A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 26, 2013

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - Parchman Farm (1966)

Originally formed in 1963, this band’s name has been the general name given to the work of John Mayall and the musicians playing with him at any given time. It’s said that more than one hundred varying lineups have existed from 1963 to the present, 2013. Notable members of the band have included Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce (who later co-formed Cream together), Peter Green and John McVie (who later co-formed Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood), Mick Taylor (who would later join The Rolling Stones), and Hughie Flint (who later co-formed McGuinness Flint). When Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds in February 1965 to pursue the blues, it was this band in which he found an outlet. Clapton joined in April 1965, after the release of the band’s first album, but they were soon dropped by their label, Decca, later that same year. In 1966, the band was resigned to Decca and they released their second album, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, in July. The same month of the album’s release, Clapton went to a Buddy Guy concert and was influenced to try and form a power trio, what would eventually become Cream. Although Clapton would never rejoin this band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers would continue on until their first official breakup in 1967. The band reformed in 1982 and lasted another twenty-four years before again calling it quits in 2008. As of 2009, the band still remains active.

Many traditional blues songs have been written about the Mississippi State Penitentiary, nicknamed Parchman Farm, under this song title. In 1957, inspired by all of those songs, Mose Allison wrote a song of the same name and theme using different lyrics. The version heard below is a cover of Allison’s song, released by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers on their album, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, in July 1966. The song has also been covered by The Kingston Trio, Blue Cheer, Rick Derringer, Hot Tuna, and many others.

album art

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - Parchman Farm (1966)

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Lyrics:

Well I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
Ain't ever done no man no harm

Well I'm puttin’ that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm puttin’ that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm puttin’ that cotton in an eleven foot sack
With a twelve-gauge shotgun at my back

I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
Well I'm sittin’ over here on Parchman Farm
Ain't ever done no man no harm

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