Special Rider Blues

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Overview

Alongside songs such as Death Letter Blues, Special Rider Blues is a seminal recording, showcasing Son House’s powerful Spanish tuning guitar style. As usual, he plays the song with a measured, almost hypnotic, beat, while his vocals thunder overtop. He uses a mixture of both fretted notes and his slide, varying the song between playing the riffs fretted and playing them also with the slide later in the recording.

Workstation

Open G — DGDGBD
1st Fret

Well, I’m goin’ away, honey, I won’t be back no more
Well, I’m goin’ away, honey, I won’t be back no more
When I leave this time, I’m gonna hang crepe on your door

Well, look-y here, hon’, I won’t be your dog no more
Well, look-y here, hon’, I won’t be your dog no more
Excuse me, honey, for knockin’ on your door

I say your hair ain’t curly and your doggone eyes ain’t blue
You know your hair ain’t curly and your doggone eyes ain’t blue
Well, if you don’t want me, what the world I want with
you?

Say, look-y here, baby, you ought not to dog me around
I say look-y here, baby, you ought not to dog me around
If I had my belongings I would leave this old bad-luck
town

You know that’s a shame, what a low-down, dirty shame
Don’t you know that’s a shame? What a low-down, dirty
shame
You know I’m sorry today that I ever knowed your name

Song History

17 July 1942
Robinsonville, Mississippi
Originally unreleased

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