From Cape Girardeau,
Fo' miles on down,
to New Orleans delta
An' Mobile town, (5-6, 14-16)
Dey comes to hear Ma Rainey from de little river settlements,
From blackbottom cornrows and from lumber camps;
Dey stumble in de hall, jes a'laughin' and' a-cacklin',
Cheerin' lak roarin' water, lak wind in river swamps. (19-22)
'It rained fo' days an' de skies was dark as night,
Trouble taken place in de lowlands at night.
'Thundered an' lightened an' the storm begin to roll
Thousan's of people ain't got no place to go.
'Den I went an' stood upon some high ol' lonesome hill,
An' looked down on the place where I used to live.' (42-47)