How Long Blues

Lyrics: Leroy Carr/Frank Stokes
Music: Leroy Carr/Frank Stokes

This was played by the Dead several times in 1970 acoustic sets. This isn't same as the better known Leroy Carr song, and I think it comes from the version by Frank Stokes in the 1920s: the tune and guitar playing are very similar, though the lyrics are different. This is the version that Garcia sang:

Now listen to me mama, I can't sleep no more
Around here baby, how long, how long
Ain't had no loving, how long, how long

Hate that train, train that carried my baby away
Left me standing, how long, how long
Ain't had no loving since my baby been gone

Now listen to me mama, mama, why did you make me go
Around here, baby, how long, how long
Ain't had no loving, how long, how long

I hate that train, train that carried my baby away
Left me standing, how long, how long
Ain't had no loving, how long, how long
"How Long" was also sung by Spencer Davis with the Grateful Dead on 12 February 1989. This version seems to be based on Leroy Carr's:
How long, how long
Has that evening train been gone
How long, how long, honey, how long

Stood at the station, see no train
Down in my heart I had an aching pain
How long, how long, honey, how long

Yeah how long, how long
Has that evening train been gone
How long, how long, baby, how long

Yeah how long, how long
Has that evening train been gone
How long, how long, baby how long
The original Leroy Carr version is:
How long, baby how long
Has that evening train been gone
How long, how long, baby how long

I stood at the station, watched my baby leaving town
Disgusted, nowhere could [?pleas] be found
How long, how long, baby how long

I can hear the whistle blow but I cannot see no train
And it's deep down in my heart there lies an aching pain
How long, how long, baby how long

Sometimes I feel so disgusted, and I feel so blue
That I hardly know what in this world there's to do
How long, how long, baby how long

And if I could holler like I was a mountain [???]
I'd go up on the mountain and I'd call my baby's name
How long, how long, baby how long

And if someday you're gonna be sorry that you've done me wrong
Well it will be too late, I'll be gone
How long, how long, baby how long

My mind get's to rambling, I feel so bad
And if I did bad love, that I have had
How long, how long, baby how long
The original Frank Stokes version is:
I never, never, never can forget that day
When you called me baby, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, how long, how long

Have you seen my baby, baby, baby, tell her to hurry home
I ain't [?], how long, how long
And I'm on my way, babe, how long, how long

Now listen to me, mama, mama, why did you let me go
[?], baby, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, how long, how long

I hate that train, train, that carried my baby away
And left me sad, babe, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, how long, how long

I never can forget that day
When you called me, baby, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, since my babe been gone

Now listen at me baby, baby, everything all right with me
Hold on, yeah, baby, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, since my babe been gone

I never, never, baby, can see any more
Hold on, yeah, baby, how long, how long
I ain't had no loving, since my babe been gone




Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


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