burden down
Glory, glory, mmm, when I lay my burden down
Glory, glory, when I lay my burden down

 

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Ruler

Write Me A Few Lines

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Lord, when you get home, baby, please write me a few of your lines
Lord, when you get home, baby, sit down and write me a few of your lines
Lord, that'd be consolation, Lord mama, to my worried mind

Lord, I left my baby, standing in our back door cryin'
Lord, I left my baby, standing alone in our back door cryin'
Lord, I never felt so sorry no, honey, till she said goodbye

Lord, I'm going down to the river, I'm gonna sit on the ground
You know, I'm going down to the river, baby, I'm gonna sit on the ground
I'm gonna let the waves of water, Lord, wash my troubles down

 

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Ruler

You Gonna Be Sorry

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of February 13 1964, at his house near Como, Mississippi

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

Lord, you're gonna be sorry, ever done me wrong
Gon' be sorry, Lord, you ever done me wrong
Gon' be too late, baby Lord, an' I'll be gone

Lord, don't come here runnin', Lord, baby, screamin' and cryin'
Don't come here runnin' now, honey Lord, screamin' and cryin'
Lord, you got a home, you got a home, baby, Lord, long as I got...

Me an' my white dog started, baby, walkin' out in Jackson Park
Me an' my white dog started, honey, walkin' out in Jackson Park
It takes a man's appetite, Lord. honey, hear my white dog bark

You now, I'm goin' to Memphis, babe, I'm gonna stop on Ethan Street
You now, I'm goin' to Memphis, baby, I'm gonna stop on Ethan Street
I want some of you women, I want some of you women, please show me reach and peak
so I won't be dodging every, every long tall man I meet

Let me tell you something baby, honey please don't crowd your mind
Let me tell you something, Lord, please don't crowd your mind
(Spoken: "Now, don't fret")
First thing you know, baby, you be goin' a penny 'gainst your plight

Lord, I start to holler loud, but I believe, I belive I will, mama, Lord
Lord, I start to holler, believe I will, mama

________
Note 1: reach and peak, not sure of this part;
Note 2: ou be goin' a penny 'gainst your plight, not sure of this part.

 

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Ruler

You Gotta Move (version 1)

soundclip


by Mississippi Fred McDowell
recording of July 5 1965, Berkeley, California

from You Gotta Move (Arhoolie 304), copyright notice

You got to move, you got to move,
you got to move child, you got to move
But when the Lord gets ready, you got to move

You may be high, you may be low
You may be rich, child, you may be poor
But when the Lord gets ready, you got to move

You see that woman, that walk the street
You see the policeman, out on his beat
But when the Lord gets ready, they got to move

You got to move, you got to move,
you got to move child, you got to move
But when the Lord gets ready, you got to move

 

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Ruler

You Gotta Move (version 2)

soundclip


by
recording of 19

from , copyright notice

You got to move, you got to move child
You got to move, yes, you got to move
But when the Lord get ready, you got to move, you got to move

You may be high, you may be low
You may be rich, you may be poor
But when the Lord get ready, you got to move, you got to move

You see that woman standing on the street
You see the policeman walking his beat
But when the Lord get ready, they got to move, they got to move

 

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Ruler

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 8 2000


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