Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
Eternal thanks to blues gal
Anita Cantor for transcribing and contributing most of the lyrics!
Ruler
Page 1 of 1

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* additions of July 2000
Ruler

Table Of Content (19 + 10 songs, 5 soundclips)

Page 1

Bad Luck Blues
Black Gal Blues
Blue Bird Blues
Collector Man Blues
Decoration Blues
Down South
Early In The Morning
Fridgidaire Blues
Groundhog Blues
* I Been Dealing With The Devil
* Lord, Oh Lord
* Million Year Blues
Miss Louisa Blues
Moonshine
* My Black Name

My Little Cornelius
My Little Machine (1)
* My Little Machine (2)
* She Don't Love Me That Way
Skinny Woman
* Sloppy Drunk Blues
Sugar Mama Blues
* T.B. Blues
Until My Love Come Down
Up The Country Blues
* Whiskey-Headed Woman Blues
Win The War Blues
You Can Lead Me
* You Got To Step Back

Ruler

Bad Luck Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of July 1939, Chicago
from
Blues Classics by Sonny Boy Williamson, vol. 3 (Blues Classics 3), copyright notice

Baby did you hear about the bad luck, the bad luck that happened just about six months ago?
Now did you hear about the bad luck, the bad luck that happened just about six months ago?
Now my cousin Marvin got shot down, just as he was walkin' out the do'

Now and he said please mister, said please don't shoot me no mo'
Now and he said please mister, said please don't shoot me no mo'
He said because my breath is gettin' short, and my heart is beatin' awful slow

And Marvin say I know I got some friends, I want somebody to go and get my mother for me
Marvin say I know I got some friends, I want somebody to go and get my mother for me
Say maybe she can help me with my trouble, people I'm in so much misery

And he say I hate to go leave my mother and father, I hate to go leave my cousin Sonny Boy insane
He say I hate to go leave my mother and father, say I hate to go leave my cousin Sonny Boy insane
Now go tell 'em if they be good they'll come to see me, people on Resurrection Day

 

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Black Gal Blues


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Well but I got somethin' to tell ya black gal
Black gal, that ya oughta know
I can get me a woman, black gal
Most ev'rywhere I go

But Lord knows I'm-a wild 'bout you black gal
I'm just as crazy as I can be
Lord knows I'm wild about you black gal
You ought to be a fool about me

Well now, look-a-here black gal
Black gal, you oughta be ashamed
The way that my baby brother know you, black gal
He's scared to call your name

And my brother says he's wild about you black gal
He's just as crazy as he can be
My brother says he's wild about you black gal
You oughta be a fool about him

Well now, here is my picture black gal
I want you to keep it in your frame
Now this other boy, for days is all you been lookin' at
Sonny wants just the same

And Lord knows I been worried about you black gal
I be as crazy as I can be
Now I be thinkin' 'bout you black gal
I hope you be kinda worried about me

Now fare you well, black gal
I ain't got no mo' to sing
There's mister so an so taken my kingdom
I want you to have your way

Lord knows, I'm wild about you black gal
I'm just a crazy as I can be
You know I'm wild about you black gal
You ought to be a fool about me

 

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Blue Bird Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

My bluebird, bluebird, please take this letter down south for me
Now, bluebird, bluebird, please take this letter down south for me
Now you can tell my baby, I'm up here in St. Louis, oh, but I'm just as blue as I can be

Now, bluebird, when you get to Jackson1, I want you to fly down on Shannon Street
Now, bluebird when you get to Jackson, I want you to fly down on Shannon Street
Well, but I don't want you to stop flyin', until you find Miss Lacey Belle, for me

Now bluebird, when you find Miss Lacey Belle, I want you to please give her my best regard
Now bluebird, when you find Miss Lacey Belle, oh, give her my best regard
Well, that you can tell her I'm up here in St. Louis but these times is awful doggone hard

Now bluebird, she may not be at home but please, knock on her door
Now bluebird, she may not be at home but please knock on her door
Well , but she might be right across the street, visitin' her next door neighbor, you know

__________
Note 1: Jackson, Tennessee.

 

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Collector Man Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of November 1937, Chicago
from
Blues Classics by Sonny Boy Williamson, vol. 3 (Blues Classics 3), copyright notice

(spoken:)
Who is that knockin' on that door? I believe that's that collector man1.
Man, go tell him I ain't got a dime today. Tell him I ain't made a penny all this week. Tell him I'm just as broke as I can be, oh just knock him down... Tell him I'll have the money sometime.

