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Lyr Add: Who Said I Was a Bum? (Howard Johnson)

Joe Offer 24 Apr 08 - 12:27 PM
Art Thieme 24 Apr 08 - 09:53 PM
GutBucketeer 24 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM
GutBucketeer 24 Apr 08 - 10:42 PM
katlaughing 25 Apr 08 - 12:45 AM
Deckman 25 Apr 08 - 01:43 AM
Mark Ross 25 Apr 08 - 05:21 PM
NightWing 25 Apr 08 - 08:15 PM
Mark Ross 25 Apr 08 - 11:08 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Apr 10 - 10:56 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 10 - 02:00 AM
Art Thieme 03 May 10 - 10:48 PM
GutBucketeer 04 May 10 - 10:49 PM
Jim Dixon 06 May 10 - 08:49 PM
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Subject: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:27 PM

Anybody have the lyrics to "Who Said I Was a Bum"?
Reggie Miles sposted a couple of verses in this 2002 beard thread. Katlaughing said somewhere she has the song on a 78 rpm recording. I heard it on a podcast, but now I can't find the podcast. The song was apparently recorded many times during the 1920's.

Here are the verses Reggie posted:

    "I haven't shaved in most a year. I really am afraid.
    Because I fear my wild beard would break a razor blade."

    "The other day, while on my way, a cop gave me a chase.
    I thought I heard him holler,"Take that matress off your face!"

Ah, found it at http://www.archeophone.org/cylindres_textes/who_said_bum.php:
Who said I was a Bum?

(Howard Johnson)

Sung by Frank Luther and his pards, (Edison Blue amberol n° 5614)

I've travelled east
I've travelled west
I've been in every state
A member of the knights of rest
With dues paid up to date.

There's just two things that I despise
Two things I always shirk
The first thing is a cake of soap
The other one is work

My life to me is just as free
I'm always on a lark
Somebody said "you're just a bum"
And I don't like that remark

Who said I was a Bum?
Who said I was a Bum?
I haven't worked in twenty years
I guess I'm not so dumb

And as a tramp along the road
The people hear me hum
I know I'm a hobo, but
Who said I was a Bum?

I must admit
I never fit in any job and say
Whenever I see a pile of wood
I look the other way

I haven't shaved in 'most a year
I really am afraid
because I fear my wire beard
would break the razor blade

The other day while on my way
a cop gave me a chase
I thought I heard him
Holler "Take that mattress
off-a your face!"

Who said I was a Bum?
Who said I was a Bum?
I've been in every hospital
that ever was built, by gum!
and every time they operate
they just cut out my rum
I know I'm a hobo, but
Who said I was a Bum?

My coat is torn, my shoes are worn
There's holes in both my toes
And what is worse
I always nurse a blossom on my nose

And with a glance
You'll see my pants
are baggy at the knees
They're worn so thin
I feel the wind blow through my BVDs

But I ain't got a worry boys
Now what do you think of that?
There's nothing ever on my mind
Except my old straw hat

But who said I was a Bum?
Who said I was a Bum?
Don't think I'm a lonesome guy
Because I look so glum
I've got a lot of cooties
And they keep me busy, some
I know I'm a hobo but
Who said I was a Bum?

I travel in the best of style
No matter what the rate
I ride inside those Pullmann cars
some people call them freight

I only eat one kind of food
Just one not anymore
I mean the kind of food
they hand me out the kitchen door

From coast to coast
No man can boast such popularity
Wherever I stop there is a cop
Who waits to welcome me

Well who said I was a Bum?
Who said I was a Bum?
I've been in all the finest jails
Beneath the shining sun

Each time I face a judge
I'm gone for many months to come
I know I'm a hobo but
Who said I was a Bum?

Now any place I hang my hat
Is "Home, Sweet Home" to me
Oh! How I love the man
That wrote that sweet old melody

Another song I'm wild about
It hit me way down deep
a tune I'm always singing
"Please Go Away and Let Me Sleep".

