Pay Me My Money Down

A work song, "Pay Me My Money Down" (Roud 21449) originated among the black stevedores working in the Georgia Sea Islands.


Pay Me My Money Down (WORD)
Pay Me My Money Down (PDF)

YOU CAN PLAY ALONG IN THE SAME KEY AS BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, but songsheet above has been abridged and tweaked for playing at BUG! Thanks to Heather B for suggesting!

"Pay Me My Money Down" was collected by Lydia Parrish and published in her 1942 book, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands. The melody is much older and used in other songs.

Also known as "Pay Me" or "Pay Me, You Owe Me", it was performed by The Weavers during their influential 1955 Carnegie Hall concerts. It was further popularized by The Kingston Trio on tour starting in 1957. Dan Zanes performed a children's version done calypso-style on his popular 2002 album Night Time.

"Pay Me My Money Down" was the first single and video released from Bruce Springsteen's 2006 big band folk album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. It was one of the most popular songs played on Springsteen's subsequent Seeger Sessions Band Tour, where it usually closed out the main set amidst much on-stage hijinks and repetitions. On June 23, 2006, near the end of the American leg of that tour, Springsteen performed the song on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with his E-Street Band, along with host Conan O'Brien, the show's band The Max Weinberg 7, and guests Thomas Haden Church and Jimmy Fallon. It was also the only Seeger song to date to return to regular play with the E-Street Band in the later stages of the 2013 Wrecking Ball Tour.

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