Motherless Child Blues

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Example Pre-War Blues Video Lesson

Join now to watch this lesson

Overview

Here’s a beautiful tune played by Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas. One stand-out part of this song is the ascending (and descending) harp-like line that gets played at the beginning and end of each chorus. With the open strings of those chords ringing out, it’s got a really soothing and interesting sound to it.

Similar Wiley and Thomas’ other duet songs, one guitar holds down more of the treble-side work, while the other guitar takes care of the bass-side work. This song keeps in the same harrowing kind of mood as Wiley’s other songs like Last Kind Words.

Workstation

Standard — but each string detuned one half-step, so Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

My mother told me just before she died
My mother told me just before she died
My mother told me just before she dies
My mother told me just before she dies

Oh daughter, daughter, please don’t be like me
Oh daughter, daughter, please don’t be like me
Oh daughter, daughter, please don’t be like me
Oh daughter, daughter, please don’t be like me

To fall in love with every man you see

But I did not listen what my mother said
But I did not listen what my mother said
But I did not listen what my mother said
That’s the reason why I’m sitting here today

Baby, now she’s dead, she’s six feet underground
Baby, now she’s dead, she’s six feet underground
Baby, now she’s dead, she’s six feet underground
And I’m a child and I am driftin’ round

Do you remember the day baby, you drove me from your door
Do you remember the day baby, you drove me from your door
Do you remember the day you drove me from your door
Go away woman and don’t come here no more

I walked away and I wrang my hands and cried
I walked away and I wrang my hands and cried
I walked away and I wrang my hands and cried
Didn’t have no blues, I couldn’t keep tarryin’ aroun’

Song History

Grafton, WI
Paramount 12977

Helpful Links