Song Lyric Sunday: Howlin’ Wolf, “Goin’ Down Slow”

Melanie fed Jim another prompt for this week: "disgust, embarrassment, guilt, regret, remorse, shame." And I, naturally, went with a blues song…

"Goin’ Down Slow" is a song by St. Louis Jimmy Oden that’s considered a blues standard, meaning that there are many versions of it out there. This particular one is by Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf. His is notable because the legendary Willie Dixon, who plays bass on the track, does the narration between the verses. Also on the track are Jimmy Rogers and Hubert Sumlin on guitars, Henry Gray on piano, and Sam Lay on the drums.

The lyrics were posted with the video…

[spoken:]
Man…
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!!

[sung:]
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

[spoken:]
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!!

[sung:]
Please write my mother, tell her the shape I’m in (x 2)
Tell her to pray for me, forgive me for my sin

That’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for June 5, 2022.

14 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Howlin’ Wolf, “Goin’ Down Slow”

    1. I regret that I was too young to see Howlin’ Wolf when he was still playing the West Side clubs. I turned 19 (drinking age in Illinois at the time) in 1975 and he was ailing by then, plus the West Side was a little rough for a White kid…

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