Cover
Traditional
W. C. Handy

Song Information

The song's origins are somewhat nebulous and can be traced back to the 19th century. It appeared in sheet music in 1908 as part of "Blind Boone's Southern Rag Medley No. One: Strains from the Alleys." Various versions of the lyrics were first published in 1911 in an academic journal of ethnomusicology. Some sources attribute the modern score to W. C. Handy, who later modified it into a song known as Atlanta Blues. Mississippi John Hurt recorded it as "Ain't No Tellin'" in December 1928.

Lyrics

Make me a pallet on your floor Make me a pallet on your floor Make it soft, make it low, so my good gal won't know Make me a pallet on your floor. I know that I'd be satisfied, If I could hop that train and ride If I make Atlanta with no place to go, Make me a pallet on your floor Make me a pallet on your floor, Make it right down to the door, Make it long, make it low, so my good gal won't ever know, Make me a pallet on your floor Give everybody my regards, I'm goin' if I have to ride the rods, And if I make Atlanta with no place to go, Make me a pallet on your floor I'm tired and I cant work no more (2x) Well Im tired, lonesome, weary and I cant work no more, Pretty baby now, make me a pallet on your floor Come all you good time friends of mine, Come all you good time friends of mine. You're all around me now, well, now I'm doing fine, But where were you when I only had a dime. Where are all them good-time friends of mine? (repeat) When I had a dollar bill they treated me jus' fine; Where are they no I don't have a dime? I'm goin' where the water tastes like wine-- (2x) This New York water tastes like turpentine-- I'm goin' where the water taste like wine. I'm goin' where them chilly winds don't blow; (2x) When I get to Mussel Shoals, without no place to go, Make me a pallet on your floor. Honey make me down a pallet on your floor (x2) Honey make it down make it soft and low Then maybe my good gal she wouldn't know I'm goin' up the country through the sleet and snow (x3) Ain't no tellin' just how far I'll go I get my breakfast here and my dinner in Tennessee (x3) I told you I's a comin' so you better look for me Honey I can't lay down 'cross your bed No I can't lay down 'cross your bed No you know I can't lay down cross your pretty bed 'Cause my good gal she might kill me dead Make me down a pallet on your floor, (2x) Make me a pallet down soft and low, Make me a pallet on your floor. Up the country, where there's cold, sleet and snow Up the country where there's cold, sleet and snow, I'm goin' up the country where there's cold, sleet and snow, No tellin' how much further I may go. Way of sleepin', my back and shoulders' tired, Way of sleepin', my back and shoulders' tired This way of sleepin', my back and shoulders' tired Goin' turn over and try it on the side. Don't you let my good girl catch you here Please don't let my good girl catch you here Or she might shoot you, might cut and stab you, too, No tellin' what she might do. Worried blues are everywhere I see These worried blues are everywhere I see These blues are all around me, they're everywhere I go Make me a pallet on your floor. I'd be more than satisfied If I could take that train and ride When I reach Atlanta, with no place to go You can make me a pallet on your floor.