Song Lyric Sunday: Natural Disasters – ‘When The Levee Breaks’

I must admit that this week I got completely wrong-footed by Helen at This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time. Based on the prompt she shared from Simply Marquessa, I thought I was well ahead of the game. Not so.

But no matter.This week’s theme turns out to be the rather cheery one of ‘Natural Disasters’.

When I first saw this, immediately at the back of my mind was a song that had something to do with a levée. That would be ‘When The Levée Breaks’, as covered by Led Zeppelin on their fourth album. Then Leonard Cohen’s ‘Avalanche’ also sprang to mind, although that is obviously more allegorical.

I decided to stick with my original idea, but then I thought to dig around for the original blues version, by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie. It’s about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 – and that really was a natural disaster.

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
It’s got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well

Don’t it make you feel bad
When you’re tryin’ to find your way home
You don’t know which way to go?
If you’re goin’ down South
They got no work to do,
If you don’t know about Chicago

Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
Now, cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move

All last night sat on the levee and moaned
All last night sat on the levee and moaned
Thinkin’ about my baby and my happy home

Going, going to Chicago…
Going to Chicago…
Sorry but I can’t take you…
Going down… going down now… going down….

Song Lyric Sunday 14 January 2018

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4 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Natural Disasters – ‘When The Levee Breaks’

  1. Oh yeah…perfect choice to back up mine…the damned levee failure that was the real disaster for Katrina. Perfect choice all around for this week’s challenge. Way to go.

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