The millionaire is worried
with a lot of bills to pay
While all I have to worry about is
Whether I'll eat today

So who said I was a bum?
Who said I was a bum?

Fifth Avenue and I are through
To me it's just a slum
I'll tell you who I really am
I hope you'll keep it mum

I know I'm a hobo
But who said I was a bum ?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:53 PM

Joe,
I am pretty sure that Bob Bovee does this good ol' song. I, too, have a 78 of it on a tape here somewhere. But those lyrics you've posted seem to be 2 or 3 times longer than what would fit on any old Edison record.------- Thanks for the words!

Art


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM

I always thought It was written and first performed by Wendell Hall, an early Ukulele sensation. I have an mp3 of his rendition and its always been an all time favorite of mine.

If someone ever figures out the chords I'd love to have them.

Jim Bunch


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 10:42 PM

Here's more about Wendell Hall:

Despite having sold more than two million copies of one of his records and having written several totally evergreen standards, it seems the most enduring historical legacy of this artist is a series of instruments named after him. In this sense, Wendell Hall is the Les Paul of ukuleles and the slightly louder ukulele banjo, because just as the guitar maestro who designed a popular electric guitar as his namesake, Hall was the designer of a series of sought-after, collector's item ukes and banjo ukes, the subject of brisk commerce on the internet decades after his death. And just as many guitarists strumming their Les Paul guitars don't fret about who Les Paul is, there are surely many crooners strumming prestige Wendell Hall ukuleles who are unaware of who the Hall is. The singer and strummer was known as both "the red-haired music maker" and the slightly more pungent "pineapple picador." He had several decades of recording success in the '20s and '30s, performing a variety of pop and blues numbers while attracting attention with noveltly songs. He also had a shoe, or perhaps we should say a barefoot, in the hillbilly patch and in terms of national hit records is reported to be the first "official" hillbilly, if there can be such a thing. His song "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" was considered a hillbilly release when it first was pressed in 1923, a distinction that has long since faded while the song itself has remained a classic standard. This was the release that sold two million for Hall, but it was not his only successful recording by any means. He played the other side of the rain cloud with a release of "It Looks Like Rain," although public response indicated a preference for dryer climates. He recorded a cover version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain," and an "answer" song to Harry McClintock's "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" entitled "Who Said I Was a Bum?" He provided lyrical fodder for many a serviceman with "Show Me the Way to Go Home," and also drew attention collaborating with fellow official hillbilly Carson Robinson in a series of Stephan Foster platters, such as "Camptown Races" and "Oh Susanna." Hall also became involved in publishing instruction manuals and songs for ukulele early on in the game. His Ukulele Methods, published by Forster Music in 1925, was one of the first such manuals for the instrument to be commercially available. It came hot on the heels of Uke Songs published the year before by Jack Mills. Hall also recorded and performed on several other small stringed instruments, the mildly obscure tipple and the truly rare taropatch. He was featured on radio broadcasts over the NBC WHZ network in the '30s. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:45 AM

Oops, so I did and do. I think I have that one on my old hard drive. I'll see if I can find it over the weekend. My dad always sang this one; I am pretty sure he learned it from the 78. Like Art, I sure don't remember that many words, though!:-)


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 01:43 AM

INTERESTING ... as I was reading the words, Haywire Mac came to mind. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO SAID I WAS A BUM?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:21 PM

The way I learned it from Bob Bovee:

I've traveled east. I’ve traveled west.
I've been in every state,
A member of the knights of rest
With dues paid up to date.

There's just two things that I despise,
Two things I always shirk:
The first thing is a cake of soap,
The other one is work,

My life to me is just a spree.
I'm always on a lark.
Somebody said, "You're just a bum"
And I don't like that remark.

Who said I was a bum?
Who said I was a bum?
I haven't worked in twenty years.
I guess I’m not so dumb

And as a tramp who's on the go,
The people hear me hum.
I know I’m a hobo, but
Who said I was a bum?

