Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

The Midnight Special: Lyrics

As performed by Cisco Houston

Huddie Ledbetter

Appears on:
When you wake up in the morning
Hear the ding-dong ring
Go marching to the table
You get the same damn thing
Knife and fork are on the table
Nothing in my pan
If you say anything about it
You got trouble with the man

   Let the Midnight Special
   Shine her light on me
   Let the midnight special
   Shine her everlovin' light on me

Well jumping little Judy
Was a mighty fine gal
Little Judy brought jumpin'
To this whole wide world
Well she brought it in the morning
Just a while 'fore day
And she brought me the news
That my wife was dead
That started me to grievin'
And a-hollering and a-crying
Started me to thinking
About my great long time


Yonder come my woman
How in the world do you know?
I can tell her by her apron
And the dress she wore
Umbrella on her shoulder
Piece of paper in her hand
Marching up to the captain
Says "I want my man."


If you ever got to Houston
Boys, you better act right
Well you better not squabble
And you better not fight
Benson Brocker will arrest you
And take you down
And if the jury find you guilty
Why, you're Sugarland bound

   Chorus: (twice)

Of note:

These lyrics are presented as performed on "A Legacy", though the changes on "Sings American Folksongs" are minor, other than that the verse listed here as last is performed second. Though perfomed by many, Cisco's version is pretty close to the one as originated by Leadbelly. And I love the ordering of this followed by Great July Jones. Cisco sounds wonderful on "Sings American Folksongs", a bit more tired and perfunctory on "A Legacy."

We welcome any suggestions, contributions, or questions. You send it, we'll consider using it. Help us spread the word. And the music. And thanks for visiting.