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Son House
Ruler
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"We were always singing in the fields. Not real singing, you know, just hollerin', but we made up our songs about things that was happening to us at the time, and I think that's where the Blues started."

-- Son House --

Ruler 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

* = addition of March 2000
Ruler

Table Of Content (14 songs, 6 soundclip)

You are now in page 1

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Country Farm Blues
Death Letter
Downhearted Blues
Dry Spell Blues (1)
Dry Spell Blues (2)

I Ain't Goin' Cry No More
Jinx Blues
* John The Revelator
My Black Mama
Pony Blues
Preachin' Blues (1)

Preachin' Blues (2)
Special Rider Blues
Sun Goin' Down

Ruler

Country Farm Blues

 

lyrics by Eddie James "Son" House, Jr., music by Blind lemon Jefferon
recording of 19
from XTRA 1080 (Folkways Records),
copyright notice

Down South, when you do anything, that's wrong
Down South, when you do anything, that's wrong
Down South, when you do anything, that's wrong
They'll sure put you down on the country farm1

Put you down under a man they call "Captain Jack"
Put you under a man called "Captain Jack"
Put you under a man they call "Captain Jack"
He'' sure write his name up and down your back

Put you down in a ditch with a great long spade
Put you down in a ditch with a great long spade
Put you down in a ditch with a great long spade
Wish to God that you hadn't never been made

On a Sunday the boys be lookin' sad
On a Sunday the boys'll be lookin' sad
On a Sunday the boys be lookin' sad
Just wonderin' about how much time they had2

__________
Note: the melody of this song is from the tune "Two White Horses";
Note 1: country farm, a prison farm;
Note 2: time left to serve in prison.

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Ruler

Death Letter

soundclip


by Eddie James "Son" House, Jr.
recording of 19
from ,
copyright notice

I got a letter this mornin, how do you reckon it read?
It said, "Hurry, hurry, yeah, your love is dead"
I got a letter this mornin, I say how do you reckon it read?
You know, it said, "Hurry, hurry, how come the gal you love is dead?"

So, I grabbed up my suitcase, and took off down the road
When I got there she was layin on a coolin' board
I grabbed up my suitcase, and I said and I took off down the road
I said, but when I got there she was already layin on a coolin' board

Well, I walked up right close, looked down in her face
Said, the good ol' gal got to lay here 'til the Judgment Day
I walked up right close, and I said I looked down in her face
I said the good ol' gal, she got to lay here 'til the Judgment Day

Looked like there was 10,000 people standin' round the buryin' ground
I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down
Looked like 10,000 were standin' round the buryin' ground
You know I didn't know I loved her 'til they damn laid her down

Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul
I wouldn't mistreat you baby, for my weight in gold
I said, Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul
You know I wouldn't mistreat nobody, baby, not for my weight in gold

Well, I folded up my arms and I slowly walked away
I said, "Farewell honey, I'll see you on Judgment Day"
Ah, yeah, oh, yes, I slowly walked away
I said, "Farewell, farewell, I'll see you on the Judgment Day"

You know I went in my room, I bowed down to pray
The blues came along and drove my spirit away
I went in my room, I said I bowed down to pray
I said the blues came along and drove my spirit away

You know I didn't feel so bad, 'til the good ol' sun went down
I didn't have a soul to throw my arms around
I didn't feel so bad, 'til the good ol' sun went down
You know, I didn't have nobody to throw my arms around

I loved you baby, like I love myself
You don't have me, you won't have nobody else
I loved you baby, better than I did myself
I said now if you don't have me, I didn't want you to have nobody else

You know, it's hard to love someone that don't love you
Ain't no satisfaction, don't care what in the world you do
Yeah, it's hard to love someone that don't love you
You know it don't look like satisfaction, don't care what in the world you do

Got up this mornin', just about the break of day
A-huggin' the pillow where she used to lay
Got up this mornin', just about the break of day
A-huggin' the pillow where my good gal used to lay

Got up this mornin', feelin' round for my shoes
You know, I must-a had them old walkin' blues
Got up this mornin', feelin' round for my shoes
Yeah, you know bout that, I must-a had them old walkin' blues

You know, I cried last night and all the night before
Gotta change my way a livin', so I don't have to cry no more
You know, I cried last night and all the night before
Gotta change my way a livin', you see, so I don't have to cry no more

Ah, hush, thought I heard her call my name
If it wasn't so loud and so nice and plain
Ah, yeah
Mmmmmm

Well, listen, whatever you do
This is one thing, honey, I tried to get along with you
Yes, no tellin' what you do
I done everything I could, just to try and get along with you

Well, the minutes seemed like hours, hours they seemed like days
It seemed like my good, old gal outta done stopped her low-down ways
Minutes seemed like hours, hours they seemed like days
Seems like my good, old gal outta done stopped her low-down ways

