Little Sadie - Clarence Ashley (1930)

Publication Year: 
1930

Image retrieved from theanthologyofamericanfolkmusic.blogspot.ca on December 8th, 2012

"Little Sadie" is a 20th Century American folk ballad in D Dorian mode. It is also known variously as "Bad Lee Brown", "Cocaine Blues", "Transfusion Blues", "East St. Louis Blues", "Late One Night", "Penitentiary Blues" and other titles. It tells the story of a man who is apprehended after shooting his wife/girlfriend. He is then sentenced by a judge.

Text retrived from Wikipedia:Little_Sadie on December 8th, 2012.

"Cocaine Blues" is a Western Swing song written by T. J. "Red" Arnall, a reworking of the traditional song "Little Sadie". This song was originally recorded by W. A. Nichol's Western Aces (vocal by "Red" Arnall) on the S & G label, probably in 1947, and by Roy Hogsed and the Rainbow Riders May 25, 1947, at Universal Recorders in Hollywood, California. Hogsed's recording was released on Coast Records (262) and Capitol (40120), with the Capitol release reaching number 15 on the country music charts in 1948.[1]

The song is the tale of a man, Willy Lee, who shoots his woman to death while under the influence of whiskey and cocaine. Willy is caught and sentenced to "ninety-nine years in the San Quentin Pen". The song ends with Willy saying:

"Come all you hypes and listen unto me,
Just lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be."

Text retrieved from Wikipedia:Cocaine_Blues on December 8th, 2012.

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