"Ain't No More Cane" as written by and Odetta Felious Traditional....
Ain't no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It's all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh

You shoulda been on the river in ninteen-and-ten
Oh, oh, oh-oh
They were driving the women just like they drove the men
Oh, oh, oh-oh

Go down old Hannah, don'cha rise no more
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Don't you rise up til Judgment Day is for sure
Oh, oh, oh-oh

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It's all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh

Captain, don't you do me like you done poor old Shine
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Well ya drove that bully 'till he went stone blind
Oh, oh, oh-oh

Wake up on a lifetime, hold up your own head
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Well you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead
Oh, oh, oh-oh

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It's all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh


Lyrics submitted by BraveSirRobin

"Ain't No More Cane" as written by Anthony Leone Amy Helm

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Ain't No More Cane song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are insane, one of the most indesipherable Dylan songs I've heard.
    TheThornBirdson February 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaccording to wikipedia this is an old folk song (not a Dylan original)...the brazo is referring to a river in Texas which im assuming had cane growing along it. cane was used to make , well, you guessed it -canes. It was also used to make the flexible canes used in "caning" (judicial punishment)....i'm guessing that "in 1910", "driving the women like they drove the men" is referring to caning them.

    "you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead"
    curtainedgloomon September 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's actually an old prison blues song, traditionally sung by prison workers in Texas along the Brazos, where they cut sugar cane as part of their sentence.

    'Go down old hannah, don'cha rise no more
    Don't you rise up til judgment day's for sure'

    Cane was loaded onto flotillas along the Brazos River, and taken to be ground into molasses. The flotillas were designed to carry a specific weight, which was measured by marks on the side, the lower in the water she sat, the closer to full she became, so "old hannah" is the flotilla, he is wishing she would go down and don't you rise no more until judgement day is over and done! 'Taint no more Cane on the Brazos!

    Poor "shine" was either a mule or ox, or perhaps a fellow prisoner, who literally stroked out in the heat and lost his sight. The singer is asking his captors not to work him blind in the heat.

    In the final verse, he is basically saying, you wake to find yourself serving life at this, hoping you get parole before you drop dead. It's really a quite sad and depressing state, and the emotional message rings through quite clear. There was always more cane on the Brazos River, there would be another flotilla to fill, the misery would continue. These songs were inspired by raw human need to hold on to hope.

    bshowson June 15, 2011   Link
  • -2
    General Commentaccording to wikipedia this is an old folk song (not a Dylan original)...the brazo is referring to a river in Texas which im assuming had cane growing along it. cane was used to make , well, you guessed it -canes. It was also used to make the flexible canes used in "caning" (judicial punishment)....i'm guessing that "in 1910", "driving the women like they drove the men" is referring to caning them.

    "you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead"
    curtainedgloomon September 20, 2009   Link

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