DEEP RIVER BLUES (Alton & Rabon Delmore)

Song lyrics on these pages only for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis


This blues was introduced to me in the late thirties by a Delmore Brothers recording ["Big River Blues"] When I first began to hear the tune, I was fascinated by the sound they got out of the little tenor guitar -- the four-string -- and the regular flattop box. I never could figure a way to get even a resemblance of the sound that they got until I began to hear Merle Travis pick the guitar. When Merle plays the guitar, he gets a rhythmic beat going by bouncing his thumb back and forth on the bass strings, which he mutes with the edge of the palm of his hand. I worked out that little back-up part first, but it took me about ten years before I got the whole thing sounding the way I wanted it.
DOC WATSON, reprinted in The Songs of Doc Watson, New York, 1971, p. 34


Lyrics as reprinted ibid.


Let it rain, let it pour,
Let it rain a whole lot more,
'Cause I got them deep river blues.
Let the rain drive right on,
Let the waves sweep along,
'Cause I got them deep river blues.

My old gal's a good old pal,
And she looks like a water fowl,
When I get them deep river blues.
Ain't no one to cry for me,
And the fish all go out on a spree
When I get them deep river blues.

Give me back my old boat,
I'm gonna sail if she'll float,
'Cause I got them deep river blues,
I'm goin' back to Muscle Shoals,
Times are better there I'm told,
Cause I got them deep river blues.

Let it rain, let it pour,
Let it rain a whole lot more,
'Cause I got them deep river blues,
Let the rain drive right on,
Let the waves sweep along,
'Cause I got them deep river blues.

If my boat sinks with me.
I'll go down, don't you see,
'Cause I got them deep river blues,
Now I'm gonna say goodbye,
And if I sink, just let me die,
'Cause I got them deep river blues.

Let it rain, let it pour,
Let it rain a whole lot more,
'Cause I got them deep river blues,
Let the rain drive right on,
Let the waves sweep along,
'Cause I got them deep river blues.


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