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Mississippi John Hurt
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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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Table Of Content (24 + 1 songs, 23 soundclips)

You are now in page 1

Page 1

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Avalon Blues
Big Leg Blues
Candy Man Blues
Casey Jones
Coffee Blues
Corrina, Corrina
Frankie
Got The Blues, Can't Be Satisfied (1)
Got The Blues, Can't Be Satisfied (2)

If You Don't Want Me
I'm Satisfied
Lazy Blues
Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me
Louis Collins
Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
My Creole Belle
Nobody Cares For Me
Nobody's Dirty Business (1)
Nobody's Dirty Business (2)

Pay Day
Richland's Woman Blues
Salty Dog
See See Rider
Spike Driver Blues
Stack O'Lee Blues

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Avalon Blues

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from
The Mississippi John Hurt (Vanguard 19/20), copyright notice

Got to New York this mornin', just about half-past nine
Got to New York this mornin', just about half-past nine
Hollerin' one mornin' in Avalon, couldn't hardly keep from cryin'

Avalon is my hometown, always on my mind
Avalon is my hometown, always on my mind
Pretty mama's in Avalon want me there all the time

When the train left Avalon, throwin' kisses and wavin' at me
When the train left Avalon, throwin' kisses and wavin' at me
Says, "Come back, daddy, and stay right here with me"

Avalon's a small town, have no great big range
Avalon's a small town, have no great big range
Pretty mama's in Avalon, they sure will spend your change

New York's a good town, but it's not for mine
New York's a good town, but it's not for mine
Goin' back to Avalon, near where I have a pretty mama all the time

__________
Note: the occasion for this song was Hurt's 1928 visit to New York for an Okeh Records recording session

 

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Big Leg Blues


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from probably
1928 Sessions (Yazoo 1065), copyright notice

Raise up, baby, get your big leg offa mine
Raise up, baby, get your big leg offa mine
They're so heavy, make a good man change his mind

I asked you, baby, to come and hold my head
I ask you, baby, to come and hold my head
Send me word that you'd rather see me dead

I'm goin', I'm goin', your cryin' won't make me stay
I'm goin', I'm goin', cryin' won't make me stay
More you cry, the further you drive me away

Some crave high yellow, I like black and brown
Some crave high yellow, I like black and brown
Black won't quit you, brown won't lay you down

It was late at midnight and the moon shine bright like day
It was late at midnight and moon shine bright like day
I seen your faror goin' up the right of way

 

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Candy Man Blues

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from
Today! (Vanguard VMD-79220), copyright notice

Well all you ladies gather 'round
That good sweet candy man's in town
It's the candy man
It's the candy man

He likes a stick of candy just nine inch long1
He sells as fast a hog can chew his corn
It's the candy man...

All heard what sister Johnson said
She always takes a candy stick to bed

Don't stand close to the candy man
He'll leave a big candy stick in your hand

He sold some candy to sister Bad
The very next day she took all he had

If you try his candy, good friend of mine,
you sure will want it for a long long time

His stick candy don't melt away
It just gets better, so the ladies say

__________
Note 1: well, need I say what this stick of candy nine inch long is?. Yes, ... thats what it is!

 

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Casey Jones

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from Melodeon Records,
copyright notice

Casey Jones was a brave engineer,
he told his fireman to not to fear
Says, "All I want, my water and my coal
Look out the window, see my drive wheel roll"

Early one mornin' came a shower of rain,
'round the curve I seen a passenger train
In the cabin was Casey Jones,
he's a noble engineer man but he's dead and gone

"Children, children, get your hat"
Mama, mama, what you mean by that?"
"Get your hat , put it on your head,
go down in town, see if your daddy's dead"

"Mama, mama, how can it be?
My daddy got killed on the old I.C.1"
"Hush your mouth and hold your breath,
you're gonna draw a pension after your daddy's dead"

Casey's wife, she got the news,
she was sittin' on the bedside,
she was lacin' up her shoes
I said, "Go away, children, and hold your breath,
you're gonna draw a pension after your daddy's dead"

Casey said, before he died,
fixed the blinds so the boys can't ride
If they ride, let 'em ride the rod,
trust they lives in the hands of God"

Casey said again, before he died,
one more road that he wanted to ride
People wondered what road could that be?
The Gulf Colorado and the Santa Fe

Casey Jones was a brave engineer,
he told his fireman to not to fear
Says, "All I want, my water and my coal
Look out the window, see my drive wheel roll"

__________
Note: according to folklorists, the real-life Casey Jones crashed to death in 1900 en route to Canton, Mississippi. Nine years later, the famous ballad (to which this version is musically unrelated) became a popular hit. It's legacy is a Casey Jones museum in Tennessee. Perhaps a duller hero was never more celebrated in a song;
Note 1: I.C., Illinois Central railroad line running from Miami (Florida), through Jacksonville and Birmingham to Chicago (Illinois).

