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When The Levee Breaks
Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe 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
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

thehiphopprophet

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 and we'll have no place to stay


Well all last night I sat on the levee and moaned
Well all last night I sat on the levee and moaned
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 will have no place to stay


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


I worked on the levee mama both night and day
I worked on the levee mama both night and day
I ain't got nobody to 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 that levee breaks mama, you got to lose


I work on the levee mama both night and day
I work on the levee mama both night and day
I work 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 going back to my used to be


Oh mean old levee caused me to weep and moan
Yeah the mean old levee caused me to weep and moan
Told me leave my baby and my happy home

Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie wrote one of the best songs ever penned



All comments from YouTube:

kander63

Thanks for posting this.   I think the Led Zeppelin version is great, but it saddens me to know that so many people don't know the history of this music.  If it were not for the blues music created by African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta, rock and roll as we know it would not exist today.  

James X

@bill davis "The only thing they stole were the lyrics. That's it." - you
"pla·gia·rize (/ˈplājəˌrīz/), verb: to take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own" - the goddamn dictionary

LITERALLY the fucking definition of the word, and yet somehow also a "tremendous stretch" to call it by its name. Do you fucking hear yourself, or are you tin-eared in addition to being tone-deaf too?

Colin Sexton

I agree 100%. I was a HUGE Zepplin fan and LOVE their version but when I heard this (been listening to Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, BB King and so many more) I wasl ike THIS is awesome... theres a whole different "feeling" that goes with original blues that Zeeplin' (and just about any of their fans or us) could have imagined...

Philippa O'Connell

I am now learning this as I am doing a diploma in arts and humanities and have chosen to do my assignment on the blues and yes i heard the Led Zeppelin version without even knowing this existed. (Never too old to learn)

jonnieredder

@3alarm247 Who listens to that garbage anyway

Mudbug Resident

@D.E. Chambers I would personally prefer to say something along the lines of "Fellow Humans" For there is only one race my friend, The Human Race!

37 More Replies...

pepernst

Funny. Back in those days, it was considered more of an honor to have someone cover their songs. I think Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie would be pretty stoked to know that Led Zeppelin covered their song.

musicisart2

Did they get PAID!? Otherwise STFU.

Ted Powers

Then pay em

Be Yourself

@James Barrick The great African Americans who invented this music and many of the black people from the Caribbean and South America who invented almost all forms of popular midern music need to be upheld... Even the term rock n roll was a black American slang that you sometimes hear in blues and doo wop of the 30s into the 50s. As long as homage is paid to the inventors thats all I care about

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