Runnin’ all ‘Round my Brain

There are two great songs, both by the name of Cocaine Blues. The better known version is probably the one that Johnny Cash made famous and whose lyrics state:

Early one mornin’ while makin’ the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin’ 44 beneath my head

The other version is a traditional tune that Dave Van Ronk made famous in the 1960s whose lyrics include:

Hey baby, you better come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Cocaine’s for horses and it’s not for men
Doctor said it kill you, but he don’t say when.
Cocaine all around my brain.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find Van Ronk’s definitive version of Cocaine Blues anywhere besides this clip. The only other recordings of Van Ronk I could find were from a 1985 public radio interview. If you skip to 32:45 into the interview, you can hear some live recording of Van Ronk’s legendary finger picking. If you are able to find more Dave Van Ronk material online, let me know!

Dylan used to sing the traditional version of Cocaine Blues as well, though I was not able to find it on any of his official albums. I found a weird neo-psychodelic version of the tune here by some guy who goes by name Entrance. Additionally, here is a nice version of the song sung by Jackson Browne. Enjoy 🙂

Related Tags: cocaine blues, Dave Van Ronk, Johnny Cash, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, music


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