Backwater Blues


1. When it rains five days and the sky turns dark as night, (repeat)
There’s trouble takin’ place in the lowlands at night.

2. I woke up this mornin’, can’t even get out my door. (repeat)
There’s enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where she wants to go.

3. Backwater blues done caused me to pack my things an’ go, (repeat)
‘Cause my house fell down and I can’t live there no mo’.

4. They rowed a little boat about five miles ‘cross the pond, (repeat)
I packed all my things throwed ’em in, and they rowed me along.

5. When it thunders and lightnin’s and the wind begins to blow, (repeat)
There’s thousands of people ain’t got no place to go.


Have the students write their own verses. Explain that the blues help us to get our feelings out. For instance, use the beginning of verse 2 to sing about things that can go wrong when you wake up in the morning. Or use the beginning of verse 5 to talk about things that might be scary.

See also


Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords, Orff Arrangement (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

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