Me & the Devil Blues

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Overview

This song is a nice one of Johnson singing about one of his favorite themes, which is the Devil theme that runs through his music. Considering how riled people can get about this topic even today (if there was a Top 40 song about being friends with Satan) this must’ve really not made people too happy back in 1937– it’s hard to picture.

As Rock n’ Roll’s grandfather, that’s really what it’s all about– riling people up especially in cases where they’re tightly wound. Well actually not that that’s what it’s all about, but partly it is.. just about loosening up the culture and such.

As for the structure of the song, by this point it’s probably fairly clear in that it’s the same mellow double-stop moves, steady tempo, and easy-going D7-like shapes that dress up the 1 chord.

Workstation

Standard — EADGBE

Early this mornin’
When you knocked upon my door
Early this mornin’ whoooo
When you knocked upon my door
And I said ‘hello Satan’
I believe it’s time to go

Me and the Devil
Was walkin’ side by side
Me and the Devil, whoooo
Was walkin’ side by side
And I’m going to beat my woman
Until I get satisfied

She said you don’t see why
That I would dog her ’round
Now baby you know you ain’t doin’ me right don’tcha
She say you don’t see why, whoooo
That I would dog her ’round
It must-a be that old evil spirit
So deep down in the ground

You may bury my body
Down by the highway side
Baby, I don’t care where you bury my body when I’m dead and gone
You may bury my body, whoooo
Down by the highway side
So my old evil spirit
Can get a Greyhound bus and ride

Song History

20 June 1937
Dallas, Texas
Vocalion 04108