zzzu | Tryin’ to flag a ride at The Crossroads

Crossroads, Clarksdale; click photo for Streetview

The Crossroads (Devil's Crossroads) is the location where the legend says blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for the ability to play a mean guitar. Located at the corner of Highway 61 (The Blues Highway) and Highway 49 in Clarksdale (Mississippi).

Crossroads US 8 and 1 nearby Rosedale; click photo for Streetview

According to Son House the true crossroads is located at the intersection of Highways 8 and 1 in nearby Rosedale.

Dockery Farms, US 8, between Cleveland and Ruleville (photo SouthernFoodWays)
Crossroads nearby Dockery Farms (Google Earth)
Crossroads Lusk RD and Walker RD (photo Julia Wrona)

Another possibility is the gravel road that leads south from Dockery Farms. Until you reach a point where the road crosses another gravel road amidst cotton fields.

Robert Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) 27!

Cross Road Blues

The crossroads is the place where two or more roads intersect. It symbolizes the point at which one must call upon one’s resources and spiritual strength and face one’s demons. Stories of pacts made with the devil at midnight at the crossroads have appeared in African and European folklore for centuries.

Robert Johnson recorded “Cross Road Blues” in San Antonio, Texas, on November 27, 1936.
In the first verse, Johnson describes going to the crossroads and falling to his knees, crying out to God to save him. In the second verse, he stands and tries to flag a ride. A ride is both a slang term for a lover and a metaphor for divine possession. In Pentecostal churches, worshippers cry out “Ride on, King Jesus!”
By the third verse he expresses his fear of being caught in the dark on the crossroads with no rider, “no loving sweet woman that love and feel my care.” He asks the listener to run and tell his friend Willie Brown “that I’m standing at the cross roads, babe, I believe I’m sinking down.”

Johnson's Cross Road Blues in slide show


Sources: americanbluesscene.com, roadsideamerica.com, Google Streetview, Google Earth, Wikipedia