Doctor John with Etta James performing together "I'd Rather Go Blind"

"I'd Rather Go Blind" performed by Etta James and Dr. John.

"I'd Rather Go Blind" is a blues song written by Ellington Jordan and co-credited to Billy Foster and Etta James. It was first recorded by Etta James in 1967, released in 1967, and has subsequently become regarded as a blues and soul classic. It was used in the end credits of Firewatch.

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."


Something told me it was over When I saw you and her talking Something deep down in my soul said, cry girl When I saw you and that girl, walking arround

I would rather, I would rather go blind boy Than to see you, walk away from me child, and all So you see, I love you so much That I don't want to watch you leave me baby Most of all, I just don't, I just don't want to be free no uh uh

I was just, I was just, I was just sitting here thinking Of your kisses and your warm embrace, yeah When the reflection in the glass that I held to my lips now baby (yeah, yeah) Revealed the tears that was on my face, yeah And baby, baby (baby, baby, bay) I would rather be blind boy Than to see you walk away, see you walk away from me, yeah Baby, baby, baby (baby, baby, bay) I'd rather be blind now (baby, baby, bay)

Songwriters: Billy Foster / Ellington Jordan

I'd Rather Go Blind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management US, LLC