“Back to Jericho”


Reworked floating verses in white-blues form: "I'm going back to Jericho, sugar babe (x3)"; "Never seen the likes since I've been born...." "Old Aunt Jemima going through the sticks...." "What you gonna do when the meat gives out...." Etc.


Jericho is a town in South Carolina. The singer is probably referring to that Jericho, not the one in the Bible. - PJS

I was tempted to classify this as a version of "Crawdad," since that is the source for so many of the verses. I'm still not sure about the matter. Does anyone know any other versions of this song? - RBW

Rinzler notes that Gaither Carlton learned this as a boy (c. 1915?), while Doc Watson learned it from his father. The song may date from the 1900s, therefore. While it's clearly related to "Crawdad Song," I think they're different enough to continue splitting them. - PJS

Cross references

  • cf. "Crawdad" (words, pattern, tune)


  • Carolina Tar Heels, "Back to Mexico" (Victor 23611, 1931)
  • Dock Walsh, "Going Back to Jericho" (Columbia 15094-D, 1926)
  • Doc Watson, Gaither Carlton & Ralph Rinzler, "I'm Going Back to Jericho" (on Ashley02, WatsonAshley01)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 170-171, "Back to Mexico" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #7694
  3. BI, CSW170


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (recording, Dock Walsh)