I know this is a dorky thing to wonder, but I’ve got it fixed in my brain now, so here it is. You know Alan Jackson? He sings “Mercury Blues,” in which is contained the line “gal I love, stole her from a friend, he got lucky stole her back again.”
This is a cover. The original is K. C. Douglas’s “Mercury Blues” (sometimes called “Mercury Boogies”), which dates from 1949. He sings “girl I love I stole from a friend, the fool got lucky stole her back again.”
Robert Johnson, in ’36, in “Come On in My Kitchen,” sings “the woman I love, took from my best friend, some joker got lucky, stole her back again.”
Then, back in ’31, Skip James, in “Devil Got My Woman,” sings “The woman I love took off for my best friend, but he got lucky, stole her back again.”
I can see why people borrow the shit out of that line, it’s great. But I wonder if you know of any instances of it older that James’s?