Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
James Alley Blues

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James Alley Blues

James Alley Blues

 Times ain't now nothing like they used to be
 Oh times ain't now nothing like they used to be
 And I'm tellin' you all the truth, oh take it for (from) me

 I done seen better days but I'm puttin' up with these
 I done seen better days but I'm puttin' up with these
 I been havin' a much better time with these girls now I'm so hard to please

 'Cos I was born in the country she thinks I'm easy to rule
 'Cos I was born in the country she thinks I'm easy to rule
 She try to hitch me to her wagon, she want to drive me like a mule

 You know I bought some groceries and I paid the rent
 Yes I buy some groceries and I pay the rent
 She try to make me wash her clothes but I got good common sense

 I said if you don't want me why don't you tell me so
 You know, if you don't want me why don't you tell me so
 Because it ain't like a man that ain't got nowhere to go

 I've been givin' you sugar for sugar, let you get salt for salt
 I'll give you sugar for sugar, let you get salt for salt
 And if you can't get 'long with me well it's your own fault

 How you wanted me to love you and you treat me mean
 How do you want me to love you, you keep on treatin' me mean
 You're my daily thought and my nightly dream

 Sometimes I think that you too sweet to die
 Sometimes I think that you too sweet to die
 And another time I think you oughta be buried alive

 Richard 'Rabbit' Brown - recorded New Orleans La 11 March 1927 Vi 20578

Source: Reissue on Various Artists 'Times Ain't Like They Used To Be:
Early American Rural Music Vol 2' Yazoo CD 2029. Alice Stuart made
a recording in which she adapted the words and turned it into a fine women's blu
es
('All the Good Times' Arhoolie LP F4002). More recently, Robin and
Linda Williams pinched some of Brown's words for the title track of their
'Sugar for Sugar' album (Sugar Hill SHCD 1052) with no credit at all given to hi
m.

This surely must be one of the greatest blues of all. The final couplet alone
is worth a hundred blues. Rabbit Brown was a native of New Orleans who
recorded a handful of marvellous blues in 1927. He had a gentle voice
and was an excellent guitarist. He grew up in the same James Alley between
Gravier Street and Parido Street where Louis Armstrong was born. Some of his
blues are scattered throughout various CD compilations and his complete
recordings are available on the Document label.

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apr00
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