Now open the door, here come that collector man
Go open the door, here come that collector man
Why you can tell him I say come back tomorrow, because Sonny Boy ain't got a doggone thing

Tell him that I ain't got no money, now he knows how times is today
Tell him that I ain't got no money, then he know how times is today
Why it's Saturday man ain't got no money, can hardly find a place to stay

Tell him that someday I'll have some money, now I want everybody to watch and see
Tell him someday I'll have some money, I want everybody to watch and see
Why tell him that it's hard to keep down, you know a real good man like me

Tell him I know I'm down now, now but I won't be down always
Tell him that I'm down now, but I won't be down always
Why now you can tell him to watch and see if don't Sonny Boy get some money, oh Lord knows some of these days

_________
Note 1: collector man, the man collecting the rent for the house owner.

 

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Decoration Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Lord, I had a woman, she was nice lovin' in ev'ry way
Lord, I had a woman, she was nice lovin' in ev'ry way
Lord, but she died and left me, I have the blues on ev'ry decoration day1

Lord, I hated to see her leave, because these were the last words my baby had to say
Lord, I hate to see her leave me, because these are the last words my baby had to say
She told me to bring her some flowers, on ev'ry decoration day

People you havin' a good time now, just like the flowers that comes in May
People you havin' a good time now, just like the flowers that comes in May
Now, but Sonny Boy, thinks about his baby, on ev'ry decoration day

Fare you well, baby, I ain't got no mo' to say
Fare you well, baby, I ain't got no mo' to say
Lord, but I always rememeber, I won't never forget decoration day

Play along boy!

__________
Note 1: decoration day, from the custom of decorating graves on this day. The last Monday in May observed as a legal holiday in most states of the U.S. in remembrance of war dead.

 

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Down South

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now an' I'm goin' back down South
Man, where the weather suits my clothes
Now I done fooled around in Chicago
Yeah, an' I got done almost froze
Now that I done fooled around in Chicago
Lord, I done almost froze

Lord, my baby, my baby
She don't treat me good no mo'
Now I know the reason she don't love me
She's wild about Mister So an' So
Now I know the reason she don't love me
She's wild about Mister So an' So

Now an' I know my baby
Mm I know, Miss Lacey, wanna see me now
Because my baby she didn't want me
To come way back up here, no how
Lord, my baby she didn't want me
To come way back up here, no how

 

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Early In The Morning


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now when a little girl becomin' twelve years old
Beginnin' to think she's grown
Well you can never catch that kinda, little girl at home
But ya have to go down early in the mornin'
Baby 'bout the break of day
Now ya oughta see me grab the pillow
Where my baby used to lay

Now that I've got a new woman
Her name is Miss Kate
She told me to come to the house this mornin'
I got there about half past eight
She says, "I told you come early in the mornin' "
Baby 'bout the break of day
Now you oughta see me grab the pillow
Where my baby used to lay

I said, "Look-a-here woman, you fool with too many men,
I can't never come to see you in the evenin',
I have to, come see you when I can"
You tell come early in the mornin'
Baby 'bout the break of day
Now you oughta see me grab the pillow
Where my baby used to lay

Well I said, "Look-a-here woman,
I ain't gonna fool around wit' you no mo',
I know you don't love me, you out an 'round Mister So an So
You tell me, come early in the mornin'
Baby 'bout the break of day
Now you oughta see me grab the pillow
Where my baby used to lay

 

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Ruler

Fridgidaire Blues


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now, go get the night light, somethin' gettin' wrong with my Fridgidaire1
Go get the light, now, somethin' gettin' wrong with my Fridgidaire
Well now, what's gettin' to matter with it, it takes God, you know, in this world to tell

Now, I just brought me a Fridgidaire and I brought me a kitchen set, too
Now, I brought me a brand new Fridgidaire, I brought me a kitchen set too
Well, said I been lookin 'round all over this town, I swear, I want none of these women blue

