J C HOLMES BLUES
as recorded by Bessie Smith
May 27th 1925
Listen people if you want to hear
A story told about a brave engineer;
J C Holmes was the rider's name,
A heavyweight wheelman with a might fame!
JC said, with a smile so fine,
"Woman gets tired o' one man at a time!
Get two or three if you have to hide;
If the train go an' leave you got a mule to ride!".
In the second cabin sat Miss Alice Bry,
Goin' to ride with J C or die!
"I ain't good lookin' and I don't dress fine,
But I'm a ramblin' woman with a ramblin' mind!".
Just then the conductor hollered, "All aboard!",
And the porter said, "We got our load!
Look a-here son, we oughta be gone,
I feel like ridin' if it's all night long!".
JC said, just before he died,
Two more roads he wanted to ride.
Everybody wondered what road it could be;
He said, "The Southern Pacific and The Santa Fe".
J C said, "I don't feel right,
I saw my girl with a man last night!
Soon as I get enough steam just right,
I've been mistreated and I don't mind dyin'!".
(Transcribed by Peter Akers - October 2012)