Skin Game Blues

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Overview

This is an interesting song from Peg Leg Howell, which has a bit of a deeper form, with multiple sections which he goes through. Overall though, the guitar playing is quite prototypical of Peg Leg Howell, with an alternating bass which unusually begins with the 5, on the open 5th string, and then alternates with the root/1, on the open 4th string. On top of this, he plays nice, light treble side notes peppered in with his fantastic storytelling lyrics.

Workstation

Open D — DADF#AD
4th Fret

When I came to Georgia
Money and clothes I had, babe
All the money I had done gone, my
Sunday clothes in pawn
Sunday clothes in pawn
Sunday clothes in pawn, lovin’ babe, my
Sunday clothes in pawn

Says you better let a deal go down
Skin game’s comin’ to a close, and
You better let the deal go down

Spoken: Hold the cards! A dollar more! Two more halves

A dollar more the deuce beat a nine
A dollar more the deuce beat a nine, lovin’ babe
A dollar more the deuce beat a nine

Went out to the skin game last night
Thought I’d have some fun
Lost all the money that I had made
Had to pawn my special gun

Had to pawn my special gun
Had to pawn my special gun, lovin’ babe
Had to pawn my special gun

Says you better let a deal go down
Skin game’s comin’ to a close, and
You better let the deal go down

Says gambled all over Missouri
Gambled all through Spain, babe
Police come to arrest me, babe
And they did not know my name

And they did not know my name
And they did not know my name, lovin’ babe
And they did not know my name

Better let a deal go down
Skin game’s comin’ to a close, and
You better let your deal go down

Spoken: Hold the cards! A dollar more the deuce beat a nine! Half more two! Put up over there, nigger

Better let the deal go down
Says you better let the deal go down

Gambled all over Missouri
Gambled through Tennessee, babe
Soon as I reached old Georgia
The niggers carried a handcuff to me

The niggers carried a handcuff to me, babe
The niggers carried a handcuff to me, lovin’ babe
And the niggers carried a handcuff to me

Better let a deal go down
Skin game’s comin’ to a close
And you better let the deal go down

Song History

9 November 1927
Atlanta, Georgia
Columbia 14473-D

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