Now I have me coffee early in the mo'nin', I want you to have me tea at night
I need coffee sweet, early in the mo'nin', I want you to have me tea at night
Well 'n if I can't get my tea three times a day, mama, it look like me an you can't get along right

Now, but that's alright mama, I don't like the way you do
No, but that's alright mama, baby, I don't like the way you do
Well, but I been tryin' two or three days, woman, you know just to get rid of you

________
Note 1: Fridgidaire, the first big (U.S.) brand name in automatic refrigerators. Automatic because, instead of putting the ice in yourself, a sealed refrigerant kept the box cold.

 

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Groundhog Blues


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of December 1941, Chicago
from
Blues Classics by Sonny Boy Williamson, vol. 3 (Blues Classics 3), copyright notice

Now I'm a walkin' groundhog1, mama and I walks around in my den
Now I'm a walkin' groundhog, mama and I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow, John I believe I'll go back in

Now I want some feedin' mama, so I can hear a high sound
If you don't feed me baby I believe I'll go back in the ground
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog, mama and I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow you say you don't love me, I believe I'll go back in

Now I wanna hear some swingin' music, I wanna hear a Fats Waller song
Now if I start to jitterbuggin' I'm forgettin' my hole down in the ground
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog, man and I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow my woman don't love me, I believe I'll go back in

Yes John, you know what I mean...
Oh you know I'm a-walkin' wild...

Now I need some pettin' baby, baby you know what I mean
Now if you don't pet me baby, I believe I'll go back down in New Orleans
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog, at night I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow my woman don't love me, yeah an' I believe I'll go back in

__________
Note 1: groundhog, a grizzled thickset marmot (Marmota monax) chiefly of Alaska, Canada, and the northeastern U.S..

 

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Ruler

Miss Louisa Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now ever since, Louisa, been gone, my life don't seem the same
Now ever since, Louisa, been gone, my life don't seem the same
Now, you know it breaks my heart, an, to hear anybody call, Miss Louisa, names

Now, Miss Louisa, mistreated me and she drove me from her door
Now, that Miss Louisa, she mistreated me, Lord, and she drove me from her door
Now, that will be alright with me, Louisa, you have got to reap just what you sow

Now, Louisa, you know I haven't been, not the very best that I could have
Now Louisa, you know I haven't been, not the very best that I could have
Now then, if you don't treat me no better, Lord, I sure do wish you would

Now but that will be alright, Louisa, you will come back home some day
Now but that will be alright, Louisa, you will come back home some day
Now, but I'm scared that when you get back, Louisa, you ain't gonna have no place to stay

 

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Moonshine


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now any this moonshine, moonshine do harm to many men
Now any this moonshine, moonshine do harm to many men
Now that is the reason why, yeah I'll believe, I'll make a change

Now, moonshine will make you shoot guns, make you wanna fight
At night when you go home, an you can't treat your wife right

You been drinkin' moonshine
Moonshine do harm to many men
Now that is the reason why
I believe I'll make a change

Now, moonshine will make you think that the policeman, is little deliver boy
Moonshine will make you think that street cars, is little children play toys

Then you been drinkin' moonshine
Moonshine does harm to many men
Now that is the reason why
I believe I'll make a change

Now, moonshine will make you go home, lay down 'cross your bed
An your wife try to talk wit' you, you say you didn't hear a word she said

You been drinkin' moonshine
Moonshine do harm to many men
Now that is the reason why
I believe I'll make a change

Now, moonshine will make you just drunk, n' walk out in the street
Moonshine will make you cuss out most, anybody you meet

You been drinkin' moonshine
Moonshine do harm to many men
Now that is the reason why
I believe I'll make a change

 

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My Little Cornelius


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Special deliver man, special deliver man, please take this letter down to Brownville for me
Special deliver man, special deliver man, please take this letter down to Brownville, for me
Now that you can tell Miss Cornelius, I'm up here in Chicago, oh, but I'm just as blue as I can be

Special deliver man, she may not be at home, not that you need to worry about knockin' on her door
Special deliver man, she may not be home, not that you need to worry about knockin' on her door
Now if you could just take it back to the office, because Miss Cornelia, goes to school, you know

