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When The Levee Breaks
Memphis Minnie Lyrics


If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
And the water gonna come in, have no place to stay

Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Thinkin' 'bout my baby and my happy home

If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
And all these people have no place to stay

Now look here mama what am I to do
Now look here mama what am I to do
I ain't got nobody to tell my troubles to

I works on the levee mama both night and day
I works on the levee mama both night and day
I ain't got nobody, keep the water away

Oh cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do no good
Oh cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do no good
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to lose

I works on the levee, mama both night and day
I works on the levee, mama both night and day
I works so hard, to keep the water away

I had a woman, she wouldn't do for me
I had a woman, she wouldn't do for me
I'm goin' back to my used to be

I's a mean old levee, cause me to weep and moan
I's a mean old levee, cause me to weep and moan
Gonna leave my baby, and my happy home

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Joe McCoy

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

kenneth nesmith

This is one song of many rising out of the flood of 1927. Considered as the worst in modern US history. There are reports about in Arkansas Mississippi river areas where entire African American families were forced to reside on levees 24 hrs a day , 7 days a week to maintain the levee and keep it from failing. If they failed these people would not only lose their life , but the lives of their entire family. Man's inhumanity to man has no bounds.


More songs arising from the flood of 1927


Backwater Blues : Bessie Smith
Heavy Water blues : Barbecue Bob
High Water Everywhere : Charlie Patton



AlanCheek

@TRS
Man, these kids mean well but just don't know. Blues is about hard times. They couldn't come right out & SAY some stuff though.

Didn't you listen?
You had it right!

He just pronounces it differently - "...set on the lavvRee & moaned..."

They were poor & cheap "soul" food (like boiled okra) - well... you WILL
"...set on the lavvry & moan..." will happen for sure! & the hot sauce will make you "...weep & moan" for sure too! (Also see Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" - that's what happens when you eat too much boiled okra with too much hot sauce ("I fell in to a burning ring of fire" - I'm sure we all been there at least once!)

But yeah - "...set on the lavvry & moan...weep & moan..." ALL night - & as a result of pulling the chain so much - you know, when you get that ring of fire started you gotta flush quick - if you wait until done (eating boiled okra you KNOW you gonna be there a while!) & It'll stink up the whole house!

But all that BIG mess of water from all the flushing, "set on the lavvry all night, weeping & moan"ing - they had no septic tanks or city sewers, then, it went right into the bayou! - & he felt like would cause the levee to break.

Am i making sense?

Yeah - you eat too much boiled okra man, & you will most definitely be full-up, all the way to the tippy-TOP-FULL of $#!+, just like I am!!

Didn't you listen?
You had it right!

He just pronounces it differently - "...set on the lavvRee & moaned..."
They were poor & cheap "soul" food (like boiled okra) - well...
"...set on the lavvry & moan..." will happen for sure! & the hot sauce will make you "...weep & moan" for sure too! (Also see Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" - that's what happens when you eat too much boiled okra with too much hot sauce ("I fell in to a burning ring of fire" - I'm sure we all been there at least once!)

But yeah - "...set on the lavvry & moan...weep & moan..." - & as a result of pulling the chain so much - you know, when you get that ring of fire started you gotta flush quick - if you wait (eating boiled okra you KNOW you gonna be there a while!) & It'll stink up the whole house!
But all that BIG mess of water from all the flushing, set on the lavvry all night, weeping & moaning - they had no septic tanks or city sewers, it went right in the bayou! - & he felt like would cause the levee to break.
Am i making sense?
Yeah - you eat too much boiled okra man, & you will most definitely be full-up, all the way to the tippy-TOP-FULL of $#!+, like me!



All comments from YouTube:

jamesdeansghost55

Died broke, sick and forgotten in a Memphis nursing home in 1973. Laid in an unmarked grave for twenty-three years until Bonnie Raitt bought a headstone for her grave in 1996...God love Bonnie Raitt!!, a true respecter of the blues.

Giovanna

Yay, Bonnie!

ARISTOTLE

Wow

John kayak

Kathryn Ellicott Janis Joplin Died 3 years before Memphis Minnie.

mike nealon

whatta story
rip minnie

Vincent Harris

@Smitty That's good to hear. Due to their lack of education, so many of those guys got ripped off.

10 More Replies...

Paulo Pereira

Led Zeppelin took this nice little blues ditty and made it seem like there was really a flood outside your door.

A

Very disrespectful comment! This is HER song, and it's not a "little ditty". It's a song about an historic, catastrophic flood. Its a part of American history, told by a true folk hero.

SC

Led Zeppelin covered: I can't quit you babe, babe I'm gonna leave you, the lemon song, traveling riverside blues, when the levee breaks, you shook me, I'm probably forgetting alot but what all these songs have in common is they sound quite different from their respective originals.

But every 60s band did this, cream covered crossroads, I'm so glad, born under a bad sign, spoonful, (steppin out?), outside woman blues, from four until late, cats squirrel......

AAM Vlogs

Heard this song from a game called Slender man the arrival and absolutely loved it

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