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Lyr Req: No More Cane on the Brazos (from M Platt)

Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Ain't No More Cane on This Brazos (71)
Lyr Add: Ain't No More Cane On This Brazos (CMT?) (10)
Brazos River Songs (22)
Lyr Req: Cross the Brazos at Waco (K. C. Arnold) (11)


Roberto 08 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM
John MacKenzie 08 Sep 08 - 01:12 PM
Roberto 08 Sep 08 - 01:24 PM
Barry Finn 08 Sep 08 - 09:13 PM
Roberto 09 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM
bankley 09 Sep 08 - 11:16 AM
oldhippie 09 Sep 08 - 03:24 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Sep 08 - 06:28 PM
Barry Finn 10 Sep 08 - 01:41 AM
Roberto 10 Sep 08 - 03:09 AM
Roberto 10 Sep 08 - 03:29 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Sep 08 - 05:07 AM
Roberto 10 Sep 08 - 05:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 08 - 12:32 PM
Roberto 10 Sep 08 - 01:17 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Sep 08 - 04:16 PM
Roger in Baltimore 11 Sep 08 - 04:28 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Sep 08 - 09:33 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 08 - 03:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 08 - 04:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 08 - 04:37 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM

I'd like to get the text of Ain't No More Cane On The Brazos as sung by Rev. Mose "Clear Rock"Platt, in John Lomax 1939 Recording Trip. Thanks. R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 01:12 PM

This is The Band's version, with chords.
Looks pretty much like the original version to me.

JM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 01:24 PM

Thanks to John and to Peace for the refresh of the long thread on this song, but what I'd like is to get the text of Platt's recording. IT IS ON THE NET, at the site devoted to the John Lomax 1939 Recording Trip. So, please, someone to listen to it and to transcribe the words...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 09:13 PM

Reberto, can you give a site address where one can hear the music or a link to it?

What Lomax recording is it on? I find on Lomax's CD collection on Rounder "Deep River of Song/ Big Brazos (Texas Prison Reordings, 1933 & 1934". The 1st cut is "Ain't No More Cane.." recorded at Central State Farm, Sugarland, Texas Dec. 1933 lead by Ernest Williams & group, assisted by "Iron Head" Baker.
It's not on his "Prison Songs", vol. 1 or 2 (Rounder)

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM

THE SITE: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html

THE PAGE WITH THE LINKS TO THE TWO RECORDINGS OF THE SONG SUNG BY PLATT: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S?ammem/lomaxbib:@field(DOCID(@range(l1+l4)))


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: bankley
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 11:16 AM

Lyle Lovett does a nice version on his last CD...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: oldhippie
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 03:24 PM

From the Lomax's "Folk Song USA" book:

It ain't no mo' cane on dis Brazis
Oh-
Dey done grind it all in molazzis,
Oh-

Well, de captain standin' an' lookin' an' cryin',
Well, it's gettin' so col', my row's behin'

Cap'n, doncha do me like you did po' Shine
You drive dat bully till he went stone-blin'

Cap'n Cap'n you mus' be blin'
Keep on holl'in' an' I'm almos' flyin'

Ninety-nine years so jumpin' long
To be here rollin' an' cain' go home

Ef I had a sentence like ninety-nine years
All de dogs on de Brazis won't keep me here

B'lieve I'll do like ol' Riley
Ol' Riley walked de big Brazis

Well, de dog-sergeant got worried an' couldn' go
Ol' Rattler went to howlin' kaze de tracks too ol'

Oughta come on de river in 1904
You could fin' a dead man on every turn row

Oughta come on de river in 1910
Dey was drivin' de women jes' like de men

Wake up, dead man, an' help me drive my row
Wake up, dead man, an' help me drive my row

Some in de buildin' an' some on de farm
Some in de graveyard, an' some goin' home

Wake up, lifetime, hold up yo' head
Well, you may get a pardon an' you may drop dead

Go down, Ol' Hannah, doncha rise no mo'
Ef you rise in de mornin' bring Judgment Day


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 06:28 PM

Neither of those sets are much like the Platt recordings. I've cleaned them up a bit and had a first run at them, but (especially in
3802b2) I need to listen a bit more. I'll get back on this later.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 01:41 AM

I can only make out bits & pieces, I'll wait to see how Mick does.

