Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out


h1 February 1st, 2009

Written in the 1920s before the Great Depression by Jim Cox and made popular by Bessie Smith’s hit record, this song was prophetic of events to transpire in the United States and the world.

Now almost 100 years later – here we are again! I played this in the key of B on my Martin D-12-42RM, 5-string banjo and mandolin. The chord notation is in C.

Lyrics:

(by Jimmie Cox)

[C] Once I lived the [E7] life of a [A7] millionaire,
[d min.] Spending all my [A7] money, I didn’t [d min.] care.
[F] Takeing my [B7] friends [C] for a mighty fine [A7] time,
[D7] Buying bootleg liquor, [G7] champagne and wine.

Then I began to fall so low,
Lost all my good friends, had no place to go.
If I ever get my hands on a dollar again,
I’m gonna hold on to it till that eagle grins.

‘Cause no, no, nobody knows you
When you’re down and out.
In your pocket, not one penny,
And all your good friends, you haven’t any.

If you ever get back on your own two feet again,
Everybody’s going to want to be your old long-lost friend.
It’s mighty strange, without a doubt,
Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.

If you ever get back on your own two feet again,
Everybody’s going to want to be your old long-lost friend.
It’s mighty strange, without a doubt,
Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.

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