Fixin' To Die Blues

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About Fixin' To Die Blues

"Fixin’ to Die Blues" is song by American blues musician Bukka White. It is performed in the Delta blues style with White's vocal and guitar accompanied by washboard rhythm. White recorded it in Chicago on May 8, 1940, for record producer Lester Melrose. The song was written just days before, along with eleven others, at Melrose's urging. White was resuming his recording career, which had been interrupted by his incarceration for two and one-half years at the infamous Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi. While there, White witnessed the death of a friend and "got to wondering how a man feels when he dies". His lyrics reflect his thoughts about his children and wife: White provides the vocal and acoustic slide guitar (which was borrowed from Big Bill Broonzy) with backing by Washboard Sam. Despite the somber lyrics, "the music throbs with a restless energy" with White's "bottleneck guitar crying in urgent counterpoint to his imagery". Music historian Ted Gioia notes that these recordings of White "come as close to art song as traditional blues has ever dared to go, but without losing any of the essential qualities of the Delta heritage". However, as with his other songs from the session, "Fixin' to Die Blues" did not capture the record buying public's interest. As a result, White largely retired from performing music, until a resurgence of interest in the early 1960s and the American folk music revival. 


Year:
1994
132 Views
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#2

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I'm lookin' funny in my eyes and I believe I'm fixin' to die, believe I'm fixin' to die
I'm lookin' funny in my eyes and I believe I'm fixin' to die
I know I was born to die but I hate to leave my children cryin'

Just as sho' as we livin', just as sho' we born to die, sho' we born to die
Just as sho' as we livin', sho' we born to die
I know I was born to die but I hate to leave my children cryin'

Your mother treated me children like I was her baby child, was her baby child
Your mother treated me like I was her baby child
That's why's I find it so hard to come back home to die

So many nights at the fireside, how my children's mother would cry, how my children's mother would cry
So many nights at the fireside, how my children's mother would cry
Cause I told the mother I had to say goodbye

Look over yonder, on the burying ground, on the burying ground
Look over yonder, on the burying ground
Yon' stand ten thousand, standin' still to let me down

Mother take my children back, before they let me down, before they let me down
Mother take my children back, 'fore they let me down
I don't need for them to screamin' and cryin' on the graveyard ground

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Bukka White

Booker T. Washington White (November 12, 1909 – February 26, 1977), better known as Bukka White, was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. "Bukka" was not a nickname, but a phonetic misspelling of White's given name Booker, by his second (1937) record label (Vocalion). more »

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Written by: Booker T. Washington

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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