Now give me 9-0-9, I want to use your line awhile
Now, give me 9-0-9, Lord, I want to use your line awhile
Now that I want to talk with Miss Cornelia, boy, because she just my little angel child

Now special deliver man, after you've done what I told, Lord, then I want you to ride away
Special deliver man, after you've done what I told you, Lord, then I want you to ride away
Now, that's the reason you hear me sing the blues, about my little Cornelia, boy n' it's everyday

 

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My Little Machine (Version 1)


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of May 1940, Chicago
from
Blues Classics by Sonny Boy Williamson, vol. 3 (Blues Classics 3), copyright notice

Oh yes, somethin's gettin' wrong with my little machine
Oh yes, somethin's gettin' wrong with my little machine
Now she got a standard carburetor, my baby been burnin' bad gasoline

Now I'm gonna do like the eagle, I'm gonna fly on the mountain top
Lord and if I don't find my baby, it ain't no tellin' where I'll stop
Because oh yes, somethin's gettin' wrong with my little machine
Now she got a standard carburetor, oh but my baby burnin' bad gasoline

Well I don't know baby, I don't know what to do
You know I don't wanna hurt your feelings, baby I'm even gettin' mad with you
But I tell you oh yes, some's gettin' wrong with my little machine
Now you got a standard carburetor, oh but you been burnin' bad gasoline

Well I don't know baby, I don't know what to do
Baby you is so sweet, but you just won't be true
But oh yes, somethin's gettin' wrong with my little machine
Now she's got a standard carburetor, oh but my baby been burnin' bad gasoline

 

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Ruler

Skinny Woman

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now I don't want no, no skinny woman, I want the woman, she got a-plenty of, Lord
I don't want no skinny woman, I want some, a woman with a-plenty a-meat
Now, we can roll all night long, an' this woman, won't have to stop 'n eat

Well I've got so, so many women, now an' I don't know who I love
Yes Lord, I 've got me, so many women, til I'm, I really don't know who I love
Now an' it seems like the girl I been cravin' for, slipped away to the good Lord, up above

I have the blues, blues in the mo'nin, blues is the first thing, when I lay down
An' Lord I have, the blues in the mo'nin, blues is the first thing when I lay down at night
Now that's the reason my baby worries me, my baby she don't treat me right

Now if you take me, take me back, baby, now an' I won't do you mean no mo', oh Lord
If you just forgive me this time, I won't never do you mean no mo'
Now that you been get all-a my labor, love n' you, just let Mister So an' So, go

Now she is gone, she is gone but she'll fer'ever be on my mind, oh Lord
I, she gone, she's gone, she'll for'ever be on my mind
Now she was a sweet little woman, she just, wouldn't be lovin' n' kind

 

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Sugar Mama Blues

soundclip


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Sugar mama, sugar mama, sugar mama please come back to me
Sugar mama, sugar mama, sugar mama please come back to me
Bring me my granulated sugar1, sugar mama, and try to ease my misery

You've got this new grade of sugar, sugar mama, an you done made me love it too
You've got this new grade of sugar, sugar mama, an you done made me love it too
You've got this granulated sugar, sugar mama, ain't nobody else got, but you

They been braggin' 'bout your sugar, sugar mama, been braggin' all over town
They been braggin' 'bout your sugar, sugar mama, braggin' all over town
Now, the bootleggers2 want you to sell 'em enough to make whiskey,
but you won't sell 'em about four or five pounds

I like my coffee sweet in the mornin', you know, an I'm crazy 'bout my tea at night
I like my coffee sweet in the mornin', you know, an I'm crazy 'bout my tea at night
Don't get my sugar three times a day, oh, Lord, then I don't feel right

__________
Note 1: granulated sugar, crystallized into grains or granules;
Note 2: bootlegger, someone who manufactures, sells, or transports alcoholic liquor illegally for sale. In general, to produce, reproduce or distribute illicitly or without authorization, CD's for example.

