Coal Man Blues

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Overview

One of the interesting aspects of Peg Leg Howell’s discography is how diverse many of the songs are. Much like Spoonful Blues for Charley Patton, or From Four ‘Till Late for Robert Johnson, Coal Man Blues is a seemingly standalone song, compared to the rest of Howell’s repertoire.

It’s a really entertaining song to listen to, with the story of the lyrics and the guitar phrases which can quickly grow on you because of how catchy they are.

Workstation

Open G — DGDGBD
5th Fret

Woke up this morning ’bout five o’clock
Got me some eggs and a nice pork chop
Cheap cigar and a magazine, had to
Run pretty fast to catch the five fifteen

Let me tell you something that I seen
Coal man got run over by the five fifteen
Cut off his arms and it crushed his ribs, did the
Poor man die? No, the poor man lived

Let me tell you something that I know
Coal man got run over by the five forty four
Cut off his arms and it crushed his head, did the
Poor man die? No, the poor man’s didn’t

Hard coal, stovewood, ma’am
Hard coal and your stovewood, ma’am
I ain’t got but a little bit left, if you
Don’t come get it, gonna burn it myself

Get the wood in the stove and the match in your hand
Wood in the stove and the match in your hand
Wood in the stove and the match in our hand
You run to the door and stop to tell the coal man

Sell it to the rich and I sell it to the poor
Sell it to the rich and I sell it to the poor
Sell it to the rich and I sell it to the poor
I sell it to the nice brown a-standing in the door

Furnish your wood, furnish your coal
Furnish your wood and I furnish your coal
Furnish your wood and I furnish your coal
Make you love me, doggone your soul

I’ve got your water, I’ve got your gas
Got your water and got your gas
Got your water and I got your gas
You trick me, mama, says, that’s your last

Let me tell you, mama, what’s the matter now
Let me tell you, mama, what’s the matter now
Let me tell you, mama, what’s the matter now
You don’t want me, take me anyhow

Sweet mama, sweet mama, what’s on your mind?
Mama, sweet mama, what’s on your mind?
Mama, sweet mama, what’s on your mind?
Says, you can’t quit me, no need of tryin’

I’m goin’ up the country don’t you want to go?
Goin’ up the country, don’t you want to go?
Goin’ up the country, don’t you want to go?
Leaving here, ain’t coming back no more

Me and my rider and two, three more
Me and my rider and two, three more
Me and my rider and two, three more
We’re goin’ up the country don’t you want to go?

Went down the road, feelin’ bad
Went down the road, mama, feelin’ bad
Went down the road, mama, feelin’ bad
I feel so worried that ever I had

Got your home
Greet me, mama, and we’ll
Me and my brown and three or two more
Goin’ up the country don’t you want to go?

Goin’ away and it won’t be long
Goin’ away and it won’t be long
Goin’ away and it won’t be long
Don’t believe I’m leavin’ count the days I’m gone

Song History

8 November 1926
Atlanta, Georgia
Columbia 14194-D

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