You know, love's a hard ol' fall, make you do things you don't wanna do
Love sometimes leaves you feeling sad and blue
You know, love's a hard ol' fall, make you do things you don't wanna do
Love sometimes make you feel sad and blue

 

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Ruler

Downhearted Blues

soundclip


by Eddie James "Son" House, Jr.
recording of 19
from ,
copyright notice

Mmmm, mmmmm
Got up this mornin', feelin' sick and bad,
I's thinkin' bout the good time, that I once have had
I said, I got up this mornin', and I said I's feelin' so sick and bad,
Yeah, I's just thinkin' bout the good times, chil'ren, that I, I once have had

Mmm, did you ever love, when they didn't love you?
You know there wasn't satisfaction, didn't care what in the world you do
I said'd you ever love, I said, when they did not love you?
Yeah, didn't look like there'd be satisfaction, didn't care what in this old world you do

Mmm, I tell her come here little girl, why don't you sit down on my knee?
I just wanna tell you how you have been treatin' me
I said, run here little girl, I said sit right down here on my knee,
You know, I just wanna tell you just how you've been treatin' me

You know, that's a shame, ol' dirty shame,
I'm so sorry the day, honey, I ever knowed your name
I said, you know that's a shame, I said, it's a low down, ol' dirty shame,
Oh, the way you been treatin' me, is a low down, ol' dirty shame

You know, love, love is a worried old heart disease,
Look like the very one you be lovin', is so hard to please
I said, love, I said, is a worried old heart disease,
Look like the very one you be lovin', is so confound hard to please

You know, I go into my room, I sat down and cried,
I didn't have no blues, but I wasn't satisfied
Yes, I went in my room, and I said, and I sat down and I cried,
Yes, I didn't have no blues, but I just wasn't satisfied

You know, did you ever get up in the mornin', with the blues three different ways?
You had two mind to leave here, and you didn't have but one such stay
Did you ever get up in the mornin', with the blues three different ways?
You know you had two mind to leave here, but you didn't have but one such stay

 

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Ruler

Dry Spell Blues (Version 1)

by
recording of 19
from Origin Of Jazz Library-Mississippi Blues, Vol. 2 (),
copyright notice

It has been so dry, you can make a powder house out of the world
Well, it has been so dry, you can make a powder house out of the world
And holler money mens, like a rattlesnake in his coil

I throwed up my hands, Lord, and solemnly swore
I have throwed up my hands, Lord, and solemnly swore
Well, ain't no need of me changing towns, it's the drought everywhere I go

It's a dry old spell everywhere I been
Oh, it's a dry old spell everywhere I been
I believe to my soul this old world is bound to end

Well, I stood in my backyard, wrung my hands and screamed
Well, I stood in my backyard, wrung my hands and screamed
Well, I couldn't see nothing, couldn't see nothing green

Oh, Lord, have mercy if you please
Oh, Lord, have mercy if you please
Let your rain come down and give our poor hearts ease

These blues, these blues is worthwhile to be heard
Oh, these blues, worthwhile to be heard
Lord, t'ain't even likely that there ain't no God

Hard times here an' everywhere you go
Times is harder than ever been befo'

An' the people are driftin' from do' to do'
Can't fin' no help, Lord, I don' care where they go
Oh, hmmm

Let me tell you people, jus' befo' I go
These hard times will give you the dry long fo'
Hmmm

When you hear me singin' my ol' lonesome song
These hard times can't last up so very long
Hmmm

If I ever get off this shit-ass flo'
I'll never get down this low no mo'
Oh, hmmm, ah, hmmm, I'll never get down this low no mo'

An' you say you have money, you better be sho'
'Cause these hard times will drive you from do' to do'
Hmmm

Hmmm
Sing this song, ain' gone sing no mo'
Hmmm
Hard times will drive you from do' to do'

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Ruler

Dry Spell Blues (Version 2)

by
recording of 1930
from The Blues, Vol. 2 (Smithsonian RD 102-2),
copyright notice

Now the people down South soon won't have not home
Now the people down South soon won't have not home
'Cause this dry spell has parched all their cotton and corn

Hard luck's on everybody, ain't missing but a few
Hard luck's on everybody, ain't missing but a few
Now I've been trying to shower and kind of heavy too?

Lord, I fold my arms and I walked away
Lord, I fold my arms and I walked away
Just like I tell you somebody's got to pray

Pork chops forty-five cents a pound, cotton is only 10
Pork chops forty-five cents a pound, cotton is only 10
I can't keep no women, no not one of them

So dry old boll weevil turn up his toes and die
So dry old boll weevil turn up his toes and die
No ain't nothin to do, but bootleg moonshine and rye

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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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