Crossroad Blues

Cross Road Blues (take 2)

I went to the crossroad

    fell down on my knees

I went to the crossroad

    fell down on my knees

Asked the Lord above "Have mercy, now

    save poor Bob, if you please

Mmmmm, standin' at the crossroad

    I tried to flag a ride

Standin' at the crossroad

    I tried to flag a ride

Didn't nobody seem to know me

    everybody pass me by

Mmm, the sun goin' down, boy

    dark gon' catch me here

oooo ooee eeee

    boy, dark gon' catch me here

I haven't got no lovin' sweet woman that

    love and feel my care

You can run, you can run

    tell my friend-boy Willie Brown

You can run, you can run

    tell my friend-boy Willie Brown

Lord, that I'm standin' at the crossroad, babe

    I believe I'm sinkin' down

speaker:

a man at the point of no return

dramatic situation:

he's recovering from his encounter with the devil

tone:

desperate, alone, scared

mood:

chilled

alliteration:

  • "save poor Bob, if you please"
  • "Didn't nobody seem to know me"

assonance:

  • "fell down on my knees"
  • "Asked the Lord above 'Have mercy'"
  • "I tried to flag a ride"
  • "Didn't nobody seem to know me"
  • "I haven't got no lovin' sweet woman that"
  • tell my friend-boy Willie Brown"

imagery:

crossroad, falling, knees, sunset, darkness

symbolism:

The crossroad is where thing happen because they have to--there is nothing but absolutes. Falling is a kind of helplessness; knees usually have to do with penitence or pleading. Sunset is death or dying. Darkness is death, ignorance, and the Devil's time.

metaphor:

simile:

scan:

theme:

plot:

The speaker is alone and cannot find either a friend or a sympathetic passerby.

comment:

The speaker is giving up when he falls to his knees--he is turning himself over to the stronger forces echoed when he calls to God. He doesn't say what is going to happen when the darkness arrives, but it can't be anything good. In the last line of the third verse he says he doesn't have a woman. Usually when darkness falls (lines 1 and 2) he can be protected within the circle of a woman's arms. This night, however, he is alone and unprotected. In the last verse he speaks to someone who, apparently, is not a good enough friend to give him a ride. He tells this person to tell his friend what happened to him. In facing death or destruction he seeks an epitaph--some part of him to live on.