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Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Separation Blues / Mama's Gone, Goodbye (16)
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GUEST,Karen 03 Feb 01 - 11:28 PM
Sorcha 03 Feb 01 - 11:50 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Jul 02 - 10:48 AM
masato sakurai 15 Jul 02 - 11:10 AM
masato sakurai 15 Jul 02 - 11:19 AM
hsempl 19 Nov 14 - 10:57 PM
hsempl 19 Nov 14 - 11:03 PM
Roger the Skiffler 20 Nov 14 - 07:36 AM
hsempl 20 Nov 14 - 02:15 PM
hsempl 20 Nov 14 - 02:16 PM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Nov 14 - 03:58 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Nov 14 - 04:56 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Nov 14 - 05:04 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Nov 14 - 05:16 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Nov 14 - 05:26 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Nov 14 - 03:37 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Nov 14 - 07:26 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Nov 14 - 10:34 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Nov 14 - 10:55 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 01:21 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 01:38 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 04:10 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 04:30 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 05:16 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 14 - 10:43 PM
Roger the Skiffler 26 Nov 14 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 26 Nov 14 - 12:51 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Nov 14 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: flood blues
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 03 Feb 01 - 11:28 PM

Hi I am trying to track down a blues Cd for my father that contains the song :flood blues. It is in the style of Bessie Smith but I don't think that she is the artist. Any info would be geat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flood blues
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Feb 01 - 11:50 PM

It could be Texas Flood Blues, by Stevie Ray Vaughn, but I doubt it.

Could be Florida Flood Blues, click here

Could be Ishman Bracy's High Water Blues, click here, then scroll down to Ishman

Could be Southern Flood Blues, by Bill Broonzy, click here.

There is nothing I can find under the exact title of Flood Blues, but your best bet might be my first clickie, it is female blues singers.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flood blues
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 10:48 AM

A search at CDNOW finds these songs:
"Flood Blues" performed by Sippie Wallace and Louis Armstrong.
"Flood Water Blues" performed by Lonnie Johnson.
"Flood Water Blues" performed by Casey Bill Weldon.
"Florida Flood Blues" performed by Ruby Gowdy.
"High Water Flood Blues" performed by Carl Martin and Willie Blackwell.
"Mississippi Flood Blues" performed by Joe Pullum.
"Southern Flood Blues" performed by Big Bill Broonzy.
"Terrible Flood Blues" performed by Big Bill Broonzy.

I played the sound sample for the Sippie Wallace song, and I could transcribe only the single repeated line:
"The water is rising, people fleeing for the hills"
--but it certainly sounds like the one GUEST,Karen was looking for (17 months ago).


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FLOOD BLUES (Sippie Wallace)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 11:10 AM

Sippie Wallace, I think, is the candidate.

THE FLOOD BLUES
(sung by Sippie Wallace; rec. Chicago, 6 May, 1927)

1 I'm standing in this water : wishing I had a boat
2 The only way I see : is take my clothes and float
3 The water is rising : people fleeing for the hills
4 Lord the water will obey : if you just say be still
5 They sent out a law : for everybody to leave town
6 But when I got the news : I was high-water bound
7 They dynamite the levee : thought it might give us ease
8 But the water still rising : do you hear this plea
9 I called on the good Lord : and my man too
10 What else is there : for a poor girl to do

(From: Taft, Blues Lyric Poetry, p. 281)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flood blues
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 11:19 AM

Her record can be heard HERE. Great singer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: hsempl
Date: 19 Nov 14 - 10:57 PM

Bertha Hill sang this with Louis Armstrong (i'm sure others did too; but there is a version of her singing it in 1927 that's on youtube; I just came across it tonight. Great song! Thanks for transcribing the lyrics; you got a line I couldn't get ("for everyone to leave town" i thought was "for everyone to reach down" which didn't really make sense); however, I think instead of "do you hear this plea" it is "gonna do what it please"
Thanks,
Heather


