Blues Lyrics of the Week: Goin' Down Slow

Few blues songs have been as widely covered through the years as this one from St. Louis Jimmy Oden, having been recorded by everyone from Howlin' Wolf, Guitar Slim, Little Walter, B.B. King, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Michael Bloomfield, and Johnny Winter, to Little Sonny, Eddie Taylor, and Eric Clapton. And that's just getting the list started.

Here are a few lyrics - both sung and spoken - from the Howlin' Wolf version of the tune, which you may recall Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Kim Wilson and Gary Clark Jr. performing during the recent Howlin' for Hubert concert a few weeks ago.

"I have had my fun,
if I never get well no more.
I have had my fun,
if I never get well no more.
Oh, my health is failin' on me -
oh yes, I'm goin' down slow.

[Now looka' here: I did not say I was a millionaire,
but I said I have spent more money than a millionaire.
'Cuz if I hada' kept all the money that I done already spent,
I woulda' been a millionaire a long time ago.
And women - well, googley moogley...]

Please write my mama,
tell her the shape I'm in.
Please write my mother,
tell her the shape I'm in.
Tell her to pray for me,
forgive me for my sins."
- Goin' Down Slow, James Burke Oden

What's your favorite version of the song?

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