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Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)

DigiTrad:
A PICTURE FROM LIFE'S OTHER SIDE
AS I GO RAMBLING ROUND
BELLE STARR
BOUND FOR GLORY
CLEAN-O
DEPORTEES
DO RE MI
DUST PNEUMONIA
EL DO RE MI
GAMBLER
HARD TRAVELIN'
HARD, AIN'T IT HARD
HIGHWAY 66 BLUES
I AIN'T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE
I'M GONNA MAIL MYSELF TO YOU
JACKHAMMER JOHN
JESUS CHRIST
JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM
LIFEBELT WASHED UP ON THE SHORE
LUDLOW MASSACRE
MEAN TALKING BLUES
MRS. ROOSEVELT
NINE HUNDRED MILES
OKLAHOMA HILLS
PASTURES OF PLENTY
POOR LAZARUS
PRETTY BOY FLOYD
RAMBLING ROUND
RANGER'S COMMAND
RED WINE
ROLL ON COLUMBIA
ROLL ON THE DAY
SHIP IN THE SKY
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
TALKING BLUES
TALKING DUST BOWL BLUES
THE 1913 MASSACRE
THE BLINDING OF ISAAC WOODARD
THE GRAND COULEE DAM
THE LADIES' AUXILIARY
THE PHILADELPHIA LAWYER
THE SINKING OF THE REUBEN JAMES
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
THOSE BROWN EYES
TOM JOAD
UNION MAID
WHY OH WHY


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Paul Jay 11 Aug 99 - 11:29 PM
Paul Jay 13 Aug 99 - 11:52 PM
14 Aug 99 - 12:07 AM
Frank of Toledo 14 Aug 99 - 12:17 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Apr 03 - 09:35 AM
Mudlark 07 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Jan 14 - 10:55 AM
Lighter 02 Jan 14 - 11:10 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jan 14 - 01:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 14 - 01:50 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Jan 14 - 06:44 PM
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Subject: Stagolee Woody Guthrie Sings.
From: Paul Jay
Date: 11 Aug 99 - 11:29 PM

I have checked the 3 versions in the database and none of the Stagolees there match the one I heard on the radio last week. Woodie's version was rather long and had great words, but I wasn't prepared to write them down. Can Anyone help me with a BOOK, or WEBSITE, reference? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee Woody Guthrie Sings.
From: Paul Jay
Date: 13 Aug 99 - 11:52 PM

Help! With all the knowledgeable 'catters SOMEONE must have a reference I can use.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee Woody Guthrie Sings.
From:
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 12:07 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee Woody Guthrie Sings.
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 12:17 AM

Best I can sdo Paul Jay is to refer you to Woody"s Folkways CD40101, Muleskinner Blues, The Ash Recordings Vol 2....Cut #16, recorded on April 19th, 1944. It continues in the liner notes: This "Native American Ballad" (ballad native to America) grew out of the lore of Southern African Americans. Stackolee became a legend because he was big, tough and mean--in fact, in one version of the song, the Devil does not even want him in hell. Memphis is where he loaded cotton and killed Billy de Lyon over a Stetson hat; again, there are questions about what started the argument, but all Stackolee wanted was an excuse to kill. Sung by blues singers for decades, there are numerous variants. Woody's story is the traditional story, but his lyrics vary from many available printed texts as well as the text in his unpublished manuscript, "Songs of Woody Guthrie". For additional information check John A. and Alan Lomax, American Ballds and Folksongs pp93-99. Hope this is a little help. It's all I got.......Good Luck....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 09:35 AM

Woody Guthrie's version, under the name "Stagolee" or "Stag-o-Lee," can be found on "Muleskinner Blues: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 2." There is a sound sample at Yahoo! Music, from which I made the following transcription. I have spelled it "Stacker Lee" because that's what Woody's pronunciation sounds like to me.

The High Sheriff asked the deputy, "How can it be?
You can 'rest ever'body but the mean old Stacker Lee.
He is a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee."

And the deputy told the new sheriff, "Double up my fee,
And I'll go get that outlaw by the name of Stacker Lee,
'Cause he's a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee."

A different recording can be found on "American Folksay: Ballads & Dances, Vols. 5-6."

...Billy de Lyons fighting on the floor.
Stacker Lee pulled the trigger of that smoking forty-four.
He was a bad man. His name was Stacker Lee.

Oh, Billy de Lyons says, "Stacker Lee, please don't take my life.
I've got two little babes, the darling of my wife.
You're a bad man. Your name is Stacker Lee. "

Well, when I...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)
From: Mudlark
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM

Now Stack he says to the Devil
Better get off your shelf
Your workin' days are over
Gonna rule Hell by myself...


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Subject: Lyr Add: STACKOLEE / STAGGER LEE (from W Guthrie)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 10:55 AM

Woody seems inconsistent in the way he pronounces "Stacker Lee." Most often, it sounds like "Stacker Lee," but sometimes "Stackolee" or "Stagger Lee." For the sake of simplicity, I have stuck with one spelling in my transcription (except for the title, which is as I found it at Spotify).


