The Songs He Sang
Mule Skinner Blues: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Jimmie Rodgers/George VaughnAppears on:
Good morning Captain (Hey, hey) Good morning son (Whoo-who-who-who) Well, good morning Mr. Captain Good morning son Do you need another good mule skinner Out on your new road line (Whoo-who-who-who) Well I like to work I'm rolling all the time (Hee, hee-hee-hee) Lord I like to work Boy I'm rolling all the time I can put my initials On your mule's behind Well it's hey you little water boy (Come on, sonny) Bring your water 'round Lord it's hey little water boy Bring your water 'round And if you don't like your job (Hey-hey) Just set that water bucket down (Whoo-who-who) I work out on that new road At a dollar and a dime a day (Hee, hee-hee-hee) Lord I work out on that new road I make a dollar and a dime a day I got three women waiting on a Saturday night (Ha-ha!) Waiting to draw my pay (Hee, hee-hee-hee) Well I'm going to town honey (Hee, hee-hee-hee) What can I bring you back Lord I'm going to town baby What can I bring you back Just bring a pint of good rye whiskey (That's all I need) And a John B. Stetson hat (Hee, hee-hee-hee) Lord it's raining here And it's storming on that deep blue sea Well it's raining here And storming on the deep blue sea Can't no blonde-headed woman make a monkey out for me (Al-lee-oh-low-whoooo-who) (Al-lee-oh-low-whoooo whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo) If your house catches fire And there ain't no water 'round (Whoo-who-who-who, sing on, boy) If your house catches fire And there ain't no more water 'round Just throw your good gal out that window Let your house just burn on down Well I'm leaving here And I ain't gonna take no clothes Lord I'm leaving here, boys I ain't gonna take no clothes There may be good times in this old town But it's better on down the road (Al-lee-oh-low-whoooo-whoo,) (Al-lee-oh-low-whoooo-whoo, whooo-whoo-whoo-whoo)
Original version recorded by Jimmie Rodgers on 11th July 1930.
A unique performance in many ways. Cisco usually gets to the point quickly, not stretching or repeating gratuitously. Timings for Cisco's songs are often under two minutes, unless, as in Tom Joad, there's a lengthy tale to tell. The next five songs on the LP all come in about a minute and a half with no extras, just a couple of verses and scarcely an extra chorus. But this bit of nonsense goes on for well over six minutes, full of yodeling, picking and spoken asides. Cisco sounds as if he's enjoying himself, and for those who like his voice and his attitude, the enjoyment is transferable.