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Hesitating Blues - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Hesitating Blues has a lyric by W.C. Handy, published in 1915. The tune is traditional. The song has been recorded by Louis Armstrong, and also by Ertha Kitt. The same traditional tune is used for a song called 'Hesitation Blues', written by Billy Smythe, Scott Middleton and Art Gillham. The latter song has a different lyric.

Chords

Capo at 4th Fret

Am    E7                             Am                       E7
Hello central, what's the matter with this line?

Am         E7                 G7                    C7
I wanna talk to that high brown of mine
.


              F                                       C             C7
Tell me how long will I have to wait.

                         
G7                                                      C
Please give me two ninety eight, why do you hesitate?

Lyrics

Hello central, what's the matter with this line?
I wanna talk to that high brown of mine.
Tell me how long will I have to wait.
Please give me two ninety eight, why do you hesitate?

Oh, what you say, can't talk to my brown?
A storm last night blowed the wires all down?
Now, tell me how long will I have to wait.
Oh, won't you tell me now, why do you hesitate?

Say, Sunday night, my beau proposed to me,
Said, he'd be happy if his wife I'd be.
Said, "How long, baby, will I have to wait?"
Come be my wife, my Kate, why do you hesitate?"

I declined him; it was just for a stall.
He left that night on the cannonball.
How long, will I have to wait?
Oh, won't you tell me now, why do you hesitate?

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs