Delia. Delia's Gone. Little Delia (Traditional?)

registered as composers for the copyright on the titel "Delia" are Ernest B. McTell (sic!), Fred Hellerman and Lester Judson, Paul Hoeltermann, Gary Davis a.o., on the titel "Delia's Gone" Tommy and Waylon Jennings, Blake Alphonso Higgs, Alastair Ian Stewart, John R. Cash, a.o., on "Little Delia" Ernest B. McTell (!)

Sources:

inspiration for this song is Delia Green, who was shot and killed by 15-year-old Mose (or Moses) Houston late on Christmas Eve, 1900, in the Yamacraw neighborhood of Savannah GA, like it was published in contemporaneous reports in Georgia newspapers. Read more at Wikipedia. The name of the murderer is different in the songs, Curtis, Tony...

Recordings:

1935 - Nassau String Band - July, Aug. 1935 [field recordings from Alan Lomax's Caribbean travels] - "Delia Gone"

1940 - Blind Willie McTell - Atlanta GA - Nov. 5, 1940 - 4070-A-2 Library of Congress - Blind Willie McTell (v,g) - "Delia"

1949 - Blind Blake and his Royal Victoria Calypso Orchestra - Nassau, Bahamas

1949 - Blind Willie McTell - Atlanta GA - c Nov., 1949 - A 322 Atlantic unissued - Blind Willie McTell (v,g) - "Little Delia"

1950 -- Pete Seeger - Portland OR? - MDH, on: We sing (released 1950?) - "Delia's Gone"

1952 - Blind Blake and the Royal Victoria Hotel Calypso Orchestra - Art, on: A Third Album of Bahamian Songs - "Delia's Gone"

1954 - Pete Seeger - 1940s/50s - Folkways 2043, on: The Pete Seeger Sampler - Pete Seeger (v,bj) - "Delia's Gone"

1955 - Josh White - Electra 791, on: The Story Of John Henry & Ballads, Blues And Other Songs - "Delia's Gone"

1956 - Bob Gibson - Riverside, on: Offbeat Folksongs - "Delia"

1956 - Leon Bibb - Vanguard, on: Leon Bibb sings Love Songs - "Delia"

1956 - Paul Clayton - Riverside, on: Bloody Ballads: British and American Murder Ballads - "Delia"

1959 - Harry Belafonte - RCA, on: Love is a Gentle Thing - "Delia's Gone"

1959 - Bud & Travis - Liberty, on: Bud & Travis - "Delia's Gone"

1959 - Johnny Western - Nashville TN (Bradley Film & Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South) - Aug.19, 1959 - 4-41652/ BCD-15552 - "Delia's Gone" - Johnny Western (Grady Martin (g), Billy Byrd (g), Hank Garland (g), Joseph Zinkan (b), Buddy Harman (dr), Floyd Cramer (p), Anita Kerr Singers

1960 - Bob Dylan - May 1960 - St. Paul MN (Karen Wallace's Apartment) - (recordings by Karen Maynihan/Wallace) - Bob Dylan (g,v)

1960 - Bobby Short - March 6, 1959, Dec. 17, 1959 - on: Bobby Short on the East Side - "Delia's Gone"

1962 - Johnny Cash - Columbia, on: The Sound Of Johnny Cash - "Delia's Gone"

1964 - The Simon Sisters - Oct. 18, 1963-June 29, 1964 - "Delia"

1964 - The Overlanders - Pye 7N15719 - "Delia's Gone"

1965 - Bobby Bare - RCA, on: Constant Sorrow - "Delia's Gone"

1965 - John Koerner - Elektra, on: Spider Blues - "Delia Holmes"

1965 - Pat Boone - Hamilton, on: Pat Boone-1965 - "Delia Gone"

1970 - Gary Davis - March 1970 - New Milford CT - American Activities 103, on: Delia-Late Concert Recordings 1970-71 (released 1991?) - Gary Davis (g) - "Delia"

1970/71? - Roy Book Binder - Genes/Adelphi, on: Travelin' Man - "Delia"

1971 - David Bromberg - Columbia, on: Sammy's Song - "Dehlia"

1981 - Al Stewart - RCA, on: Indian Summer - "Delia's Gone"

1993 - Bob Dylan - Columbia, on: World Gone Wrong - "Delia"

1994 - Johnny Cash - American, on: American Recordings - "Delia's Gone"

1997 - Electric Bluebirds - Diamond, on: Back On the Train - "Delia"

2000 - David Johansen & the Harry Smiths - Chesky, on: David Johansen & the Harry Smiths - "Delia"

2000 - The Stop & Listen Boys - 1997/98 - Symbiotic Upland, on: Monkey Junk - "Delia"

2001 - Eric Bibbb - Rhino, on: Painting Signs - "Delia's Gone"

2001 - Jared Louche - Underground, on: A Tribute to the Legendary Man in Black: Johnny Cash - "Delia's Gone"

2001 - Pat Green & Cory Morrow - Write On, on: Songs We Wish We'd Written - "Delia's Gone"