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: hsempl
Date: 19 Nov 14 - 11:03 PM

actually, i correct myself; i just listened to it again, and it does sound like "do you hear my plea"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Nov 14 - 07:36 AM

In the same vein: Bessie Smith's Back Country blues (also recorded by Lonnie Johnson and Leadbelly among others)

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: hsempl
Date: 20 Nov 14 - 02:15 PM

Ooh, I will listen to that one, thanks!
One more lyric correction: I think it is "They sent out alarm" rather than "They sent out a law"
Also, "do you hear me please" rather than "do you hear this plea"
(though I still like "doing as it please")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: hsempl
Date: 20 Nov 14 - 02:16 PM

You mean Back Water Blues, right? Or is there also a Back Country Blues?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 03:58 AM

I think, (without checking the records) they are alternative titles.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 04:56 AM

Back Water Blues - Lyrics & Chords


        C
Well it         rained five days and the sky was dark as night,
        F         C
Yes, it         rained five days and the sky was dark as         night.
        G7         F7         C
There's         trouble in the         lowlands t         onight.

I got up one morning,
   I couldn't even get out of my door (twice)
That was enough trouble to make a poor boy
   wonder where to go.

I went and stood up on a high old lonesome hill (twice)
I did all I could to look down on the house
   where I used to live.

It thundered and lightninged,
   and the wind began to blow (twice)
There were thousands of poor people
   didn't have no place to go.

RtS
(from the link on the DT)


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK WATER BLUES (Bessie Smith)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 05:04 AM

BACK WATER BLUES
(Bessie Smith)

When it rained five days, and the skies turned dark as night, (x2)
Then trouble taken place in the lowlands at night.

I woke up this morning, can't even get out of my door. (x2)
That's enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where she want to go.

Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond. (x2)
I packed all my clothes, throwed 'em in, and they rowed me along.

When it thunders and lightning, and the wind begin to blow, (x2)
There's thousands of people ain't got no place to go.

Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill. (x2)
Then looked down on the house where I used to live.

Back-water blues done caused me to pack my things and go, (x2)
'Cause my house fell down, and I can't live there no more.

Mmmm, I can't move no more. (x2)
There ain't no place for a poor old girl to go.


This is the "female version" - Bessie's original. Oddly although Lonnie Johnson & Leadbelly, although recording 20 or so years after Bessie's original, and both claiming authorship, (at least on the records) still sing it from the female voice. I must have been wrong about the alternative title (age-related confusion, no doubt!).
This version from my own lyrics database, probably from my copy of the Bessie Smith songbook.

RtS


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Subject: Lyr Add: BROKEN LEVEE BLUES (Lonnie Johnson)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 05:16 AM

...and Lonnie has another song:


BROKEN LEVEE BLUES
(Lonnie Johnson)

I wants to go back to Helena, the high waters got me barred.
I wants to go back to Helena, the high waters got me barred.
I woke up early this mornin', high water all 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 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.

RtS


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK WATER BLUES (Big Bill Broonzy)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 05:26 AM

...even Big Bill got in on the act, 30 years later:


BACK WATER BLUES (Version 1)
Big Bill Broonzy
recording of September 20 1951, Paris
from House Rent Stomp (Blues Encore CD 52007), copyright notice

It rained five days, Lord and the clouds turned as dark as night
It rained five days, and the clouds turned as dark as night
Lord, that was really enough trouble to make a poor man, wonder where in the world to go

I got up one mornin', poor me I couldn't get even get out of my door
I got up one mornin', poor me I couldn't get even get out of my door
Lord, that was really enough trouble to make a poor man, wonder where in the world to go

Now they rowed a little boat, just about five miles across the farm
Yeah, they rowed a little boat, down about five miles across the farm
Lord, I packed up all of my clothes and throwed them in, and I declare they rowed poor old Bill along

Then I went and I stood up on a high, high old lonesome hill
Yes, I went and I stood up on a high, high old lonesome hill
Lord, and all I could do was look down on the house, baby, where I used to live

Now it thundered and it lightnin'd, Lord and the wind, wind began to blow
Now it thundered and it lightnin'd, Lord and the wind, wind began to blow
Lord, there was thousands and thousands of poor people, at that time didn't have no place to go


RtS
(from Harry's Blues Lyrics)


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLORIDA FLOOD BLUES (Ruby Gowdy)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 03:37 PM

Are we collecting blues songs about floods? Might as well include this one, then.


