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"Times Is Gettin' Hard"

Here Mississippi bluesman Lucious Curtis sings about hardships among African-American cotton sharecroppers in the South. Recorded in 1940 by folklorists John and Alan Lomax, the song was probably written earlier. The Lomaxes toured the rural South between 1934 and 1942 documenting local music for the Library of Congress.

Times is gettin' harder,

Money's gettin' scarce.

Soon as I get my cotton and corn,

I'm bound to leave this place.



White folks sittin' in the parlor,

Eatin' that cake and food,

[Blacks] way down to the kitchen,

Squabblin' over turnip greens.


Times is gettin' harder,

Money's gettin' scarce.

Soon as I get my cotton and corn,

I'm bound to leave this place.



Me and my brother was out.

Thought we'd have some fun.

He stole three chickens.

We began to run.


Times is gettin' harder,

Money's gettin' scarce.

Soon as I get my cotton and corn

I'm bound to leave this place.

Source | "Times Is Getting' Hard," Vocals by Lucious Curtis and guitar by Willie Ford, Mississippi River Blues, Vol. 1, Flyright-Matchbox Library of Congress Series, [1973].
Creator | Lucious Curtis
Item Type | Music/Song
Cite This document | Lucious Curtis, “"Times Is Gettin' Hard",” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed August 11, 2020, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/858.

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