2002 - Acker Bilk - Castle, on: The Pye Jazz Anthology - "Delia Gone"

2002 - Nassau String Band - July, Aug. 1935 - Rounder, Deep River of Song: Bahamas 1935, Vol. 2 - Ring Games and Round Dances - "Delia Gone"

2004 - 12 Step Rebels - Hairball 8, on: Dear Johnny...A Tribute to Cash - "Delia's Gone"

2006 - The Simon Sisters - Oct. 18, 1963-June 29, 1964 - Fontana/Hip-O Select, on: Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod - "Delia"

2007 - Alastair Moock - Nov. 15-19, 2006 - Corazong, on: Fortune Street - "Delia"

2008 - Peter Lang - Horus Records, on: Testament - "Delia"

2009 - City Ramblers Skiffle Group - Smith & Co., on: Great British Skiffle: Just About as Good as It Gets!, Vol.3 - "Delia's Gone"

2013 - Hans Theessink - Blue Groove, on: Wishing Well - "Delia"

Version Blind Willie McTell:

Delia was a-gamblin', gamble all around.
She was a gamblin' girl, she laid her money down.
She's all I've got, is [and?] gone.

Delia's dear mother took a trip out West
When she returned little Delia had gone to rest.
She's all I've got, is [and?] gone.

Delia's mother weep, Delia's father moan,
Wouldn't had been so bad if the child died at home.
She's all I've got, is [and?] gone.

Delia, Oh, Delia, how can it be?
Say you love them rounders and don't love me.
She's all I've got and gone.

Curtis in the barroom, drinking up a silver cup
Delia, she's in the graveyard, never come wake up.
She's all I've got and gone.

Rubber tired buggy, double-seated hack,
Taking Delia to the cemetary, but never bring her back.
She's all I've got, is gone.

Delia, oh, Delia, poor girl she's gone.
All I hate she has left me all alone.
She's all I've got, is gone.

Judge said to Curtis "What's the fuss about?"
"All about those gamblers, Judge, tryin' to cut me out."
She's all I've got and gone.

Curtis said to the judge "What might be my fine?"
And I told you "Poor boy, you got ninety-nine."
She's all I've got, is gone.

Up on my housetop, high as I can see,
Looking at those rounders, looking after me.
She's all I've got and gone.

Curtis' looking high, Curtis' looking low,
Shot poor Delia down with a cruel forty-four.
She's all I've got, is gone.

Version Pete Seeger:
("A Bahaman version of an American honky-tonk ballad")
 

Johnny shot his Delia
On a Christmas night;
First time he shot her
She bowed her head and died

Delia's gone, one more round, etc.

Sent for the doctor
Doctor came too late;
Sent for the minister
To layout Delia straight.

Refrain

Delia, Delia, where you
Been so long?
Everybody's talkin, about
Poor Delia dead and gone.

Refrain

Version Johnny Cash (on "American Recordings"):

Delia, oh, Delia, Delia all my life.
If I hadn't have shot poor Delia, I'd have had her for my wife.
Delia's gone, one more round, Delia's gone.

I went up to Memphis and I met Delia there,
Found her in her parlor and I tied her to her chair.
Delia's gone, one more round, Delia's gone.

She was low down and trifling and she was cold and mean.
Kind of evil, Make me want to grab my submachine.
Delia's gone one more round, Delia's gone.

First time I shot her, I shot her in the side
Hard to watch her suffer but with the second shot she died.
Delia's gone, one more round, Delia's gone.

But jailer, oh, jailer, jailer, I can't sleep,
'Cause all around my bedside I hear the patter of Delia's feet.
Delia's gone, one more round, Delia's gone.

So if your woman's devilish, you can let her run,
Or you can bring her down and do like Delia got done.
Delia's gone, one more round, Delia's gone.


Version Bob Dylan:


Delia was a gambling girl, gambled all around,
Delia was a gambling girl, she laid her money down.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Delia's dear mother took a trip out West,
When she returned, little Delia gone to rest.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Delia's daddy weeped, Delia's momma moaned,
Wouldn't have been so bad if the poor girl died at home.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Curtis' looking high, Curtis' looking low,
He shot poor Delia down with a cruel forty-four.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

High up on the housetops, high as I can see,
Looking for them rounders, looking out for me.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Men in Atlanta, tryin' to pass for way,
Delia's in the graveyard, boys, six feet out of sight.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Judge says to Curtis, "What's this noise about?"
"All about them rounders, Judge, tryin' to cut me out."
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Curtis said to the judge, "What might be my fine?"
Judge says, "Poor boy, you got ninety-nine."
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Curtis' in the jail house, drinking from an old tin cup,
Delia's in the graveyard, she might have never gettin' up.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Delia, oh Delia, how can it be?
You loved all them rounders, never did love me.
All the friends I ever had are gone.

Delia, oh Delia, how can it be?
You wanted all them rounders, never had time for me.
All the friends I ever had are gone.