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 2

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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

I Ain't Goin' Cry No More

 

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

Well, look-y here, honey, I ain't gonna cry no more

I went to the depot and I, I looked up on the board
I went to the depot, I looked up on the board
Well, I couldn't see no train, I couldn't hear no whistle blow

Engineer blowed the whistle and the fireman, he rung the bell
Oh, oh, the fireman, he rung the bell
You know, my woman was on board, she was wavin' back, "Fare you well"

If I had any strength, I would set this train off the track
... I would set this train off the track
Else you make me a promise, you gonna bring my baby back1

...you ain't comin' back no more
I don't believe you ever comin' back no more
You leavin' now, baby, bet you hangin' creper on my door

I'm gonna miss you from rollin' in my arms
I'm gonna miss you from rollin' in my arms
If I can't get no stamps and paper, I'm gonna sit down and telephone

__________
Note 1: rhetorically, this line is addressed to the train and its crew

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Ruler

Jinx Blues


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

Well, I got up this mornin', jinx all around, jinx all around, 'round my bed
And I say I got up this mornin', with the jinx all around my bed
Know I thought about you, an' honey, it liked to1 kill me dead

Oh, look-a here now, baby, what you want me, what you want me, me to do?
Look-a here honey, I say, what do you want poor me to do?
You know that I done all I could, just tryin' to get along with you

You know, the blues ain't nothin' but a low-down shakin', low-down shakin', achin' chill2
I say the blues is a low-down, old, achin' chill
Well, if you ain't had 'em, honey, I hope you never will

Well, the blues, the blues is a worried heart, is a worried heart, heart disease
Oh, the blues is a worried old heart disease
Look like the woman you be lovin', man, is so doggone hard to please

I'd rather be outdoors, walkin' up, walkin' up and down the road
I say, I'd rather be outdoors, I say, just walkin' up and down the road
Than to be layin' around here, workin' just for my board and clothes

Hey, look-a here, little girl, don't you cry, don't you cry, cry no more
I say, look-y here, darlin', honey, don't you try to cry no more
Well, when I leave this time (spoken: I'm gonna) hang crepe on your door

__________
Note 1: like to, this construction is an equivalent of "likely to", once standard English and used in several blues songs;
Note 2: the comparison is probably to malaria

 

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Ruler

John The Revelator

soundclip


by
recording of 19
from,
copyright notice

Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Who's that writin', John the Revelator wrote the book of the seven seals

Now God walked down in the cool of the day, and called Adam by his name
But he refused to answer, 'cause he was naked and ashamed
So, tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Who's that writin', John the Revelator wrote the book of the seven seals

Now Christ had 12 apostles, and three he laid away
He said "Watch for me one hour, while I go yonder and pray"

And tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Who's that writin', John the Revelator wrote the book of the seven seals

Mary Margaret they were there, and they heard every word he said
Said "Go tell my disciples, I said meet me in Galilee"
And tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Who's that writin', John the Revelator wrote the book of the seven seals

Who's that writin', John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin', John the Revelator
Who's that writin', John the Revelator wrote the book of the seven seals

 

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Ruler

My Black Mama

soundclip
(usern.: harry38, passw.: harry)


by Eddie James "Son" House, Jr.
recording of 19
from Origin Of Jazz Library-Mississippi Blues, Vol. 2 (),
copyright notice

Part One

Oh, black mama, what's the matter with you?
Said, if it ain't satisfactory, don't care what I do
Hey, mama, what's the matter with you?
Said, if it ain't satisfactory, baby, don't care what I do

You take a brownskin woman'll make a rabbit move to town
Say, but a jet-black woman'll make a mule kick his stable down
Oh, a brownskin woman will make a rabbit move to town
Oh, but a real black woman'll make a mule kick his stable down

Say, t'ain't no heaven, say, there ain't no burnin' hell
Say, where I'm going when I die, can't nobody tell
Oh, there ain't no heaven, now, there ain't no burnin' hell
Oh, where I'm going when I die, can't nobody tell

Well, my black mama's face shine like the sun
Oh, lipstick and powder sure won't help her none
My black mama's face shine like the sun
Oh, lipstick and powder, well, they sure won't help her none

Well, you see my milk cow, tell her to hurry home
I ain't had no milk cow since that cow been gone
If you see my milk cow, tell her to hurry home
Yeah, I ain't had no milk cow since that cow been gone

Well, I'm going to the race track to see my pony run
He ain't the best in the world, but he's a runnin' son-of-a-gun
I'm going to the race track to see my pony run
He ain't the best in the world, but he's a runnin' son-of-a-gun

