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Big Maceo Lyrics

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Johnm:
Hi all,
Big Maceo composed and recorded one of the most covered of Blues songs, "Worried Life Blues".  It's an 8-bar chorus blues, and the combination of strong lyrics an audience can identify with and a good melody proved an irresistible combination.  The fact that Big Maceo could sing the way he did certainly didn't hurt the song either!.  Tampa Red once again shows himself to be a wonderfully sympathetic playing partner.  Most of the covers of the song that I have heard change the lyric of the refrain to "But someday, baby, you ain't gonna worry my life any more".  I much prefer Big Maceo's lyric--it's much more hopeless, and has an emptiness to its promise of better times ahead that is more wrenching than the changed lyric.



Oh Lordy-Lord, oh Lordy-Lord,
It hurts me so bad for us to part
REFRAIN: But someday, baby, I ain't gonna worry my life any more

So many night since you been gone
I been worried and grievin', my life alone
REFRAIN: But someday, baby, I ain't gonna worry my life any more

So many day since you went away
I had to worry both night and day
REFRAIN: But someday, baby, I ain't gonna worry my life any more

SOLO (Spoken before solo: No, boy, I ain't gonna worry my life no more.  Yeah, yeah!)

You on my mind every place I go
How much I love you, nobody knows
REFRAIN: But someday, baby, I ain't gonna worry my life any more

So that's my story, this is all I got to say to you
Goodbye, baby, and I don't care what you do
REFRAIN: But someday, baby, I ain't gonna worry my life any more

All best,
Johnm


eric:
[For some reason,the link didn't work for me, but I found the cut on Youtube.]

I really like Big Maceo.  Blues Classics put out that great double LP back in the day that got a lot of play here; I'm gonna have to dig that out.  Thanks for posting that.

blueshome:
Love Maceo. Also love Lightnin's early version of Worried Life:

Lignite:
Here is Lightnin's earliest recorded adaptation of Worried Life Blues recorded for Aladdin in 1947. Notice how he freely changed the verses but kept the refrain and claimed authorship of the song.
http://picosong.com/XdAv

Johnm:
Hi all,
I recently found Big Maceo's recording of "Poor Kelly Blues", from 1941, on youtube and was surprised to discover that R. L. Burnside's "See What My Buddy Done" was a cover of it.  For Big Maceo's recording, he was joined by Tampa Red, and hearing those two musicians work together, I find myself thinking that they are the equal of any piano/guitar blues duet that ever recorded.  The song has a striking set of lyrics and a pretty unusual phrasing scheme.  For most verses, the flow is: A for the first four bars, the first half of A for the second four bars and the second half of A for the final four bars.  It's an indication of the seriousness with which the duo took that song and the story it tells that they chose not to interrupt the flow of the song with a solo.  Here is "Poor Kelly Blues":



INTRO

I went up on the mountain, to see what poor Kelly done, he killed his woman, and didn't even 'tempt to run
Up on the mountain, just to see what poor Kelly done
Well, he killed his woman, and he didn't even 'tempt to run

When I found poor Kelly, he was standing in the door, with a .32-20, and a .44
When I found poor Kelly, he was standing in the door
With a .32-20 and a hard-hitting .44

I asked him, was he sorry, he said, "No, buddy, no, just can't stand the way she was treatin' me anymore.
Just couldn't stand the way she was doin' me, anymore.
She's a dirty mistreater.  She won't jive me no more."

He said, "I know I love her, better than I did myself.  She misused me for somebody else.
She know I loved her better than I did myself.
Still, she tried to misuse me for somebody else."

"I know they gonna get me,", he said, "but I know I don't care.  They may even send me to the electric chair.
I know they gonna get me, but, baby, I don't care.
There's one consolation, they won't leave my woman here."

All best,
Johnm     

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