The Ballad Of Curtis Loew
Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Well, I used to wake the mornin'
Before the rooster crowed
Searchin' for soda bottles
To get myself some dough
Run 'em down to the corner
Down to the country store
Cash 'em in, and give my money
To a man named Curtis Loew

Old Curt was a black man
With white curly hair
When he had a fifth of wine
He did not have a care
He used to own an old Dobro
Used to play it 'cross his knee
I'd give old Curt my money
He'd play all day for me

Play me a song
Curtis Loew, Curtis Loew
Well, I got your drinkin' money
Tune up your Dobro
People said he was useless
Them people all were fools
'Cause Curtis Loew was the finest picker
To ever play the blues

He looked to be sixty
And maybe I was ten
Mama used to whoop me
But I'd go see him again
I'd clap my hands, stomp my feet
Try to stay in time
He'd play me a song or two
Then take another drink of wine

Play me a song
Curtis Loew, Curtis Loew
Well, I got your drinkin' money
Tune up your Dobro
People said he was useless
Them people all were fools
'Cause Curtis Loew was the finest picker
To ever play the blues

Yes, sir

On the day old Curtis died
Nobody came to pray
Ol' preacher said some words
And they chunked him in the clay
Well, he lived a lifetime
Playin' the black man's blues
And on the day he lost his life
That's all he had to lose

Play me a song
Curtis Loew, hey Curtis Loew
I wish that you was here so
Everyone would know
People said he was useless
Them people all were fools




'Cause Curtis you're the finest picker
To ever play the blues

Overall Meaning

The Ballad of Curtis Loew is a tribute to an old blues musician named Curtis Loew. The singer in the song depicts his fond memories of being a child and going to the liquor store to collect discarded soda bottles and trade them in for money. Curtis Loew, an old black man who had a fifth of wine every day, would play his Dobro for the young boy all day long. The song is an ode to the joy of discovering and playing music, but it is also about the sense of loss felt after such a talent passes away. The lyrics show the respect the young boy had for Curtis Loew and his talent, as he reminisces about the times spent with him and how amazing a musician he was.


Line by Line Meaning

Well, I used to wake the mornin'
I used to wake up early in the morning


Before the rooster crowed
before the rooster made a sound


Searchin' for soda bottles
I would look for empty soda bottles


To get myself some dough
so I could make some money


Brought 'em down to the corner
I would take them to the corner store


Down to the country store
to a store in the countryside


Cash 'em in, and give my money
I would exchange the bottles for money


To a man named Curtis Loew
and then give the money to a man named Curtis Loew


Old Curt was a black man
Curtis Loew was an African American


With white curly hair
even though he had white curly hair


When he had a fifth of wine
when he had a bottle of wine


He did not have a care
he didn't worry about anything


He used to own an old Dobro
Curtis Loew owned an old Dobro guitar


Used to play it 'cross his knee
he played it by placing it across his knee


I'd give old Curt my money
I would give Curtis Loew the money I earned from selling the bottles


He'd play all day for me
he would play the guitar all day for me


Play me a song
please play a song for me


Curtis Loew, Curtis Loew
addressing Curtis Loew


Well, I got your drinkin' money
I have money for you to buy drinks


Tune up your Dobro
please tune your Dobro guitar


People said he was useless
some people thought he was worthless


Them people all were fools
those people were foolish


'Cause Curtis Loew was the finest picker
because Curtis Loew was the best guitar player


To ever play the blues
who ever played the blues


He looked to be sixty
he appeared to be 60 years old


And maybe I was ten
and maybe I was only 10 years old


Mama used to whoop me
my mom used to spank me


But I'd go see him again
but I would still go see Curtis Loew


I'd clap my hands, stomp my feet
I would clap my hands and stomp my feet to the music


Try to stay in time
try to keep the rhythm


He'd play me a song or two
Curtis would play one or two songs for me


Then take another drink of wine
and then he would take another sip of wine


On the day old Curtis died
on the day Curtis Loew died


Nobody came to pray
no one came to pray for him


Ol' preacher said some words
the old preacher said some words


And they chunked him in the clay
and they buried him in the dirt


Well, he lived a lifetime
he lived his whole life


Playin' the black man's blues
playing the blues that was born out of the black community


And on the day he lost his life
and on the day he died


That's all he had to lose
that was all he had left to lose


Hey Curtis Loew
addressing Curtis Loew


I wish that you was here so
I wish that you were here


Everyone would know
so that everyone could know


You're the finest picker
that you were the best guitar player


To ever play the blues
who ever played the blues




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@daniellecormier3911

Anyone jamming to this in 2024? I’m 33 and appreciate skynyrd so much

@lesabooth5243

Yes I grew up with this music. I remember the crash. I cried. I cried when Stevie Ray Vaughan died too. John Lennon and many other great musicians. I remember exactly where I was

@brittanymollette-og4tf

32 and this generation of music could NEVER hold a candle!

@shrekisloveshrekislife01

I'm 15 and there's nothing out now that's even half as good as Lynyrd Skynyrd

@willyrusso7327

still love it :)

@honeymiles-basham2332

This song helps me get my day started and how I calm my soul this and a few other good tunes!

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@adude394

For my money, this is the greatest Skynyrd song of all, and that is saying a LOT.

@chuckieakins1450

I second that

@lugarner8493

For me its a close tie between this one and Tuesdays gone.. both are so epic 🙌🙌

@Perfectly-Imperfect

I agree

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