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Leadbelly – Midnight Special lyrics

Well you wake up in the morning, hear the ding dong ring,
You go a-marching to the table, see the same damn thing
Well, it's on a one table, knife, a fork and a pan,
And if you say anything about it, you're in trouble with the man
Let the midnight special, shine her light on me
Let the midnight special, shine her ever-loving light on me
If you ever go to Houston, you better walk right, you better not stagger, you better not fight
Sheriff Benson will arrest you, he'll carry you down
And if the jury finds you guilty, penitentiary bound
Yonder come little Rosie, how in the world do you know

I can tell her by her apron, and the dress she wore
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
She goes a-marching to the captain, says, "I want my man"
"I don' believe that Rosie loves me", well tell me why
She ain't been to see me, since las' July
She brought me little coffee, she brought me little tea
Brought me damn near ever'thing but the jailhouse key
Yonder comes doctor Adams, "How in the world do you know?"
Well he gave me a tablet, the day befo'
There ain't no doctor, in all the lan'
Can cure the fever of a convict man

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Corrected byTheGreatUnwashed

Music Facts about Leadbelly and "Midnight Special" song

Midnight Special meanings

  • t
    Tony Copelin
    The original lyrics said you are Sugar Land bound, not penitentiary bound. This was because the main prison near Houston was the Central unit in Sugar Land. The railroad tracks ran right in front of Central. They just closed that prison to make room for expansion of the airport. This was also the same unit shown in the movie the Sugar land Express. I live less than 5 minutes from this prison and love the history of that place. Even after closing the Central unit they have at least 5 other units to hold prisoners.
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  • u
    The "midnight special" was the name used for the Texas prison transport bus, also called the "chain" or "chain bus". In earlier times it was a barred wagon. It would make the circuit picking up prisoners across the state and transporting them to Huntsville. It was also used to transport inmates between units and to the Walls unit for release. "Shine your light on me" means its my turn to be transferred for release... Personal first hand knowledge.
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