mudcat.org: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John

Richie 13 Dec 02 - 11:05 PM
Richie 13 Dec 02 - 11:07 PM
Stewie 14 Dec 02 - 12:53 AM
Richie 14 Dec 02 - 01:20 AM
Stewie 14 Dec 02 - 01:27 AM
Richie 14 Dec 02 - 01:29 AM
Richie 14 Dec 02 - 01:35 AM
Stewie 14 Dec 02 - 02:37 AM
greg stephens 14 Dec 02 - 03:10 AM
masato sakurai 14 Dec 02 - 08:19 AM
masato sakurai 14 Dec 02 - 08:40 AM
Mr Happy 14 Dec 02 - 09:09 AM
greg stephens 14 Dec 02 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Q 14 Dec 02 - 02:58 PM
greg stephens 14 Dec 02 - 06:33 PM
Stewie 14 Dec 02 - 09:06 PM
Stewie 14 Dec 02 - 09:40 PM
Richie 14 Dec 02 - 10:12 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 06:30 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 07:21 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 07:58 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 08:36 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 09:16 PM
Richie 15 Dec 02 - 09:17 PM
Stewie 15 Dec 02 - 10:15 PM
Roger the Skiffler 16 Dec 02 - 03:59 AM
Neighmond 16 Dec 02 - 09:03 PM
fat B****rd 17 Dec 02 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Q 29 May 03 - 06:14 PM
AnneMC 22 Dec 09 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 22 Dec 09 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,cw 07 Sep 10 - 02:56 PM
noahpedrini 26 Sep 10 - 03:12 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 10 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,diplocase 31 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM
beeliner 01 Sep 12 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,J M Anderson 17 Sep 16 - 02:36 PM
Mrrzy 17 Sep 16 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,J M Anderson 09 Oct 16 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,J M Anderson 08 Dec 16 - 07:12 AM
RTim 08 May 18 - 11:02 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Richie
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 11:05 PM

I've been looking for info and lyrics to the "Lost John" family of songs.

This family of songs has several branches, including the old-timey hillbilly song, a blues harmonica solo version by De Ford Bailey (Victor, 1920's), a vaudeville song "Lost John Dean from Bowling Green", and a work song "Wake Up, Dead Man". The "Long John" songs seem to be African-American in origin.

Any song lyrics or info?

Thanks,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG JOHN GREEN (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Richie
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 11:07 PM

Lost John: LONG JOHN GREEN- Uncle Dave Macon (Transcribed by Stewie)

Here we have the story of Long John Green
An old bank robber from Bowling Green
Put him in jail just the other day
And late last night he made his getaway

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Long John a-standing on a railroad tie
Waitin' for a freight train to come by
Here come the freight just a-puffin' and a-flyin'
You oughta for to seen John catch that flyin'

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Caught him in Bristol at Steven's Place
Put him in jail one evening late
Out on the house tops [doing an/gonna?] escape
The coppers [caught him at the golden gate?]

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Long John went to a burlesque show
Got him a seat right in the front row
The girl come out with a [high-flown?] dance
They had to put a hole in an am-bu-lance

Source: transcription from 'The Tennessee Folklore Society Presents Uncle Dave Macon At Home, His Last Recordings 1950' Davis Unlimited LP DU-TFS 101.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 12:53 AM

Richie,

The recordings listed in Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' under the heading 'Lost John Dean' are as follows:

'Lost John' - Burnett & Rutherford recorded November 1926 (Co 15122-D)

'Long gone' - Travis Hale & E.J. Derry Jr recorded 6 June 1927 (Vi 20866)

'Lost John Dean' - Bascom Lamar Lunsford recorded ca February 1928 (Br 227)

'Long Gone' - Richard Brooks & Reuben Puckett recorded ca June 1928 (Br 273)

'Lost John' - Blevins & Blair of the West Virginia Mountaineers recorded 16 October 1928 (Gnt uniss)

'Lost John' - Leonard Rutherford recorded 28 October 1929 (Gnt uniss)

'Lost John' - Southern Moonlight Entertainers recorded 27 Aug 1929 (Vo 5460)

'Long Gone From Bowling Green' - Allen Brothers recorded 3 October 1934 (Vo 8217)

'Lost John' - Lonnie Glosson recorded 9 October 1936 (ARC uniss)

'Lost John' - Eldon Baker & His Brown County Revelers recorded 4 June 1938 (Vo 04217)

Meade does no put De Ford Bailey's harmonica recording (Oct 1928 Vi uniss) among the old-timey list above, but mentions it among blues recordings by Papa Charlie Jackson, Charlie Turner and Little Hat Jones.

However, there is a fascinating 'Lost John' recording among the 1976 recordings of De Ford Bailey by David Morton and issued on CD as 'The Legendary De Ford Bailey: Country Music's First Black Star' Tennessee Folklore Society Records TFS-122. This is a 5-minute performance by De Ford singing and playing banjo, and proving himself to be quite adept at both. Charles Wolfe comments that it 'is not much like the familiar 'Lost John From Bowling Green' song associated with W.C. Handy but something much earlier, focusing on the character of Old John Booker'. It would be a stinker to transcribe though. I would be willing to have a go if there are others to help out with it. Do other 'catters have this recording?

Of those in the Meade list, I have those by Burnette & Rutherford, the Lunsford and the Allen Brothers. I see I can decipher enough of them to post in due course.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Richie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 01:20 AM

Stewie,

Thanks for the detailed info. The Johnny Booker connection is fascinating here's two excepts of Johnny Booker lyrics, the first the original minstrel lyrics and teh second Jerry Jordan's version that was used by the New Lost City Ramblers and is similar to the way I play Johnny Booker.