 

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Coffee Blues

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from Coffee Blues (Vanguard 19032),
copyright notice

(spoken:
This is the "Coffee Blues", I likes a certain brand
- Maxwell's House - it's good till the last drop,
just like it says on the can. I used to have a girl
cookin' a good Maxwell House. She moved away.
Some said to Memphis and some said to Leland,
but I found her. I wanted her to cook me some
good Maxwell's House. You understand,
if I can get me just a spoonful of Maxwell's House,
do me much good as two or three cups this other coffee)

I've got to go to Memphis, bring her back to Leland
I wanna see my baby 'bout a lovin' spoonful, my lovin' spoonful
Well, I'm just got to have my lovin'

(spoken: I found her)

Good mornin', baby, how you do this mornin'?
Well, please, ma'am, just a lovin' spoon,
just a lovin' spoonful
I declare, I got to have my lovin' spoonful

My baby packed her suitcase and she went away
I couldn't let her stay for my lovin',
my lovin' spoonful
Well, I'm just got to have my lovin'

Good mornin', baby, how you do this mornin'?
Well, please, ma'am, just a lovin' spoon,
just a lovin' spoonful
I declare, I got to have my lovin' spoonful

Well, the preacher in the pulpit, jumpin' up and down
He laid his bible down for his lovin'
(spoken: Ain't Maxwell House all right?)
Well, I'm just got to have my lovin'

 

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Corrina, Corrina

soundclip


traditional
recording of 19
from ,
copyright notice

Corrina, Corrina, where'd you stay last night?
Corrina, Corrina, where'd you stay last night?
Come in this morning, clothes ain't fittin' you right

I left Corrina, way across the sea
I left Corrina, way across the sea
She wouldn't write me no letter, she don't care for me

Oh Corrina, Corrina, where you been so long?
Oh Corrina, Corrina, where you been so long?
She wouldn't write me no letter, she don't care for me

Corrina, Corrina, where'd you stay last night?
Corrina, Corrina, where'd you stay last night?
Come in this morning, clothes ain't fittin' you right

 

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Frankie

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from An Anthology Of American Folk Music (Folkways RF202),
copyright notice

(spoken introduction:
"Frankie and Albert", the same thing as "Frankie and Johnnie")

Frankie was a good girl, everybody know,
she paid one hundred dollars for Albert's suit of clothes
He's her man, but he did her wrong

Frankie went down to the corner saloon, she ordered her a glass of beer,
she asked the barkeeper, "Gas my lovin' Albert been here?"
"He been here, but he's gone again"

"Ain't gonna tell you no story, Frankie, I ain't gonna tell you no lie"
Says, "Albert a-passed about a hour ago, with a girl you call Alice Frye
He's your man, and he's doin' you wrong

Frankie went down to the corner saloon, she didn't go to be gone long
She peeked through keyhole in the door, spied Albert in Alice's arm
He's my man, and you's doin' me wrong

Frankie called Albert, she shot him three or four times,
says, "Stand back, I'm smokin' my gun, let me see is Albert dyin'
He's my man, and he did me wrong"

Frankie and the judge walked outta the stand, and walked out side by side
The judge says, "Frankie, you're gonna be justified,
killin' a man, and he did you wrong"

Frankie was a good girl, everybody know,
she paid one hundred dollars for Albert's suit of clothes
He's her man, but he did her wrong

Said, "Turn me over, mother, turn me over slow,
it may be my last time, you won't turn me no more
He's my man, and he did me wrong"

Says, Frankie was a good girl, everybody know,
she paid one hundred dollars for Albert's suit of clothes
He's her man, but he did her wrong

__________
Note: perhaps unintentionally, this song expresses a part of cynical wisdom once current among blues singers. The wisdom that betrayal of a "hustlin' woman" who fosters a love affair with material gifts is suicidal. The same point of view seems to underlie Robert Johnson's "Kindhearted Woman Blues"

 

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Got The Blues, Can't Be Satisfied (Version 1)

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of 19
from Origin Of Jazz Library No. 5 (Vanguard 79248),
copyright notice

Got the blues, can't be satisfied
Got the blues, can't be satisfied
Keep the blues, I'll catch that train and ride

Yes, whiskey straight will drive the blues away
Yes, whiskey straight will drive the blues away
That be the case, I wants a quart today

I bought my baby a great big diamond ring
I bought my baby a great big diamond ring
Come right back home and caught her shaking that thing

I said, "Babe, what make you do me this a-way?"
I said, "Babe, what make you do me this a-way?"
Well, that I bought, now you give it away

I took my gun and broke the barrel down
I took my gun and broke the barrel down
I put that joker six feet in the ground

You got the blues, and I still ain't satisfied
You got the blues, and I still ain't satisfied
Well, some old day, gonna catch that train and ride

 

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Got The Blues, Can't Be Satisfied (Version 2)

soundclip


by Mississippi John Hurt
recording of December 28 1928, New York City
from Okeh 8724,
copyright notice

Got the blues, can't be satisfied
Got the blues, can't be satisfied
Keep the blues, I'll catch that train and ride

Whiskey straight will drive the blues away
Whiskey straight will drive the blues away
That be the case, I wants a quart today

Bought my gal a great big diamond ring
Bought my gal a great big diamond ring
Come right back home and caught her shakin' that thing

I said, "Babe what makes you act this-a-way?"
I said, "Baby why did you act this-a-way?"
Says I won't miss a thing she gives away

Took my gun and I broke the barrel down
Took my gun and broke the barrel down
Put my baby six feet under the ground

I cut that joker so long deep and wide
Cut that joker so long deep and wide
Yet got the blues and I still ain't satisfied

 

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


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