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​Broken Levee Blues

This song is by Lonnie Johnson and appears on the compilation The Story of the Blues, Vol. 2 (1965).

I wants to go back to Helena, the high waters got me bogged
I wants to go back to Helena, the high waters got me bogged
I woke up early this mornin', a water hole in my back yard

They want me to work on the levee, I have to leave my home
They want to work on the levee, that I have to leave my home
I was so scared the levee might break out and I may drown

The water was round my windows and backin' all up in my door
The water was all up 'round my windows and backin' all up in my door
I'd rather to leave my home 'cause I can't live there no more

The police run me all from Cairo, all through Arkansas
The police run me all from Cairo, all through Arkansas
And put me in jail, behind those cold iron bars

The police say work, fight, or go to jail, I say I ain't totin' no sack
Police say work, fight, or go to jail, I say I ain't totin' no sack
And I ain't buildin' no levee, the planks is on the ground and I ain't drivin' no nails