Roberta--Leadbelly

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Roberta Part I - Leadbelly
23 January 1935 NYC
ARC 16683-1 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 F position, actual pitch is B

[Intro verse]

Oh Roberta! Honey where you been so long?
Oh Roberta! Honey where you been so long?
Yes I been across Huh the country
With my long clothes on

[holler] He went down to see Roberta
And Roberta was runnin' on a freight passenger trains
And she got tired of seein' him at the station
And she went to runnin' on the steamboat
He went down on the banks of the river
When he got on the banks of the river
He looked way up the river for Roberta [/holler]

Oh Roberta! Sit down on my knee
Oh Roberta! Sit down on my knee
Got a lot to tell you
That's been worryin' me

Way up the river, far as I can see
Way up the river, far as I can see
Lord I thought I spied my
Old time used-to-be

[holler] He thought he spied Roberta
Wasn't nothin' but a cypress tree [/holler]

Lord I thought I spied my
Old time used-to-be
Yes I thought I spied my
Old time used-to-be
And it was not nothin'
Honey but a cypress tree

[holler] When he was down on the river
Sittin' down on the banks of the river [fluffs a word here]
Roberta come along [/holler]

Hon' I'm down on the river
Sittin' down on the ground
Way down on the river
Sittin' down on the ground
Gonna stay right here Lord
Until Roberta come down

Oh Roberta! Tell me where you been so long
Oh Roberta! Tell me where you been so long
'Cross the country
With my long clothes on

[3 bar outro end on I7]
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Roberta Part II - Leadbelly
23 January 1935 NYC
ARC 16684-1 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 F position, actual pitch is B

[Intro verse]

[holler] This man he was runnin' after Roberta
And Roberta was runnin' on a passenger train
And every station she would pass
This rascal'd be sittin' right down there lookin' for her
She got tired of lookin' at the rascal
She goes and run on the steamboat
And when the steamboat was passin' along
He's sitting down on the ground
And so when the steamboat'd get to the landin'
The rascal would be right there lookin' in Roberta's face
So when Roberta come off the steamboat
He looked up and he walked up and he talked to her [/holler]

Oh Roberta! What in the world you mean?
Tell me Roberta! What in the world you mmmm?
Honey, way you treat me, sure I ever seen

[holler] He looked at Roberta and he talked to her
Roberta wouldn't pay him no attention
He tore up to the police station
And he told the chief police
When he got there here what he said to the chief police [/holler]

Lord I'm goin' to the station
Go tell the chief police
Yes I'm goin' to the station
Go tell the chief police
Roberta done quit me
I can't see no peace

[holler] The police asked him "How in the world you gonna know Roberta from any other brown skin?
'Cause all of 'em is brown skin now
The black women is brown skin
They got so much high brown powder you can't tell a black woman from a brown skin"
He looked at the police and here what he said [/holler]

She's a brown skin woman! Got black wavy hair
She's a brown skin woman! Got black wavy hair
And I can describe her
A-prob'ly most anywhere

[holler] The police man goes on down to the landing with him
And walked up and talked to Roberta
Here' what the police told her [/holler]

Tell me Roberta! What's the matter with you?
Tell me Roberta! What's the matter with you?
This man ain't got nobody
To take his troubles to

[4 bar outro end on the I7]
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