Here's an example of the lyrics by J.W. Sweeny from 1840:

As I went up to Lynchburg town,
I broke my yoke on de coaling ground;
I drove from dare to bowling spring,
And I tried for to mend my yoke and ring.

Chorus: O Jonny Boker, help dat nigger do,
Jonny Boker, do.

Here are the lyrics to Old Johnny Buker from Jerry Jordan:

(Instrumental)

There was a *young man and he went to school
And he made his living by drivin' a mule,

And a what, Johnny Booker, won't you do, do, do,
And a what, Johnny Booker won't you do?

I drove him up to the foot of the hill
And I holler at the mule and the mule stopped still.

And a-what, Johnny Booker, won't you do, do, do,
And a-what, Johnny Booker won't you do?

Without creating a thread drift, I'd like to help but I don't have the recording of De Ford Bailey. I'd wager that it's really just a version of Johnny Booker.

-Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 01:27 AM

The following is from Paul Oliver:


In 1920, W.C. Handy published 'Long Gone' with words by the black song writer Chris Smith, based on a Kentucky folk song, known variously as 'Lost John', 'Long John' or 'Long John Dean'. The sheet music claimed that it was 'Another Casey Jones' or 'Steamboat Bill'. Everyone was singing its seven verses but 'eventually you will sing "Long Gone" with a hundred verses' - an acknowledgment of the reworking of songs in oral tradition. Abbe Niles stated that the song was based 'on an actual event' in which a black trusty in the jail at Bowling Green, Kentucky, was to be the victim of a test on the efficiency of a pack of new bloodhounds. John Dean fixed 'a steep trap in a barrel on its side, over which he jumped as he started; the lead hound followed the scent into the barrel and the trap; the rest stopped to investigate', by which time Long John was well away. The story probably came from Handy who had embroidered a version he had given to Dorothy Scarborough which she retold in a paper to the Texas Folk-Lore Society. In this, Long John was escaping from 'a Joe Turner' (presumably the legendary 'long-chain man' who escorted convicts to prison) and made use of a barrel to decoy the dogs. The incident did not appear in either the song as rewritten by Handy, or in the versions collected or recorded.
[Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints' Cambridge Uni Press 1999 p68]


The sheet music is reproduced in Scarborough 'On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs' pp 266-268.

The Niles reference is in Abby Niles 'Notes to the Collection' in Handy 'A Treasury of the Blues' p 251

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN, HE'S GONE (from Roy Acuff)
From: Richie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 01:29 AM

Lyr. Add: LOST JOHN, HE'S GONE

Lost John was just a little bitty boy,
Hopped on a freight in the state of Illinois,
Headed out from Chicago town.
He didn't know he's Alabama bound.
He's gone.

Lost John knew from the whistle he's free,
Ridin' the Pan-American down to New Orleans.
Rode the Big Four as she traveled west.
Hobo's life is what he loved the best.
He's gone.

Lost John sittin' on a railroad tie,
Waitin' for a freight train to come by.
Freight train passed. It didn't stop.
You oughta seen Lost John gettin' on top.
He's gone.

Lost John said just before he died,
Two more roads that he wanted to ride.
Foreman says, "I think I know:
Southern Pacific and the B & O."
He's gone.

Lost John went to a burlesque show.
Started to seat on the very front row.
Girls come out to do their dance.
They carried John home in an ambulance.
He's gone.

Notes: Roy Acuff Hickory 45-1149 "Lost John, He's Gone" - July, 1961

Any other 'Long/Lost John' versions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (Rev. Mose Platt)
From: Richie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 01:35 AM

Here's some info on the related "Long John" songs. You can hear this here:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?lomaxbib:1:./temp/~ammem_92fq::



Here are the lyrics to "Lost John" from Rev. Mose Platt:


It's like a turkey through the corn
Long John, I'm gone again,
Wait right here 'til the 'larm goes on,
'Larm goes on I'll be gone again.

Long John Long John
I'm gone again, Long John

Wait until the choir 'til I catch my wind,
Catch my wind, I'm gone again,

Long John, Long John,
Long John

Viewed on a tree
Tree wouldn't fall
Lake was small wouldn't fall at all.
It's Long John
Gone again, Long John.

Notes: From Lomax 1939 recording trip;

The Lomaxes believe this to be based on the story (coming from W. C. Handy's book "Blues"; see page 215 in Handy/Silverman) of one Long John Green, who was known for his ability to move. When the prison where Green was staying acquired a pack of bloodhounds, they allegedly decided to conduct a test by giving him a head start and then sending the hounds after him. But Green was too fast (he also managed to trick the hounds by catching one in a trap), and escaped them.

-Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: KENTUCKY BLUES (Dennis 'Little Hat' Jones
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 02:37 AM

KENTUCKY BLUES

Well whiles we here tryin' to have our fun
'Spose the law jumped up and said, 'Nobody run!'
Well, you know I'm long gone, from Kentucky
Long gone, an' got away lucky
'Cause I'm gonna leave so keen
I'll be just like a submarine

Well, my woman poked her head out the window of the bed
Said, 'Please don't let them kill Mister Little Hat dead'
I said, 'No use worryin', sweet mama, I ain't gonna be here long'
Tell her not to sing this worryin' song
'Cause I'm gonna leave so keen
I'm gonna be just like a submarine

Well an officer, you know the man, they call him Austin Jack
Stopped and put the bloodhounds right on my track
'Cause the hounds they couldn't catch my scent
You know, they couldn't tell where Little Hat went
'Cause I left so keen
People, I was just like a submarine

Well here comes the Santa Fe just puffin' and flyin'
Oughta seen me when I reached up and caught them blinds
They said, 'There's another long gone - from Kentucky
Long gone - an' he got away lucky
'Cause he's ever so keen
He's just like a submarine'

I want to sing this song, ain't gonna sing no more
'Cause I'm leavin' San Antonio, I don't plan on coming here no more
Well, I don't play the dozen and neither the ten
'Cause you keep on talkin', I leads you in
Well you keep on talkin' till it makes me mad
Well I'll tell you 'bout the money that your father had
'Cause I don't play the dozen, I declare man, and neither the ten

Source: Dennis 'Little Hat' Jones 'Kentucky Blues' recorded in San Antonio, Texas, on 14 June 1930 and issued as Okeh 8815.