STACKOLEE (STAGGER LEE)
As sung by Woody Guthrie on "The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1 – 4" (1999) 3:01

Stacker Lee was a bad man, ev'rybody knows.
Spent a hunderd dollars for just one suit o' clo'es.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

Stacker Lee loaded cotton, weighed five hunderd pounds,
Carried along him a Gatlin' gun that drug him to the ground.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

It was in a hustlin' B-joint where the Mississippi run.
Stacker Lee killed Billy de Lyons with a smokin' forty-one.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

The high sheriff asked the deputy: "How can it be?
You can 'rest ever'body but the mean old Stacker Lee."
He's a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

And the deputy told the new sheriff: "Double up my fee,
And I'll go get that outlaw by the name of Stacker Lee,
" 'Cause he's a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee."

Gentlemen of the jury, what do you think about that?
Stacker Lee killed Billy de Lyons about a five-dollar Stetson hat.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

Billy was in the card house a-kneelin' on the floor.
Stacker Lee pulled the trigger of his red-hot forty-four.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

Billy said to Stacker Lee: "Please don't take my life.
I've got three little babes and my darlin' lovin' wife.
You're a bad man, your name is Stacker Lee."

"What I care about your two little babes, your darlin' lovin' wife?
You done stole my brand-new hat and I'm bound to take your life.
'Cause you're a bad man, and my name is Stacker Lee."

Billy died in the sawdust with his head upon the rail.
Deputy took ol' Stacker Lee and he marched him off to jail.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.

The judge said: "Mister Stacker Lee, Mister Stacker Lee,
I'm gonna hang your body up and set your spirit free,
'Cause you're a bad man; your name is Stacker Lee."

Stacker Lee on his gallus [=gallows], his head way up high.
Twelve o'clock we killed him, was all glad to see him die.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stacker Lee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:10 AM

Thanks, Jim! Quite different from Guthrie's performance with Alek Stewart on "Chain Gang" (Stinson, ca 1950) (I paid no attention to any inconsistent pronunciations):



Stackolee was a bad man, everybody knows;
Spent about a hundred dollars for just one suit of clothes.
He was a bad man—that mean old Stackolee!

Stackolee and Billy de Lyon fightin' on the floor,
Stackolee pulled the trigger on that smokin' .44.
He was a bad man—his name was Stackolee.

Oh, Billy de Lyon says to Stackolee, "Please don't take my life!
I've got two little babes and a darlin', lovin' wife!
You're a bad man—and your name is Stackolee!"

"Well, what do I care 'bout your two little babes, your darlin', lovin' wife?
You done stole my Stetson hat, and I'm bound to take your life,
'Cause I'm a bad man—my name is Stackolee."

Well, the judge said,"Mister Stackolee, Mister Stackolee,
I'm gonna hang your body up and set your spirit free,
'Cause you're a bad man. Your name is Stackolee."

He was standin' on this gallus, head away up high.
Twelve o'clock we killed him—I was glad to see him die.
He was a bad man, that mean old Stackolee.

He was standin' on this gallus, head away up high.
Twelve o'clock we killed him—I was glad to see him die.
He was a bad man—his name was Stackolee.
He was a bad man, and his name was Stackolee.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STAGGER LEE (from Woody Guthrie)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 01:40 PM

I don't have any liner notes for this recording but it seems to be one that he made for the Library of Congress under the direction of Alan Lomax. Several hesitations, plus the strange order of verses, make me think Woody had not recently rehearsed this song and was having difficulty remembering the words—or perhaps he was improvising. Near the end of verse 4 he seems to be stifling a laugh. See my earlier note about pronunciation.


STAGGER LEE
As sung by Woody Guthrie on "American Radical Patriot" (A 6-CD set, 2013)

Stacker Lee was a bad man, ever'body knows.
He caused a lot o' trouble about ever'where he goes,
And he's a bad man and his name is Stacker Lee.

Stacker Lee, Stacker Lee, what are you gonna do 'bout that?
Stacker Lee killed Billy de Lyons about a five-dollar Stetson hat.
Poor boy, well, his name was Stacker Lee.

Stacker Lee took his pistol and he shot poor Billy dead,
Shot him down on the gamblin' hall and he chocked(?) him full o' lead.
He was a bad man, and his name was Stacker Lee.

The judge said: "Mister Stacker Lee, Mister Stacker Lee,
Well, I'm a-gonna hang your body up and set your spirit free.
You're a bad man, and your name is Stacker Lee."

Billy de Lyons said: "Stacker Lee, please don't take my life.
I got two little babes and a darlin' lovin' wife.
You're a bad man, oh, Mister Stacker Lee."

"What I care about your two little babes, your darlin' lovin' wife?
You done stole my Stetson hat and I'm bound to take your life.
I'm a bad man, and my name is Stacker Lee."

Hangin' on his gallows with his head away up high,
Midnight when they killed him and they's all glad to see him die.
He's a bad man, and his name was Stacker Lee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 01:50 PM

Stagolee died in prison, 1916.
Gatling Gun? A field weapon that required a man to crank it (The automatic Maxim came later).

Woody's story is fictionalized, but a good song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Stagolee (Woody Guthrie version)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 06:44 PM

"Gatling gun" in addition to being the correct formal name for a type of machine gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun) was also a common slang term for a handgun--usually shortened to "gat."

From The Masked Woman by Johnston McCulley, 1920, page 244:

"Wait! I'll see whether you're heeled."
"Heeled?" The Professor asked.
"Whether you've got a gat on you."
"Gat? Gat? I fail to understand...."
"I said a gat!" declared the detective. "A plugger! A fire-stick! A gun!"
"Oh! How peculiar! I have no—er—gat upon me. You may search me if you like."


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