DESCRIPTION: "Some folks say dat de worry blues ain' bad, It's de wors' ol' feelin' I ever had." The singer details (her) life: "If trouble was money, I'd be a millionaire." "I used to love you, but oh, God damn you now." "Take a worried man to sing de worried song."
EARLIEST DATE: 1934 (Lomax)
KEYWORDS: love courting separation work floatingverses
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 193-194, "Dink's Blues" (1 text)
cf. "Worried Man Blues" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [153 words]: The Lomaxes claim they got this from a drunken woman imported to Texas to accompany the men working on a levee there. It's just a feeling, but the story rings utterly false to me; I think they made it up, using floating verses (e.g. from the song which also inspired "Worried Man Blues").
On the other hand, Elijah Wald tells me, "I have looked through John Lomax's papers, and they include the full lyric he got from Dink in Texas, showing his editing process: first a handwritten transcription of her version, then a typescript that is a bit more organized but substantially identical, then an expurgated, edited, and rearranged version that is substantially the one published in ABFS. The final version is thus to some extent his creation, but all its components were in the version he transcribed from her, along with verses he left out because they were too rudimentary (one line repeated three times) or bawdy." - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.