Blind Willie McTell – Broke Down Engine (1933)

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Blind Willie McTell (born William Samuel McTier May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959), was an influential Piedmont and ragtime blues singer and guitarist. He played with a fluid, syncopated fingerstyle guitar technique, common among many exponents of Piedmont blues, although, unlike his contemporaries, he used exclusively a twelve-string guitar. As well as this, McTell was an adept slide guitarist, unusual among many ragtime bluesmen. His vocal style, a smooth and often laid-back tenor, differed greatly from many of the harsher and more expressive voice types employed by Delta bluesmen such as Charlie Patton. McTell embodied a variety of musical styles, including blues, ragtime, religious music, and hokum.




Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no drivin’ wheel
Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no drivin’ wheel
You all been down and lonesome, you know just how a poor man feels
Been shooting craps and gambling, mama, and I done got broke
Been shooting craps and gambling, mama, and I done got broke
I done pawned my pistol, baby, my best clothes been sold
Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord,
Lordy, Lord
I went down in my praying ground, fell on my bended knees
I went down in my praying ground, fell on my bended knees
I ain’t crying for no religion, Lord, give me back my good girl please
If you give me back my baby, I won’t worry you no more
Give me back my baby, I won’t worry you no more
Don’t have to put her in my house, Lordy, just lead her to my door
Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord, Lordy, Lord,
Lordy, Lord
Can’t you hear me, baby, rappin’ on your door?
Can’t you hear me, baby, rappin’ on your door?
Now you hear me tappin’, tappin’ across your floor
Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no drive at all
Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no drive at all
What make me love my woman, she can really do the
Georgia crawl
Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no whistle or bell
Feel like a broke down engine, ain’t got no whistle or bell
If you’re a real hot mama, come take away daddy’s weeping spell

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