 

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Until My Love Come Down


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of March 1938
from
Blues Classics by Sonny Boy Williamson, vol. 3 (Blues Classics 3), copyright notice

Now you got the fruit on your tree, lemons on your shelf
You know lovin' mama that you can't squeeze them all yourself
Now I say please let me be your lemon squeezer
Now while's I'm in your lonesome town
Now if you let me be your lemon squeezer
Lord until my love come down

Now it make no difference baby, what your mama don't allow
Come on let me squeeze your lemons baby, I mean anyhow
Now I say please let me be your lemon squeezer
Now while's I'm in your lonesome town
Now if you let me be your lemon squeezer
Lord until my love come down

I like your apple on your tree, I'm crazy about your peaches too
I'm crazy about your fruit baby, 'cause you know just how to do
Now please let me be your lemon squeezer (yes my Lord!)
Now while's I'm in your lonesome town
Now you let me be your lemon squeezer
Lord until my love come down

Now and it ain't but the one thing baby, now that'll really make me cry (what, man?)
I asked you about your lemons baby, and you upped and tell me a lie
Now please let me be your lemon squeezer
Now while's I'm in your lonesome town
Now I want you let me be your lemon squeezer
Lord until my love come down

 

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Ruler

Up The Country Blues


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Lord, I'm so blue, Lord, my baby has gone away
Lord, I'm so blue, Lord, my baby has gone away
Now, but that gonna be alright, maybe she'll come back home someday

I'm goin' to take Highway 61, man, I'm gonna ride it from coast to coast
I'm goin' to take Highway 61, man I'm gonna ride it from coast to coast
Now, my baby's goin' up the country, Lord, n' she won't come back no more

I'm going to call all the stations, I'm going to stop all train goin' out
I'm going to call the stations, I'm going to stop all trains goin' out
Because my baby's goin' up the country, oh Lord, n' she can't be found

I'm going to call old England, just to see if my baby's over there
I'm going to call old England, just to see if my baby's over there
Now if n' she ain't in England, lord, I can find in this world somewhere

 

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Win The War Blues


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1944
from various albums listed
here, copyright notice

Uncle Sam is gonna give me a Thunderbolt1, he want me to fly away up above the clouds
Uncle Sam is gonna give me a Thunderbolt, he want me to fly away up above the clouds
He wants to drop the bombs on the Japanese, I really got to make my baby proud

I wants a machine gun, and I wants to be hid out in the wood
I wants a machine gun, and I wants to be hid out in the wood
I wants to show old man Hitler, that Sonny Boy don't mean him no good

I wants to drop a bomb and set the Japanese city on fire
I wants to drop a bomb and set the Japanese city on fire
Now because they are so rotten, I just love to see them die

I've got the victory blues, because I know I've got to go
I've got the victory blues, because I know I have got to go
Now to keep the dirty Japanese from slippin' into my baby's back door

__________
Note 1: P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II aircraft carrier based fighter-bomber airplane. See these links for more info: the P-47 Republic Thunderbolt and p47pilots.com.

 

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You Can Lead Me


by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee)
recording of 1937-1938
from
The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 (RCA 66723), copyright notice

Now, here's my hand, babe
Now, here's my hand, babe
You can lead me where you want to
You can lead me where you want, me to go
Now, an if I don't make you happy
You won't have to fool with me no mo'

Now tell me baby
Now tell me baby
Baby, just what ya want me to,
Baby, what you want me to do
Now, I tried to be your little dog
Just to try to get along with you

I wanna talk to my brother, T.W.
I won't have no trouble
I want him to take me to schoolroom
I wanna see some them little school girls
Now, an when I get in back to Jackson
I tell my mother, n' I say, I been all around the world

I wanna see, Mr. Davis
Wanna talk to, Mister Walter Davis
I want him to do my a favor
Make me 'quainted with some pretty little girl
Now then, I want her to be real brown-skinned
With her hair hangin' down in curls

Now you can tell it to the eagle
You can tell it to the eagle
Let him take it out in the,
Let him take it out in, the west
We're goin' ta top a Smokey Mountain
That's where the eagle builds his nest

Now I'll see you baby, I'll see you baby
When you're down and out just like my,
When you're down just like myself
Now, but I'll meet you some lonesome day
And you won't be in love with nobody else

 

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Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 10 2000


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