Note: the first four stanzas are from the transcription in Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints' Cambridge Uni Press 1999 p 70. The last stanza (omitted by Oliver) is my transcription from the reissue on Various Artists 'My Rough and Rowdy Ways Vol I' Yazoo CD 2039.

Little Hat was a singer/guitarist who worked in and around San Antonio, a far cry from Kentucky. However, Oliver notes that, in a compact form with short songs, 'Long Gone' was used as a work song by prisoners. Five recordings of it were made by Lightnin' Washington and his gang for the Library of Congress at Darrington State Prison, Texas, in 1933-36. As Oliver points out, Little Hat's version is quite distinct - 'he was clearly drawn to the image of the submarine slipping away from its enemies; a more telling use than Smith and Handy's text which merely had 'a gang of men' try to capture Dean 'so they chased him with a submarine' [Oliver p70].

Perhaps Masato will be able to supply the Smith/Handy text.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 03:10 AM

To throw in a quiz question: in what movie did Marlon Brando sing "Lost John" ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE (W.C. Handy)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 08:19 AM

LONG GONE
       Words by Chris Smith Music by W.C. Handy
       Copyright 1920 by pace & Handy Music Co., Inc., copyright renewed by W.C. Handy

1. Did you ever hear the story of long John Dean?
    A bold bank robber from Bowling Green,
    Was sent to the jailhouse yesterday,
    Late last night he made his getaway.

2. Long John stood on the railroad tie,
    Waiting for a freight train to come by;
    Freight train came just puffin' and flyin',
    Ought-a seen Long John grabbin' that blind.

       CHORUS:
      He's Long Gone from Kentucky,
      Long Gone ain't he lucky,
      Long Gone, and what I mean,
      He's Long Gone from Bowling Green.

      He's Long Gone from Kentucky,
      Long Gone ain't he lucky,
      Long Gone, and what I mean,
      He's Long Gone from Bowling Green.

3. They offered a reward to bring him back
    Even put bloodhounds on his track,
    Doggone bloodhounds lost his scent
    Now nobody knows where Long John went.

4. They caught him in Frisco, and to seal his fate,
    San Quentin jailed one evening late,
    But out on the ocean John escaped
    The guard forgot to close the Golden gate

5. A gang of men tried to capture Dean,
    So they chased him with a submarine
    Dean jumped overboard, grabbed the submarine,
    And made that gang catch a flying machine.

       CHORUS:
      He's Long Gone from Kentucky,
      Long Gone, ain't he lucky,
      Long Gone, and what I mean,
      He's Long Gone from Bowling Green.

      John's Long Gone from San Quentin,
      Long Gone and still a sprintin',
      Long Gone, I'm telling you,
      Shut your mouth and shut mine too.

      Now he's Long Gone and still a swimming,
      Lone Gone with them mermaid women,
      Long Gone, just like a fish,
      My that boys got some ambish.

6. A vamp thought she had Long John's goat,
    She took his watch and money from his coat,
    John stole all she had, now she thinks he's a riddle,
    He didn't leave enough cloth to dust a fiddle.

         CHORUS:
      He's Long Gone from Kentucky,
      Long Gone that guy is some lucky,
      Long Gone from this queen,
      Long Gone from Bowling Green.

7. When prohibition said I'll lick John Barleycorn,
    I never thought she'd do any harm,
    But she's chased him strong, didn't stop to wait,
    And blacked his eye in every state.

       CHORUS:
      Now John's Gone and he left me weeping,
      Long Gone but only sleeping,
      But from the drug we catch his breath,
      Long Gone and scared to death.

From: Blues: An Anthology, edited by W.C. Handy (1926; 1949; Macmillan, 1972, pp. 200-202; with music)

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 08:40 AM

"Long John" (PERFORMER Rev. Mose "Clear Rock" Platt; LOCATION Hotel Blazilmar, Taylor, Williamson County, Texas; DATE 5/10/1939) is in The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip collection.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Mr Happy
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:09 AM

a singer at one of our local sessions does a verse with the line:

'the finest shoes 'dat ever was worn,

heels on the front, heels behind,

ya just can't tell which way lost john's gwine.....'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG JOHN (from John & Alan Lomax)
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:26 AM

Here s a version from Lighning and a group of convicts, Darrington State Prison Farm, sandy Point Texas. Recorded by John and Alan Lomx,1934.

1 It's a long John
He's a long gone
Like a turkey through the corn
Through the long corn

2: Well my John said
in the ten chap ten
If a man die
He will live again
Well they crucified Jesus
And they nailed him to the cross
Sister Mary cried
My child is lost
Ch; Well Long John
He's long gone
He's long gone
Mister John John
Oh Big-Eye John
O John John
It's a long John

3: Says-uh Come on gal
And-uh shut that door
Says The dog's is coming
And Ive got to go

Ch: Its a long John
He's long gone
Its a long John
He's a long gone

4 WEll-a two three minutes
Let me catch my wind
In-a two three minutes
I'm gone again

Ch He's long John
He's long gone
He's long gone
He's long gone

5: Well my John said
Just before he did
Well I'm going home
See Mary Lid
Ch: He's John John
Old John John
Withhis long clothes on
Just-a skippin through the corn

6: Well my John said
On the fourth day
Well to tell my rider
That I'm on my way

Ch: Hes long gone
He's long gone
He's long gone
Its a long John

7: Gonna call this summer
Aint gon'call no more
If I call next summer
Be in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (from Odum and Johnson)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 02:58 PM

Lyr. Add: LOST JOHN

Lost John, lost John, lost John.
Lost John, lost John, lost John.

