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Divin' Duck Blues is an old standard and one of my favorite blues songs. It's of that class of cheerful, happy-go-lucky blues songs that reveal a depth of spirit and range of emotion far beyond the litany of woe that the genre's name suggests. The chorus is about drowning your worries in booze, true, but the tone is playful; the verses convey a bright faith that life will get better and a proud and adoring love for an anonymous woman.

The song dates back to 1929, when it was first recorded by The Three Js Jug Band for Victor Records. Divin' Duck was a hit at the time, and was again popularized by Taj Mahal as he rose to fame in the late 1960s. It's since been covered by Johnny Winter, Peter Green, and many others.

The lyrics below are transcribed from Taj Mahal's recording with The Rising Sons, called "If The River Was Whiskey (Divin' Duck Blues)".

If the river was whiskey
And I was a divin' duck
Baby if the river was whiskey
And I was a divin' duck
I would dive to the bottom,
Lord knows, and I would never come up

You know the sun gonna shine
In my back yard someday
I say that old sun gonna shine
In my back yard someday
And the wind gonna rise up
And blow my blues away

Well now the little girl I been lovin'
She got hair that shine like Klondike gold
Well the little girl I been lovin'
Sweet mama got hair shine like Klondike gold
She got a lien on my body
Got a mortgage on my soul

Well you know I'm gwine to Memphis
Just to see my pony run
Well I'm gwine to Memphis baby
Just to see my pony run
If I win some money little girl
Sho nuff I'll bring you some

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