Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Junior Wells, “Help Me”

Well, Jim picked a great prompt for this week, at least for me: “a song with a harmonica.” To this old harmonica player, that should be easy, but it isn’t, because my temptation is to bring the whole damn South and West Sides of Chicago with me, and I’m supposed to keep it to one. And that’s just the blues side of harmonica playing; I’m not even thinking about Toots Thielemans, a jazz player who was not only adept at the harmonica but at the guitar as well (and was an expert whistler, too), or Larry Adler, or John Barry, or Hermine Duerloo, or Lee Oskar, or Charlie McCoy, or Paul Butterfield, or Steve Katz, or John Lennon, or Mick Jagger, or Brian Jones, or Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, or Bob Hite, or “Magic” Dick Salwitz, or Curtis Salgado, or Charlie Musselwhite, or Jerry Portnoy, or….

I did a whole Monday’s Music Moves Me on harmonica players that I hadn’t heard of back in November, which reignited the interest I had in the instrument. I bought myself a couple of harmonicas, a few diatonic ones and a chromatic one, and am trying to rebuild my embouchure and pick it up again. So far, I’m not having much luck, but I’m trying…

Anyway, today’s song is by Junior Wells, who learned how to play from Sonny Boy Williamson II before coming to Chicago in the ’50’s. He played with Muddy Waters for a time, then went off on his own. He worked frequently with Buddy Guy; in fact, during my college years, he and Buddy, along with Buddy’s brother Phil on guitar and A. C. Reed (Jimmy Reed’s brother) on saxophone, had a band going. One of Junior’s last appearances was in the movie Blues Brothers 2000. Sonny Boy wrote “Help Me,” and Junior would often do it as a tribute to his mentor.

The lyrics, from Genius:

You got to help me
Lord, I can’t do it all by myself
You got to help me, baby
Woman, I won’t do it all by myself
If you don’t help me darling
I’ll got to find myself somebody else

Listen
I might have to wash
I might have to sew
I might have to cook
I’ll even mop that floor
But you gonna help me woman
Baby, I can’t do it all by myself
If you don’t help me darling
I’ll better find myself somebody else

When I walk, walk with me
When I talk, you talk to me
Yeah baby
Woman I won’t do it all by myself
If you don’t help me darling
I’ll gotta find myself somebody else
Be cool brother

Now, Sonny Boy
I know that you can hear me
He, but I was one of your students
And you know that you thought me whether
And that’s why right here and right now
This last little verse is really going on for you

Now I don’t know if I should howl
Moan or even roam
But I do know one thing this morning
Oh, I feels so good
Baby, baby oh yes I do

Bring me my nightshirt
Put on your morning gown
Bring me my nightshirt
And put on your morning gown
Cause’ I know you’re not sleepy
But the old man feel like lying down

Let’s try it one more time

Bring me my nightshirt
Put on your morning gown
Lord, bring me on home
And put on your morning gown
Cause’ I know you’re not sleepy
But I do feel like lying down

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for August 9, 2020.

20 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Junior Wells, “Help Me”

  1. Love the “Blues”. Junior Wells played with his soul and meant every last bit to his mentor. Jacksonville hosts the “Springin’ in the Blues” every year in April, but it was cancelled this year. Missed going! Loved this choice! πŸ™‚

    Like

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