Black Snake Moan

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Overview

A song so classic that Samuel L. Jackson made a film named after it. Is it good? I haven’t seen it actually..

Black Snake Moan is one of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s most well-known songs; featuring his classic tremelo picked notes and improvised, single-note lines, it’s truly a classic of his repertoire. Jefferson recorded Black Snake Moan twice; once for Paramount in 1926 and again for OKeh in 1927 (this OKeh release also included Matchbox Blues on the other side). This lesson is based on the later OKeh recording, although you can find the earlier recording on the Helpful Links section below. Hope you enjoy this lesson!

Workstation

Standard — EADGBE
2nd Fret

Aaaaah, I ain’t got no mama now
Aaaaah, I ain’t got no mama now
She told me late last night, “You don’t need no mama no how”

Mmm, mmm, black snake crawling in my room
Mmm, mmm, black snake crawling in my room
Some pretty mama better come and get this black snake soon

Ohh-oh, that must have been a bed bug
Baby, a chinch can’t bite that hard
Ohh-oh, that must have been a bed bug
Honey a chinch can’t bite that hard
Ask my sugar for fifty cents, she said
“Lemon, ain’t a child in the yard?”

Mama, that’s all right, mama that’s all right for you
Mama, that’s all right, mama that’s all right for you
Mama, that’s all right, most seen all you do

Mmm, mmm, what’s the matter now?
Mmm, mmm, honey what’s the matter now?
Sugar, what’s the matter, don’t like no black snake no how

Mmm, mmm, wonder where my black snake gone?
Mmm, mmm, wonder where this black snake gone?
Black snake mama done run my darlin’ home

Song History

14 March 1926
Chicago, IL
OKeh 8455