Breedloves's Folk Songs


“Cocaine Blues” is a Western Swing song written by TJ Arnall, a reworking of the
traditional song Little Sadie“. This song was originally recorded by Roy Hogsed May
25, 1947, at Universal Recorders in Hollywood, California. The song is the tale of a man,
Willy Lee, who shoots his woman to death while under the influence of whiskey and
cocaine. Willy is caught and sentenced to “ninety-nine years in the San Quinten Pen“.
Johnny Cash famously performed the song at his Folsom Prison concert, saying “Folsom”
instead of “San Quentin”, an event also portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix in the Cash
biographical film Walk the Line. The film version, edited down to make it shorter, fades
into the next scene before the line “I can’t forget the day I shot that bad bitch down” is
sung. The DVD specials include an extended version of the song with the lyric, and the
full, unedited version (apparently a different “take”) is found on the soundtrack CD.
Early one mornin’ while makin’ the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed I stuck that lovin’ 44 beneath my head
Got up next mornin’ and I grabbed that gun took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I run too slow they overtook me down in Juarez Mexico
Late in the hot joints takin’ the pills in walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill
He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You’re the dirty hack that shot your woman down
Said yes oh yes my name is Willy Lee if you’ve got the warrant just aread it to me
Shot her down because she made me slow
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more
When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they took me back
Had no friend for to go my bail they slapped my dried up carcass in that country jail
Early next mornin’ bout a half past nine I spied the sheriff coming down the line
Talked and he coughed as he cleared his throat
He said come on you dirty heck into that district court
Into the courtroom my trial began where I was handled by twelve honest men
Just before the jury started out I saw the little judge commence to look about
In about five minutes in walked the man holding the verdict in his right hand
The verdict read in the first degree I hollered Lordy Lordy have a mercy on me
The judge he smiled as he picked up his pin 99 years in the Folsom pen
99 years underneath that ground I can’t forget the day I shot that bad bitch down
Come on you’ve gotta listen unto me lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be

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