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Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)

Jimmie Rodgers

Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) Lyrics

Good mornin' Captain
Good mornin' Shine

Do you need another mule skinner
Out on your new mud line?

I like to work
I'm rolling all the time
I can carve my initials
On a mule's behind

Hey, little water boy
Bring that water round
If you don't like your job
Set that water bucket down


Workin' on the good roads
Dollar and half a day
My good gal's waiting on Saturday night
Just to draw my pay

I'm going to town, honey
What you want me to bring you back?
Bring a pint of booze
And a John B. Stetson hat

I smell your bread a burnin'
Turn your damper down
If you ain't got a damper
Good gal, turn your bread around

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About “Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)”

Rodgers wrote this in 1930, and subsequent covers number almost a dozen dozens. The first two verses are close to genius in their presentation of a field hollar, a work gang song.

The “blue yodels” (and this is #8) were named such as a nod to the merger of the blues style with the then-popular country yodeling of the 30s.