SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

 

SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD
“Sitting on Top of the World” (also rendered as “Sittin’ on Top of the World”) is a folk-
blues song written by Walter Vinson (also known as Walter Jacobs) and Lonnie Chatmon,
core members of the Mississippi Sheiks, a popular country blues band of the 1930s.
Walter Vinson claimed to have composed “Sitting on Top of the World” one morning
after playing a white dance in Greenwood, Mississippi. However, the melody was almost
certainly taken from Tommy Johnson. Victor Records, the copyright holders of Johnson’s
‘Big Road Blues’, sued OKeh Records and settled out of court. The song was first
recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks in 1930 and became a popular cross-over hit for the
band, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
Sitting on Top of the World” has become a standard of traditional American music. The
song has been widely recorded in a variety of different styles – folk, blues, country,
bluegrass, rock – often with considerable variations and/or additions to the original
verses. The lyrics convey a stoic optimism in the face of emotional set-backs and the
song has been described as a “simple, elegant distillation of the Blues”.
Mississippi river, so big and wide
Blonde-headed woman on the other side
Now she’s gone, gone, gone and I don’t worry
‘Cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world
I worked all summer, spring and fall
Blonde-headed woman, she’s the cause of it all
Now she’s gone, gone, gone and I don’t worry
‘Cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world
Saw her in Dallas, in El Paso
So come back baby, I need you so
Now she’s gone, gone, gone and I don’t worry
‘Cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world
Mississippi river, so big and wide
Blonde-headed woman on the other side
Now she’s gone, gone, gone and I don’t worry
‘Cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world