Song Lyric Sunday: “San Francisco Bay Blues”

Jim’s choice of prompts for today’s Song Lyric Sunday are “ocean/lake/sea/bay,” songs about bodies of water. I thought of a lot of songs, since there are so many with that theme, and in the end I chose Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues.” Jesse Fuller, as you’ll see here, was a regular one-man band, playing guitar, harmonica, kazoo, hi-hat cymbals, and the fotdella, an instrument of his own invention that was kind of like an early bass machine (you can read about it here). The song’s been covered a lot by the likes of Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Eric Clapton, who included it in his MTV Unplugged concert back in the ’90’s. Here’s Jesse Fuller with “San Francisco Bay Blues.”

Lyrics courtesy MetroLyrics

I got the blues from my baby left me by the San Francisco Bay,

The ocean liner’s gone so far away.

Didn’t mean to treat her so bad,
she was the best girl I ever have had,

She said goodbye, I can take a cry,
I want to lay down and die.
I ain’t got a nickel and I ain’t got a lousy dime.

She don’t come back, think I’m going to lose my mind.

If she ever gets back to stay,
it’s going to be another brand new day,

Walking with my baby down by the San Francisco Bay.

Sitting down looking from my back door,

Wondering which way to go,

The woman I’m so crazy about,
she don’t love me no more.

Think I’ll catch me a freight train,
’cause I’m feeling blue,

And ride all the way to the end of the line,
thinking only of you.
Meanwhile, in another city,
Just about to go insane,
Thought I heard my baby, Lord, the way she used to call my name.
If I ever get her back to stay,
it’s going to be another brand new day,
Walking with my baby down by the San Francisco Bay,
Walking with my baby down by the San Francisco Bay,
Walking with my baby down by the San Francisco Bay.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for February 3, 2019.

14 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “San Francisco Bay Blues”

    1. The folk boom in the early 60’s brought a lot of attention to the old blues guys. My aunts took guitar lessons at The Old Town School of Folk Music back then and learned it there. It’s pretty standard.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to give him credit for his coordination and for inventing the fotdella, which incidentally is now in the collection at the Smithsonian. Bob Dylan says Fuller inspired him to play the harmonica set up like that.

      Liked by 1 person

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