Lost John, lost John, lost john.
Help me to look for lost John.

Lost John done gone away,
Help me to look for lost John.Still I ain't bother yet,
Still I ain't bother none.

Sun is goin' down,
Sun is goin' down.

I goin' 'way some day,
Yes, I goin' 'way some day.

I'm goin' 'way to stay,
Still I'm goin' 'way to stay.

Come an' go with me,
O yes! come an' go with me.

I got a honey here,
Yes, I got a honey here.

Goin' away to leave you,
Well, I goin' 'way to leave you.

Negro dance song, from "The Negro and His Songs," p. 227, Odum and Johnson, 1925 (reprinted by Negro Universities Press). Collector and locality not stated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 06:33 PM

Probably nothing to do with the song, but Lost John's Hole is a cave up on Leck Fell(or possibly Gragareth, it's been a few years since I was there) in North Lancahire, England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:06 PM

Masato, thanks for posting the Handy/Smith text. It certainly makes it easier to decipher some of Uncle Dave's slurrings. My transcription of Uncle Dave's version, posted above by Richie, should be amended:

Stanza 2, line 4 - although the last word certainly sounds a lot like 'flyin'', it is very probable that it is 'blind'. It occurs also in Papa Charlie Jackson's version.

Stanza 3, line 3 - from repeated listenings, I'm pretty sure he's singing 'gonna escape'.

Stanza 3, line 4 - with the insight of the Handy/Smith text, it is clear that Uncle Dave is singing 'The coppers forgot to lock the golden gate'.

The text is probably accurate enough now to post to the Uncle Dave lyrics thread.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE (from John & Alan Lomax)
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:40 PM

The Lomaxes also collected a chopping work song from Lightnin' in a Texas prison farm that differs substantially from the one posted above by Greg. The lines in square brackets are by the chorus:

LONG GONE

Leader:
Wid his di'mond blade         [Wid his di'mond blade]
Got it in his han'            [Got it in his han']
Gonna hew out de live oaks    [Gonna hew out de live oaks]
Dat are in dis lan'          [Dat are in dis lan']

Refrain:

He's long gone                  [He's long gone]
He's Long John                  [He's long John]
He's gone, gone                [He's gone, gone]
Like a turkey throught the corn [Like a turkey through the corn]
Wid his long clo'es on          [Wid his long clo'es on]
He's gone, gone                [He's gone, gone]
He's gone John                  [He's gone John]
He's long gone                  [He's long gone]

Stanzas:

Ef I had a-listened
What Rosie said
I'd a-been sleepin'
In a-Rosie's bed

But-a I wouldn' listen
Got to runnin' aroun'
An' de firs' thing I knew
I was jailhouse bound

Well, I got in de jail
Wid my mouf poked out
Now I'm in the pen
An I cain' get out

Well-a John made
A pair of shoes
Funnies' shoes
Dat ever was seen

Had a heel in front
An' a heel behind
Well, you couldn tell where
Dat boy was a-gwine

Well-a, come on, honey
Let me shet dat do'
Well de dogs is a-comin'
An' I got to go

Well-a, hear dat sergeant
Just a-huffin' and a-blowin'
Well, I b'lieve I hear
Ol' Rattler moanin'

Well, I crossed that Brazos
In de mornin' dew
Well, I leave you, sergeant
An de' captain too

Well-a, good mornin', Mary
How do you do?
Well I crossed dat river
Jus' to see you

All dis summer
Won' call no mo'
Ef I call nex' summer
Den I'm gone some mo'

He's long gone
He's Long John
He's gone, gone
Like a turkey through de corn

Wid his long clo'es on
He's gone, gone
He's gone John
He's long gone

Source: John A. Lomax & Alan Lomax 'American Ballads and Folk Songs' MacMillan 1934 pp 75-79.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (John Lennon)
From: Richie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 10:12 PM

Lost John was also recorded by Van Morrison with Lonnie Donnegan, Lonnie Donnegan, and John Lennon. Here are Lennon's lyrics:

LOST JOHN

Well, he's long, long, lost John
Long, long, lost John.

Lost John standing by the railroad track
A-waitin' for the freight train to come back.
The freight train come back but never made a stop
Lost John thought he'd have to ride the top

Well, he's long, long, lost John
yeah, long, long, lost John.

Well, lost John standing by the railroad track
A-waitin' for the freight train to come back.
The freight train come back but never made a stop
Lost john thought he'd have to ride the top.

Well, he's long, long, long lost John
Well, he's long, long, lost John.

Well, lost john standing by the railroad track
A-waitin' for the freight train to come back.
The freight train come back but never made a stop
Lost John thought he'd have to ride the top.

Well, long, long, long John
well, oh yeah.

I got it about at half past three
you don't look out, she's gonna spew on me
I'm gonna run, railroad bill
I'm gonna ru....

