Keeping going with my recent passion for the blues, you need to check out Son House. This is real, old timey blues and if you don’t believe me, check out the grainy old school footage below.
Son has done a lot to popularize the delta blues, a style that’s probably one of the oldest versions of blues around. According to Wikipedia the first known recording of the delta blues comes from the 1920’s, which in my mind makes it pretty freaking old. In case you were wondering, some other names you may have heard of from the delta blues genre include Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson.This song is amazing and mournful at the same time. Son sings about getting a letter tell him that the love of his life has died. It seems pretty surreal in this age of cell phones and blackberries, but there has to be something pretty tactile about getting such tragic news in such a tangible form. Son sings about seeing the body at the mortuary and then attending the funeral. Man, they really don’t make music like this anymore.
Son House – Death Letter
Son House – Death Letter lyrics
I got a letter this mornin, how do you reckon it read?
It said, “Hurry, hurry, yeah, your love is dead.”
I got a letter this mornin, I say how do you reckon it read?
You know, it said, “Hurry, hurry, how come the gal you love is dead?”
So, I grabbed up my suitcase, and took off down the road.
When I got there she was layin on a coolin board.
I grabbed up my suitcase, and I said and I took off down the road.
I said, but when I got there she was already layin on a coolin board.
Well, I walked up right close, looked down in her face.
Said, the good ole gal got to lay here til the Judgement Day.
I walked up right close, and I said I looked down in her face.
I said the good ole gal, she got to lay here til the Judgement Day.
Looked like there was 10,000 people standin round the buryin ground.
I didn’t know I loved her til they laid her down.
Looked like 10,000 were standin round the buryin ground.
You know I didn’t know I loved her til they damn laid her down.
Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul.
I wouldn’t mistreat you baby, for my weight in gold.
I said, Lord, have mercy on my wicked soul.
You know I wouldn’t mistreat nobody, baby, not for my weight in gold.
Well, I folded up my arms and I slowly walked away.
I said, “Farewell honey, I’ll see you on Judgement Day.”
Ah, yeah, oh, yes, I slowly walked away.
I said, “Farewell, farewell, I’ll see you on the Judgement Day.”
You know I went in my room, I bowed down to pray.
The blues came along and drove my spirit away.
I went in my room, I said I bowed down to pray.
I said the blues came along and drove my spirit away.
You know I didn’t feel so bad, til the good ole sun went down.
I didn’t have a soul to throw my arms around.