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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Robert Johnson: Crossroads

This is a fan video of Robert Johnson's Crossroads. I wrote a huge post about this song on my historical rants page HERE. I think it is important however, to look at the lyrics and put it into context of what the crossroads represents. The Crossroads was where the poor, or transient people were buried in the south. It certainly was a haunted place, and not somewhere you wanted to be at AFTER DARK. Looking at the lyrics of crossroads, you can see that in the FIRST LINE Robert asked the LORD ABOVE have mercy take poor Bob if you please. Unless the devil got a new zip code, I don't think that he was crying out for Legba!! The second verse he is looking for a ride out of the crossroads, but can't find it. The third verse he is scared because the sun is going down. This is not the place to be when it is dark because the dead will rise from their burial spot at the crossroads. Fourth verse is a warning to bluesman Willie Brown to don't get stuck at the crossroads like poor Robert. Last verse is about the fact that he has no woman.

Here are the lyrics:

I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above, have mercy now, save poor Bob if you please

Standin' at the crossroads, tried to flag a ride
Whee-hee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by

Standin' at the crossroads, risin' sun goin' down
Standin' at the crossroads baby, the risin' sun goin' down
I believe to my soul now, po' Bob is sinkin' down

You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
That I got the crossroad blues this mornin', Lord, baby I'm sinkin' down

I went to the crossroad, mama, I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad, babe, I looked east and west
Lord, I didn't have no sweet woman, ooh well, babe, in my distress

One thing about the video. There is a picture of what I think might be either Satan, or St. Michael casting Satan into the pit, which comes up during the Willie Brown verse. So, the mythology is hard to escape!

UPDATE

I am surprised no one caught it, but I have the lyrics for take one above, and the video is actually take two!!! Those who listened and followed the lyrics must have wondered what was going on! I am looking for the lyrics to take two. Once I get them I will update the post again.


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