Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out is a 1923 composition by Jimmy Cox, popularized by Bessie Smith in 1929, and sung by Otis, Janis, Van the Man, Eric Clapton, and many, many others. Frizz of flkrcomments did a swell banjo version the other day as well as a dobro version! and, so inspired, Bumba and Maybank wanted to join the party/chorus. Click below to hear the song, and by now you should be singing along. The lyrics:
Once I lived the life of a millionaire/Spending my money and I didn’t care/Taking my friends out for a mighty good time/Buying bootleg whiskey, champagne, and wine
Then I began to fall so low/Didn’t have no friends and I had no place to go/It’s mighty strange but there without a doubt/Nobody knows ya when you’re down and out…
When I get back on my feet again/Everybody’s gonna want to be my long lost friend/ It’s kinda strange but there ain’t no doubt/Nobody knows you when you’re down and out
Nobody knows you/When you’re down and out/In your pocket not a penny/ And all those friends you used to have… well, now you haven’t any
If I ever get back on my feet again/Gonna hold on to that dollar till the eagle grins/Yeah, it’s mighty strange/But there ain’t no doubt/Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.