BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




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TITLE: Bad Luck Blues
MATRIX NO.: 3090-2
SINGER: Blind Lemon Jefferson, V/g
COMPOSER(S):
DATE OF REC.: c. Dec 1926, Chicago
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Paramount 12443
REISSUE(S): Document DOCD-5017
Click here to listen to an MP3 of this song
TRANSCRIPTION:

BAD LUCK BLUES
by Blind Lemon Jefferson

I wanna go home and I ain't got sufficient clothes,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
Wanna go home and I ain't got sufficient clothes;
             I mean sufficient, talking about clothes,
Well, I wanna go home, but I ain't got sufficient clothes.

I bet my money, and I lost it, Lord, it's so,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
Mmm, lost it, ain't it so?
             I mean lost it, speakin' about so, now,
I'll never bet on the deuce-trey-queen no more.

"Mama, I can't gamble." "Son, why don't you quit tryin'?"
             Doggone my bad luck soul,
"Mmm, why don't you quit tryin'?
             "Why don't you quit, I mean tryin'?" "
"That joker stole off with that long-haired brown of mine."

Sugar, you catch the Katy, I'll catch that Santa Fe,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
Sugar, you catch that Katy and I'll catch that Santa Fe;
             I mean the Santy, speakin' about Fe,
When you get in Denver, pretty mama, look around for me.

The woman I love's 'bout five feet from the ground,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
Hey, five feet from the ground;
             Five feet from the, I mean ground,
She's a tailor-made woman, she ain't no hand-me-down.

I ain't seen my sugar in three long weeks today,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
I ain't seen my sugar, three long weeks today;
             Three long weeks to- I mean day, girl,
It's been so long, seems like my heart's gonn' break.

I'm gonna run 'cross town, catch that southbound Santa Fe,
             doggone my bad luck soul,
Mmm, Lord, that Santa Fe;
             I mean the Santy, speakin' about Fe,
Be on my way to what they call lovin' Tennessee.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Chris Smith (chris@skerries.demon.co.uk) 21 Sep 2000

RELATED LYRICS: "Doggone My Good Luck Soul" by Hattie Hudson, 1927,
which is an "answer song" to this and mentions "Mr. Yeverson."

COMMENTS BY CAT YRONWODE: "Bad Luck Blues" is not a hoodoo-related song per se, but is included in the Blues and Hoodoo Archive because it gave rise to a hoodoo-related "answer song" titled "Doggone My Good Luck Soul," recorded in 1927. Two side-notes: "Fishing Clothes" by Lightning Hopkins is a remake of "Bad Luck Blues," and is one of the two most egregiously mis-titled blues songs i know; also, the couplets in verses 4 and 5 (but not the metrical structure of the song) were borrowed by Blind Willie McTell.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
V.1 bad luck (crossing and jinxing)


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Individual acknowledgements for transcriptions and discographical data appear on each song-page, but i want to note that this Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo archive would never have been possible without the contributions of Gorgen Antonsson, who generously shared with me the format and content of his own personal lyrics archive, and Alan Balfour and Chris Smith, who have devoted a great deal of time to supplying me with tapes, transcribed lyrics, and detailed discographical information. Additionally, i wish to thank the kind members of the prewar blues e-list who have aided my research in innumerable ways. If you have missing data to supply, hear a substantially different take on a transcription, or want to let me know about a song that has been overlooked in these pages, please contact me through the prewar blues e-list: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/pre-war-blues.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Due to certain social, economic, and political paradigms in place at the time of their composition, many early blues songs were improperly copyrighted or not copyrighted at all. Many bore no composer credits. Many were ripped off by unethical music publishers who falsely claimed authorship and copyrighted them in their own names. Many that were once copyright-protected are now in the public domain due to publishers' or composers' failures to properly renew the copyrights. Many have since been ripped off by unethical performers or music publishers who have pretended to be the composers for the purpose of securing a belated copyright or who have claimed "arranger's" credits on songs they falsely swore were "traditional" when in fact the songs were composed by the people who originally performed them on record. It is my sincere belief that the song transcribed on this page bears the implied moral copyright of its composer, whoever that may be. If you believe that you control the copyright by virtue of authorship or legal legerdemain, you may contact me in a civil and polite manner and i will attempt in good faith to satisfy your needs in the matter of obtaining formal permission to quote the lyrics in this scholarly publication.

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copyright © 1995-2003 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.

copyright © 1995-2003 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.