Country Blues > Country Blues Lyrics

R. L. Burnside Lyrics

(1/3) > >>

Hi everybody,

Anyone have a lyricstranscription of "Long Haired Doney" from RL Burnside ???..

Version from George Mitchell's recording will be a goog one... ;-)

Many thanks for your help...


Ah pinspas, welcome to WC.... but you have to work for it first! See the sticky at the top of this forum, first post, second paragraph. Here's the link:;Itemid=128&topic=6575.0

Hi all,
R. L. Burnside's recording of "See What My Buddy Done" can be found on "R. L. Burnside-Mississippi Hill Country Blues", Fat Possum 80341-2.  The song was recorded by Leo Bruin in the Netherlands in October of 1982.  Burnside accompanied himself out of A position in standard tuning for the song.  His approach on the guitar for the song is a combination of linear/melodic material and drones.  There are no chords or harmonic content, either in terms of sound or execution on the instrument.  In a way, he could just as well be accompanying himself on a dulcimer, and I make this point not in a pejorative way, but as an indication of at how great a remove his approach was from the Country Blues guitarists of the '20s and '30s, who with few exceptions based their left hand approach on chordal positions and what they could reach melodically from those chordal positions.  Rev. Gary Davis and R. L. Burnside, for all intents and purposes, did not play the same instrument. 
Not having chords frees Burnside from a lot of the formal conventions of the blues, such as the IV chord arriving in the fifth bar of a 12-bar blues form, or the V7 chord arriving in the ninth bar.  With these harmonic signposts removed, the song has much more of a feel of being in a particular place, based on pitch and scalar vocabulary, from beginning to end.  Indeed, the song does not roam outside of its parent scale melodically once, from the beginning to the end of Burnside's rendition.  Not having to hold down chords while playing melodic phrases makes it possible to phrase melodic ideas with a degree of nicety and inflective nuance that is next to impossible to achieve while also holding down chords. 
Meter does not count for much in this music.  The music is governed much more by phrase length and pulse.  Burnside does not keep time in any recurring, regular way with the thumb of his right hand, but his pulse is so strong that he can afford to have the thumb drop out in irregular ways and the listener's sense of pulse is not confused or in doubt in any way. 
Probably because of the lack of harmonic content and the droning, static quality of the scalar content, there is a trance-like effect.  It particularly suits this song, which has a dark subject matter.

Then I went up on the mountain, just to see what my buddy done
Then I went up on the mountain, just to see what my buddy done
Yeah, you know he shot his baby, poor boy refused to run

I asked him, was he sorry, you know the poor boy shook his head
Yeah, you know I asked him, was he sorry, poor boy shook his head
Yes, said, "The way she up and treat me, I believe she should've been dead."

Said, "Now you in trouble."  That didn't seem to bother his mind.
Yes, "Now you in trouble."  That didn't seem to bother his mind.
Say, "I shot my baby.  I believe I can do my time."

All best,


David Kaatz:

Thanks for posting that, Dave.  I couldn't find any versions that matched the length of the one on the CD, but the one in the video you posted is the same one, despite the length being different.  How about that!  Thanks!
All best,


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version