Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Skip James
Ruler
Page 1 of 3

New! Nonstop Internet Blues Radio: listen to your favorite blues music while you surf!

General Blues
Electric Blues
Rockin' Blues
Acoustic Blues
Jump Blues
Also: Blues MP3
Have you already seen the new Blues MP3 page?
Want free blues mp3 for your own site? Click here!.

Home Page
FFree Blues MP3!E
Internet Blues RadioE
Blues History
Blues Language
Lyrics by Artist
Lyrics by Title
Lyrics by Topic
Top 100 Lyrics Sites
Tabs & Chords
Top 100 Tab Sites
Lyrics&Tabs Wanted!
Essential Blues CD's
Essential Blues Books
Message Board
Chat Room
Blues Musician Ad's
Links
Site Map
The Awards Page
About...

alternate navigation menu

[Skip James]

Google

Search this site
Search WWW



Find the top music sites

Vote for Top50 Tab/Lyric/Music Sites
Ranked
- statistics -

NedStat statistics

Click Here!

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

Ruler

Table Of Content (16 songs, 16 soundclips)

You are now in page 1

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

.20-20 Blues
All Night Long
Catfish
Cherry Ball Blues
Crow Jane
Cypress Grove Blues

Devil Got My Woman
Drunken Spree
Get On Down The Road
Hard Time Killing Floor
How Long Buck
Illinois Blues

I'm So Glad
Little Cow And Calf Is Gonna Die Blues
Sick Bed Blues
Special Rider Blues

Ruler

.20-20 Blues1 (Recorded under the title of ".22-20 Blues")

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from probably
Complete Early Recordings (Yazoo 2009), copyright notice

If I send for my baby and she don't come
If I send for my baby and she don't come
All the doctors in Wisconsin2, they won't help her none

And if she gets unruly and gets so she don't wanna do
My baby gets unruly and she don't wanna do
I'll take my .32-20, I'll cut her half in two

You're talkin' about your .44-40, buddy, it'll do very well
Talkin' about your .44-40, it'll do very well
But my .22-20, Lord, it's a burnin' hell

I had a .38 Special, buddy, it's most too light
Aw, that .38 Special, buddy, it's most too light
But my .22-20 make the caps3 alright

Aw, if she gets unruly, thinks she don't wanna do
She gets unruly and she don't wanna do
I'll take my .22-20, I'll cut her half in two

I, I, I can't take my rest
I, I, I can't take my rest
And my .44 layin' up and down my breast

__________
Note 1: the ".22-20", which James saw as a simple riffle, doesn't properly exist. He opted for this caliber in meeting the studio request of a Paramount Records official for a "gun blues" that could be used to "cover" Roosevelt Sykes' successful ".44 Blues" on the Okeh label. If his rifle aims was no more accurate than his spontaneous versifying, which advertently evokes different caliber revolvers, it is safe to say that the unruly girlfriend of the song easily survived his barrage;
Note 2: this piece was originally recorded in 1931 at Paramount's Crafton, Wisconsin studio's. Robert Johnson's "32-20 Blues" was eh... "inspired" on this song;
Note 3: caps, percussion caps, a paper or metal container holding an explosive charge (as for a pistol).

 

Top

Ruler

All Night Long

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from
Today! (Vanguard 79219) & Tribute To Skip James, Vol. 1 (1964) (Biograph BLP-12016) & Meledeon 7321, copyright notice

If it's all night long, mama, if it's all night long
If it's all night long, mama, Lord, if it's all night long
If you ain't got no hay, mama, better be on your way
If you ain't got no hay, mama, Lord, you better be on your way

Hitch on my pony, mama, saddle my black mare
You'll find me ridin', mama, Lord, in the world somewhere
In the world somewhere, in the world somewhere
You'll find me ridin', mama, Lord, in the world somewhere

If you haven't any hay, mama, let's go down the road
If you haven't any hay, mama, let's go down the road
If it's all night long, if it's all night long
If it's all night long, mama, if it's all night long

Get your bucket and your basket, let's go to the wood
Don't find no berries, mama, Lord, got to make lovin' good
If it's all night long, if it's all night long
If it's all night long, mama, if it's all night long

Make me one pallet1, mama, make it on the floor
Make it calm and easy, mama, Lord, so nobody'll never know, never...
Nobody'll never know, nobody'll never...
Make it calm and easy, mama, Lord, so nobody'll never...

If it's all night long, if it's all night ...
If it's all night long, if it's all night long

Give me one key, mama, to your back door
You'll never be bothered, baby, with me on the front no more
Oh never, never, never, never no more
You will never be bothered, baby, with me on the front no more

If it's all night long, if it's all night ...
If it's all night long, if it's all night long

__________
Note 1: pallet, a straw-filled tick or mattress or a small, hard, or temporary bed

 

Top

Ruler

Catfish

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from probably
She Lyin' (Genes 9901) & Tribute To Skip James, Vol. 1 (1964) (Biograph BLP-12016), copyright notice

I would rather be a little catfish,
so I could swim way down in the sea
I would have somebody, somebody
Settin' out hooks for me
Settin' out hooks for me

