Ramblin' on My Mind

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"Ramblin' On My Mind"
Single by Robert Johnson
A-side "Cross Road Blues"
Released May 1937 (1937-05)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded San Antonio, Texas
Monday, November 23, 1936
Genre Blues
Length 2:51
Label Vocalion
Writer(s) Robert Johnson
Producer(s) Don Law
Robert Johnson singles chronology
"I Believe I'll Dust My Broom"
"Ramblin' On My Mind"
"Come On In My Kitchen"

"Ramblin' On My Mind" is a blues song recorded on November 23, 1936 in San Antonio, Texas by blues musician Robert Johnson. The song was originally released on 78 rpm format as Vocalion 03519 and ARC 7-05-81. Johnson performed the song in the key of E, and recorded two takes. Both takes were used for different pressings of both the Vocalion issue and the ARC issue.[1]

The song used the melody made popular by the hit record "M & O Blues" by Walter Davis. Johnson composed two songs to this melody "Ramblin' On My Mind" and When You Got A Good Friend with different musical approaches and different guitar tunings, although both were in the key of E. For "Ramblin' On My Mind" he used an open tuning that allowed him to combine a boogie shuffle on the bass strings with bottleneck triplets on the treble strings.[2] These slide triplets were the model for Elmore James's guitar accompaniment to "Dust My Broom".[3]

The song was covered by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and featured on the album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, and by Clapton on the albums Just One Night, Crossroads 2: Live in the Seventies, Sessions for Robert J, and on Live from Madison Square Garden.


  1. ^ Dixon, Robert M. W., John Godrich, & Howard Rye (1997) Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943 Fourth edition, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-816239-1
  2. ^ Komara, Edward (2007). The Road to Robert Johnson, The genesis and evolution of blues in the Delta from the late 1800s through 1938. pp. 47-48. Hal Leonard. ISBN 0-634-00907-9
  3. ^ Wald, Elijah (2004). Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. p 139. Amistad. ISBN 0-06-052423-5