Delia, Delia, how can it be?
You love that old rounder but you don't love me
Well, that's one more rounder gone
Delia, Delia sitting all around
Some of your old rounders gonna pay my way back home
Sitting on the housetop, high as I can see
You love that old rounder, but you don't love me
Delia's poor mother took a trip out West
When she returned, Delia lyin' in rest
Delia's mother wept, Delia's father moaned
They'd have wanted their poor child to die at home
Rubber tired buggy, two-seated hack,
Took Delia to the graveyard, never brought her back
Kenny lookin' high, Kenny lookin' low,
Shot poor Delia with that hated .44
Delia, Delia, wouldn't take no one's advice
Last words I heard her say were, "Jesus Christ!"
Judge said to Kenny, "Here's a natural fact:
you going to wait in jail till Delia come back"
Kenny's in the basement, drinking from a silver cup
Delia's in the graveyard, never come back up
Kenny said to judge, "What's the fuss about?
Just that no good woman trying to put me out"
Here are the lyrics of Blind Willie McTell's version from a Library of Congress
recording. I got them from Harry's blues lyrics online site. I have a very diff
erent version somewhere, but I can't remember where.
In his 'American Folk Poetry', Duncan Emrich includes a very long version under
the title 'Delia Holmes' from the singing of Will Winn of Columbia, South Caroli
na. He also gives a reference to an article in the December 1937 edition of Sout
hern Folklore Quarterly: Chapman
J. Milling 'Delia Holmes - A Neglected Negro Ballad'.