Keith Richards – Worried Life Blues

Keith Richards – Worried Life Blues

“Worried Life Blues” is based on “Someday Baby Blues” recorded by Sleepy John Estes in 1935 (Decca 7279). Estes’ song is performed as a vocal and guitar country blues, whereas Maceo’s is a prototypical Chicago blues. To illustrate the lyrical differences of the originals, the first few verses are as follows:
“Worried Life Blues” Big Maceo (1941):

Oh lordy lord, oh lordy lord
It hurts me so bad, for us to part
But someday baby, I ain’t gonna worry my life anymore

“Someday Baby Blues” Sleepy John Estes (1935):

I don’t care how long you go, I don’t care how long you stay
But that good kind treatment, bring you back home someday
Someday baby, you ain’t gonna worry my mind anymore

Big Maceo’s “Worried Life Blues” was in the first batch of songs inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1983 in the “Classics of Blues Recordings” category, alongside “Stormy Monday,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Dust My Broom,” and “Hellhound on My Trail”). In 2006, the song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

Over the years the differences have become blurred by various cover versions of the songs, which use elements from both songs, often combined with new lyrics and variations in the music.

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