Bessie Smith


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My Man Blues


by Bessie Smith
recording of 1924 or 1925
The Complete Recordings, Vol. 2 (1924-1925) (Columbia/Legacy C2K-47471), copyright notice

Clara: who was that man I saw you with the other day?
Bessie: that was my smooth black daddy that we call Charlie Gray
Don't you know that's my man?
Yes, that's a fact
I ain't seen your name printed up and down his back
You better let him be
What old gal?
Because you ain't talkin' to me
That's my man, I want him for my own
(spoken: No! No!)
He's my sweet daddy
You'd better leave that man alone

See that suit he's got on?
I bought it last week
I've been buyin' clothes for five years for that is my black sheik
Is that you honey?
(Charlie) 'Tain't nobody but, who's back here?
It sounds like Charlie
It is my man, sweet papa Charlie Gray
Your man?
How do you git that way?

Now, look here, honey, I been had that man for umpteen year
Child, didn't I turn your damper1 down?
Yes, Clara, and I've cut you every way but loose!
Well, you might as well be get it fixed
Well, then...

I guess we got to have him on cooperation plan
I guess we got to have him on cooperation plan
(spoken: Bessie! Clara!)
(Bessie and Clara together) Ain't nothin' different 'bout that rotten two time man

How about it?
Suits me!
Suits me!
Well then...!

Note: plain text style is Bessie, italic is Clara;
Note 1: damper, a device that damps as a valve or plate (as in the flue of a furnace) for regulating the draft.

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