FLORIDA FLOOD BLUES
As sung by Ruby Gowdy, recorded 1928-07-11.

Water all around me, I ain't got no place to stand. (2x)
Hurricane done been here; killed all the crops on my land.

Blew down my log cabin; there's no shelter left for me. (2x)
Food is all exhausted; I'm as weary as can be.

That old tornado came upon us yesterday, (2x)
Mowing down in anger everything that's in its way.

Hear the wind a-howlin'; hear the rollin' thunder crash. (2x)
Lord, it looks like a racket(?); just see that lightnin' flash.

Watch the buildin's crumble, crumble like a piece of clay. (2x)
Knows the gods are angry; got the blues so bad today.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RISING WATER BLUES (Blind Lemon Jefferson
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 07:26 PM

RISING WATER BLUES
Written by George Perkins (credited on record label)
As recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson, 1927-05-01.

Back water risin'; southern people can't make no time.
I said, back water risin'; southern people can't make no time.
And I can't get no hearing from that Memphis girl of mine.

Water all in Arkansas; people screamin' in Tennessee.
Ohhh, people screamin' in Tennessee.
If I don't leave Memphis, back water been all over poor me.

Paper states it's rainin'; it has been for nights and days.
Paper states it's raining; has been for nights and days.
Thousand people stands on the hill, lookin' down where they used to stay.

Children sadly pleading, "Mama, we ain't got no home.
Ohhh, mama, we ain't got no home."
Papa says to children, "Back water left us all alone."

Back water risin'; come in my windows and doors. (2x)
I leave with a prayer in my heart, back water won't rise no more.


The title is sometimes given as RISING HIGH WATER BLUES


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOUTHERN FLOOD BLUES (Big Bill Broonzy)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 10:34 PM

SOUTHERN FLOOD BLUES
As recorded by Big Bill Broonzy, 1937-01-29.

Early one mornin', water was comin' in my door. (2x)
It was the Ohio River tellin' us to get ready and go.

It was dark and was rainin'; you could hear that howlin' wind.
It was dark and was rainin'; babe, you could hear that howlin' wind.
If I get away this time, I will never come here again.

Hey, my baby was cryin'; I didn't have a thing to eat.
Hey, I didn't have a thing to eat.
Hey, the water had come in, washed ever'thing I had down the street.

Hey, I was hollerin' for mercy and it were no boats around. (2x)
Hey, it looks like, people, I've gotta stay right here and drown.

Hey, my house started shakin', started floatin' on down the stream.
Hey, my house started shakin', went and floated on down the stream.
It was dark as midnight; people begin to holler and scream.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLOOD WATER BLUES (Lonnie Johnson)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 10:55 PM

FLOOD WATER BLUES
As recorded by Lonnie Johnson; from "Lonnie Johnson Vol. 1, 1937-1940" (Document Records)

It's been snowin' forty days an' nights; lakes and rivers begin to freeze.
It's been snowin' forty days an' nights; rivers and lakes begin to freeze.
Some places through my old hometown, water's up above my knees.

Storm begin risin' and the sun begin sinkin' down. (2x)
I says: "Mother 'n' Dad, pack your trunk; we ain't safe here in this town."

When it lightnin', my mind gets frightened; my nerves begin weakenin' down.
When it lightnin', my mind get frightened; my nerves begin weakenin' down,
And the shack where we was livin' begin movin' 'roun'.

Women and children were screamin', sayin': "Mama, where must we go?"
Women and children were screamin', sayin': "Lord, where must we go?
The flood water have broke the levees, and we ain't safe here no mo'."

And begin cloud as dark as midnight keep raining all the time.
I say: "Oh, I wonder why the sun don't ever shine,
And the way it keeps rainin', it's drivin' me out my mind."


