The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95795   Message #1866679
Posted By: 12-stringer
23-Oct-06 - 03:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Origin Req: Bay Rum Blues
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: BAY RUM BLUES (McCarn & Long)
The other BRB is the one by Dave (McCarn) and Howard (Long), recorded 19 May 1931 in Charlotte, NC, and issued on Victor 23566. It's much the slicker of the two songs, though the harmonica work isn't as sophisticated as Gwyn Foster's. I never had the record but learned recently that the Holy Modal Rounders covered McCarn's version in the 60s.

[C]I've got the Bay Rum Blues, I've had them times before. [C7]
[F]I've got the Bay Rum Blues, I'm longing for the ten-cent [C]store.
[G7]Any old time I can rake up a dime, I'm going back to get some [C]more.
I got the Bay [G7] Rum [C] Blues (this line has a yodel effect)
[F]And when I get in jail there's no one to come
[C]And bring me a bottle of old bay rum
There's no use trying for I can't [A7] lose
Them [D7] long-gone [G7]Bay Rum [C]Blues.

[I think the original does a repeat of "I got the Bay Rum Blues" after each chorus but can't confirm it with a broken turntable! There's one in my version and I don't think I contributed it myself.)

Some call it Bay Rum and some call it Bay Hoss
Some get a dozen bottles, and some get it by the gross.
But when I drink a dime bottle, I foam at the mouth like a horse.
I got the Bay Rum Blues.
And when I get thirsty there's no one to thank
For giving me a dime so I can drink.
There's no use trying for I can't lose,
Them long-tall, slim neck Bay Rum Blues.

When you can't get liquor and you can't get no gin
Don't get disgusted for you still have a chance to win.
Get a long, goose-neck bottle and you'll never be sober again.
I got the Bay Rum Blues.
Now some use Bay Rum, just for a tonic,
But take it from me it's best for your stomach.
It's no use trying for I can't lose
Them long-gone, slim neck Bay Rum Blues.

Now Uncle Sam has taken our liquor away from us.
When we make home brew he raises an awful fuss.
We're all afraid of ginger, so we'll drink Bay Rum or bust.
I got the Bay Rum Blues.
There's no way of stopping us anymore
So you better look out, Mr Ten Cent Store.
There's no use trying, for I can't lose
Them long-gone good old goose-neck Bay Rum Blues.

The only clear overlap with Ashley and Foster is the "tonic/stomach" line. McCarn's melody is the more sophisticated. I don't know of any other Bay Rum songs from the period (as compared to the spate of Jake songs around 1930), though there is at least an earlier instrumental of the title (below). Ashley's was recorded in 9/1933(the Hoover verse suggests an origin after 11/1932). If the "tonic" verse was lifted, it was probably done by CTA

Haven't heard this, but Blues and Gospel Records shows a 1928 recording, Victor 21585, "Bay Rum Blues" and "Sweet Bunch of Daisies," by El Watson, harmonica accompanied by bones, no vocal.   This is from the race side of the ledger. I haven't heard the 78 and don't know if the tune here is the same as either McCarn's or Ashley's. McCarn's melody doesn't sound like but still reminds me of "Alcoholic Blues," which was reworked as "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues."