American Defence

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Overview

Here’s another display of Son House’s guitar feel and style, played in Standard tuning. It’s quite a one-off from Son House’s repertoire — a waltz with a non-blues chord progression, with almost the entire song played with double-stop shapes.

It’s quite a nice song, and an indicator of the wartime years when this was recorded.

Workstation

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

No use in sheddin’ no tears
No use in having no fears
This war may last you for years

American defense
Well you use some sense
Just have to take care of your boys
You must raise more produce
Farmers, set sail and use
Just to save all your worries in toils

No use in having no fears
No use in sheddin’ no tears
This war may last you for years

Well the red, white, and blue
That represents you
You ought to do everything that you can
Buy a war savin’ stamps
Young men go to their camps
Be brave and take a stand

No use in sheddin’ no tears
No use in having no fears
This war may last you for years

Oh that troubles sometimes
All upsets your mind
Well you all know just what to do
Keep pushin, keep shovin’
Don’t be angry, be loved
Be a good fellow, honest and true

No use in sheddin’ no tears
No use in having no fears
This war may last you for years

You can say yes or no
But we got to win this war
Because General MacArthur is not afraid
Their won’t be enough Japs
To shoot a little game of craps
Because the biggest of them all will be dead

No use in sheddin’ no tears
No use in having no fears
This war may last you for years

This war sure do bother
Our mother and father
Our sisters and brothers, too
Dear friends and relations
This war’ll end creation
Don’t let this worry you

No use in sheddin’ no tears
No use in having no fears
This war may last you for years

Song History

17 July 1942
Robinsonville, Mississippi
Originally unreleased

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