Mudcat Café message #2457244 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114969   Message #2457244
Posted By: 12-stringer
04-Oct-08 - 03:13 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: I'm Sorry Mama (Leadbelly)
Subject: Lyr Add: I'M SORRY MAMA (Lead Belly)
These recordings were first reissued in the late 60s on Elektra 301/302, a boxed set, produced by Lawrence Cohn. I can't play the vinyl currently but from the notes booklet, here is Cohn's transcript of the song. (The assistance of Mrs Martha Ledbetter, Huddie's surviving widow, in deciphering songs for the booklet is duly appreciated, and I've always found Cohn's version of the lyrics to be quite dependable.)

I'm Sorry Mama

Every time I go downtown
Somebody's kicking my hide around
I'm sorry
Sorry mama to my heart.

Makes no difference if I am a hound
You gotta quit kicking my hide around

Sift that meal and save your bran
Can't raise nothing but potatoes on a sandy land

Every time I go to school
The teacher she's a-whippin' me with that rule

And it makes no difference if I am a fool
She gotta quit a-whippin' me with that rule

I'm sorry, I'm sorry
I'm sorry
Sorry mama to my heart

Oh, Jimbo lay your banjo down
You good-for-nothin' you travellin' hound

I'll tell you the truth and the natchul facts
I don't chew nothin' but the Battle Ax

I'm sorry, sorry
I'm sorry,
sorry mama to my heart.

"Battle Ax" was a brand of chewing tobacco popular around the turn of the last century.