Times Done Got Hard

Lesson Menu

Here's another classic by King Solomon Hill. Throughout the song, he just lifts everything with this steady floating kind of rhythm, rocking back and forth. All the while, he weaves beautifully from passage to passage, deploying his signature licks one by one, whether they be his double stops, bass-side lines, or sliding riffs.

The song's structure is much like The Gone Dead Train or Whoopee Blues, so if you do learn this one, those are really in line, with the same style.

Year of Recording
January 1932
Grafton, WI
Record Label
Paramount 13125

(Spoken) — *Knocking* That's the rent man! You know it must got tough if he comin' here befo' rent's due!

Aaaah baby, darling, we got to move
Aaaah baby, darling, we got to move
It's something wrong, must be no good, that mailman is ridin' through

I say, that rent man, he won't stand no square
I say, that rent man, he say he ain't goinna stand no square
And I ain't gonna stand none of his foolishness, I'll move before I'll stay here

Time has got so tough, I can't pay my rent
And my old brownskin worries me so bad that I ain't got my real good sense

I done spent my money, then I done pawned my clothes
Soon as I told my brownskin 'bout it she kicked my clothes outdoors

Spoken: Boys, these times is tough!

Hmmmm, I won't be bad no more
Mama, don't get mad with me, yet you kick my clothes outdoors

Lord, I'm blue, I won't try that kid no more
I say doggone a woman ain't got no more care than to kick my clothes outdoors

(Spoken) — Baby, these tough times will make you do most anything! Won't me!

I'm goin' sing this song, I'm goin' moan for joy
I say goodbye brownskin, hello high brown, hello boys