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Howlin' Wolf

Smokestack Lightnin' (3:08)

Based on one riff and no chord changes, Smokestack Lightning has been called "a distillation of the essence of the blues". It was loosely was based on "Crying at Daybreak", another earlier recorded song by Wolf which was based on "Moon Going Down" by Charley Patton. Wolf said the song was inspired by watching trains in the night: "We used to sit out in the country and see the trains go by, watch the sparks come…

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Ah-oh, smokestack lightnin'
Shinin', just like gold
Why don't ya hear me cryin'?
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