The Brakeman’s Blues

The Brakeman’s Blues (Yodeling the Blues Away)

Words and music by Jimmie Rodgers, 1928.


Portland, Maine, is just the same as sunny Tennessee-ee!
Portland, Maine, is just the same as sunny Tennessee-ee-hee!
Any old place I hang my hat Is home sweet home to me-ee.

Odel-ay-he lay-he o-lee-o-lay-ee

(Hey, hey, hey!)

I went to the depot, and looked up on the board.
Went to the depot, and looked up on the board.  (Hello, Memphis!)
It said there’s good times here, but it’s better down the road.

Odel-ay-he lay-he o-lee-o-lay-ee

I’ll eat my breakfast here, get my dinner in New Orleans. (Right on down to Birmingham.)
Get my breakfast here, get my dinner in New Orleans-he-heens.
I’m gonna get me a mama, Lawd, I ain’t never see-een!

Odel-ay-he a-lay-he-ay-lee-o-lay-ee

Where was you mama when the train left the shed?  (Yeah, buddy.)
Where was you mama when the train left the shed?
Standin’ in my front door, wishin’ to God I was dead!

Odel-ay-he a-lay-he-ay-lee-o-lay-ee

If your house catch-a fire, there ain’t no water ’round.  (Sing them blues, boy!)
If your house catch-a fire, there ain’t no water ’round.
Just put my trunk out the window, let the house burn on down!

Odel-ay-he a-lay-he-ay-lee-o-lay-ee

If that’s your mama, you better tie her to your side.
If that’s your mama, you better tie her to your side. (Hush yo’ noise!)
‘Cause if she flags my train, I’m sure gonna let her ride.

Odel-ay-he a-lay-he-ay-lee-o-lay-ee


Transcribed from Victor 21291, as sung by Jimmie Rodgers, recorded February 14, 1928.