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The Nina Simone Database
Barra
Work Song
Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown jr
From the Brown's first album Sin and Soul ... and Then Some released in 1960.

Recording sessions
1961: New York
Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
Breaking rocks and serving my time
Breaking rocks out here on a chain gang
 
 
1963 April 12: New York Carnegie Hall
One two one two three

Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
 
 
1963: New York
Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
Breaking rocks and serving my time
Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
Cos they done convicted me a crime

Hold it steady right there while I hit it
Well I reckon that ought to get it
I’ve been working and working
But I still got so terribly far to go

I committed crime Lord I needn’t
Crime of being hungry and poor
I left the grocery store man breathing
When they caught me robbing his store

Hold it out there while I hit it
Well I reckon that’s gonna get it
I’ve been working and working
But I still got so terribly far to go

I heard the judge say five years labour
On the chain gang you gonna go
I heard the judge say five years labour
I heard my old man scream Lordy no

Hold it steady right there while I hit it
Well I reckon that ought to get it
I’ve been working and working
But I still got so terribly far to go

Yeah ah ah yeah

I’m getting tired and tired and tired and tired
And tired and tired and tired
Working on the chain gang
Oh but they still they tell me I still
Even though I’m so tired and tired
They tell me I still got so terribly far to go

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1963 July 4: Newport (US-RI) 9th Jazz Festival
 
1966 August 26: New York RCA
Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
Breaking rocks and serving my time
Breaking rocks out here on the chain gang
 
 
Unknown recording session
1965 single 2 Forbidden Fruit + Work Song Pye Records UP-456-Y (JP)