Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

Mule Skinner Blues: Lyrics

As performed by Cisco Houston

Jimmie Rodgers/George Vaughn

Appears on:
Good morning Captain
(Hey, hey)
Good morning son
Well, good morning Mr. Captain
Good morning son
Do you need another good mule skinner
Out on your new road line

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
Just set that water bucket down

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
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 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, whooo-whoo-whoo-whoo)

Of note:

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.

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