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Church Bell Blues

This song is by Luke Jordan and appears on the compilation The Songster Tradition: 1927-1935 (1991).

Ay, the church bell's a-ringin', secretary's singin'
The preacher's preachin', can't you hear the sisters shoutin'?
Children's in the pulpit, mama tryin' to learn that song
Now that low-down dirty deacon done stole my gal and gone

Says, old brother had 'em, my sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em, my mother died with 'em
Woke up this morning, the family had the weary blues
Poked my head over in the corner, poor grandmammy had 'em, too

I did more for you, woman, way last winter
Late in the fall, and you remember I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you, woman, than the Good Lord had ever done
Carry downtown, bought you good hair, the Lord hadn't give you none

Hand me back that hat I bought you, that coat and waist
That shawl I bought you, mama, you gotta bring shoes and all
If you don't like your daddy, you've got no right to carry no stall
Hand me back that wig I bought you, mama, let your doggone head go bald

You know, I can't be no bank boss, no superintendent
Can't clerk in no commissary, ain't gonna work on no tipple
And I promised the Good Lord, partner, not to dig no coal
I'm gonna hang 'round the country and try to sell some jellyroll

Said my mammy's got a hatchet, my papa got an axe
My sister got a shepherd, my brother got some hounds
Some men just crave their yella women, some, they like their teasin' brown
I'm a stranger in town, mama, b'lieve I'm goin' the whole way 'round

She wouldn't cook me no breakfast, she wouldn't git me no dinner
She squabbled 'bout my supper and she kicked me outdoors
She had a nerve to ask me, would a matchbox hold my clothes
She had a nerve to ask me, would a matchbox hold my clothes

Recorded:

August 16, 1927; Charlotte, NC