PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • A work song, “Pay Me My Money Down” originated among the Negro stevedores
    working in the Georgia Sea Islands. It was collected by Lydia Parrish and published in
    her 1942 book, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands. The melody is much older and
    used in other songs, [2] and the sentiment, even older. Also known as “Pay Me” or “Pay
    Me, You Owe Me”, it was performed by The Weavers during their influential 1955
    Carnegie Hall” concerts. It was further popularized by The Kingston Trio in 1958. Dan
    Zanes performed a children’s version done calypso-style on his popular 2002 album
    Night Time. “Pay Me My Money Down” was the first single and video released from
    Bruce Springsteen‘s 2006 big band folk album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger
    Sessions”. It was one of the most popular played on Springsteen’s subsequent Seeger
    Sessions Band Tour, where it usually closed out the main set amidst much on-stage
    hijinks and repetitions.
    I thought I heard the captain say
    Pay me my money down
    Tomorrow is our sailing day
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me, pay me
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me or go to jail
    Pay me my money down
    As soon as the boat was clear of the bar
    Pay me my money down
    He knocked me down with the end of a spar
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me, pay me
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me or go to jail
    Pay me my money down
    Well, If I’d been a rich man’s son
    Pay me my money down
    I’d sit on the river and watch it run
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me, pay me
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me or go to jail
    Pay me my money down
     Well I wish I was Mr. Gates

    Pay me my money down

    Carry all that money in ’em crates.
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me, pay me
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me or go to jail
    Pay me my money down
    Well, forty nights, and nights at sea
    Pay me my money down
    That captain worked every last dollar outta me.
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me, pay me
    Pay me my money down
    Pay me or go to jail
    Pay me my money down