Motherless Children

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Motherless Children"
Single by Blind Willie Johnson
Format78 rpm record
RecordedDallas, Texas, December 3, 1927
GenreGospel blues
LabelColumbia (14343-D)[1]

"Motherless Children" is a blues standard first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1927,[2] and later popularised by such artists (inter alia) as Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Steve Miller, Eric Clapton, Rosanne Cash and Lucinda Williams.[3]

The song[4] has an autobiographical theme, as Johnson's mother died when he was young. His father remarried soon after her death, and later the stepmother allegedly blinded the boy with lye after the father found her in flagrante delicto.


  • Evans, David. Ramblin' on My Mind: New Perspectives on the Blues. University of Illinois Press, 2008. ISBN 0-252-07448-3
  • Sackheim, Eric. The Blues Line: Blues Lyrics from Leadbelly to Muddy Waters. Da Capo Press, 2003. ISBN 1-56025-567-6


  1. ^ "Blind Willie Johnson discography". Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Blind Willie Johnson-Mother's Children Have A Hard Time (December 3, 1927), Internet Archive
  3. ^ "Motherless Children". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  4. ^ "Motherless Children Lyrics - Blind Willie Johnson". Retrieved July 25, 2016.