NO MORE CANE ON THE BRAZOS

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

NO MORE CANE ON THE BRAZOS

“No More Cane On the Brazos” is a traditional prison work song of the American south.
It has been recorded by Leadbelly, Son Volt, and by The Band on the album The
Basement Tapes. Bob Dylan also performed the song live in the early 1960s and his
version is on multiple bootleg recordings taken from The Gaslight Cafe. In 2006, the
Austin, Texas-based Band of Heathens included their distinctive arrangement of the old
song on their “Live at Momo’s” album. The Band of Heathens, composed of singer-
songwriters Colin Brooks, Gordy Quist, and Ed Jurdi, along with bassist Seth Whitney
and drummer John Chipman, emerged the next year as Best New Band at Austin’s South-
by-Southwest music festival.
In 2007 Lyle Lovett released two versions of the tune on his album Its Not Big, Its
Large. On February 16, 2008, Lovett and John Hiatt performed the song live at the Ulster
Performing Arts Center in Kingston, New York, along with The Band’s Garth Hudson.
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh, oh…
Its all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh- oh, oh- oh…
You shoulda been on the river in 1910
They were driving the women just like they drove the men.
Go down Old Hannah, don’cha rise no more
Don’t you rise up til Judgment Day’s for sure
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Its all been ground down to molasses
Captain, don’t you do me like you done poor old Shine
Well ya drove that bully til he went stone blind
Wake up on a lifetime, hold up your own head
Well you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Its all been ground down to molasses.