Sunday, February 24, 2013

poetry page

From one of America's great unsung biographical singing poets:

Ummmmm Big Brazos here I come.
Ummmmm (Lord have mercy) Big Brazos here I come.
I'm doin time for another man;
And it ain't a thing poor Lightnin done.

You oughta been on Bragg,
Nineteen and ten;
Bull Russell drove pretty women
Just like he did ugly mens.
Mmmm hmmm Big Brazos, oh, Lord here I come;
Figurin to do time for another man;
And ain't nothing poor Lightnin done.
(Well, you oughta be ashamed.)

My mama called me; I answered, "Ma'am?"
She said, "Son, you tired of working?"
I said, "Mama, yes I am."
My papa called me; I answered, "Sir?"
He said, "Son, if you're tired of working
What the hell you gonna stay here for?"
I couldn't...Lord, I just couldn't help myself;
You know a man can't help but feel bad,
Doin time for someone else.

--Lightning Hopkins, Penitentiary Blues (It's off the Arhoolie album in the pic.)

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