"Hard Time killing Floor" as written by and Skip James....
Hard time here and everywhere you go
Times is harder than ever been before

And the people are driftin' from door to door
Can't find no heaven, I don't care where they go

Hear me tell you people, just before I go
These hard times will kill you just dry long so

Well, you hear me singin' my lonesome song
These hard times can last us so very long

If I ever get off this killin' floor
I'll never get down this low no more
No-no, no-no, I'll never get down this low no more

And you say you had money, you better be sure
'Cause these hard times will drive you from door to door

Sing this song and I ain't gonna sing no more
Sing this song and I ain't gonna sing no more

Hard times will drive you from door to door


Lyrics submitted by FackingHell

"Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" as written by Skip James

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Hard Time killing Floor song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThere are great contrasts between versions of this song, the 1931 version you can hear skip james singing this song like he means it, and it is very contemparary to his period in time.

    This song is basically about being poor and having to move from door to door, or home to home, job to job. a "Killin' Floor" is old 30's slang for a Slaughter house where the blacks would often have the worst jobs of all. The slaughter house was the only placement of work many black americans who migrated north to the illinois region at this time could get a job at.

    in the 1960's version he seems to be singing this song in retrospective of his life and in my opinion sounds even sadder.
    FackingHellon October 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis would have to be the saddest song I have ever heard...it brings me to tears... It is the only song I have ever actually felt something from, like the guitar and his voice creeps into you and surrounds your soul.

    The first time I heard this song was actually the Chris Thomas King version which I would have to say is still good but it isn't the same. The guitar in his version is very haunting though.

    Skip James has this eerie voice and he plays the guitar in a way that it seems to be weeping. His songs relate to existential things- You can feel his great sadness of his soul but he also has this hope or something...it is hard to explain.

    Beautiful.
    imponderableon April 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationStarting to learn this on guitar (beware, VERY funky tuning).
    The one verse I would like to look at is this:

    And the people are driftin' from door to door
    Can't find no heaven, I don't care where they go

    This seems to me awfully dark. The protagonist(?) is looking at the other people and basically saying 'Listen, I'm so poor I got my own stuff to worry about. I don't care where you go.' That's harsh.
    joe2475on May 04, 2017   Link

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