Song Lyric Sunday: “Goin’ Down Slow”

I knew that Helen was in poor health (get well soon, Helen!), and thought we’d be skipping SLS today, but apparently Jim from A Unique Title For Me is sitting in for her. His prompt for today is “doctor/health/medicine.”

I’ve heard a number of versions of St. Louis Jimmy Oden’s “Goin’ Down Slow,” including Duane Allman’s (on his first anthology album) and Canned Heat’s (on their first album). It’s a blues standard, meaning almost everyone who plays the blues has done this (including me, back in my day). One of the better-known versions was done by Chester Burnett, a/k/a Howlin’ Wolf, in 1961, backed by Henry Gray on piano, Jimmy Rogers and perpetual Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Sam Lay on the drums.

Wolf ad-libbed a lot of dialog around the song itself, and Doggyneza, who posted the song, was kind enough to transcribe it:

You know I’ve been enjoyin’ things that kings and queens will never have!
In fact kings and queens can never get ‘m.
And they don’t even know about it!
And good times? Mmmmmmmmm-mmh!!
I have had my fun, if I never get well no more (x 2)
Oh my health is fadin’ on me, oh yes I’m goin’ down slow
Now looka here…
I did not say I was a millionaire…
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I’d already spent,
I would’ve been a millionaire a looong time ago…
And women? Great Googlie-Mooglie!!
Please write my mother, tell her the shape I’m in (x 2)
Tell her to pray for me, forgive me for my sin

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for January 6, 2019.

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “Goin’ Down Slow”

    1. I didn’t really start listening to blues until I was in high school, and it amazed me that all these world-class musicians were playing in scuzzy little clubs in bad neighborhoods. By college the clubs in better neighborhoods were hosting them, and I got to see a lot of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi John – what a great song for the circumstances … so many of us experience. Wonderful to listen to. I do hope you have a peaceful year ahead … cheers Hilary


    1. If you grew up in Chicago, even if you weren’t a blues fan, you knew Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Buddy Guy. And Hound Dog Taylor, Junior Wells, Little Walter… Muddy always got more attention in the US, but most of the British Invasion gang knew Howlin’ Wolf.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.