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1919 Influenza Blues, song lyrics

Song: 1919 Influenza Blues
Lyrics: unknown

Year: Assumed to be 1930's(2)
Genre: Blues
Country: USA

It was nineteen hundred and nineteen;
Men and women were dying,
With the stuff that the doctor called the flu.
People were dying everywhere,
Death was creepin' all through the air,
And the groans of the rich sure was sad.
This song was originally posted on
Well it was God's almight plan,
He was judging this old land,
North and south, east and west,
It can be seen,
It killed the rich, killed the poor,
It's gonna kill just a little more,
If you don't turn away from the shame.

Down in Memphis, Tennessee,
The doctor said it soon would be,
In a few days influenza would be controlled.
Doctor sure man he got had,
Sent the doctors all home to bed,
And the nurses all broke out with the same.
This song was originally posted on

Influenza is the kind of disease,
Makes you weak down to your knees,
Carries a fever everybody surely dreads,
Packs a pain in every bone,
In a few days, you are gone.
To that hole in the ground called your grave.



1 - Transcribed in 2013 from the Essie Ray Jenkins rendition.

2 - It is assumed from the style to be from the 1930's, but little is known about this song, it origins or author.

3 - 1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and Pandemic Flu History with the 1918-1919 outbreak being called the Spanish Flu Pandemic.

4 - If you have any information on Essie Ray Jenkins or the origins of this song, please let us know. Thank you.