Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ain't No More Cane

Cutting cane’s hard work
For Texas prisoners on
The Brazos River.

This is an old prison work song about sugarcane cutters on the Brazos River in Texas. Dylan performed this in 1961 and 1962, and again during the Basement Tapes sessions in Saugerties, New York, with members of The Band, in 1967. The Band released its version of the song on the 1975 album "The Basement Tapes," in a considerably jauntier version than Dylan's recording, which is available on the limited edition "The 50th Anniversary Collection."

The lyrics of the song, which has been around for more than a century, judging by what I've been able to find on the Internet, are here. The first recorded version, according to this author, is from 1933. They're from the version that the Band did:

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh, oh...
Its all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh- oh, oh- oh...

You shoulda been on the river in 1910
They were driving the women just like they drove the men.

Go down old Hannah, don'cha rise no more
Don't you rise up til judgment day's for sure

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos
Its all been ground down to molasses

Captain, don't you do me like you done poor old shine
Well ya drove that bully til he went stone blind

Wake up on a lifetime, hold up your own head
Well you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos

Its all been ground down to molasses.




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