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Tom Rushen Blues

This song is by Charley Patton and appears on the compilation album Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1929) (1990).

Laid down last night, hopin' I would have my peace, eee
I laid down last night, hopin' I would have my peace, eee
But when I woke up, Tom Rushen1 was shakin' me

When you get in trouble, it's no use to screamin' and cryin', hmm
When you get in trouble, it's no use to screamin' and cryin', hmm
Tom Rushen will take you, back to the prison house flyin'

It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
Mister Day2 brought whiskey taken from under Halloway's head

An' it's boozy booze, now, Lord, to cure these blues
It takes boozy boo', Lord, to cure these blues
But each day seems like years in the jailhouse where there is no boo'

I got up this mornin', Tom Day was standin' around
I got up this mornin', Tom Day was standin' around
If he lose his office now, he's runnin' from town to town

Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Aw, he caught me yellin', I was drunk as I could be

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Note 1: Tom Rushen was the town sheriff of Merigold, Mississippi, around the time Patton recorded this song
Note 2: Tom Day had been the predecessor in office. This couplet undoubtedly remarks on the procedure of taking seized liquor to the county courthouse in order to establish proof of an illegal still.