Sunday, March 17, 2013

R.L. Burnside - Poor Black Mattie (video & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video of Bluesman R. L. Burnside playing and singing his composition "Poor Black Mattie".

The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"R. L. Burnside (November 23, 1926 – September 1, 2005),[1] born Robert Lee Burnside, was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who lived much of his life in and around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He played music for much of his life, but did not receive much attention until the early 1990s.[1] In the latter half of the 1990s, Burnside repeatedly recorded with Jon Spencer, garnering crossover appeal and introducing his music to a new fanbase within the underground garage rock scene."

R.L. Burnside - Poor Black Mattie

lupine22, Uploaded on Jun 24, 2007

R.L. Burnside, Mississippi bluesman from the Hill Country, performing Poor Black Mattie in 1984. Harmonica player Johnny Woods can also be seen.


Poor Black Mattie ain't got a change in clothes.
Girl got drunk, close that door.
Poor Black Mattie ain't got change o' clothes.
Girl got drunk, throwed her clothes outdoor.

Goin' to Memphis see that World's Fair
[Why you goin?]
Reason I'm goin' is, my baby’s there.
[Oh yeah?
Goin' to Memphis, see that World's Fair.
Reason I'm goin', I know my baby there.

Need no heater or fireplace by my bed.
Woman I got is cherry red.
Need no heater or fireplace by my bed.
Woman I got, keep me cherry red.
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the sound file. Italics mean that I'm not sure about that transcription. Additions & corrections are welcome.

Thanks to R. L. Burnside for his musical legacy. Thanks also to the commenters who are quoted in this post, the transcriber of the song lyrics, and the uploader of this featured video.

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