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Church Bells Blues
Luke Jordan Lyrics

Ay, the church bell's a-ringin', secretary's singin'
The preacher's preachin', can't you hear the sisters shoutin'?
Children's in the pulpit, mama tryin' to learn that song
Now that low-down dirty deacon done stole my gal and gone

Says, old brother had 'em, my sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em, my mother died with 'em
Woke up this morning, the family had the weary blues
Poked my head over in the corner, poor grandmammy had 'em, too

I did more for you, woman, way last winter
Late in the fall, and you remember I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you, woman, than the Good Lord had ever done
Carry downtown, bought you good hair, the Lord hadn't give you none

Hand me back that hat I bought you, that coat and waist
That shawl I bought you, mama, you gotta bring shoes and all
If you don't like your daddy, you've got no right to carry no stall
Hand me back that wig I bought you, mama, let your doggone head go bald

You know, I can't be no bank boss, no superintendent
Can't clerk in no commissary, ain't gonna work on no tipple
And I promised the Good Lord, partner, not to dig no coal
I'm gonna hang 'round the country and try to sell some jellyroll

Said my mammy's got a hatchet, my papa got an axe
My sister got a shepherd, my brother got some hounds
Some men just crave their yella women, some, they like their teasin' brown
I'm a stranger in town, mama, b'lieve I'm goin' the whole way 'round

She wouldn't cook me no breakfast, she wouldn't git me no dinner
She squabbled 'bout my supper and she kicked me outdoors
She had a nerve to ask me, would a matchbox hold my clothes
She had a nerve to ask me, would a matchbox hold my clothes

Contributed by Zachary V. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Comments from YouTube:

Goran Hecimovic

I am from Croatia and I am fan of blues, ragtime, R&B.........Thank you God for this music:)<3

Lembit Punapart

he was so damn you never such a talent in music business.


The RBF version (on the 2 LP boxed set "The Rural Blues"which has 7 verses as well as 2 instrumental breaks) was the second take (39819-2) recorded at Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday 16 August 1927 and released on Victor 21076 (with "Cocaine Blues" on the B side). The one on YouTube is the (unreleased) first take and is a bit of a mess


Everybody borrows in the blues and folk tradition, it's usually passed down from generation to generation.  All the good songs have already been written.

Zacariah Anderson

there is a generation of today writing songs that are discussing the same social issues and that's folk punk, alot of those artist write good songs which would make good blues covers

Luke Jordan

I am called Luke Jordan!!! Lol!! :P


He was a fantastic singer and player! "Never let the same bee sting you twice" on Document records has all of his recordings


Simple blues.......great writing...great voice....4 stars!!!!

Eaman Saadatifard

jazzwatch64 four starts huh? Luke Jordan is a mf magician.


If anyone's interested, Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop has just released a book of tab transcriptions (John Miller's Country Blues Guitar Collection...a steal at $26.99) of 24 rare original recordings (all of which are on the CD that comes free with the book) and among the 24 are the RBF version of Church Bells as well as other classics like Bo Carter's 'Cigarette Blues'...the tab is 100% accurate as far as I can tell

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