Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Jake Walk Blues, song lyrics

Song: Jake Walk Blues
Lyrics: Austin Allen(2)

Music: Austin Allen
Year: 1930
Genre: Jug Washboard Band
Country: USA

I can't eat, I can't talk,
Been drinkin' mean jake(3), Lord, now I can't walk,
Ain't got nothin' now to lose,
'Cause I'm a jake walkin' papa, with the jake walk(4) blues.

Listen here, papa, can't you see,
You can't drink jake and get along with me,
You're a jake walkin' papa with the jake walk blues,
I'm a red hot mama that you can't afford to lose .
This song was originally posted on
Listen here daddy, while I tell you once more,
If you're gonna drink jake don't you knock at my door,
Listen here mama, have to call your hand,
I'm a jake walkin' papa from a jake walk land.

I'm not good lookin' and I'm not low down,
I'm a jake walkin' papa just a-hangin' around,
Now I made this song and it may not rhyme,
But I'm a jake walkin' papa just a-havin' a good time.
This song was originally posted on
My daddy was a gambler and a drunkard too,
If he was living today, he'd have the jake walk too,
When I die, you can have my hand,
Gonna take a bottle of jake to the Promised Land.

Now, I'm feelin' kind of drunk, brother,
Be a wearin' jake socks after awhile,
You know they call them iron socks,(5)
You know, I bet you don't know one from the other, brother,
Which is the other?


1 - Recorded by the Allen Brothers on Bluebird records B-5001 on June 5, 1930.

2 - Austin Allen was a member of the singing group The Allen Brothers.

3 - "Jake" was a Jamaican ginger extract used as a patent medicine and contained 70-80% ethanol and was drunk during the years of Prohibition as a way to get around the ban on alcohol.

4 - Jake Leg. With changes the government imposed to prevent the abuse of Jake, some bootleggers adulterated Jake but with a substance that turned out to be a neurotoxin that if it did not kill them gave them a very peculiar gait that became known a "Jake walk". This partial paralysis affected some 50,000 Americans in 1930.

5 - The "iron socks" were leg braces.