Beale Street Blues

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Beale Street Blues  (1912) 
by W. C. Handy

I've seen the lights of gay Broadway,
Old Market Street down by the Frisco Bay,
I've strolled the Prado, I've gambled on the Bourse
The seven wonders of the world I've seen
And many are the places I have been.
Take my advice, folks and see Beale Street first.

You'll see pretty Browns in beautiful gowns,
You'll see tailor mades and hand me, downs
You'll meet honest men and pick-pockets skilled
You'll find that bus'ness never closes till somebody gets killed.

You'll see Hog-Nose rest'rants and Chitlin' Cafes
You'll see Jugs that tell of bygone days
And places, once places, now just a sham,
You'll see Golden Balls enough to pave the New Jerusalem.

If Beale Street could talk If Beale Street could talk,
Married men would have to take their beds and walk
Except one or two, who never drink booze
And the blind man on the corner who sings the Beale Street Blues.

I'd rather be here, than any place I know
I'd rather be here than any place I know
It's going to take the Sergant For to make me go,

Goin' to the river, maybe, bye and bye
Goin' to the river, and there's a reason why
Because the rivers wet and Beale Streets done gone dry.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1958, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.