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When the Levee Breaks
by Memphis Minnie

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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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.

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.

Ajax Maintenance

Kathryn Ellicott That’s amazing, considering the fact that Janis died in 1970 and Lizzie died 3 years later...XD

Ajax Maintenance

jamesdeansghost55 You’re not forgotten “Kid”... you live on in the music.

Corey Cann

I cried reading this... I had no idea

7 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.

David Connell

I think we all agree the songs were much different, and that's a good thing. If you look at the first album, "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You", credited to Willie Dixon like it should be. Same thing should have happened with "When the Levee Breaks"......Because a lot of these artists, like Memphis Minnie have had their music stolen from them their whole life, some couldn't even afford a headstone on their grave, Zeppelin has an opportunity to lead others to this old music and give the estate some royalties which they need and Zeppelin won't miss. I live in Chicago and this is a sore spot with these guys, whereas the Stones, Butterfield Band and others always give the credit to the old blues guys and help them out. Plus I think it's the right thing to do. Just my opinion. Love all the comments. We all dig the music and thats important.

DullTorpor

@Nicholus Baker Agreed. I think that's true of all the songs Led Zeppelin used from other artists. I don't think they ever recorded a straight-up cover of any song.

David Connell

Oh it's a cover. Go look at how the Yardbirds/Aerosmith covered "Train Kept a Rollin'", much different but the credit still goes to Tiny Bradshaw which is where it belongs. A cover is a cover, you have to acknowledge the original songwriters. At least that's how I see it.

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