Found him on the corner of Bourbon and Royal
He was a great big black Texas boozer
I knew he had a place for me to spoil.
We traveled everywhere ‘round these parts
Me waitin’ on the back cold stones
Him playin’ that flat box and tearin’ out hearts.
He called me Tatters. He left barbecue on the bones,
And let me slop the beer up after we left the joints’.
We slept in flophouses and he wrote hundreds of songs.
Once we went all the way to see a Dallas man
Took us most near a week ridin’ them slow freight trains—
Hitched in from Ft. Worth and walked over hot bricks and sand.
He was worn out from the travel and he needed a job
Stoppin’ on that city street called Ellum
He talked to someone but they called him a slob.
He took up fightin’ then and knocked that man to the ground.
I was runnin’ full out when I caught him up, down
‘bout two blocks.
A sassy woman said, “C’mon I’ll give you some if ya come around.”
We was mellow when the evenin’ came and rain started to fall
Lickin’ his hand I was tryin’ to tell him it’d all be fine,
When a blind man that everybody knew wandered into the hall.
Blind Lemon, Blind Lemon sing us that old blues again!
Sing it with this big bad blues man come here from Nah‘leans.
Leadbelly, this be Blind Lemon—finest livin’ black blues man.
I heard them two rounders holler, and strum into the night
Singin’ out their souls; makin’ music with great might.
Never will forget in all my wandrin’ years
Down in Deep Ellum— such joy and sadness in my ears.
© Gay Reiser Cannon All Rights Reserved