I must admit I’d never fit
In any job and stay.
Whenever I see a pile of wood,
I look the other way

I haven't shaved in many a year.
I really am afraid,
Because I fear my wire beard
Would break the razor blade.

The other day I was on my way.
This cop gave me a chase.
I thought I heard him holler,
"Take that mattress off your face!"

Who said I was a bum?
Who said I was a bum?
I've been in every hospital,
That ever was built, by gum!

But every time they operate,
They just cut out my rum.
I know I’m a hobo, but,
Who said I was a bum?

My coat is torn. My shoes are worn.
There's holes in both my clothes,
And what is worse, I always nurse
A blossom on my nose.

And with a glance, you can see my pants
Are baggy at the knees.
They're worn so thin I can feel the wind
Blow through my BVDs.

There ain't nothing worries me.
I'm mighty glad of that.
There ain't nothing on my mind,
Except a dirty hat.

Who said I was a bum?
Who said I was a bum?
Don't think that I’m a lonesome guy,
Because I look so glum.

I've got a lot of cootie friends.
They keep me on the run.
I know I’m a hobo but,
Who said I was a bum?

I travel in the finest style,
No matter what the rates.
I ride the rods on Pullman cars.
Sometimes I ride the freights.

I only eat the finest food.
I always ask for more—
I mean the kind of food
They hand me out the kitchen door.

From coast to coast,
No man can boast such popularity.
Wherever I stop, I find a cop
Who's waiting to welcome me.

Who said I was a bum?
Who said I was a bum?
I've been thrown in many a jail.
They've thrown me out of some.

I've never worked. I’ve never fought.
I never will, by gum.
I know I’m a hobo but
Who said I was a bum?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: NightWing
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 08:15 PM

Don't remember where I read it, but (supposedly) it was said that the difference between a 'bo, a tramp, and a bum was that a hobo would work, a tramp wouldn't, and a bum couldn't.

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: ADD: Who Said I Was a Bum?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 11:08 PM

It was Ben Reitman, King of the Hoboes, who said, "A hobo works and wanders, a tramp dreams and wanders, a bum drinks and wanders."


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Who Said I Was a Bum? (Howard Johnson
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 10:56 PM

St. John Tucker phrased it somewhat differently: "A hobo is a migratory worker. A tramp is a migratory non-worker. A bum is a stationary non-worker."

--quoted in "Long Steel Rail" by Norm Cohen.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO SAID I WAS A BUM? (from Wendell Hall)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:00 AM

You can hear a recording by Wendell Hall at The Internet Archive. Here is my transcription. There are a few lines that differ from the version posted above. Also, to correctly represent the pattern of repetitions and changes in the tune, the song must be arranged in 10-line stanzas, thus:


WHO SAID I WAS A BUM?
As sung by Wendell Hall, 1928

1. I've traveled east. I've traveled west. I've been in ev'ry state,
A member of the Knights of Rest with dues paid up to date.
There's just two things that I despise, two things I always shirk:
The first thing is a cake o' soap. The other one is work.
My life to me is just a spree. I'm always on a lark.
Somebody said, "You're just a bum." I don't like that remark.
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I haven't worked for twenty years. I guess I'm not so dumb.
And as I tramp along the road, the people hear me hum.
  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?

2. I must admit I never fit in any job and say:
Whenever I see a pile o' wood, I look the other way.
I haven't shaved in many a year. I really am afraid,
Because I fear my wire beard would break the razor blade.
The other day while on my way, a cop gave me a chase.
I thought I heard him holler, "Take that mattress off your face!"
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I'm just an easy-goin' guy and things are easy come.
I bum a nickel now and then to keep me full o' rum.
  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?

3. My coat is worn. My shoes are torn. There's holes in both my toes.
And what is worse, I always nurse a blossom on my nose.
With a glance, you'll see my pants are baggy at the knees.
They're worn so thin, I feel the wind blow through my BVDs.
Now they ain't nothin' worries me. I'm mighty glad o' that.
There's never nothin' on my mind except a dirty hat.
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
Don't think that I'm a lonesome guy because I look so glum.
I've got a lot o' cootie friends that keep me on the hum.
  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?

