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I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water

4.2 / 5

Words & Music: Joe Babcock

I was born in Macon Georgia
They kept my daddy over in Macon jail
He told me if you keep your hands clean
You won't hear them bloodhounds on your trail

Well I fell in with bad companions
Robbed a man, oh up in Tennessee
They caught me way up in Nashville
They locked me up and threw away the key

I washed my hands in muddy water
Washed my hands, but they didn't come clean
Tried to do what my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream

Well I asked the judge now when's my time up
He said son, oh you know we won't forget
If you try just to keep your hands clean
We might just make a good man of you yet

Oh I couldn't wait to get my time up
I broke out, broke out of Nashville jail
I just crossed the state-line of Georgia
Well I can hear those bloodhounds on my trail

I washed my hands in muddy water
Washed my hands, but they didn't come clean
Tried to do what my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream

Recordingdate: 1970/06/07, first released on: Elvis Country (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water:



(french horn)

*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water.

MJB63 wrote on April 29, 2009
What a rockin' tune!!!Elvis country what an album!!!
sitdown68 wrote on July 02, 2009
yeah, one of these last country rockers done by the man behind the music wonderful album high above average, putting to shame these men who sent him back to truck drivin' when he appeared at the GOO
Pedro Nuno wrote on July 02, 2009
A powerful country rock tune that fits in perfection is Elvis Best Album, Elvis Country! It proves that our boy was, when he wanted, a true Rocker!
JLpResLey wrote on July 02, 2009
This is a wonderful performance. Elvis is in great voice, and unlike other performances from the seventies, it´s really exciting.
pasa-ryu wrote on July 02, 2009
superb!-Elvis Country released in 1971 was the only "concept album" RCA done concerning thier artist..this song sounds much better on the recent 2 cd deluxe cd by FDT/RCA,.a overdubb version with horns!!-makes this great song even sound better than it did in 1971. 10 out of 10.
NONE000000 wrote on July 02, 2009
Man do I LOVE this song! It's a dramatic and very cinematic song and performance by Elvis. And this thing just builds and builds and when he gets to the line "I broke out, broke out of Nashville jail" it's exhilarating. I can picture a whole movie in my mind with this track....a combination of Jailhouse Rock and Charro (at least in my head). A great song and performance!
elvis197475 wrote on July 02, 2009
great song.elvis must have had a lot of fun recording this song.
My boy, my boy wrote on July 03, 2009
The very first time I heard this song was the funny version on the rehearsal from TTWII. After listening to the studio version I went straight back to the rehearsal one. Even if Elvis fools around more than anything with that one I prefer how his TCB band sounds like with the smooth version they play there than the Studio B's...
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on July 30, 2009
Good song fron a good LP,apart from the sample song each time "I Was Born A thousand Years Ago" RCA should re-release the album without the sample song after each track.
derekd wrote on July 30, 2009
ah oh yes, another triumph for Elvis, great recording from a great album. pity Elvis did not return to the studio's and record more for a volume 2. He never lost his roots of singing c&w in some shape or form.
TCB1974 wrote on November 12, 2011
Great performance and love the story line, would be fantastic title song for an exciting Western movie. Elvis was superb during those June 70 recordings, producing two fantastic albums TTWII and Country. Four stars for this song.
freedom101 wrote on December 04, 2011
Another gem by "The King".
Gorse wrote on January 16, 2013
What a frenetic, driving, high charged, pulsating performance from Elvis, and the boys lasting from the very first note to the very end - absolutely fanrtastic.
JerryNodak wrote on February 16, 2013
I like the editied version on the Elvis Country LP, but not the unedited version heard on other releases which goes on and on to nowhere.
Deano1 wrote on February 17, 2013
One of the many gems to appear on the "Elvis Country" LP. 5 stars for the song and 5 stars for the LP.
ElvisSacramento wrote on February 17, 2013
This is easily one of my most favorite 1970's Elvis songs that Elvis only recorded in the studio. It's a true masterpiece of a record for sure and it should definitely be much better known than it actually is. I've never skipped it.
sugartummy wrote on March 13, 2013
Hear that piano from David Briggs. He makes Jerry Lee sounds tame. I really like the long version too. The author Joe Babcock did overdub vocals on one track, but not on his own song.
alanfalk wrote on July 15, 2013
A great rocking song from one hell of an album. This should be evidence enough that Elvis made great music after American sound studio, and that it was Elvis' voice and singing that was the primary reason for good songs, and not the producer.
kink56 wrote on July 15, 2013
Great song from the last great Elvis album ever. It was all down hill from here.
cookingfat wrote on July 15, 2013
A good rockin'/country song, n ot heard it for ages.
Great Dane wrote on February 07, 2014
Great song and great album. 5 stars. Downhill? More good was to come, i like the Aloha or Stax recordings as much as this.
bajo wrote on February 07, 2014
Recalling a non Elvis fan, when in the navy,I brought two LP's: One Camden album called This Is Jerry Reed and the original l Elvis Country LP album. The guy listening, loved the Jerry album, he never heard of the guy! But, he had heard of Elvis and was not keen at all! So, time off, we drank beer and played those two albums over and over! And he fell for this song, so completely we had to do it over, over and over again. Lifting the pick-up back and back and back! I love the extended version of this, reminding me......Days heave become slightly diffeent!
rai wrote on March 16, 2015
My favourite song. Only Elvis could sing it well and this way. A beautiful country song with fabulous lyric. Man, I can't get enough of this!
trudygillenwater wrote on April 09, 2015
Always listen to this one when it comes up on the record or CD. Classic Elvis!
Jyroflux wrote on August 31, 2015
Elvis rocked my world when this came out.
Cruiser621 wrote on February 26, 2018
This is just a warm-up exercise. Nothing. Period.
Cruiser621 wrote on February 26, 2018
If this is "Classic Elvis" I'm a Monkey's Uncle. Can't believe they actually released an edited version of this on an LP.
atomic powered poste wrote on February 26, 2018
kick a×s rock'n'roll with a country feel. This recording blows me away every time I'm playing it, elvis sounds awesome on this track. Five stars, what else.
ntass1 wrote on February 27, 2018
I love ELVIS seventies so many hidden gems that people who think they know Elvis music but never heard of these songs.Calling ELVIS the king of rock and roll doesn't due ELVIS justice,from GOSPEL to blues and country ELVIS mastered then all so easily.Elvis rocked. ELVIS decline in the seventies is B.S.
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