Droning a drowsy syncopated tune, Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon, I heard a Negro play. Down on Lenox Avenue the other night By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light He did a lazy sway .... He did a lazy sway .... To the tune o' those Weary Blues. With his ebony hands on each ivory key He made that poor piano moan with melody. O Blues! Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool. Sweet Blues! Coming from a black man's soul. O Blues! In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan -- "Ain't got nobody in all this world, Ain't got nobody but ma self. I's gwine to quit ma frownin' And put ma troubles on the shelf." Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor. He played a few chords then he sang some more -- "I got the Weary Blues And I can't be satisfied. Got the Weary Blues And can't be satisfied -- I ain't happy no mo' And I wish that I had died." And far into the night he crooned that tune. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing and went to bed While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), "The weary blues", appears in The Weary Blues, first published 1926 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Dorothy Rudd Moore (b. 1940), "The weary blues" [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-08-27
Line count: 35
Word count: 237