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What Is Midnight Special Song – The popular Traditional Folk Music


Midnight special song” is considered the most famous contribution to the traditional folk song. Though the songs originated in the USA, musicians worldwide have covered this exotic song in their style. Musicians like: ABBA, Van Morrison, Johnny Rivers, Pete Seeger, Mungo Jerry, Little Richard, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney have composed Midnight Special in their style. And there are some iconic versions that are still remembered wherever comes the name of “Midnight Special song.”

The song has an interesting origin history that also attracts people. Let’s head towards the in-depth analysis of Midnight special songs.

What is a Midnight Special song?

Midnight Special is the traditional music of South America. The prisoners of the country originated the song.

A passenger from the South USA has pushed the music. The originating history says the train is used as a metaphor for the prisoners’ emotions. The lyrics of the song carried the hope and pain among the prisoner. The light of the train made them more substantial and hopeful about their freedom. The song highlights the ever-loving light and ever-living light.

The lyrics could make the prisoners more optimistic about their freedom. They gathered the power and hoped against slavery. Since then, music has a special place among people’s hearts.

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Originate history of Midnight special song

For the first time, the famous folk number: Midnight special song got published in 1905. Howard Odum recorded the music.

By the year 1923, an American magazine, “Adventure” printed the song. Later with time, so many famous musicians published their versions of cover songs. Midnight special got commercially recorded by the year 1926. In 1927, two different versions of the music were published in American Songbag. By the year 1929, OTTO Gray and the Oklahoma cowboys published the song.

Later, Huddie Willam, Lead Belly, Lead better published their versions. But the KLAedbetter version got so popular because of the parallel lines. Besides, the Wilma Lee and Sony cooper version caught supremely hit in 1959.

The official version – The midnight special song

The official version of the music was published in 1969 at the Fantasy studio, Berkeley, California. The official version one goes for 4.23 minutes. This one was sung by Creedence clearwater revival. And the version is included in the “Willy and the poor boys.”

Lyrics of “The Midnight Special Song”

The midnight special song has been known for its lyrics. The lines of the song always made everyone feel the emotion. Let’s have a check on the lyrics once:

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me.

Let the Midnight Special shine an ever-loving light on me.

Yonder comes to miss Rosie; how in the world did you know?

By the way, she wears her apron and the clothes she wore.

Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand;

She comes to see the governor; she wants to free her man.

.Let the Midnight Special

If you’re ever in Houston, well, you better do the right;

You better not gamble there; you better not fight at all.

Or the sheriff will grab you, and the boys will bring you down.

The next thing you know, boy, Oh! You’re prison bound.

Let the Midnight Special ….

These lyrics were a part of the prisoners of South America. The prisoners from their cells could hear the sire of that train of midnight special. The lights and rays at night came every night as a hope of the prisoner. The rays could make them hopeful about their upcoming freedom.

Final words

Midnight Special songs have always been something special to the world. The lyrics, originate history, and music everyone made the music something extra. Still, the famous musicians are experimenting with this song with their voice and version. Not only the prisoners but also people who’re stuck somehow in life find the music relatable. 

Written by Vocal Bop Desk

Vocal Bop Desk is a team of passionate music lovers who work tirelessly to provide up-to-date news and information about concerts, tours, and tickets. They cover a wide range of genres and artists, from pop to rock, from hip-hop to country, from classical to alternative. Vocal Bop Desk is your ultimate source for everything music.


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