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

You know that people, they are are driftin' from door to door
But you can't find no heaven, I don't care where they go

People, if I ever can get up off of this old hard killin' floor
Lord, I'll never get down this low no more

When you hear me singin' this old lonesome song
People, you know these hard times can last us so long

You know, you say you had money, you better be sure
Lord, these hard times gon' kill you, just drag on slow


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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  • 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
  • 0
    General CommentSkip James one of the Legends of Delta Blues this is a different song but has the same title as a later electric blues "Killing Floor", the structure is 8 bars, the verses just tell it like it is : a life of hardship and despair, true to the hard times of the 1930's Depression when it was recorded. His singing is haunting and bleak, a dark classic of the blues.
    HarryIreneon January 10, 2018   Link

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