Notes: Version recorded by John Lennon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG JOHN (from John & Alan Lomax)
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 06:30 PM

In 'Folk Songs of North America', Alan Lomax gives yet another variant from Lightning of Darrington prison farm. It shares most lyrics with Greg's posting above, but with a different structure. There is a note, however, that it was 'adapted and arranged by John and Alan Lomax':

LONG JOHN

Says-uh, Come on gal,
An'-uh shut that do'
Says, The dogs is comin'
And I've got to go
Well-a-two, three minutes
Let me catch my win'
In-a two, three minutes
I'm gone agin

Chorus:
It's-a Long John
He's long, gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With his long clothes on
He's gone, gone

Well, my John said,
On the fourth day
Well, to tell my rider
That I'm on my way
Gonna call next summer
Ain't gon' call no mo'
If I call next summer
Be in Baltimore

Chorus

Well, John made
A pair of shoes
Funniest shoes
That ever was seen
Had a heel in front
And a heel behind
Till you couldn't tell where
That boy was gwine

Chorus

Well, my John said
In the ten chap ten
If a man die
He will live again
Well, they crucified Jesus
And they nailed him to the cross
Sister Mary cried,
My child is lost

Source: Alan Lomax 'Folk Songs of North America' Doubleday 1982, p 537.

It was pleasing to see that, in his note to the song, Alan Lomax referred to Long John as being 'another manifestation' of Ol' John, the trickster slave, and the travelin' man. It had occurred to me that, in the black tradition, Lost John must have had some relationship with the travelin' man.

CLICK HERE FOR TRAVELIN' MAN THREAD

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE LOST JOHN (Papa Charlie Jackson
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 07:21 PM

LONG GONE LOST JOHN

Lost John sittin' on the railroad track
Waitin' for the freight train to come back
The freight train come back and didn't make no stop
Lost John thought he had to ride the top
'long come a Dixie Flyer just behind time
He missed the cow-catcher when he caught the blind
Now, he's long, long gone

Lost John come by a country woman's house
He said, This is quiet, quiet as a mouse
He said, This is Lost John, be my friend
Be my friend until the end
Now, Mr Lost John, have no fear
I'll send the porter for to buy some beer

Never mind, woman, don't you buy no beer
The hounds is on my trail and I can't stay here
John jumped up on the top of the hill
Says, The hounds ain't caught me and they never will
Now I'm long, long gone

Now the funniest thing I ever have seen
Lost John coming through the Bowling Green
Stone bare-footed, no shoes on his feet
Beggin' everybody for the bread and meat
Now, he's long, long gone

Lost John made a pair of shoes of his own
Just as good a shoes as was ever were worn
Had heels in front, and heels behind
You couldn't tell whichaway Lost John gwine
Now he's long, long gone

He was standin' on the corner, talkin' to his brown
He doubled up his fist and he knocked the police down
The police jumped up, said, Whichaway did he go?
The last time I see him, he was in the Gulf of Mexico
Now he's long, long gone

They took ol' Lost John and they put him in the pen
Now the son-of-a-gun is out and he's gone again
Now he's long, long gone

Now if anyone should ask you who composed this song
Tell 'em Papa Charlie Jackson and idle on
Now he's long, long gone – that's all

Source: transcription of Papa Charlie Jackson 'Long Gone Lost John' recorded in Chicago c. January 1928 and issued as Paramount 12602.

Note: the first two stanzas are my transcription from the reissue on Various Artists 'Songsters & Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records Vol 2' Matchbox LP MSEX 2003/2004. The remainder is the transcription given at p 68 of Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints' Cambridge Uni Press, Digital Printing 1999 [1984 edition].

Papa Charlie Jackson was the first male blues singer to gain some fame through records. In actuality, he was more of a stage entertainer and songster than bluesman. He was believed to have come from New Orleans and may have spent his earlier years in travelling shows where he would have had close contact with white musicians. In later years, he was based in Chicago and associated with Big Bill Broonzy, Ma Rainey and Ida Cox inter alia.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE (Jim Jackson)
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 07:58 PM

Unfortunately, I do not have a recording of this and therefore I do not know how much, if anything, is missing. However, here is what Paul Oliver gives of Jim Jackson's version of 'Long Gone'. He begins with stanzas close to Handy/Smith, but then heads off with lyrics that seem to have been incorporated from another song:

LONG GONE

Now you've heard the story 'bout Long John Green
Bold bank robber from Bowling Green
They put him in jail and he stayed 30 days
Late last night he made his getaway

He's long gone, from old Kentucky
He's long gone, wasn't he lucky
He's long gone - what I mean
He's long gone from Bowling Green (repeats chorus)

They sent for the high sheriff to bring him back
Went and put the police hounds on his track
The doggone police hounds lost his scent
And nobody knows where Long John went

Chorus

I ain't gonna tell ya how I got here
But I got here just the same
If you see him running the first five miles
You'd swore he wasn't lame
He'd stop in the woods, catch his wind
Heard a stick crackin' and he lit out again
I ain't gonna tell you how I got here
But I got here just the same

Source: transcription [from pp 68-69 in Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints' Cambridge Uni Press] of Jim Jackson 'Long Gone' recorded on 7 September 1928 in Memphis and issued as Victor V38531.

Jim Jackson was not much of a singer or guitarist, but had a hit with 'Kansas City Blues' in 1927. He too was a medicine show performer and more of a songster than bluesman, with material from a variety of sources. His hymn parody, 'I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop' is little gem.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN DEAN (Bascom Lamar Lunsford)
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 08:36 PM

LOST JOHN DEAN

Did you ever hear the story 'bout Lost John Dean
A bold bank robber from Bowling Green
They put him in the jailhouse the other day
And late that night he made his getaway

He's long gone from old Kentucky
Long gone, ain't he lucky
He's long gone, that's what I mean
He's long gone from Bowling Green

They offered a reward for to fetch him back
They even put the bloodhounds on his track
The doggone bloodhounds lost his scent
And nobody knows where Lost John went

He's long gone from old Kentucky
Long gone, ain't he lucky
He's long gone, that's what I mean
He's long gone from Bowling Green

I never will forget till the day I die
I played a game of love when the woman held high
Heads you win and tails I lose
The woman played the ace and I played the deuce

But I'se long gone from old Kentucky
Long gone, ain't I lucky
I'se long gone, that's what I mean
I'se long gone from Bowling Green

The old man went around with a gun in his hand
A-lookin' in this town for a gamblin' man
You cain't play love when the hearts is trumps
Hey, you never can tell how the cats are gonna jump

But I'se long gone from old Kentucky
Long gone, ain't I lucky
I'se long gone, that's what I mean
I'se long gone from Bowling Green

Source: transcription of Bascom Lamar Lunsford 'Lost John Dean' recorded ca February 1928 in Ashland, Kentucky, and issued as Br 227. Reissued on Various Artists 'Times Ain't Like They Used To Be Vol I' Yazoo CD 2028.

