The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97813   Message #1930415
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
08-Jan-07 - 01:47 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Alabama Bound & Don't You Leave Me Here
Subject: RE: origin and lyr: Alabama Bound
"Alabama Bound," a song with many floaters, was collected in several versions from Alabama in 1915-1916 by N. I. White, 1928, "American Negro Folk-Songs," section General and Misc. Labor, no. 46-52; there also are versions with the line including 'Alabama Bound' attached to other songs.

No. 47
I'm Alabama bound,
I'm Alabama bound,
Ef de train don't run,
I got a mule to ride,
For I'm Alabama bound.

De boat's up de ribber,
An' she won't come down.
I b'lieve to ma soul
She's Alabama bound.

(The second verse (floater) has appeared in another thread, attached to a riverboat song. A common form is:
The boat's up the river
and she won't come down;
I believe to my soul
She must be water bound.

The boat's up the river
And she won't come down;
One-long-lonesome blow
And she's Alabama bound.
The first verse seems to belong to an old steamboat song of which only fragments have been collected.

White remarks (p. 306) that 'I'm Alabama bound' is extremely common as a refrain.
Also been found combined with this verse:
(White, section Recent Events, no. 14:
Don't yo' leave me here,
Don' yo' leave me here,
But if yo' has ter leave me, sweet baby,
Leave a dime for beer.

Also collected by Odum and others.

More "Alabama Bound":
No. 48 from White-

I'm Alabama bound,
If de train don't run, I am got a mule to ride;
My home ain't yere,
It's further down de road.
If you catch me getting sober,
Make me drunk again;
I'm a winding ball, and
Don't deny my name.
("Sung in cotton fields around a railroad, AL)

She is a long tall yallow gal,
She wears a Mary Jane,
She wears a Mary Jane.
If dat train don't leave dat rail
I am Alabama bound.
(The line Alabama Bound floated into various songs)