Death Letter Blues--Leadbelly

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Death Letter Blues Part I - Leadbelly
24 January 1935 NYC
ARC 16695-2 unissued
Transcribed from Leadbelly King of the 12-String Guitar, Columbia Roots 'N' Blues 467893
12 string in standard down 6 semitones to B flat and played in A position, actual pitch is E flat

[Intro verse]

So many [horse and buggies ??] was standin' around
So many [horse and buggies ??] was a-standin' around
When they take my baby, to the buryin' ground

[spoken] ??? when they take his baby to the buryin' ground
He went to the preacher and put his hand on the preacher's shoulder
When they went to let her down here' what he told the preacher: [/spoken]

"You done taken my baby to the buryin' ground
You done taken my baby to the buryin' ground
You done break my heart Lord, when you let her down"

[spoken] He goes to the head board as her body was goin' home
And fell down on his knees
And here' what he said to his baby: [/spoken]

Yes he went to the head board, fell down on his knees
Ah, he went to the head board, fell down on his knees
If you would speak one word babe, give my heart some ease

[spoken] He goes back home to get him a bucket of water
And he goes to the well [/spoken]

You don't miss your water, 'til your well goes dry
Ah, miss your water, 'til your well goes dry
You don't miss pretty mama, shake your hand goodbye

[spoken] He goes back home, wanders 'round in the yard [/spoken]

Don't your house look lonesome when your woman done gone
Don't your house look lonesome when your woman done gone
I a-feel mistreated, but I won't let on

[Instrumental verse out]
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Death Letter Blues Part II - Leadbelly
24 January 1935
ARC 16696-2 unissued
Transcribed from Leadbelly King of the 12-String Guitar, Columbia Roots 'N' Blues 467893
12 string in standard down 6 semitones to B flat and played in A position, actual pitch is E flat

[Intro verse]

Yes they wrote me a letter, what do you reckon it read?
Yes they wrote me a letter, what do you reckon it read?
Come home big papa, your lovin' baby's dead

[spoken] Sure enough he goes to the graveyard
He goes back home. He goes to his friend.
When he got that letter, he goes to the depot
And he catch the longest train he seen
And he didn't stop at no short stop
He read somethin', got it in the heart
And when he got home here with his, told his mama [/spoken]

Yes I went to the depot, [cause the train to fly ??]
I went to the depot, caught the train [up long ??]
When he walks in Lord, she was low lay down

[spoken] His Mama met him at the door step.
Papa run to the bed side, told his daughter and daughter-in-law goodbye [/spoken]

My Mama said "Howdy!" Papa said "Goodbye!"
My Mama said "Howdy!" Papa said "Goodbye!"
Poor boy couldn't do nothing but, hang his head and cry

[3 instrumental lines]
Poor boy couldn't do nothing but, hang his head and cry

[spoken] He went to the bedside and looked down in the baby's face
She didn't know him from nobody else 'cause it's too late
When he looked down in her face, here' what he said to his Mama: [/spoken]

Yes he went to the bed Lord, looked down in her face
Yes he went to the bed Lord, looked down in her face
"Lord I love you pretty mama, just can't take your place"

[Instrumental verse out, end on first bar of the V]
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