This is a delightful performance by one of my all-time favourite old-time musicians. I reckon his use of 'I'se' and the extended gambling motif betray a black influence for Lunsford's piece.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN (Allen Bros
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 09:16 PM

The wonderful Allen Brothers (Austin & Lee) from Chattanooga, Tennessee, provide a bird of a very different wing with their typically doleful delivery:


LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN

When I knock upon your window, knock upon your door
If you don't open up, you can hear my 44
'Cos I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

When she opened up her window, she opened up her door
I heard a 38, but it's not a 44
Lord, I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

I [leapt in high ?], sweat on my face
I gave the bullets a mighty race
'Cos I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

The angels in heaven saw the sweat on my face
Come on, Bill, there's a man in your place
But I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

Man and a woman and a 38 ball
Sent me down south to get my ashes hauled
Lord, I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

The smoke was so thick when I topped the hill
The next stop I made was in old Mobile
Lord, I'm long gone, ain't been seen
I'm long gone from Bowling Green

Source: Allen Brothers 'Long Gone From Bowling Green' recorded on 3 October 1934 in NYC and issued as Vocalion 02817. Reissued on The Allen Brothers 'The Chattanooga Boys Vol III' Document DOCD-8035.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (Hank Thompson)
From: Richie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 09:17 PM

I just got back from my student program, 7 hours straight. The drums and amplifiers are still ringing in my brain. Stewie, you've really added a lot of great transcriptions to this thread. Thanks.

Here's a version from Hank Thompson:

Lyr. Add: LOST JOHN

Well, the funniest fellow that I ever seen
Was the long lost John from Bowling Green
No hat on his head, no shoes on his feet
He was a beggin' the women for his bread and meat
One woman said, John how much can you eat
Said forty-nine biscuits and a ham of meat
And he was long gone, yeah long gone
He's a long-long gone from Bowling Green

Now lost John was sittin' on a railroad track
Waitin' for the freight train to come back
Along come a freight train skippin' and a flyin'
Really missed the cowcatcher but he caught the blind
And he was long gone, yeah long gone
He's a long-long gone from Bowling Green

Now lost John walkin' to a woman's house
And he crept right in just as quiet as a mouse
The woman said, John pull up a chair
And I'll send the porter for a bucket of beer
Said, never mind the bucket, never mind the beer
The hound's on my trail and I can't stay here
And he was long gone, yeah long gone
He's a long-long gone from Bowling Green

Well, the funniest fellow that I ever seen
Was the long lost John from Bowling Green
His eyes are red and his gums are blue
A mighty hard job to keep the fellow in view
'Cause he's long gone, yeah long gone
He's a long-long gone from Bowling Green
He's long gone, got to get along
He's a long-long gone from Bowling Green

Notes: "Lost John" from Hank Thompson: Hank Thompson (Capitol 4649, 1961


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 10:15 PM

Richie

Glad to be of help. Listening to the Papa Charlie Jackson again, particularly in light of what you have just posted, the second line of the second stanza is probably 'He crept just as quiet, quiet as a mouse'. It certainly makes more sense. I couldn't hear 'crept' or 'slipped' before.

I am working on the Burnette and Rutherford, but it is a very noisy recording - the last stanza is almost totally indecipherable. I will post what I can of it later.

Cheers, Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 03:59 AM

This is the simplified skiffle version I do, based on St Lonnie's various versions (with the name changed in the last verse to protect the innocent).

LOST JOHN
(Trad)

Lost John standin' by the railroad track
Waitin' for the freight train to come back
Freight train come and it didn't stop
Lost John thought he'd have to ride on top
Long long lost John
Long long lost John

Lost John came to the country from the South
Sat there as quiet, as quiet as a mouse
Lost John said, "Be my friend
Be my friend until the end"
Long long lost John
Long long John

Woman say don't have no fear
I'm goin' to the corner to get some beer
Lost John say "Don't buy no beer
Sheriff 's on my trail and he'll soon be here"
Long long lost John
Long long lost John

Now Lost John made a pair of shoes of his own
Finest shoes that ever were born
Heels on the front, heels behind
So nobody know which way Lost John g'wine


If anyone asks you who taught you this song
Just say Lonnie Donegan* has been and gone
Long long lost John
Long long lost John

RtS
(*insert own name here)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG JOHN (from Cecil Maas)
From: Neighmond
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 09:03 PM

We used to sing a lot after dinner when we had the boarding house. An old, old man rented a room from us who sang this when he got drunk on the porch. He said it is an old song.

Well, I guess you know a story 'bout Long John Cole
Old Bootlegger from Mussel Shoals.
Sent up to Avery on a fancy three*
He allowed "This ain't the place for me!"

CHORUS: And he's long gone, that old long John
Long John, long gone
Travelin' on, old long John!

