by catherine yronwode

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TITLE: I Couldn't Stay Here
MATRIX NO.: 18980-2
SINGER: Charley Jordan [with Charlie Manson, spoken interjections]
DATE OF REC.: 10 April 1936
REISSUE(S): Yazoo 1021 ...
by Charley Jordan

I went home last night, baby, found my good girl there
I'm goin' to leave you, baby, travelin' everywhere
Well, I said, ain't hard to leave you,
Ooh, Lord God, I've traveled everywhere
I had a good home, mama, Lord, but I couldn't stay there

I was down in jail, baby, I went down on my knee.
Babe stood up and the judge is hollerin', "Good meat for me!"
I said, "Oh, I'm gonna leave you, oh Lord, travelin' everywhere"
I had a good home, mama, Lord, but I couldn't stay there

Have you ever been down, baby, way down in Polack Town?
She's scratchin' and she's twistin' till she tore my damper down
I says, "Ain't hard to leave you, oh Lord, goin' everywhere"
Lord, you had a good old woman, Lord, but that fool wouldn't stay there.

(Spoken) Ah, play that thing, boy. No one does that good as you.

Won't you tell me, baby, who can your good man be?
I woke up this mornin', baby, with the jinx all over me.
I says, "Now I'm gonna leave you, oh Lord God, I've traveled everywhere"
Lord I had a good home, mama, Lord, but I couldn't stay there

I can do more for you than the good Lord ever done.
I can buy you a Ford car, baby, when the Lord ain't give you none
I said, "Now I'm gonna leave you, oh Lord God, I've traveled everywhere"
Lord, she had a good home, baby, Lord, but she wouldn't stay there.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Gorgen Antonsson (, 9 Aug 1994

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Gorgen Antonsson (, 9 Aug 1994

PRINTED TRANSCRIPTIONS: R.R. Macleod: Yazoo 21-83. - Edinburgh: PAT Publications, 1992, pp. 14-15
v. 3:1: .. down in poor luck town?

COMMENTS BY CAT: I believe that Gorgen is right about V.3; it is "Polack Town" (the Polish district of town), not "poor luck town."

RELATED LYRICS:About a zillion songs contain the line in V.4 "I woke up this morning with the jinx all over me" (or "all round my bed"); use the onsite search engine if you want to find more. A keyword (exact phrase match) on "woke up this" should deliver the lot in the Lucky Mojo collection.

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

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:

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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