Gillian Welch's most recent album is Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg.
This song is the eight track on Gillian Welch's fifth album, The Harrow and the Harvest. The release of that album marked the end of an eight-year recording drought for Welch, which stretched back to her 2003 release of Soul Journey. Of this time, Welch said, 'The sad truth is we never liked anything enough to put it out, which is not a pleasant place to be... It's something that happens to writers. It's the deepest frustration we have come through, hence the album title.' The record was nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album.
There was a camp town man, used to plow and sing And he loved that mule and the mule loved him When the day got long as it does about now I'd hear him singing to his muley-cow Calling, "Come on my sweet old girl, and I'd bet the whole damn world That we're gonna make it yet to the end of the row" Singing "hard times ain't gonna rule my mind Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, Bessie Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind no more" Said it's a mean old world, heavy in need. That big machine is just picking up speed They were supping on tears, they were supping on wine We all get to heaven in our own sweet time So come all you Asheville boys and turn up your old-time noise And kick 'til the dust comes up from the cracks in the floor Singing, hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, brother Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind no more But the camp town man, he doesn't plow no more I seen him walking down to the cigarette store Guess he lost that knack and he forgot that song Woke up one morning and the mule was gone So come on, you ragtime kings, and come on, you dogs, and sing And pick up the dusty old horn and give it a blow Playing, hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, honey Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, sugar Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind no more