One Kind Favor

This song was written and recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson with just him and his guitar in the late 1920s. It has been covered numerous times. The original arrangement doesn’t do full justice to the creepiness of the lyrics. Jerry Garcia and Meryl Saunders did a very good version in 1970 that improves on the instrumentation. Del McCoury, Dre Anders, and friends did a better version that honors the eerie lyrics in 2017. I know I’ve heard a similar version but I don’t remember the artists. It may have been Mavis Staples in a concert she did in Austin, TX several years ago, similar to this excellent recording

There is one kind favor I ask of you
One kind favor I ask of you
One kind favor I ask of you
That you see that my grave is kept clean

If you ever hear a church bell toll (note 1)
If you ever hear a church bell toll
If you ever hear a church bell toll
You may know by that I’m dead and gone

Well six white horses in a line
There’s six white horses in a line
Six white horses in a line
Taking me to that burying ground

Now dig my grave with a silver spade
Now dig my grave with a silver spade
Dig my grave with a silver spade
And lay me down with a golden chain (note 2)

There is one kind favor I ask of you
One kind favor I ask of you
One kind favor I ask of you
That you see that my grave is kept clean

Notes
(1) might be “church bell tone”
(2) the version on “Keystone Encores” has “Mark the place where I was laid”

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1 Response to One Kind Favor

  1. Jeff says:

    The vocals I remember are similar to a John Hammond solo album he released in 2006 but the accompaniment is a full band, probably from a concert here in Austin several years ago in support of the “Wicked Grin” album.

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