The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80550   Message #1472299
Posted By: Jim Dixon
27-Apr-05 - 09:41 AM
Thread Name: Origins:Strange/Mean Things Happening in This Land
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mean Things Happening in This Land
There seems to be a family of songs called "...MEAN THINGS HAPPENING..." or "...STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING..."

John Handcox's recording called THERE IS MEAN THINGS HAPPENING IN THIS LAND appears on "Field Recordings, Vols. 10-11," Document CD #5600, 1998; and on "Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left," Bear Family 10-CD set #15720, 1996. From a sound sample:Blind Joe Taggart recorded STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING IN THE LAND. It is on "Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1929-1934)," Document CD #5154, 1994. I listened to a sound sample, but I found it nearly all unintelligible (except for the refrain, which is also the title).

Charles Haffer Jr.'s recording of STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING IN THE LAND appears on an anthology of songs collected by Alan Lomax called "The Land Where the Blues Began," Rounder CD #1861, 2002. Jazz pianist David Berkman recorded MEAN THINGS HAPPENING IN THIS WORLD. Authorship is credited to Woody Guthrie, C. Kenally, J. Kenally, and K. Kenally.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe wrote and recorded a lively gospel song called STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING EVERY DAY. Sleepy LaBeef and Rev. Cleophus Robinson also recorded it. Etta James wrote and recorded STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING.Percy Mayfield wrote and recorded a blues song called STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING. Chicken Shack, Junior Parker, Sonny Rhodes, and several others also recorded it. Michelle Willson recorded STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING EVERY DAY, which is credited to Elmore James. I think this is a mistake; it should be Etta James: