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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blues’

At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Robert Johnson. I did not know about Robert Johnson until I came across him in my countdown of the 500 greatest albums of all time; his album The Complete Recordings is at number 22 in the list and which I blogged about here. I checked out this album and liked many of the songs as I am a big fan of blues music. I already owned several records by Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters but Robert Johnson’s work is earlier than this, it pre-dates the Chicago blues music with which I was familiar. In fact, it is clear that Johnson influenced many of these later blues artists. Eric Clapton referred to Johnson as “the most important blues singer that ever lived.”



At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Robert Johnson.

At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Robert Johnson.



Although I was not previously familiar with Johnson’s name, as I mentioned before I was already familiar with his song Sweet Home Chicago, and that is the song that I have included here (for some reason, I did not include it in my previous blog about him). Johnson recorded in the 1930s, and died in 1938 at only 27 years of age. The cause of his death is a matter of much speculation; the most popular theory is that he was poisoned by a jealous husband for having an affair with the man’s wife. Whatever the cause of his death, the world was certainly robbed of a real pioneer of the developing blues music.


Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now one and one is two
Two and two is four
I’m heavy loaded, baby
I’m booked, I gotta go

Cryin’ baby
Honey don’t you want to go?
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now two and two is four
Four and two is six
You gonna keep monkeyin’ round
With your friend-boy,
You gonna get your
Business all in a trick

But I’m cryin’ baby
Honey don’t you wanna go?
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now six and two is eight
Eight and two is ten
Friend-boy, she trick you one time
She sure gonna do it again

But I’m cryin’ hey, hey
Baby don’t you want to go?
To the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

I’m goin’ to California
From there to Des Moines Iowa
Somebody will tell me that you
Need my help someday, cryin’

Hey, hey
Baby don’t you want to go?
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago


Here is a video of Robert Johnson singing possibly his most famous song. Enjoy!






Which is your favourite Robert Johnson song?

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