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Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues lyrics

By Robert Johnson
Recording of November 27, 1936
San Antonio, Texas
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above "Have mercy, save poor Bob, if you please"
Mmmmm, standin' at the crossroad, I tried to flag a ride
Standin' at the crossroad, I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody semm to know me, everybody pass me by
Mmmm, the sun goin' down, boy, dark gon' catch me here
Oooo, eeee, boy, dark gon' catch me here
I haven't got no lovin' sweet woman that love and feel my care
You can run, you can run, tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
You can run, tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
Lord I'm standin' at the crossroad, babe, I believe I'm sinkin' down

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  • u
    From both history and the robert johnson legend as I understand the song: he was at the crossroads after making his deal with the demon feeling regret and that's why lyrically he sings for g-d to help him and that nobody knows him now, everybody just passes him by. Getting late of course by the oppression of blacks in america and especially in the jim crow south it was dangerous just to be someplace after a 'curfew' but he doesn't sing about that, he sings about being able to run, to tell his friend that willie brown that he can run, but that robert johnson asking g-d to save him he continued to sink after falling onto his knees at the crossroads. Historically, he played up the devil stories (and wrote songs about it) for his own legend. As he first was laughed off stage and inexplicably six months later went back to the same place but again this time being the best blues man to have ever lived. About ten years later he died between sets mysteriously. From either a poisoned glass of whiskey he drank between sets from a jealous husband who'd been made a cuckold by johnson, however, it was johnson who said loudly, frantically that he heard and saw ferrous huge dogs, hellhounds, coming for him in the club to take him (nobody else saw any dogs at all) before dying right then and there; as the most popular blues player, the wish that he had always wanted.
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  • id_388343
    Jason Meadows
    This song is about becoming a Christian. Robert prays to God on his knees asking for forgiveness of sins while getting saved. "Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters." Psalm 69:14.
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  • u
    This is a great song about good ol' fashioned hitch hiking. Ya see he so desperate to catch a ride he's praying out to God to send a car his way. Then there is cars that come by right? But these fools don't even pick him up! What jerks! But hey, this happens when you are hitch hiking. Sometimes you be standing there for hours and nobody picks you up because they scared you might be a robber or something.

    But this dude standing out trying to hitch a ride all day with no luck! So by the end it's getting dark and he's bummed because he's trying to hitch a ride to go see his girlfriend. So then he tells somebody to go hit up his friend Willie, cuz Willie got a car and can give him a ride. Dude, this dude so lazy he won't even go ask his friend for a ride himself! He asked somebody else to do it! He's probably just trying to get laid. Lol! That's why he's looking to hitch a ride to see his girlfriend. At the end he's sinking down to the ground because this fool has been standing at the crossroads all day trying to hitch a ride and he done forgot to bring any water to drink! Of course the reason he's at the cross roads is cuz that means there's traffic coming from both roads so it doubles his chances of catching a ride.

    But most likely being so back in the day it's all the rich white folks that could afford fancy cars, and so most likely they all racist is why they won't pick up Rob. Because he's black. So, really this song is about racism in early America from the 1930's era.
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  • Kennedragon
    The Crossroads can be the pathways to heaven or hell, but it also symbolizes the choices we face everyday, the decisions we alone can make about what direction to take in life. It speaks to existential aloneness we humans experience. We need help. We need friends and sometimes there just isn't anyone. We feel like we're sinking into darkness so we cry out. That's what makes this a timeless blues classic.
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  • u
    Coming from pretty crazy life experiences myself I can now see the meaning to this song. The cross roads is a metaphor for the cross roads between the road to heaven and the road to hell. He asks God to forgive him but nobody will give him a ride cuz you got to walk the path yourself. The night drawing near represents his life ending soon. He's worried about his friends soul as well who has probably lead a similar sinful life and he is afraid that he is sinking down into hell. It's a beautifully tragic song.
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