Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Since first it was heard, that ringing dirge
has not ceased to pound in my brain.
So bring it to mind, and let it whine,
as you read this sad refrain.

[Here's Leadbelly's version:
-- This one seems to have disappeared.   It had "black girl" instead of "my girl".
A middling version by some white guys:

-- Actually, not meaning to diss the Stanley Brothers.  Here they have a fine version of "Roving Gambler", which is probably one of the inspirations of the wonderful rendition of "Man of Constant Sorrow" by the "Foggy Bottom Boys", in the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?"


“O Murphy, O Murphy,  don’t you lie to me:
Tell me where   did you sleep  last night?”
I slept  at the bar, with my head  in my arms;
and now  -- I don’t feel quite   right…”

“O Murphy O Murphy, why’d you ‘borrow’ that car?
You know that that was not right.”
“Well I wanted a ride, so I strayed, in my pride,
and I drove it the livelong night.”

“O Murphy O Murphy, why you smoke so much?
You know it’ll mess with your bod.”
“The Lord made tobacco, for which we give thanks.
I smoke in praise of my God.”

“O Murphy O Murphy, you’re a sinner man,
Tell me why do you sin  so long?”
“The Lord made me free, and I ate from the Tree,
that I might know right from wrong.

“And since that day, I sin and I pray;
I know both pride and shame.
Mine each sweet sin is in praise of Him,
as I bless His holy name.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David