“I’d Rather Go Blind” is a blues song written by Ellington Jordan with co-writing credits to Billy Foster and Etta James. It was first recorded by Etta James in 1967, released the same year, and has subsequently become regarded as a blues and soul classic.
About The Song
Etta James wrote in her autobiography Rage To Survive that she heard the song outlined by her friend Ellington “Fugi” Jordan when she visited him in prison. She then wrote the rest of the song with Jordan, but for tax reasons gave her songwriting credit to her partner at the time, Billy Foster, singer with doo-wop group The Medallions.
Etta James recorded the song at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It was included on the album Tell Mama and as the B-side of the single of the same name which made number 10 on the Billboard R&B charts, and number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also on the 1978 Jerry Wexler-produced album Deep in the Night, but there it is titled “Blind Girl” (track 10).
Some critics have regarded “I’d Rather Go Blind” as of such emotional and poetic quality as to make that release one of the great double-sided singles of the period. Critic Dave Marsh put the song in his book The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Noting that James had recorded the song during a break from heroin addiction, Marsh writes, “the song provides a great metaphor for her drug addiction and intensifies the story.”
🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
Something told me it was overWhen I saw you and her talkin’ Something deep down in my soul said, ‘Cry, girl’ When I saw you and that girl walkin’ aroundWhoo, I would rather, I would rather go blind, boyThen to see you walk away from me, child, noWhoo, so you see, I love you so muchThat I don’t wanna watch you leave me, baby Most of all, I just don’t, I just don’t wanna be free, noWhoo, whoo, I was just, I was just, I was justSittin here thinkin’, of your kiss and your warm embrace, yeah When the reflection in the glass that I held to my lips now, baby Revealed the tears that was on my face, yeahWhoo and baby, baby, I’d rather, I’d rather be blind, boyThen to see you walk away, see you walk away from me, yeah Whoo, baby, baby, baby, I’d rather be blind…