I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER
“Muddy Water” first recorded was by Stonewall Jackson in 1964. It was subsequently
recorded by many others, including Johnny Rivers who had a hit with it in 1966.
Stonewall Jackson was one of the most popular country stars of the early ’60s, scoring a
string of Top Ten country hits and becoming a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry with a
pleading voice that seemed to reflect his hard, often abusive upbringing on a South
Georgia dirt farm.
I was born in Macon Georgia
They kept my daddy over in Macon jail
He told me if you keep your hands clean
You won’t hear them bloodhounds on your trail
Well I fell in with bad companions
Robbed a man, oh up in Tennessee
They caught me way up in Nashville
They locked me up and threw away the key
I washed my hands in muddy water
Washed my hands, but they didn’t come clean
Tried to do what my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream
Well I asked the judge now when’s my time up
He said son, oh you know we won’t forget
If you try just to keep your hands clean
We might just make a good man of you yet
Oh I couldn’t wait to get my time up
I broke out, broke out of Nashville jail
I just crossed the state-line of Georgia
Well I can hear those bloodhounds on my trail
I washed my hands in muddy water
Washed my hands, but they didn’t come clean
Tried to do what my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream