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COCAINE BLUES (T.J. "Red" Arnall - based on an older traditional song variously titled "Penitentiary Blues", "Little Sadie" and "Bad Lee Brown") W.A. Nichol's Western Aces (vocal: "Red" Arnall) - 1947 Roy Hogsed - 1948 Johnny Cash - 1958 (titled "Transfusion Blues") Hank Thompson - 1959 Hylo Brown - 1963 Johnny Cash - 1968 George Thorogood & The Destroyers - 1978 Merle Travis - 1981 Hank Willimas III - 1999 Joaquin Phoenix (feat. in the film "Walk The Line") - 2005 Merle Haggard - 2011 As recorded by ROY HOGSED: Early one mornin' while makin' my rounds Took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down Went right home and I went to bed And stuck that lovin' forty-four beneath my head Got up next mornin' and I grabbed that gun Took a shot of cocaine and away I run Made a good run, but I ran too slow They overtook me down in Juarez, Mexico Playin' in the hot joints and smokin' the pills In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill He said, "Willy Lee, your name is not Jack Brown You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down" "Yes, oh yes, my name is Willy Lee If you've got a warrant just read it to me Shot her cold 'cause she made me sore I thought I was her daddy, but she had five more" When I was arrested I was dressed in black They put me on a train and they brought me back Had no friends to go my bail They slapped my dried up carcass in that county jail (Instrumental Break) Early next mornin' 'bout a-half-past-nine I spied the sheriff comin' down the line Hacked and he coughed as he cleared his throat He said, "Come on you dirty hack into that district court" Into the courtroom my trial began Where I was panelled by twelve honest men Just before the jury started out I saw that little judge commence to look about In about five minutes in walked the man Holding the verdict in his right hand The verdict read in the first degree I hollered, "Lawdy Lawdy, have mercy on me" The judge he smiled as he picked up his pen Ninety-nine years in the San Quentin pen Ninety-nine years underneath that ground I ne'er forget the day I shot my woman down Come on you hypes and listen unto me Just lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - August 2018) ******************** As recorded by JOHNNY CASH: Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down I went right home and I went to bed I stuck that lovin' forty-four beneath my head Got up next mornin' and I grabbed that gun Took a shot of cocaine and away I run Made a good run, but I run too slow They overtook me down in Juarez, Mexico Late in the hot joint takin' the pill In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill He said, "Willy Lee, your name is not Jack Brown You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down" Said, "Yes, oh yes, my name is Willy Lee If you've got the warrant just a-read it to me Shot her down because she made me slow I thought I was her daddy, but she had five more" When I was arrested I was dressed in black They put me on a train and they took me back Had no friend for to go my bail They slapped my dried up carcass in that county jail Early next mornin' 'bout a-half-past-nine I spied the sheriff coming down the line Houghed and he coughed as he cleared his throat He said, "Come on you dirty hack into that district court" Into the courtroom my trial began Where I was handled by twelve honest men Just before the jury started out I saw that little judge commence to look about In about five minutes in walked the man Holding the verdict in his right hand The verdict read in the first degree I hollered, "Lawdy Lawdy, have a mercy on me" The judge he smiled as he picked up his pen Ninety-nine years in the Folsom pen Ninety-nine years underneath that ground I can't forget the day I shot that bad bitch down Come all you guys and listen unto me Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be ******************** Alternate 1944 version as recorded by WOODY GUTHRIE: It was late last night, I made my rounds I met my woman and I blowed her down I went on home and I went to bed I laid my pistol up under my head Early next mornin' by the risin' sun I woke up and I started to run I made a run, but I run too slow A man overtook me down in Jericho I was standin' on the corner readin' my daddy's will Along come a man, they called him Bad Texas Bill He said, "Ah, Captain, is your name Lee Brown? I believe it's you, you rascal, blowed your woman down" I said, "Yessir, Captain, my name is Lee And if you've got any blues, boy, sing 'em to me" "Well I guess, Lee, that you know the best You'd better come go with me, the Judge'll tell you the rest" When I was arrested I was dressed in black Put me on a train andthey brung me back Jury found me guilty in the first degree And they laid me down in the penitentiary Yes, the Judge found the jerk guilty and the Jury too Cried, "Lord in Heaven have some mercy on me" I'll be here fer the rest o' my life All I done was kill my wife (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - August 2018) ******************** Alternate 1947 version as recorded by BILLY HUGHES: Comin' home from work in that old Tulsa town Caught my baby triflin' and I shot her down I went to bed, but I rolled all night I knew I had to beat it before daylight 'Bout four o'clock someone knocked on my door I grabbed my pistol and I fell on the floor I heard a man callin' my baby's name I opened up the door and I blew out his brain When I realised the thing I had done I grabbed my hyperdermic and I made my run I made a good start, but I ran too slow They got me in a dive down in El Paso I'm sittin' at a table a-blowin' the stick A plain clothes grabbed me and he got me quick "Now don't try to tell us your name is Brown You're the Cocaine Kid that shot your woman down" I knew they had me solid with no alibi It wouldn't help me any if I told a lie I said, "I'm the Kid and I'm beat you see So if you've got a warrant just read it to me" He said, "You shot your woman and a rounder too They might've had it comin', but it's bad for you" Well I said, "I'm no angel and I'm full of sin But under those conditions I would do it again" When I was arrested I was dressed in blue They handcuffed me and throwed me on an old choo-choo I didn't have a nickel, couldn't make the bail So they shook me down and throwed me in that old dirty jail Jury walked out and then they walked back in The Foreman held the verdict in his right hand Ninety-nine years way down in Mac Made me regret the night I wouldn't take her back Now listen all you dopers, take my advice Don't ever use a needle anymore than twice For you'll become an addict and blow your lid. Take a look at what it did to the Cocaine Kid (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - September 2018) ******************** Alternate 1962 version as recorded by CLARENCE ASHLEY: Went out last night to take a little round I met my Little Sadie and I blowed her down I run right home and I went to bed A forty-four smokeless under my head I begin to think what a deed I done I grabbed my hat and away'd I'd run I made a good run, just a little to slow They overtook me in Jericho Standing on the corner a-ringing a bell And up stepped the sheriff from Thomasville Says, "Young man, is your name Brown? Remember the night you blowed Sadie down?" "Oh, yes, sir, my name is Lee I murdered little Sadie in the first degree First degree and second degree Got any papers, will you read 'em to me?" Took me downtown and dressed me in black They put me on a train and they sent me back Had no one for to go my bail Crammed me back in the county jail Judge and the jury took their stand Judge had his papers in his right hand Forty-one days, forty-one night, Forty-one years to wear the ball and the stripes (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - September 2018)

    





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