“Late Last Night When Willie Came Home (Way Downtown)”


"Late last night when Willie came home Heard a mighty rapping on the door... Willie don't you rap no more." The song then veers to floating verses. Chorus: "Oh me, oh my, what's gonna become of me I's downtown, fooling around No one to stand for me"


It's hard to tell if the Handy text "Ever After On" belongs here. Certainly they derive from the same roots; the Handy text begins "Late last night when my baby come home I heard a mighty knocking on my door... Told him Baby don't you knock no more." The chorus runs, "But I'll love my baby till the seas run dry... Oh ain't it hard... To love a man that don't love you."

The rest, like the version in Wheeler, is fairly standard for a traditional blues: Verses unrelated except in their sorrowful feeling, and borrowed from all over. I initially listed it as a separate song based on the notes in Handy/Silverman, which imply multiple versions in Odum and Johnson. But I suspect those are actually versions of "Late Last Night." - RBW

Cross references


  • Frank Blevins, "Late Last Night when Willie Came Home" (Columbia, 1927; unissued)
  • Uncle Dave Macon w. Sam McGee, "Late Last Night When My Willie Come Home" (Vocalion 5095, 1926; on RoughWays2)
  • Poplin Family, "Hammer Ring" (on Poplin01)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Late Last Night When Willie Came Home" (on NLCR02)
  • Louise Foreacre, "Last Last Night" (on Stonemans01)
  • Doc Watson, Clint Howard & Fred Price, "Way Down Town" (on Ashley03, WatsonAshley01)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 166, "Late Last Night When Willie Came Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. MWheeler, p. 87-89, "Come On, My Pink, an' Tell Me What You Think" (1 text, 1 tune, consisting of many floating verses -- the first, e.g., comes from "Little Pink" -- but which overall seems closest to this)
  3. Handy/Silverman-Blues, pp. 58-59, "Ever After On" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #7691
  5. BI, CSW166


Alternate titles: “Late Last Night When My Willie Came Home”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (recording, Uncle Dave Macon)
Found in: US(SE)