Lord, I Just Can't Keep From Crying

Lyrics: Blind Willie Johnson
Music: Blind Willie Johnson

Played by Jerry Garcia with Merl Saunders as an instrumental. The only known perfrmance was on 23 May 1973, but there may have been others that were not noted or taped at the time. Thanks to Ryan Shriver for identifying this.

The song was originally recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1928, with the following lyrics:

Chorus
Lord, I just can't keep from crying sometimes
Lord, I just can't keep from crying sometimes
When my heart's full of sorrow
And my eyes are filled with tears
Lord, I just can't keep from crying sometimes

My mother often told me
Angels [bonded] your life away
She said I wouldn't complain
But trust in God and pray
I'm on the King's Highway
I'm travelin' everyday

[chorus]

My mother, she's in glory
Thank God, I'm on my way
Father, he's gone too
And sister she could not stay
I'm trusting Him everyday
He will bear my burden away

[chorus]

I thought when she first left me
I'd grieve for a little while
Soon it all would be over
And I'd journey on with a smile
But the thought as I get older
I think of what I told her

[chorus]
Al Kooper later reworked it for versions with the Blues Project and others, and his version was covered by Ten Years After:
Chorus
I can't keep from crying sometimes
I can't keep from crying sometimes
Oh momma she's dead and gone
And I know I'm all alone
I can't keep from crying sometimes

Early in the morning
About the break of day
I fall down on my knees
I fall down and I pray
I think about my woman
My woman who's long gone

[chorus]

Later in the evening
I watch the sun go down
I think about my woman
But my woman Lord she ain't around
My heart is filled with sadness
And my eyes are filled with tears

[chorus]