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St. Louis Blues


by W.C. Handy
recording of 1924-1925
The Complete Recordings, Vol. 2 (1924-1925) (Columbia/Legacy C2K-47471), copyright notice

I hate to see the ev'nin' sun go down
Hate to see the ev'nin' sun go down,
'cause my baby, he done left this town

Feelin' tomorrow like I feel today
Feel tomorrow like I feel today,
I'll pack my trunk, make my getaway

St. Louis woman with her diamond rings
Pulls that man 'round by her apron strings,
't'want for powder and for store-bought hair

The man I love, would not gone nowhere,
got the St. Louis blues just as blue as I can be
That man got a heart like a rock cast in the sea,
or else he wouldn't have gone so far from me

Been to the gypsy to get my fortune told
To the gypsy, to get my fortune told,
'cause I'm most wild about my jelly roll

Gypsy done told me, "Don't you wear no black"
Yes, she done told me, "Don't you wear no black,
go to St. Louis, you can win him back"

Help me to Cairo, make St. Louis by myself
Gone to Cairo, find my old friend Jeff
Goin' to pin myself close to his side,
if I flag his train, I sure can ride

I love that man like a schoolboy loves his pie
Like a Kentucky Colonel loves his mint and rye1
I'll love my baby till the day I die

You ought to see that stovepipe brown of mine,
like he owns the diamond Joseph line
He'd make across-eyed old man go stone blind

Blacker than midnight, teeth like flags of truce
Blackest man in the whole St. Louis
Blacker the berry, sweeter is the juice

About a crap game, he knows a powerful lot,
but when work time comes, he's on the dot
Goin' to ask him for a cold ten spot,
what it takes to get it, he's certainly got

A black-headed gal make a freight train jump the track
Said a black-headed gal make a freight train jump the track
But a redheaded woman makes a preacher ball the jack

Note 1: rye, a hardy annual grass that is widely grown for grain and as a cover crop. Also used to make whiskey.

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