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Lightnin’ Hopkins

no one could sing the blues like Lightnin’ Hopkins
I don’t care what anybody said
I was 15 years old ridin’ by the passenger window
with my radio up against my head

that’s when I heard him for the first time
cuttin’ in through the noise of the car
and my whole world turned upside down
and I just had learn to sing and play guitar

so I’d get on my bicycle with the high rise handle bars
and I’d ride for twenty miles on a run
I got all of his records I could find back then
I had eleven of ‘em by the time I was done

and I never learned to play the blues
I hope that’s all right
I never learned to play the blues
but I can sing and play guitar all night

all those years later I was up in Seattle town
Lightnin’ came through playin’ three nights in a row
I caught up with him early in the dressing room
somehow I just had to let him know

I took out my guitar and I started playin’
and I made him up a song to tell it right
about the car and the radio and all of his records
and how glad I was to meet him that night

I sang about what he’d taught me without even knowin’ it
and all the lessons I still had to learn
and Lightnin’ he just grinned, and when I was done
he told me a story in return

and I never learned to play the blues
I hope that’s all right
I never learned to play the blues
but I can sing and play guitar all night

he said he was walkin’ in the backwoods down in Texas one time
when he was only twelve years old
he was carryin’ his guitar, it was almost as big as he was
he was tired, hungry and cold

he saw some people was havin’ a picnic
he asked if he could sing for his meal
they turned him away, he said, ‘cause he was too raggedy
he could still remember how it made him feel

the he looked off into the distance through his dark sunglasses
and he grinned a little more just for chance
and he said “now I got money in the bank back home
and they know who I am in France”

and I never learned to play the blues
I hope that’s all right
I never learned to play the blues
but I can sing and play guitar all night

Lightnin’ died back in ’82
I can still remember where I was and how I heard
I was playin’ at the Meetin’ Place in Dublin
a local blues singer gave me the word

some people pass right through you
and maybe they leave a little mark
some people shine like a light for you sometimes
help you find your way when it gets dark

they say the world is made of stories
and from those stories our songs are grown
sometimes the songs get so big
you just have to make a song of your own

and I never learned to play the blues
I hope that’s all right
I never learned to play the blues
but I can sing and play guitar all night