Saturday, December 13, 2008

Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago




According to Wikipedia.
"Sweet Home Chicago" is a popular blues standard in the twelve bar form. It was first recorded and is credited to have been written by Robert Johnson. Over the years the song has become one of the most popular anthems for the city of Chicago despite ambiguity in Johnson's original lyrics.

Johnson recorded the song during his first recording session in November 1936, and it was released on Vocalion Records (Recording Number 03601).He gives a stirring performance, with a driving guitar rhythm and a high, near-falsetto vocal. It was a limited release race record, and was not a big-seller. The song's popularity grew only after Johnson's death in 1938.

In fact, the song is a variation of "Kokomo Blues", a song popularised by Scrapper Blackwell, Madlyn Davis and most notably by James Arnold. Arnold's version of the song, which he recorded in 1934 as "Old Original Kokomo Blues", was such a success that he changed his performing name to Kokomo Arnold.

The earliest recorded version of the song by Scrapper Blackwell in 1928 referred to Kokomo, Indiana, a city well known to the Indianapolis-based guitarist. Kokomo was famous for the number of traffic lights. It was known to truckers as "stop light city" and to blues singers after Arnold as "level light city".


Lyrics:

Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now one and one is two, two and two is four,
I'm heavy loaded, baby, I'm booked I got to go.
Cryin', baby, honey, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now, two and two is four, four and two is six,
You gon' keep on monkeyin' 'round here friend-boy
you gon' get your business all in a trick, but I'm cryin'
Baby, honey, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now, six and two is eight, eight and two is ten,
Friend-boy she trick you one time, she sure gon' do it again
But I'm cryin', hey, hey, baby, don't you want to go?
To the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

I'm goin' to California from there to Des Moines, Iowa,
Somebody will tell me that you need my help someday, cryin'
Hey, hey, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

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