Worried Man Blues

DESCRIPTION: "It takes a worried man to sing a worried song (x2), I'm worried now, but I won't be worried long." The singer describes how he was imprisoned and shackled. He is sentenced to (21) years. His girl takes a train and leaves him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1920 (recording, Carter Family)
KEYWORDS: work prison train abandonment punishment
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol2, p. 28, "The Worry Song" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, p. 890, "Worried Man Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, p. 240, (no title) (1 fragment, mentioning the train that is sixteen coaches long, which might be part of this or the song it inspired)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 74, "Worried Man Blues" (1 text)
DT, WORRDMAN

Roud #4753
RECORDINGS:
[Clarence] Ashley & [Gwen] Foster, "Haunted Road Blues" (Bdy. 4076, rec. 1931; on Ashley04)
Steve Ledford & Daniel Nicholson w. Carolina Ramblers String Band, "Worried Man Blues" (Banner 32371/Oriole 8118/Perfect 12787/Romeo 5118/Melotone [Canada] 91283, 1932)
Carter Family, "Worried Man Blues" (Victor V-40317, 1930; Montgomery Ward M-4742, 1935) (ARC 07-05-55/Conqueror 8846, 1937)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, "Won't Be Worried Long" (Bluebird B-6738, 1937)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Worried Man Blues" (on NLCR16)
Pete Seeger, "Worried Man Blues" (on PeteSeeger26)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Two Dollar Bill (Long Journey Home)" (tune)
cf. "Dink's Blues" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I'm a Stranger Here" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I'm Worried Now But I Won't Be Worried Long" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [64 words]: While this song was copyrighted by A. P. Carter, he probably didn't write it; he may have picked it up from an African-American prison song. - PJS
Or, perhaps, a blues; Charley Patton's "Down the Dirt Road Blues" isn't really the same song, but it has a lot of similar phrases. Patton recorded his piece (not in the Index, since I don't think it's traditional in his form) in 1929. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.0
File: BAF890

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