Johnson's June 20, 1937 recording has a typical 12 bar blues structure (though as is common in downhome blues of this era, the length of each verse is in fact thirteen-and-a-half bars of 4/4), played on a single guitar tuned to open G, with a slide. It was first released on the 1961 compilation LPKing of the Delta Blues Singers. The song has proved popular with more recent blues musicians. A second alternate version was recorded the same day (and was considered lost) but was finally released officially on the 2011 album The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection).
The song is well known for the lyric "Now you can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my leg," which was later used by Led Zeppelin in their song "The Lemon Song," from the album Led Zeppelin II. It is likely that Johnson had taken this himself from a song recorded earlier that same year (1937) called "She Squeezed My Lemon", by Roosevelt Sykes.
It is quite different from the original, and it is more a tribute to Robert Johnson than a straight cover. The song showcases a riff by Page (also in open G tuning), and in the lyrics Robert Plant quotes many Robert Johnson songs, such as "She studies evil all the time", from "Kind Hearted Woman Blues", and "Why don't you come on in my kitchen", from "Come on in My Kitchen" (which is heard during the song's solo). The lines "she got a mortgage on my body, got a lien on my soul" and reference to "front teeth lined with gold" at the end of the song are also from Johnson's original.
It was interest from US radio interviewers and fans during Page's Outrider tour that originally led him to negotiate with BBC Enterprises for the song's release. A promotional video clip was also released in 1990, with out-take footage from the band's 1976 concert film, The Song Remains the Same inter-spliced with other footage from the band's archive. The clip also features a railroad montage, and underwater shots of the Mississippi River. The song reached number seven on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks Top 50 chart in November 1990, culled from national album rock radio airplay reports.