display | more...

Like many folk songs, the origin of this one is mysterious. There WAS a steamboat named the Diamond Jo in the 1800s...

The singer calls for Diamond Joe to come take them away, citing various hardships, which the singer can make up as the song goes along -- there's no limit to the number of verses. It's one of those songs that you can sing as long as you want, kind of like Down by the Bay or Quartermaster Store. But those are happy songs, and this one is not.

I have here transcribed the lyrics as they were sung by Bessie Jones.

 

Diamond Joe, you better come and get me

Diamond Joe, you better come and get me

Diamond Joe, you better come and get me, Diamond Joe.

 

My britches torn, Cotton all patches

Diamond joe, you better come at me

Diamond joe, you better come and get me, Diamond Joe.

 

I'm out of doors, I've got no clothes

Want to go home, but I can't go

Diamond Joe, you better come and get me, Diamond Joe.

 

I'm down here, on my own

Diamond Joe, you better come on

Diamond Joe, you better come and get me, Diamond Joe.

 

 


 

here's the Bessie Jones version. This one is from 1937, sung by Charlie Butler and recorded by Alan Lomax. But the earliest one is by the Georgia Crackers, from 1927.

I don't like the Georgia Crackers one. This isn't supposed to be a happy song.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.