Sometime between 1923 and 1924, there was a “field recording” made of a singer in Alton, Illinois. Alton was right across the river from St. Louis and it’s primary claim to fame was the vast labyrinth of pipes and tanks that was the oil refinery. The town always smelled of oil. This recording was of an unnamed singer and banjo player who played a song in the ‘dream blues’ style called “Pushin’ Through”. The Dream Blues were characterized by vivid, almost surreal imagery.
I couldn’t get a few of the verses, the recording had been copied to many different media many different times, but I think I got enough to give you the flavor of the song.