Jack O’ Diamonds

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Overview

As one of Jefferson’s most harrowing songs, Jack O’ Diamonds since his recording is truly a Texas Blues classic, having been also covered by the likes of Mance Lipscomb and others. As well, it’s one of Jefferson’s few bottleneck slide recordings, using the effect of the slide like a murderous knife to conjure the meaning behind the song.

In terms of guitar techniques, Jack O’ Diamonds mainly consists of the slide on the treble-side, while the bass-side simply marks out the harmony, occasionally dipping into a hypnotic alternating bassline.

Workstation

Open G — DGDGBD

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play
Jack O’ Diamonds once in time
He did rob a friend of mine
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Bet the Jack against the Queen
It’s gonna turn your money green
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play

Bet the Jack again the Four
You’re gonna win right in the dough
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Diamonds made me cry
I expect to gamble until I die
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play

Version 2 (2557-2) May 1926

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play
Jack O’ Diamonds once in time
He did rob a friend of mine
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play
Bet the Jack against the Queen
It’s gonna turn your money green
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

You can bet the Jack again the Four
You’re gonna win right in the dough
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play
Jack O’ Diamonds made me cry
I expect to gamble until I die
Jack O’ Diamonds is a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play

Jack O’ Di, Jack O’ Diamond
Jack O’ Diamond’s a hard card to play

Song History

Chicago, IL
Paramount 12373

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