Backwater Blues

Bessie Smith Buy

About Backwater Blues

The song "Backwater Blues" is a blues and jazz standard. It was written by Bessie Smith, and recorded (under the title "Back-water Blues") by her (vocals) and James P. Johnson (piano) on February 17, 1927. The song has long been associated with the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. However, that flood was at its worst some two months after the song was written. Study of Smith's touring itinerary, of testimony of fellow entertainers who toured with her, and of contemporary reports indicates that the song was written in response to the flood that struck Nashville, Tennessee on Christmas Day 1926. The Cumberland River, which flows through the city, rose 56 feet (17 m) above its normal level, still a record as of 2014. The lyrics are in the often-used AAB blues format. The words vary from one performer to another; this opening verse is representative: The song is quoted in the poem, "Ma Rainey" by Sterling A. Brown. 


Year:
1994
82 Views

 Become A Better Singer In Only 30 Days, With Easy Video Lessons!

When it rains five days and the skies turn dark as night
When it rains five days and the skies turn dark as night
Then trouble's takin' place in the lowlands at night

I woke up this mornin', can't even get out of my door
I woke up this mornin', can't even get out of my door
There's been enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where she want to go

Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond
Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond
I packed all my clothes, throwed them in and they rowed me along

When it thunders and lightnin' and when the wind begins to blow

When it thunders and lightnin' and the wind begins to blow
There's thousands of people ain't got no place to go

Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill
Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill
Then looked down on the house were I used to live

Backwater blues done call me to pack my things and go
Backwater blues done call me to pack my things and go
'Cause my house fell down and I can't live there no more

Mmm, I can't move no more
Mmm, I can't move no more
There ain't no place for a poor old girl to go

 Watch: New Singing Lesson Videos Can Make Anyone A Great Singer


Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. more »

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Written by: Bessie Smith

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

Discuss the Backwater Blues Lyrics with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add these lyrics to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Backwater Blues Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 12 Aug. 2020. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/2844286/Bessie+Smith>.

Missing lyrics by Bessie Smith?

Know any other songs by Bessie Smith? Don't keep it to yourself!

Watch the song video

Backwater Blues

2,471
24     0

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant explanation for any lyrics that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!

Bessie Smith tracks

On Radio Right Now

Loading...

Powered by OnRad.io


Think you know music? Test your MusicIQ here!

Movies in which is played

Backwater Blues

»