Sleepy Man Blues
DESCRIPTION: "When a man get trouble in his mind, he want to sleep all the time (x2)." "I'm feeling worried in mind, and I'm trying to keep from crying." "I want somewhere to go, but I hate to go to town." "I wonder what's the matter with my right mind."
AUTHOR: Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White
EARLIEST DATE: 1940 (recording, Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes nonballad
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Burton-TNSingers, pp. 180-181, "Sleepy Man Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bukka White, "Sleepy Man Blues" (OKeh 05743, 1940)
cf. "When the Sun Goes Down" (by Leroy Carr) (tune, according to Burton-TNSingers)
NOTES [80 words]: The notes in Burton-TNSingers (p. 179) observe that this "is one of the few blues to treat the subject of mental illness in some depth." This is certainly correct; depression can increase the need for sleep, or it can produce insomnia which leaves the person always sleepy despite what should be enough sleep time. It is interesting to note that the singer says he is "standing in the sunshine to keep from weaking down." Some people do become depressed due to lack of sunlight. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.