McKernan's Blues

Lyrics: Traditional?
Music: Traditional?

This circulates on a tape thought to be the Second Story Men from sometime in 1963. It's just Pigpen on guitar and vocals. Thanks to Matt Schofield for the transcription.

The lyrics share verses in common with Katie Mae by Lightnin' Hopkins. Hopkins recorded a song titled "It's Hard To Love A Woman" which seems to be the source for the first few lines (but not the rest). This track often circulates as "Hard Luck Woman > Katie Mae".

Well hard to love a woman
When that woman she don't love you now
Hey now hard to love a woman
Well now that woman don't love you
[Tell your poor mind] on a woman baby
And you [rest of line inaudible]

Well now my mama said son
Well now best of friends they got to part
Well you know my mama said son
You know best of friend have got to part
Well you know some [?] [puttin' on a child]
They put them right deep down in the heart

Well that's alright now I said (note 1)
Somebody's [gonna get it]
Carrying on like that
Down around all across town
Man you don't feel no good

Well I know that woman is evil
Evil as a woman can be

Well I know some folks say she must be a Cadillac
But I think she must be a T Model Ford
Well now some folks say she must be a Cadillac
But I say she must be a T Model Ford
Well man you know she got the shape all right
Can't carry no heavy load

Well now say goodbye, goodbye [to Katie] (note 2)
Well that's the last word I got to say
Well I said goodbye [to Katie]
That's the last word I've got to say
Well now if I don't reach it tomorrow
Hope I reach it [first ?] any day
(1) this and the next four lines are spoken
(2) sounds more like "goodbye cocaine" but "Katie" fits in with lyrics to Katie Mae

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography


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