Trouble All My Days
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Trouble All My Days [Version (a)]:

No no I got trouble all my days
No I got trouble all my days
No no I got trouble all my days
No no I got trouble all my days
Hey hey yeah, hey hey hey, hey hey hey
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey, hey hey hey
The Song:

"Trouble All My Days" begins with a sample of classical music, followed by Tony Robbins giving his famous canceled check speech which influenced Beck to write a song about it (1).

The song itself is based on "Trouble, I've Had All My Days" by one of Beck's favorite blues musician, Mississippi John Hurt. The phrase itself is a fairly common blues one (e.g., "I am a man of constant sorrow, I've had trouble all my days"), but Beck was most likely learning from Hurt. Beck's song is highlighted by some amazingly horrendous guitar playing. It sounds like the strings are about to be ripped right off the guitar. Nonetheless, the very loose tuning and violent guitar playing end up sounding almost orchestrated. It's a surprisingly full and original sound effect! Beck slips into the song in his best deep blues voice.

This complete blues thrashing was so fascinating it has found release numerous times. It was included on the tape he made for his mother, Fresh Meat and Old Slabs; and officially released on Golden Feelings and even again some years later on a Devils Haircut single.

Played live 3 times:
Earliest known live version: October 21, 1994
Latest known live version: December 18, 1994

"Trouble" was not often played live (of which we are aware, anyway), despite having been released quite a few times over the years. But we know of a couple versions.

The first, on October 21 1994, began with Beck severely detuning his acoustic guitar until the strings were about to fall off, which of course led to some very bizarre guitar sounds. It was an improvised version of the song, Beck just singing "Oh Lord I got troubles all my days" about six times.

The next time a few days later, on October 24, the song was more of a spontaneous reaction to a noisy, uncaring audience. Instead of it being on its own like before, it was segued into from "It's All In Your Mind." During that song he kept being interrupted by the crowd, so Beck quickly detuned his strings and began playing a violent, thrasing "Trouble All My Days" in their faces.