La première guerre mondiale a eu un long écho dans la culture populaire. Mais n’étaient le titre et le premier couplet, on ne devinerait pas que c’est à la guerre que fait référence Blind Lemon Jefferson dans ce blues, qui évoque la solitude des hommes et des femmes que la guerre a séparés. On y retrouve tous les thèmes de la séparation, du départ et de la solitude, la guerre apparaissant ainsi comme l’un des éléments de la déstructuration sociale dont souffraient les pauvres.


WARTIME BLUES

What you going to do, when they send your man to war
What you going to do, they send your man to war
What you going to do, when they send your man to war
I’m going to drink muddy water, go sleep in a hollow log

Ain’t got nobody, I’m all here by myself
Got nobody, all here by myself
Got nobody, all here by myself
Well these women don’t care, but the men don’t need me here

Well I’m going to the river, going to walk it up and down
Going to the river, walk it up and down
Going to the river, walk it up and down
If I don’t find fourteen, I’m going to jump overboard and drown

If I could shine my light, like a headlight on some train
If I could shine my light, like a headlight on some train
If I could shine my light, like a headlight on some train
I would shine my light : in Corinna’s brain

Well they tell me that southbound train, had a wreck last night
Well they tell me that southbound train, had a wreck last night
Well they tell me that southbound train, had a wreck last night
You little section foreman : ain’t treating your railroad right

Well the girl I love, is the one I crave to see
Well the girl I love, is the one I crave to see
Well the girl I love, is the one I crave to see
Well she’s living in Memphis and the fool won’t write to me

Now tell me woman, what have I said and done
Now tell me woman, what have I said and done
Now tell me woman, what have I said and done
You treat me like my trouble have just begun