Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much a legend. One Faustian myth says that he sold his soul to the devil at a local crossroads of Mississippi highways to achieve success.
As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime.
Robert Johnson Hellhound On My Trail lyrics
I got to keep moving, I got to keep moving
Blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail
Mmm, blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail
And the day keeps on remindin’ me, there’s a hellhound on my trail
Hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail
If today was Christmas eve, if today was Christmas eve
And tomorrow was Christmas day
If today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas day
All I would need is my little sweet rider
Just to pass the time away, to pass the time away
You sprinkled hot foot powder, mmm, around my door
All around my door
You sprinkled hot foot powder, all around your daddy’s door
It keeps me with ramblin’ mind rider
Every old place I go, every old place I go
I can tell the wind is risin’, the leaves tremblin’ on the tree
Tremblin’ on the tree
I can tell the wind is risin’, leaves tremblin’ on the tree
All I need is my little sweet woman
And to keep my company, hey, hey, hey, hey, my company
I seriously doubt he was taking about the same type of hellhounds as in Nikola’s pets. In those days people could not openly say what they were actually saying. They put it in riddles and parables.
And had he sold his soul for the talent as the myth says- didn’t it ever occur to myth makers he wouldn’t have died broke. Don’t you think he would’ve asked for the money too?