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLOOD WATER BLUES (Casey Bill Weldon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 01:21 PM

FLOOD WATER BLUES
As recorded by Casey Bill Weldon (as Levee Joe), 1936-03-25

[Part 1]

It's high water in the east, has flooded all that river town. (2x)
Ev'rybody's gettin' warnin' to go to the hills before the down(?)

So I caught a train; I got back home at the break of day.
Oh, I caught a train; got back home about the break of day.
I looked for my house; the river had taken my house away.

I rowed a boat across the river; the water was rough as it could be.
I rowed a boat across this river; water was rough as it could be.
I hear the women and children screamin', "Oo-hoo, please save poor me!"

And then I tried so hard to turn my boat around.
Then I tried so hard to turn my boat around.
But that water was so rough, it turned my boat upside down.

Oh, I was satisfied; I didn't have to moan and cry.
I was satisfied; I didn't have to moan and cry,
Because when I looked upstream, I seen that mule come swimmin' by.

I caught that mule and went swimmin' down the stream. (2x)
And I rode that mule, oo-hoo, to the nearest hill I seen.

[Part 2]

It was dark as midnight and ev'rything was still. (2x)
Thousand of people, oo-hoo, tryin' to make it to the hills.

I'm gonna tell you people the strangest thing I ever seen. (2x)
It was cats and dogs on housetops, oo-hoo, floatin' down the stream.

There was thousand o' people on the hills, didn't have no place stay.
There was thousand people on the hills, didn't have no place stay.
They was watchin' that water that was takin' their houses away.

It was cold and it's rainin'; some people didn't have shoes on their feet.
It was cold and it's rainin'; some people didn't have no shoes on their feet.
Women and children cryin', oo-hoo, because they didn't have a thing to eat.

I'm gonna build me a house in the mountains, in the highest mountain I know, (2x)
So I won't have to worry, oo-hoo, 'bout the high water and floods no mo'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HIGH WATER FLOOD BLUES (Carl Martin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 01:38 PM

HIGH WATER FLOOD BLUES
As recorded by Carl Martin, 1936-04-18.

Well, it rained, it rained, and the rivers began to rise.
Banks begin to overflow; thousands lost their lives.

CHORUS: The water kept on flowin', flowin' on and on.
There's thousands of people have done lost their happy home.

Well, the whistles began blowin' and the bells began to ring.
People runnin' and screaming, but they couldn't do a thing. CHORUS

Well, that Johnstown flood left the people in an awful fix.
Nothin' like that first started in Pittsburgh in 1936. CHORUS

Well, high water's here; high water's ev'rywhere
High water's here; high water's ev'rywhere
I believe if you go to China, you'd find high water there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MISSISSIPPI FLOOD BLUES (Joe Pullum)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 04:10 PM

MISSISSIPPI FLOOD BLUES
As recorded by Joe Pullum, 1935-01-29

The wind howls and the rain began to fall.
The rain howls and the wind began to fall. (sic)
My woman was out in Mississippi that was my one and all.

I received a telegram saying: "Baby, won't you please come here?"
I received a telegram saying: "Baby, won't you come here?
Hell broke a-loose on the delta and your baby is way down here."

Love is like this depression; it lingers on and on. (2x)
But better times will greet me when I fall in my baby's arms.

I'm coming to you, baby, if through twenty feet of water I wade, (2x)
For I can't stand to see my baby fill a watery grave.

Knee-deep in water, treetops men and women did choose, (2x)
But I'm back in my baby's arms with those Mississippi flood blues.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TERRIBLE FLOOD BLUES (Big Bill Broonzy)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 04:30 PM

TERRIBLE FLOOD BLUES
As recorded by Big Bill Broonzy, 1937-01-31

A flood caught me in Cincinatta; my people in Louisville.
Yeah, flood caught me in Cincinatta; and my people in Louisville.
I axed Uncle Sam to help me; please do that if you will.

