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Mule Skinner Blues
by Jimmie Rodgers and George Vaughn

"His was a familiar figure in and around 'the yards.' He was known to be the son of section-foreman on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad: Aaron W. Rodgers' boy—the grinning, hard-working blacks who took Aaron Rodgers' orders made his small son laugh often. Though small he was white. So, even when they bade him 'bring that water 'round' they were deferential. During the noon dinner-rests, they taught him darky songs, moaning chants and crooning lullabies."
—Mrs. Carrie Rodgers

Mule Skinner Blues

Good morning, Captain
Good morning, 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 the job
Set that water bucket down.

Workin' on the good road
A dollar and a half a day
My good gal's waitin' on a Saturday night
Just to draw my pay.

I'm goin' to town, honey
What you want me to bring me 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.

By the song Mule Skinner Blues


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