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Hard Luck Blues

This song is by Clarence Ashley and Tex Isley and appears on the album Play and Sing American Folk Music (1966).

Well, folks, I guess it's about time that I was telling you a little about myself.
You know, I'm that old hard luck boy. I was borned in hard luck. I was borned in the last month of the year, the last week in the month, the last day in the week, the last hour in the day, the last minute in the hour, the last second in the minute -- just like to have not got here at all. Yes, it all hap- pened upstairs behind the stove. They wasn't nobody at home that day but Aunt Sara. Pa and Ma, they'd went to town with a load of dried fruit. Well, I come out from behind the stove and I went on down the street hunting me a job. Hard luck. Well, I got me a job down here in town in the clothing store. This was men's ready-to-wear garments. Yeah, that's what it was. Oh, I thought I would like that job. One day a good-looking girl come in.
She walked right over to me, very first one. She says', "Young man, I would like to see your underwear." "Oh," I said, "pardon me, sister. I don't have on any underwear." Oh, well, I lost that job -- the boss heard it. Got fired. Hard luck. Well, I went on down the street hunting work. I got me another job down there working in a ladies ready-to-wear store. Oh, I knowed I'd like that job. I was getting along pretty good, I thought. One day a great big good-looking fat gal come in, walked right over to me, says, "Young man, I would like to try on a pair of hose." "Oh," I said, "pardon me, Sister, we don't have a dressing room." Well, the boss overheard the conversation. He come walking over and he said, "Now, I can take care of that. All you men clerks go in the back end of the store, let the lady set right down here on this chair and try on a pair of hose.
And the very first one of you men that I catch a-peeping, that will be your job." Well, after I got fired from that job
- Hard luck. I just went on down the street singing me a little song, and it sounded kind of like this:

Oh, I've been all around this whole wide world
Been down to Memphis, Tennessee
Oh, it's any old place I hang my hat
Home, sweet home, to me
Oh, it's don't let your deal go down
Honey, don't let your deal go down
Oh, it's don't let your deal go down, little girl
Till your last old dollar is gone

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