I'm lookin' for my mother and my brother; I was wonderin', where can they be?
Yea, lookin' for my mother and brother; I was wonderin', where can they be?
Hey, maybe they're in Memphis; I believe I'll go and see.

I started walkin' down the levee; I was lookin' high and low.
Yea, started walkin' down the levee; I was lookin' high and low.
If they ain't in Memphis, I wonder where did they go?

Well, Lord, have mercy; do something for me.
Yea, Lord, have mercy; do something for me.
Hey, I seed my baby drowndin' unbeneath a willow tree.

Yes, I'm goin' to Wyoming, where the water don't get so high.
Yea, I'm goin' to Wyoming, where the water don't get so high.
I'm gon' go up on the highest mountain and stay there till I die.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MISSISSIPPI HEAVY-WATER BLUES (Hicks)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 05:16 PM

MISSISSIPPI HEAVY-WATER BLUES
As sung by Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks), on "Barbecue Bob Vol. 1 (1927-1928)" (Document Records, DOCD-5046)

I was walkin' down the levee with my head hangin' low,
Lookin' for my sweet mama, ah, but she ain't here no mo'.

CHORUS: That's why I'm cryin': Mississippi heavy-water blues.

Lord, Lord, Lord, I'm so blue; my house has washed away
And I'm cryin': "How long 'fore another payday?"

I'm sittin' here lookin' at all o' this mud,
And my gal has washed away in that Mississippi flood.

I hope she come back someday, it's kinda true.
Can't no one satisfy her like her sweet papa do.

I think I heard a moan on that Arkansas side,
Cryin': "How long before sweet mama ride?"

I'm in Mississippi with mud all in my shoes,
My gal in Louisiana with those high-water blues.

Lord, send me a sweet mama!

Got plenty muddy water; don't need no wood or coal.
All I need's some sweet mama to spear(?) me jelly roll.

Nothin' but muddy water far as I can see,
I need some sweet mama come and shake that thing with me.

Listen here, you mens: one more thing I'd like to say:
Ain't no womens out here, for they all got washed away.

Lord, Lord, Lord, Mississippi shakin'.
Lousiana sinkin'; the whole town's a-rinkin'(?).
Robert Hicks the same.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILD WATER BLUES (Kokomo Arnold)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 10:43 PM

WILD WATER BLUES
As recorded by Kokomo Arnold, 1937-03-12

I woke up this mornin'; I couldn't even get out o' my do'. (2x)
Said this wild water got me covered, and I ain't got no place to go.

Now I hear my mother cryin', but I just can't help myself. (2x)
Now if this wild water keep on risin', I gotta get help from someone else.

Now, good mornin', Mister Wild Water; why did you stop at my front do'? (2x)
Says you reaches from Cairo clean down into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now don't you hear your mother cryin', weepin' and moanin' all night long? (2x)
'Cause old man Wild Water done been here, took her best friends and gone.

Now looka here Mister Wild Water, why do you treat me so doggone mean? (2x)
Says you took my house out o' Cairo, carried it down in New Orleans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 26 Nov 14 - 05:31 AM

I'm sure we could all do a full evening of "train" songs, now it's clear we could do one on flood songs, though a few of these use the same tune.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace)
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 26 Nov 14 - 12:51 PM

Roscoe Holcomb and Josh Thomas both recorded versions of Hicks' "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues" that are well worth listening to. Thomas was a banjoist who was reportedly born in the 1880s.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOUTH BOUND WATER (Lonnie Johnson)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Nov 14 - 01:18 PM

SOUTH BOUND WATER
As recorded by Lonnie Johnson on 1927-04-25

I lived down in the valley; people comes from miles around. (2x)
Their little homes was washed away; they had to sleep on the ground.

Through the dreadful nights I stood, no place to lay my head. (2x)
Water was above my knees, and the water had taken my bed.

I climbed up on the mountain to find some place to stay. (2x)
'Cause the south-bound water had washed my little valley home away.

The water was roaring down the valley just like a thunderstorm, (2x)
Washed my little valley house away; there's no place I can call my home.


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