White House Blues

White House Blues

[with chords for those who would like to try this at home]

D
Zolgotz, cruel man
D G D
He shot poor McKinley with a handkerchief on his hand
A7 G
In Buffalo, in Buffalo
Zolgotz, you done him wrong
You shot poor McKinley when he was walkin’ along
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

The pistol fired then McKinley he did fall
The doctor says “McKinley, I can’t find the ball”
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

They sent for the doctor, the doctor come
He come in a-chargin’, he come in a-runnin’
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

He saddled his horse and he swung on his rein
And he trotted the horse till he outrun the train
To Buffalo, to Buffalo

Forty-four boxes all trimmed in braid
A sixteen-wheeled driver, boys, it couldn’t make the grade
To Buffalo, to Buffalo
Forty-four boxes trimmed in lace
Take him back to the baggage, boys, where I can’t see his face
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

Mrs. Mckinley took a trip, and she took it out west
Where she couldn’t hear the people talk about McKinley’s death
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

The engine whistled down the line
A-blowing every station – McKinley was a-dying
In Buffalo, in Buffalo

Seventeen coaches all trimmed in black
Took McKinley to the graveyard but never brought him back
To Buffalo, to Buffalo

Seventeen coaches all trimmed in black
Took Roosevelt to the White House but never brought him back
To Buffalo, to Buffalo
SPOKEN: That was Theodore Roosevelt

(2)

McKinley he hollered, McKinley he squalled
The doctor said “McKinley, I can’t find that ball”
From Buffalo to Washington

Roosevelt in the White House, he’s doin’ his best
McKinley in the graveyard, he’s takin’ his rest
He’s gone a long old time

Hush up little children, now don’t you fret
You’ll draw a pension at your papa’s death
From Buffalo to Washington

Roosevelt in the White House, drinkin’ out of a silver cup
McKinley in the graveyard, he never wakes up
He’s gone a long, long time
Ain’t but the one thing that grieves my mind
That is to die and leave my poor wife behind
I’m gone a long old time
Standing at the station, just lookin’ at the time
See by it you’re running by half-past nine
From Buffalo to Washington

Pay in the train, she’s just on time
She’ll run a thousand miles from eight o’clock till nine
From Buffalo to Washington

Yonder comes the train, she’s comin’ down the line
Throwin’ them a station message, McKinley’s a-dyin’
It’s hard times, hard times

Look a-here, you rascal, you see what you’ve done
You shot my husband with that Ivor Johnstone gun
Carry him back to Washington
The doc told the horse, he tore down the rein
Said to that horse, “You’ve got to outrun this train
From Buffalo to Washington”

Doctor came a-running, taked off his specs
Said “Mr. McKinley, better cash in your checks
You’re bound to die, bound to die”

From The Mudcat Cafe, “White House Blues
SOURCE: Bob Pfeffer
SOURCE’S SOURCE: (1) Bascom Lamar Lunsford, RECORD: “Songs and Ballads of American History and of the Assassination of
Presidents” (Library of Congress)
(2) Charlie Poole, RECORD:
COMMENTS: BLL titled it “Zolgotz”; he heard Willard Randolph sing it in about 1923. c.f. also A. Lomax “FS of North America”

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