Sugar Baby


h1 August 1st, 2007

The New Lost City Ramblers were the first to introduce me to this song in the early 60s in New York City. Mike Seeger of the Ramblers had made friends with Dock Boggs who was famous for recording “Sugar Baby” for Brunswick Records in 1926. The song was eventually included on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music.

Mike gave Boggs the opportunity to come to New York and record again after a long hiatus from the music business. Dock’s style of banjo playing is interesting because he didn’t use the claw hammer approach common to most banjo stylists of Appalachia. Dock used a three finger up-picking technique that was quite unique.

This song also appears on “Harry Smith Connection” sung by Jeff Tweedy, Jay Bennett and me – a compilation CD recorded live at the Wolf Trap Farm in October, 1997

The Harry Smith Connection

Lyrics:
Sugar Baby

Oh I’ve got no sugar baby now
All I can do is to seek peace with you
And I can’t get along this a-way
Can’t get along this a-way

All I can do, I’ve said all I can say
I’ll send it to your mama next payday
Send you to your mama next payday.

I got no use for the red rockin’ chair,
I’ve got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Who’ll rock the cradle, who’ll sing the song
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone?
I’ll rock the cradle, I’ll sing the song
I’ll rock the cradle when you gone.

It’s all I can do
It’s all I can say,
I will send you to your mama next payday

Laid her in the shade, give her every dime I made
What more could a poor boy do
What more could a poor boy do?

Oh I’ve got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Said all I can say, I’ve done all I can do
And I can’t make a living with you
Can’t make a living with you

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