You know, I went to my baby's house,
she told me to sit down on the step
"Son, you can come right on in
because my husband just now left,
just now left, just now left"

And I asked my baby to,
let me sit down 'side her bed
"Turn on your heater, till they turn cherry red1,
cherry red, cherry red"

That's the reason I'd rather be a little catfish,
so I could swim way down in the sea
I would have many-some of these women,
settin' out a line for me
Settin' out a line for me, a line for me

You know, I went to the church house,
and they called on me to pray
I got down on my knees but I didn't,
have no word to say
Not a word to say, word to say

That's the reason I'd rather be a little catfish
So I could swim way down in the sea
I would have somebody, somebody,
settin' out a line for me
Settin' out a line for me, a line for me

I don't wanna be no tadpole,
and I don't wanna be no bullfrog
And if I can't be a catfish,
I won't swim at all
I won't swim at all, swim at all

That's the reason I want to be a little catfish,
so I could swim way down in the sea
I would have these good-lookin' women,
settin' out a hook for me
Settin' out a hook for me, hook for me

__________
Note 1: here James chastises his original phrase, "till your nipples turn cherry red".

 

Top

Ruler

Cherry Ball Blues

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from
Today! (Vanguard 79219) & Yazoo L-1009, copyright notice

I love my cherry ball1 better than I love myself
I loves cherry ball better than I love myself
She get so she don't love me, she won't love nobody else

Cherry ball quit me, she quit me in a calm, good way
Cherry ball quit me, she quit me in a calm, good way
But what to take to get her, I carries it every day2

I love my cherry, oh, better than I love myself
My cherry ball, better than I love myself
She get so she don't love me, love nobody else

Sure as that spider hangin' on the wall
Sure as that spider hangin' on the wall
I advised that old cherry ball, "Keep fallin' on call"3

I'll catch the Southern4 if you take the Santa Fe5
I'll take the Southern and if you'll take the Santa Fe
I'm gonna ride and ramble, tell cherry to come back to me

__________
Note 1: cherry ball is probably blues slang, fostered by the 1930 Memphis Minnie composition "Cherry Ball Blues" which begins "I ain't gonna give you none o' my cherry ball". James uses it to personify sex or (according to one's point of view) "dehumanize" women.
Note 2: carrying his boast a step further, James once qualified this couplet with the remark "If I wanted her, you understand";
Note 3: the advice is to submit sexually on cue;
Notes 4 and 5: the Southern and Santa Fe are railroad lines

 

Top

Ruler

Crow Jane

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from
Today! (Vanguard 79219), copyright notice

Crow Janie, Crow Janie, Crow Jane, don't you hold you head high
Someday, baby, you know you got to die
You got to lay down and...
You got to die, you got to...

And I wanna buy me a pistol, wants me forty rounds of ball
Shoot Crow Jane, just to see her fall
She got to fall, she got to...
She got to fall, she got to...

That's the reason I begged Crow Jane not to hold her head so high
Someday, baby, you know you got to die
You got to lay down and...

And I dug her grave with s silver spade
Ain't nobody gonna take my Crow Jane place
You can't take her place no, you can't take her...

You know, I dug her grave eight feet in the ground
I didn't feel sorry until they let her down
They had to let her down, let her...they had to let her down...

That's the reason I begged Crow Jane not to hold her head too high
Someday, baby, you know you got to die
You got to lay down and...

You know, I let her down with a golden chain
And every link I would call my Crow Jane's name
Crow Jane, Crow... Crow Jane, Crow...

You know I never missed my water till my well went dry
Didn't miss Crow Jane until the day she died
Till the day she...

That's the reason I begged Crow Jane not to hold her head too high
Someday, baby, you know you got to die
You got to lay down and...you got to die, you got to...

That's the reason I begged Crow Jane not to hold her head too high
Someday, baby, you know you got to die
You got to lay down and...

 

Top

Ruler

Cypress Grove Blues

soundclip


by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James
recording of 19
from
Today! (Vanguard 79219) & Yazoo L-1009, copyright notice

I would rather be buried in some cypress grove
I would rather be buried in some cypress grove
To have some woman, Lord, that I can't control

And I'm goin' away now, I'm goin' away to stay
And I'm goin' away now, I'm goin' away to stay
That'll be all right, pretty mama, you gonna need my help someday

And the sun goin' down, and you know what your promise means
And the sun goin' down, you know what your promise means
And what's the matter, baby, I can't see

I would rather be dead and six feet in my grave
I would rather be dead and six feet in my grave
Than to be way up here, honey, treated this a-way

And the old people told me, baby, but I never did know
The old people told me, baby woman, but I never did know
"The good book declare you got to reap just what you sow"

When your knee bone's achin' and your body cold
When your knee bone's achin' and your body cold
Means you just gettin' ready, honey, for the cypress grove

 

Top

Ruler

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Ruler

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


[
Home Page | Blues History | Blues Language | Lyrics by Artist | Lyrics by Title | Lyrics by Topic |
|
Tabs & Chords | Lyrics & Tabs Wanted! | Essential Blues CD's | Message Board |
|
Chat Room | Blues Musician Ad's | Essential Blues Books | Links | Site Map | Awards Page | About... ]

(Trying out this banner exchange service)