Right one mornin', on the break of day,
John declared he'd make a getaway.
He made for the end row in a field of corn
Like a long-legged turkey, had long drawers on. CHORUS

They took a shot. He never heard the blast.
Them slugs never touched him. He was runnin' fast!
Arkansas River is deep and wide.
Forgot he couldn't swim till he hit the other side! CHORUS

Well Long made himself a pair of shoes,
Greatest old shoes that a man can use.
Heel's up front, toe's in the back,
Like a train going west on an eastbound track! CHORUS

Well John kept running way up in the hills
Where he made corn whiskey just to soothe folks' ills.
He lives there yet, as I've heard told.
Turns yellow corn to liquid gold! CHORUS


I have him on tape singing it while playing a mandolin (Ezera and I played the guitars and Samantha played the piano) he had a decent voice and he sang some strange things, some of which are just plain dirty. This may actually be the cleanest song he knew. He is dead now from cirrhosis of his liver, his name was Cecil Maas.

*"Fancy three" is the penalty for Bootlegging- three years' hard labor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. and Origin: Long John/Lost John
From: fat B****rd
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 04:17 AM

Thank you RTS, I never could get the lyric quite right. How's Ray's ??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (from Harold Courlander)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 May 03 - 06:14 PM

Lyr. Add: LOST JOHN
(Courlander version)

One day, one day,
I were walking along
And I heard a little voice
Didn't see no one.
It was old Lost John,
He said he was long gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With his long clothes on.
Had a heel in front
And a heel behind,
Well you couldn't hardly tell
Well you couldn't hardly tell
Whichaway he was goin'
Whichaway he was goin'.
One day, one day,
Well I heard him say
Be on my way
Be on my way
'Fore the break of day
By the break of day.
Got a heel in front,
Got a heel behind,
Well you can hardly tell
Well you can hardly tell
Whichaway I'm goin'.

Oughta come on the river,
Long time ago,
You could find a dead man
Right on your row.
Well the dog man killed him
Well the dog man killed him
'Cause the boy couldn't go
'Cause the boy couldn't go.
Wake up dead man,
Help me carry my row,
'Cause the row's so heavy
Can't hardly make it
To the lower turn row.
Oughta come on the river
Nineteen and ten,
Well the womenwas rolling
Just like the men.


Oughta come on the river
Long time ago,
I don't know partner,
Say, you outhta know,
You'd catch plenty trouble
Everywhere you go
Everywhere you go.
One day, one day,
Heard the captain say
If you boys work
Gonna treat you mighty well,
If you don't go to work,
Says we may give you hell.

One day, one day,
I'll be on my way
And you may not never
Ever hear me say
One day, one day,
I'll be on my way.

From Negro Prison Songs, Alan Lomax, Tradition Records; Negro Prison Camp Work Songs; "and various Library of Congress record issues."
Seems to be a compilation of several versions. From Harold Courlander, Negro Folk Music, U. S. A., pp. 101-103.

Like "Lost John" from Odum and Johnson, 1925 (posted previously in this thread), the story line is very simple, lacking the embellishments in versions published and recorded later by Lomax (and perhaps 'engineered' by him.   

We stil do not have the texts of the early recordings by Sims or Rutherford, about 1925-1926. I would guess that they either are simple in story line, like these, or a variant on the Handy Blues of 1926.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN DEAN (Kane, Welch, Kaplin)
From: AnneMC
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:07 AM

Enjoyed reading all this background stuff. I have the recent version of Lost John Dean by Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplin which is a terrific tune. I hope I have transcribed all the words correctly.
AnneMC

LOST JOHN DEAN

1. Did you ever hear the story about Lost John Dean?
Bold bank robber from Bowling Green
Well they put him in the jail house the other day
But late last night he made his get-away

CHORUS: And he's long gone, from Kentucky
Long gone, got away lucky
Well, he's long gone, that's what I mean
He's long gone from Bowling Green

2. Well they offered up a reward for to fetch him back
They even put bloodhounds on his track
Well the gosh-darn bloodhounds lost his scent
Now nobody knows where Lost John went

3. I'll never forget till the day I die
Played the game of love, when a woman held high
It was heads she wins, and tails I lose
She played the ace and I played the deuce

4. Oh, a man went around town with a gun in his hand
Looking everywhere for a gamblin' man
Well you can't play low when the heart's too strong
Cos you never can tell how the cat's gonna jump


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (Burnett & Rutherford)
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:51 AM

Here's the best I can make of the Burnett & Rutherford recording from the twenties (which has gorgeous fiddling)

Funniest thing I ever seen
Lost John going through Bowling Green
No hat on his head no shoes on his feet
Beggin away(?) for fresh meat
He's gone gone
He's long gone

Lost John sitting on the railroad track
Waitin' for the freight train to come back
Freight train come never made no stop
you oughta seen Lost John sittin'(?) on top
He's long gone (x2)
Ray


Had an old dog and his name was Will
Run Lost John to the top of the hill
He ain't caught Lost John he never will
He's long gone (x2)

He outrun a xxxxx left his home
he outrun a message on the telephone
xxxxx a-skippin' and a -flyin'
The message girl said she xxxxx hold the line
long gone(x2)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: GUEST,cw
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 02:56 PM

I am looking for a newer rendition of this song. I heard it on a country/americano station in Dallas, TX. It sounds like a newer recording, and has a blues or even more of a folk sound to it. Are ya'll familiar with this newer rendition of this song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LONG JOHN (from Dave Van Ronk)
From: noahpedrini
Date: 26 Sep 10 - 03:12 PM

There is Dave Van Ronk's rendition. It's on the "From...Another time and place" and "Inside Dave Van Ronk" albums. Great fun and easy to play. Just one riff through out that repeats. Here are the lyrics:

I'm Long John; I'm a long time gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With my long clothes on.

Well, if I had a-listened, to what my good gal said,
Well, I'd a been a-sleepin', in my good gal's bed.
But I didn't listen; I just rambled about.
Well, now I'm on a chain gang, with my teeth poked out.

