Day 145, Song 165

Josh White

Bad Housing Blues

Josh White was a pioneering blues musician from Greenville, South Carolina.

In 1941, Josh White released Southern Exposure, an album of protest songs that included liner notes by novelist Richard Wright. The album was highly controversial in the South, and eventually came to the attention of President Roosevelt, who enjoyed the music and invited White to perform at the White House. White would go on to become a close friend of the president and his family, and performed at two of his subsequent inaugurations.


I woke up this morning, rain water in my bed. (2x) You know, my roof was leaking, Lord, leaking on my head. Now there ain't no reason I should live this way. (2x) I done lost my job. Can't even get on the WPA. Lord, I wonder when I'll hear good news. (2x) Right now I'm gonna tell you how I got them bad housing blues. I'm goin' to the Capitol, goin' to the White House lawn. (2x) Better wipe out these slums. Been this way since I was born.