Then later I got to Woody Guthrie, which opened up a whole new world at the time. I was still only 19 or 20. I was pretty fanatical about what I wanted to do, so after learning about 200 of Woody’s songs, I went to see him and I waited for the right moment to visit him in a hospital in Morristown, New Jersey.
~Bob Dylan (to Ron Rosenbaum, Nov 1977)
Today is Woody Guthrie’s Birthday. Here are seven songs of his which Bob Dylan covers.
Ramblin’ Round Unidentified coffehouse
Ramblin’ around your city,
Ramblin’ around your town,
I never see a friend I know
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys,
As I go ramblin’ ’round.
The Best Songs: Fixin’ To Die Blues by Bukka White aka Booker T Washington
“Fixin’ to Die” is song by American blues musician Bukka White. It is performed in the Delta blues style with White’s vocal and guitar accompanied by washboard rhythm. White recorded it in Chicago on May 8, 1940, for record producer Lester Melrose. The song was written just days before, along with eleven others, at Melrose’s urging.
White was resuming his recording career, which had been interrupted by his incarceration for two and one-half years at the infamous Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi. While there, White witnessed the death of a friend and “got to wondering how a man feels when he dies”. His lyrics reflect his thoughts about his children and wife:
I’m looking funny in my eyes, an’ I b’lieve I’m fixin’ to die (2×) I know I was born to die, but I hate to leave my children cryin’ … So many nights at the fireside, how my children’s mother would cry (2×) ‘Cause I ain’t told their mother I had to say good-bye