I'm A Bad Luck Woman
Memphis Minnie Lyrics


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Every man I get, he won't get sick - he will die
Doggone woman take from him he's a doggone fly
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why
Well the next man I got, you know he worked very hard
Just as soon as I got him he lost his doggone job
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why
Well the next man I got he was a railroad man
Just as soon as I got him everything went out his doggone hands
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why
Well the next man I got he was long and tall
Everytime I look around he was kickin' at someone other mans jaw
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why
(Ok, my boy... play for me!
That's what I am talking about...)
Well the next man I got he was short and fat
I couldn't keep him because he wasn't taught like that
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why
Well the next man I got he was a sandhawk in the sea
I had him two days and he got drowned away from me
I'm a bad luck woman




I'm a bad luck woman
I'm a bad luck woman I can't see the reason why

Overall Meaning

In Memphis Minnie's song "I'm a Bad Luck Woman," the singer laments her apparent curse of bringing misfortune to every man that she becomes involved with. The lyrics are composed of a series of verses, each detailing a different doomed relationship. The first verse sets the tone for the rest of the song by declaring, "Every man I get, he won't get sick - he will die; Doggone woman take from him he's a doggone fly." This opening line immediately establishes the idea that the singer is a source of bad luck for the men in her life, and that her presence is somehow toxic to their well-being.


In subsequent verses, we learn more about her ill-fated relationships, including one with a man who lost his job as soon as she started seeing him and another who was a railroad worker, but experienced a spate of bad luck as soon as they became involved. Other relationships are characterized by physical violence or incompatibility. The last verse tells the story of a man who was a sailor, but who tragically drowned just two days after beginning a relationship with the singer.


Taken together, the song can be interpreted as a commentary on the role of women in relationships, particularly in the early 20th century when the song was written. The singer seems to be blaming herself for the bad luck that befalls her partners, as if her mere presence is enough to bring about their downfall. However, it is also possible to read the song as a critique of patriarchal structures that place an undue burden of responsibility on women to "keep" their men happy and successful.


Line by Line Meaning

Every man I get, he won't get sick - he will die
Whenever I'm with a man, his life will end in death.


Doggone woman take from him he's a doggone fly
Once I am done with him, he'll be worthless and powerless.


I'm a bad luck woman
I bring nothing but misfortune and bad luck wherever I go.


I can't see the reason why
I don't understand why things always go wrong whenever I'm around.


Well the next man I got, you know he worked very hard
The next man I was with was a dedicated and industrious worker.


Just as soon as I got him he lost his doggone job
But the moment he got involved with me, he lost his job out of nowhere.


Well the next man I got he was a railroad man
The next man I was with was employed in the railway industry.


Just as soon as I got him everything went out his doggone hands
After getting romantically involved with me, he lost control of his life and everything fell apart.


Well the next man I got he was long and tall
The next man I was with was tall and imposing.


Everytime I look around he was kickin' at someone other mans jaw
But he was always getting into fights and brawls with other men.


Well the next man I got he was short and fat
The next man I was with was short and overweight.


I couldn't keep him because he wasn't taught like that
I had to end it with him because he didn't meet my standards.


Well the next man I got he was a sandhawk in the sea
The man I was with next was a sailor.


I had him two days and he got drowned away from me
Unfortunately, he drowned at sea just two days after I was with him.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: LAWLERS, MINNIE

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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