Hesitation Blues

(original version)

Original Words & Music:

Art “The Whispering Pianist” Dillham


Dick Rosemont has discovered that the original version of this was by Art Dillham (aka "The Whispering Pianist") & recorded in 1925, not Rev. Gary Davis.


          Am          E7            Am      E7

I'm going down to the levee, take a rocking chair.

    Am          E7           C                 C7

The blues don't leave me, go rocking with them there.



      F       Fm                   C   A7

Baby, how long, how long I have to wait?

    D7             G7            C   G7   C   E7

Can I get you now, or must I hesitate?


I had a sweet mama, so bashful and shy.

When she moved her underwear, she plugged the needle's eye.




A doctor's in love with my girl, they say.

I got her eating apples just to keep him away.




I've met girls on levee trains and on the riverboats.

But, my good woman got what makes a good mule eat his oats.

Tell me honey, tell your papa, how come you make him do like you do?

Can I get you now, or must I hesitate?


Well you must love your neighbors, what the good book say.

But that don't mean to love her, when her husband’s away.




When I got home last night, I wasn't there at all.

I looked through the trash, another mule in my stall.




I've got my hands on my knees, I may be awful dumb.

But I got more ideas of loving than Wrigley has gum.




Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I got a black haired mama that the rain can't rust.

Tell me honey, tell your papa, how come you do things you do?

Can I get you now, or must I hesitate?


I was born down in Georgia, I was raised in Tennessee.

When I get hesitation blues, my mama takes them away from me.




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