Oh, Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul
Wouldn't mistreat you, baby, for my weight in gold
Oh, Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul
Wouldn't mistreat you, baby, for my weight in gold

Part Two

Hey, I solemnly swear, Lord, I raise my right hand
That I'm goin' get me a woman, you get you another man
I solemnly swear, Lord, I raise my right hand
That I'm goin' get me a woman, you get you another man

I got a letter this morning, how do you reckon it read?
"Oh, hurry, hurry, gal, you love is dead"
I got a letter this morning, how do you reckon it read?
"Oh, hurry, hurry, gal, you love is dead"

I grabbed my suitcase, I took off, up the road
I got there, she was laying on the cooling board
I grabbed my suitcase, I took on up the road
I got there, she was laying on the cooling board

Well, I walked up close, I looked down in her face
Good old gal, you got to lay here till Judgment Day
I walked up close, and I looked down in her face
Yes, been a good old gal, got to lay here till Judgment Day

(spoken: Aw sho' now, I feel low-down this evenin'!)

Oh, my woman so black, she shays apart of this town
Can't nothin' "go" when the poor girl is around
My black mama stays apart of this town
Oh, can't nothing "go" when the poor girl is around

Oh, some people tell me the worried blues ain't bad
It's the worst old feelin' that I ever had
Some people tell me the worried blues ain't bad
Buddy, the worst old feelin', Lord, I ever had

Hmmm, I fold my arms, and I walked away
"That's all right, mama, your trouble will come someday"
I fold my arms, Lord, I walked away
Say, "That's all right, mama, your trouble will come someday"

 

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Ruler

Pony Blues

soundclip
(usern.: harry38, passw.: harry)


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

Why don't you catch1 my pony, now saddle up my black mare?
...my pony, saddle up, up my black mare?
You know, I'm gonna find my baby, well, in the world somewhere

You know, he's a travelin' horse, an' he's too black bad2
He's a travelin' pony, I declare, he's too black bad
You know, he got a gait, now, no Shetlan' ain't never had

You know, I taken him by the rein an' I led him around and 'round
I say, I taken him by the reins an' I, I led him, him 'round and 'round
You know, he ain't the best in the world, but he's the best ever been in this town

You know, he's a travelin' horse and he don't deny his name
He's a travelin' pony and he don't deny his name
You know, the way he can travel is a low-down, old, dirty shame

Why don't you come up here, pony, now come on, please let's us go
I said, "Come up, get up now, please pony, now let's us go"
Let's we saddle on down on the Gulf of, of Mexico

You know, the horse that I'm ridin', he can fox-trot, he can lope and pace
I say, the pony I'm ridin', he can fox-trot, he can lope and pace
You know, a horse with them many gaits, you know, I'm bound to win the race

He's a travelin' horse an' he don't deny his name
He's a travelin' pony, he don't deny his name
(spoken: You know that) the way he can travel is a low-down, old, dirty shame

__________
Note 1: catch, probably, to rig up to a buggy;
Note 2: too black bad, vague blues superlative, along the order of "mean" or "too tight". Although the tendency to invert conventional meaning has been described as a characteristic of black phrase-mongering, this expression has precedent in passé phrases like "bad to beat", meaning hard to beat. "Black" belongs in House's phrase as an intensifier, or else is used for the sake of alliteration.

 

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Ruler

Preachin' Blues (Version 1)

soundclip
(usern.: harry38, passw.: harry)


by Eddie James "Son" House, Jr.
recording of 19
from Origin Of Jazz Library (CBS 62604),
copyright notice

Oh, I'm gonna get me a religion, I'm gonna join the Baptist Church
Oh, I'm gonna get me a religion, I'm gonna join the Baptist Church
I'm gonna be a Baptist preacher, and I sure won't have to work

Oh, I'm a-preach these blues, and I, I want everybody to shout
I want everybody to shout
I'm gonna do like a prisoner, I'm gonna roll my time on out

Oh, I went in my room, I bowed down to pray
Oh, I went in my room, I bowed down to pray
Till the blues come along, and they blowed my spirit1 away

Oh, I'd-a had religion, Lord, this every day
Oh, I'd-a had religion, Lord, this every day
But the womens and whiskey, well, they would not set me free

Oh, I wish I had me a heaven of my own
(spoken: Great God almighty!)
Hey, a heaven of my own
Till I'd give all my women a long, long, happy home

hey, I love my baby, just like I love myself
Oh, just like I love myself
Well, if she don't have me, she won't have nobody else

___________
Note 1: religious spirit

 

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Ruler

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


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