4. I travel in the best o' style no matter what the rates.
I ride the rods on Pullman cars. Sometimes I ride the freights.
I always eat the finest food. I always ask for more.
I mean the kind o' food they hand me out the kitchen door.
From coast to coast, no bum can boast such popularity.
Wherever I stop, I find a cop that's waitin' to welcome me.
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I've been thrown in many a jail. They've thrown me out o' some.
I never work, I never want, and I never will, by gum.
  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Who Said I Was a Bum? (Howard Johnson)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:48 PM

II think Goebel Reeves did it too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Who Said I Was a Bum? (Howard Johnson)
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:49 PM

Chords, Chords, my song for the chords.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO SAID I WAS A BUM? (from Frank Luther)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 May 10 - 08:49 PM

For convenience and easy comparison, I have taken the Frank Luther lyrics (which Joe Offer posted above) and reformatted them to match the Wendell Hall lyrics. I have also listened to the mp3 and corrected a couple of errors in the transcription (e.g. changed "as free" to "a spree," "as a tramp" to "as I tramp"), and I have boldfaced the words that are different between the two recordings.


WHO SAID I WAS A BUM?
Sung by Frank Luther (Edison Blue Amberol cylinder no. 5614, 1928)

1. I've traveled east. I've traveled west. I've been in ev'ry state,
A member of the Knights of Rest with dues paid up to date.
There's just two things that I despise, two things I always shirk:
The first thing is a cake of soap. The other one is work.
My life to me is just a spree. I'm always on a lark.
Somebody said, "You're just a bum," and I don't like that remark.
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I haven't worked in twenty years. I guess I'm not so dumb.
And as I tramp along the road, the people hear me hum.
  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?

2. I must admit I never fit in any job, and say:
Whenever I see a pile o' wood, I look the other way.
I haven't shaved in 'most a year. I really am afraid,
Because I fear my wire beard would break the razor blade.
The other day while on my way, a cop gave me a chase.
I thought I heard him holler, "Take that mattress off o' your face!"
  Who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I've been in every hospital that ever was built, by gum!
And every time they operate, they just cut out my rum.

  I know I'm a hobo, but who said I was a bum?

3. My coat is torn. My shoes are worn. There's holes in both my toes.
And what is worse, I always nurse a blossom on my nose.
And with a glance, you'll see my pants are baggy at the knees.
They're worn so thin, I feel the wind blow through my BVDs.
But I ain't got a worry, boys. Now what do you think of that?
There's nothing ever on my mind except my old straw hat.
  But who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
Don't think I'm a lonesome guy because I look so glum.
I've got a lot of cooties and they keep me busy some.
  I know I'm a hobo but who said I was a bum?

4. I travel in the best o' style no matter what the rates.
I ride inside those Pullman cars. Some people call them freights.
I only eat one kind of food, just one, not any more.
I mean the kind of food they hand me out the kitchen door.
From coast to coast, no man can boast such popularity.
Wherever I stop, there is a cop who waits to welcome me.
  Well, who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
I've been in all the finest jails beneath the shining sun.
Each time I face a judge, I'm gone for many months to come.

  I know I'm a hobo but who said I was a bum?

5. Now any place I hang my hat is "home, sweet home" to me.
Oh, how I love the man that wrote that sweet old melody!
Another song I'm wild about—it hit me way down deep—
A tune I'm always singing: "Please go 'way and let me sleep."
The millionaire is worried with a lot of bills to pay,
While all I have to worry about is whether I'll eat today.
  So
who said I was a bum? Who said I was a bum?
Fifth Avenue and I are through. To me it's just a slum.
I'll tell you who I really am. I hope you'll keep it mum.

  I know I'm a hobo but who said I was a bum?


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