I'm Long John; I'm a long time gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With my long clothes on.

I got a heel in the front; I got a heel behind.
Well, you can't quite tell, I'm a-runnin or a-flyin'.
I'm way out yonder, you know, ahead of them hounds.
Ain't a hound in town, that can run me down.

I'm Long John, I'm a long time gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With my long clothes on.

I'm standin' on the corner, with a dollar in my hand.
You know, I'm waitin' for the cold things, that the white folks send.
Sendin' old cold 'tatoes and a chittlin' stew
And sendin' old hog eye, and a cold tough too.

I'm Long John, I'm a long time gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With my long clothes on.
With my long clothes on.
With my long clothes on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LOST JOHN (Merle Travis)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 07:41 PM

YouTube has an actual video (from film) of Merle Travis playing and singing LOST JOHN. He also does some fine guitar picking in that video.


LOST JOHN a.k.a. LOST JOHN BOOGIE a.k.a. LONG LOST JOHN FROM BOWLING GREEN
Merle Travis

1. The ugliest feller that I ever seen
Was Long Lost John from Bowlin' Green.
No hat on his head, no shoes on his feet,
Beggin' the women for his bread an' meat.
One woman said, "Johnny, what can you eat?"
He said, "Forty-nine biscuits an' a ham o' meat."

CHORUS: An' he was long gone. He was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.
He was long gone. He was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.

2. Now Lost John he walked in a woman's house,
Crept right in just quiet as a mouse.
The woman said, "Lost John, take a chair,
And I'll send the porter for a bucket o' beer."
He said, "Never mind the bucket an' never mind the beer.
The hound's on my trail an' I can't stay here.

CHORUS: "Got to get along." He was long gone. (etc.)

3. Now Lost John standin' on a railroad track
Was a-waitin' for a freight train to come back.
Along come a train [whistle] an' a-flyin'.
Missed the cowcatcher but he caught the blind. CHORUS

REPEAT VERSE 1 AND CHORUS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lost John and folklore
From: GUEST,diplocase
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM

Some interesting folklore regarding the African and South Asian concept of people with their feet on backwards. It is possible that such folk beliefs might have come to America with kidnapped Africans and informed the evolution of the ante-bellum cotton hoeing songs "Go Down Old Hannah" and "Lost John" that appear to be forerunners of the prison song "Lost John."
--in Nepali folklore there is an evil temptress spirit called a churel whose feet point backwards.
--Tamil ghosts have their feet on backwards.
--The Asante and their neighbors the Ewe in Ghana and Togo believe that female witches have feet that point backwards.
--the Greek writer Metasthenes, whose writings were often retailed in Medieval European writings, reported there were beings in Africa whose feet pointed backwards, the antipodes.
--there is actually an anatomical abnormality in which the foot turns down and under so that the instep touches the ground and the toes and soles are up. An old physiology book relates the case of a patient who had the condition in both feet and was able to walk. He wore half-boots, laced on backwards. It is easy to imagine how a person displaying such a condition in a traditional society might be accused of being a witch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: beeliner
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 12:16 AM

If I remember correctly, Peter Stampfell of the Holy Modal Rounders claimed that the "heel in front, toe behind" line was based on a true story of a prisoner who had actually made himself such a pair of shoes in the prison shoe shop, which he had intended to wear during an escape attempt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: GUEST,J M Anderson
Date: 17 Sep 16 - 02:36 PM

Oh my dog

Oh Long John

Oh Long Johnson

Oh Don Piano

Why I eyes ya

All the livelong day

All Long John's long day

All that long Long Johnson

(etc)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Sep 16 - 11:10 PM

There's a yodel-y one by Doc Watson I'll see if I can't rustle up...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: GUEST,J M Anderson
Date: 09 Oct 16 - 07:11 PM

Sorry, that should have read "All Long John's livelong day".

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEnz4dyT1UA


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: GUEST,J M Anderson
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 07:12 AM

See also http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=538575 for an alternative interpretation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long John / Lost John
From: RTim
Date: 08 May 18 - 11:02 PM

Another version via the Lomax recordings.....

Lightning- Long John

Well it's Long John, He's long gone,
It’s Long John, He's long gone,

Well if I hadn't listened, What the road they say,
I could been at home, And a rode this day,
Well if I wasn't listen' , Got to runnin' around,
First thing I know, I was jail house bound,
Well I got in jail, With my mouth poked out,
Well now I'm in the pen, and I can't get out,
It's Long John, He's long gone,
It's Long John, Oh, Long John,

Well it's on me, Here's a pair of shoes,
Was a funny shoes, That was ever seen,
Had a heel in front, Had a heel behind,
Well it's gettin' nowhere, That the boy was blind,
It's Long John, He's long gone,
He's Long John, Oh, Long John,

Well in 2 or 3 minutes, Let me catch my way,
And in 2, 3 minutes, I'm gone again,
Oh, Long John, Oh, Long John,
Gonna call this summer, Ain't gonna call no more,
If I call next summer, He's on the move,
He's long gone, He's long gone,
It's Long John, He's long gone,

Well the god say, In the chapter 14,
If the man live, Let his sin be free,
Well Long John, He's long gone,
Like a turkey through the corn, Through the long corn,
Well it's Long John, Had a mother like god,
Well it's Long John, Well it's tender foot John,
With his long clothes on, Just a skippin' through the corn,
Oh, long john, Was long gone,
He's long gone, He's long gone, ...

Well did you boys here What the captain said
After you boys work Gonna treat you pretty well
Well if you don't work gonna give you plenty hell
Oh, long gone It's long john Oh, long gone it's long john

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 11 December 7:39 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.