Heptune presents:

Midnight Blues

(Thompson, Williams) Photo of Ethel Waters

Transcribed from vocals by Ethel Waters, recorded 3/1923.
From Ethel Waters 1921 - 1923, The Chronogical Classics, vol. 796.

Daddy, Daddy, please come back to me!
Daddy, Daddy, please come back to me!
Your mama's lonesome as she can be.

You left at midnight,
Clock was striking twelve,
Papa, you left me at midnight,
When the clock was striking twelve,
To face this cruel world all by myself.

Woke up at midnight, sad and blue;
Missed my daddy from my side,
Left alone to bemoan my fate;
That's why I'm sighin', crying;
I just can't refuse.

I feel so troubled, heart-broken, too;
Woe and misery I can't hide,
At twelve o' clock, I unlock my hate,
I get the meanest kind of
Lonesome midnight blues.

I feel so troubled, heart-broken, too;
Woe and misery I can't hide,
At twelve o' clock, I unlock my hate,
I get the meanest kind of
Lonesome midnight blues.
Those lonesome midnight blues.


Midnight Blues

    (Thompson, Williams)

Photograph of Bessie Smith.

Transcribed from vocals by Bessie Smith, recorded June 15, 1923.
From Bessie Smith: 1923; The Chronological Classics 761.

Daddy, daddy,
Please come back to me,
Daddy, daddy,
Please come back to me;
Your mama's lonesome as she can be.

You left me at midnight,
The clock was striking twelve;
Left me at midnight,
Clock was striking twelve.
To face this cruel world all by myself.

Woke up at midnight, sad and blue,
Missed my daddy from my side,
Left alone to bemoan my fate,
That's why I'm sighing, crying;
I just can't refuse.

I feel so troubled, heart-broken, too,
Woe and misery I can't hide,
At twelve o'clock, I unlock my hate,
I got the meanest kind of lonesome midnight blues!


Return to the Jazz and Blues Lyrics Page.

Find lyrics and musical scores in Bessie Smith Songbook!

Published 7/20/99.
Updated 10/1/99.

Ethel Waters starred in both the stage and film version of Cabin in the Sky. The movie also starred Lena Horne and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington had minor roles. Waters commented in her remarkable autobiography, His Eye is on the Sparrow, that she didn't enjoy making the movie -- too much behind-the-scenes back-biting.

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