"Mule Skinner Blues
" (a.k.a. "Blue Yodel #8", "Muleskinner Blues", and "Muleskinner's Blues") is a classic country song written by Jimmie Rodgers and George Vaughan. The song was first recorded by Rodgers in 1930 and has been recorded by many artists since then, acquiring the de facto title "Mule Skinner Blues" after Rodgers named it "Blue Yodel #8" (one of his Blue Yodels). "George Vaughn", a pseudonym for George Vaughn Horton, is sometimes listed as co-author. Horton wrote the lyrics for "New Mule Skinner Blues", Bill Monroe's second recorded version of the song. The song tells the tale of a down-on-his-luck mule skinner, approaching "the Captain", looking for work ("Good Morning, Captain / Good Morning to you, son. / Do you need another muleskinner on your new mud line?"). He boasts of his skills: "I can pop my 'nitials on a mule's behind" and hopes for "a dollar and a half a day". He directs the water boy to "bring some water round". The term "Mule Skinner", slang for muleteer, is a driver of mules, and has nothing to do with removing the animal's hide. he first verse the song is similar to Tom Dickson's 1928 recording "Labor Blues
" in which the exchange is clearly between a white boss and an African-American worker who is quitting the job, not applying for it.