Cover image of song Sweet Home Chicago by Robert Johnson

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Sweet Home Chicago by Robert Johnson comes under the genre Blues,General. Copyright holded by (c) Universe.

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Lyrics of Sweet Home Chicago

Oh, baby don't you want to go,
Oh, baby don't you want to go,
Back to the land of California,
To my sweet home Chicago.

Hidehey
Baby willst du nicht gehen
Zurück zur selben alten Platz
Sweet home Chicago


Now one and one is two,
Two and two is four.
I'm heavy loaded, baby
I'm booked, I gotta go.
Cryin', baby,

Los
Baby willst du nicht gehen
Los
Baby willst du nicht gehen
Zurück zur selben alten Platz
Sweet home Chicago


Honey, don't you want to go.
Back to the land of California,
To my sweet home Chicago.


Hidehey
Baby willst du nicht gehen
Hidehey
Baby willst du nicht gehen
Zurück zur selben alten Platz
Sweet home Chicago


Comments




'Sweet Home Chicago' is a popular blues standard in the twelve bar form. It was first recorded and is credited to have been written by Robert Johnson. Over the years the song has become one of the most popular anthems for the city of Chicago despite ambiguity in Johnson's original lyrics.

In fact, the song is a variation of 'Kokomo Blues', a song popularized by Scrapper Blackwell, Madlyn Davis and most notably by James Arnold. Arnold's version of the song, which he recorded in 1934 as 'Old Original Kokomo Blues', was such a success that he changed his performing name to Kokomo Arnold.

The earliest recorded version of the song by Scrapper Blackwell in 1928 referred to Kokomo, Indiana, a city well known to the Indianapolis-based guitarist. Kokomo was famous for the number of traffic lights. It was known to truckers as 'stop light city' and to blues singers after Arnold as 'level light city'.

Blackwell's original began:
'Mmmm
Baby don't you want to go
Pack up your little suitcase
Papa's going to Kokomo'
Arnold's more copied version had the chorus:
'Crying oh
Baby don't you want to go
Back to that that level light city
To sweet old Kokomo'
Johnson rewrote Arnold's chorus, perhaps because his Southern audience felt no connection with Indiana, perhaps to create a novelty, perhaps to avoid copyright claims. Whatever the reason, he chose to substitute two locations nearly every listener had some notion of:
'But I'm cryin' hey baby
Honey don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago'
Johnson did not live to enjoy national popularity. If he had become a star with a following in Chicago, he might have altered the chorus with its confusing geographical coupling. As it is, he succeeded in evoking an exotic modern place, far from the South, which is an amalgam of famous migration goals for African Americans leaving the South. To later singers this contradictory location held more appeal than obscure Kokomo . Tommy McClennan's 'Baby Don't You Want To Go' (1939) and Walter Davis's 'Don't You Want To Go' (1940) were both based on Johnson's chorus.

Johnson's verses follow 'Kokomo Blues' in their use of arithmetic: {| class='wikitable' |- ! Arnold ! ! Johnson |- | Now six and one is seven mama
Seven and one is eight
Mess around here pretty mama
You going to make me late | | Now six and two is eight
Eight and two is ten
Friend, boy, she trick you one time
She sure gonna do it again |- |} Later singers used Johnson's chorus and dropped the mathematical verses.

Johnson recorded the song during his first recording session in November 1936, and it was released on Vocalion Records (Recording Number 03601). He gives a stirring performance, with a driving guitar rhythm and a high, near-falsetto vocal. It was a limited release race record, and was not a big-seller. The song's popularity grew only after Johnson's death in 1938.

Interestingly, the lyrics only obliquely refer to Chicago itself, in the song's refrain, where the song narrator pleads for a woman to go with him back to 'that land of California/ my sweet home Chicago'. Indeed, California is mentioned in the song more than Chicago, both during this refrain and in one of the stanzas ('I'm goin' to California/ from there to Des Moines, Iowa'). These perplexing lyrics have been a source of controversy for many years. In the 1960s and 1970s, some commentators speculated this was a geographical mistake on Johnson's part. This is clearly untrue, as Johnson was a highly sophisticated songwriter and used geographical references in a number of his songs. One interpretation is that Johnson intended the song to be a metaphorical description of an imagined paradise combining elements of the American north and west, far from the racism and poverty inherent to the Mississippi Delta of 1936. , the copyright to the song was owned by businessman Stephen LaVere, who in 1973 convinced Johnson's half-sister Carrie Thompson to sign a contract splitting the royalties with LaVere. The list of artists who have covered the song is immense, including Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Earl Hooker, Freddie King, Foghat, Status Quo, Johnny Otis, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Blues Band, and The Blues Brothers. LaVere once remarked 'It's like 'When the Saints Go Marching In' to the blues crowd.'


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