What a site though, I could spend a good month on it.
Thanks

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 03:09 AM

Waiting for Mick (and Barry)...

'T ain't no cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh
They done ground it all up in molasses
Oh, oh, oh

….
Oh, oh, oh
Come on bullies, let …. (under?) …
Oh, oh, oh

…. (dropped (?) in the Brazis with?) …
Oh, oh, oh
He (left?) …(row?) … ground
Oh, oh, oh

'T ain't no mo' cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh
'T ain't no mo' cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh

They ground it all up in molasses
Oh, oh, oh
They ground it all up in molasses
Oh ---


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 03:29 AM

Can't go no further...

Ain't no cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh
Ain't no cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh

You oughta been on the river in 1910
Oh, oh, oh
They worked poor women

You oughta been on the river in 1904
Oh, oh, oh
You could find a dead man on every turn row
Oh, oh, oh

Dead man …
They

Down by the river …
… ride away

'T ain't no cane on this …
Oh ---

***

'T ain't no cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh
They done ground it all up in molasses
Oh, oh, oh

….
Oh, oh, oh
Come on bullies, let …. (under?) …
Oh, oh, oh

….(Nigger?) (jumped in the Brazis with?) …
Oh, oh, oh
He (left?) …(row?) … ground
Oh, oh, oh

'T ain't no mo' cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh
'T ain't no mo' cane on this Brazis
Oh, oh, oh

They ground it all up in molasses
Oh, oh, oh
They ground it all up in molasses
Oh ---


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 05:07 AM

Roberto here's what I've got so far (after some cleaning and filtering). I'm still not certain about parts of it, so I'll try and have another listen later. In the meantime it might give someone else something to go on.

Mick



AIN'T NO MORE CANE ON THE BRAZOS

(26431b)

Ain't no cane on the brazis
O-o-o
They done ground it all up in mollasses
O-o-o

Don't let the ?carriage? break go down
Come on pull in fast - take another round

Nigger jumped in the brazis, he's bound go down
He ?left me? roll right off the ground

Ain't no more cane on this brazis
Ain't no more cane on this brazis

It's grinded all up in mollasses
It's grinded all up in mollasses


(3802b2)
Ain't no cane on this brazis
O-o-o
Ain't no cane on this brazis
O-o-o

Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen ten
Twas worse for women there without the men

Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen an' four
You could find a dead man ?all? easy and low

Dead man can't move ?his dead? head away
They gonna take his body for a place in the grave

Down by the river water ten hours? a day
That is the place for to work all right away

Ain't no cane on the braziz all day
O O-o-o


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 05:22 AM

Well done. Hope we'll get it all, I think these are very important recordings of a great song. R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 12:32 PM

I hope a clone will put the threads on this song together at the top of the page, esp. Origins thread 39464, which has several versions.

Thanks for the work on the Mose Platt version. I tried it several years ago when I was transcribing spirituals from the 1939 recordings.
I made a couple of notes. I'll go back because what is posted here gets it almost done. A suggestion or two (But I may change them again)-

- grind rather than ground

- Load up to carry... (not de..)
   Come on bullies, let's make another round
(This is what the transcriber heard in 1939, sounds OK to me)

-...bound to go down. The transcriber heard drown, but I hear go down.
- ...seen a dead man on every turn row (is my reading; at the end of the row, wagon and all turned into the next row)

v. 6- Drivin' de women like dey drive de men- appears in one of the recordings. Platt varied it in the takes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roberto
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 01:17 PM

I think the stanza about the nigger and the Brazos goes like this:

Nigger jumped in the Brazis an' he's bound to drown
O-o-o
He left a lead row right off the ground
O-o-o


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:16 PM

For what it's worth, here's one more attempt at transcription:


AIN'T NO MORE CANE ON THE BRAZOS

(2643b1)

1. Ain't no cane on the Brazos.
O-o-o
They done ground it all up in molasses.
O-o-o

2. Load up the carriage an' break go(?) down.
Come on pull it there. Make another round.

3. Nigger jumped in the Brazos, an' he's bound toward town.
He left the lead roll right off o' the ground.

4. 'Tain't no more cane on the Brazos.
'Tain't no more cane on the Brazos.

5. It's grinded all up in molasses.
They ground it all up in molasses.


(3802b2)

1. Ain't no cane on the Brazos.
O-o-o
Ain't no cane on the Brazos.
O-o-o

2. Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen an' ten.
They's workin' poor women there well as the men.

3. Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen an' four.
You could find a dead man on ev'ry turning row(?).

4. Dead man he can't move; he's done put away.
They gonna burn his body for a place in the clay.

5. Down by the river where intent(?) t'other day.
That is the place where they put poor Riley away.

6. Ain't no cane on the Brazos all day.
O O-o-o


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane On The Brazos sung by Platt
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:28 PM

Ain't no cane on the Brazis.
They done ground it all up in molasses.

Load up the carriage and break on down,
Come on bullies, let's make another round.

Nigger jumped in the Brazis he's bound to drown.
He left me to roll right off of the ground.

Ain't no more cane on this Brazis.
Ain't no more cane on this Brazis.

It;s grounded all up in molasses.
It's grounded all up in molasses.

The second verse I think talks about going out to the fields to work. Often prisoners would walk to the fields, but sometimes they went on a wagon. So the first line says lets get on the wagon and go to work. OR it might be that "load up the carriage" is "cute" way to way "let's line up and walk to work." In the next line, "bullies" was a common referent to fellow prisoners. So it's saying C'mon guys lets start work. For the workers, it was often hoeing one long row, reaching the end, and turning around and doing another row in the opposite direction.

I think Roberto had the first line of the third verse correct. The second line I am sure includes the word "roll" which was a slang synonym for "work". The man who drowned just left the singer more work to do.

I will try and attack the other version at another time. I have referred in the past to the deciphering of black rural dialect in the early 20th century in blues and work songs as Aural Rorschach, you hear what you want to hear. I've just added my interpretation.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane on the Brazos (from M Platt)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 09:33 AM

Sorry I haven't been back to this for a while - been busy with other things. I've had a listen and this is my current version. Mostly I think it's correct, though there are still some places where it's not clear: brake go down, They's working poor, and what exactly they're going to do with his body - I don't think it's burn as Jim had, mostly it sound like fer, but I opted for put. (And for those without benefit of the recording the word lead is pronounced leed not led).

Mick





(26431b)

T'ain't no cane on the brazis
O-o-o
They did an' ground it all up in mollasses
O-o-o

Load up to carry, an' brake go down
Come on bullies, let's take another round

Nigger jumped in the brazis, he's bound t'go down
He left a lead row right off the ground

T'ain't no more cane on this brazis
T'ain't no more cane on this brazis

They grind it all up in mollasses
They ground it all up in mollasses


(3802b2)
Ain't no cane on this brazis
O-o-o
T'ain't no cane on this brazis
O-o-o

Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen 'n ten
They's working poor women there without the men

Y'ought to been on the river in nineteen an' four
You could find a dead man on every turn(ing?) row

Dead man he can't move, he's just put away
They gonna put? his body for a place in the clay

Down by the river waters t'ending of the day
That is the place where they put poor Riley away

Ain't no cane on the brazis all day
O O-o-o


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane on the Brazos (from M Platt)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 03:00 PM

I seem to recall reading about a flood somewhere in the south in the early 20th century when African-Americans were rounded up at gunpoint and forced to work like slaves to build up the levee. I can't recall the time or place.

Does this ring a bell with anyone?

It could account for the line "They were workin' the women as hard as the men" (or something similar) that occurs in some versions of this song.

The "obvious" time and place would be on the Brazos River in 1910, but I can't find any confirmation that such a flood occurred.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane on the Brazos (from M Platt)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 04:34 PM

The song commemorates the final failure of the sugar crop in 1928 as the result of disease and the imposition of a large federal protective tax on cane sugar, effectively ending cane sugar production in the Brazos River- Sugarland area. The period 1923-1928 was one of very limited cane sugar production; the sugar was processed almost entirely as molasses. Sorghum and sugar beets were grown after that but Imperial Sugar built up its farms again after WW2 to produce cane sugar. See Handbook of Texas articles on Sugarland, Sugar production, etc.
Women prisoners at the Goree farm also worked in the cane fields for a time, not sure of dates, but in the 1920s.
"By 1911, officials had placed women prisoners on the 1000 acre Goree Farm, neat Huntsville. After the conclusion of the convict lease system, the state continued to expand prison farmlands... by 1921 state prison farms encompassed more than 81,000 acres..." Products were "sugarcane, cotton, corn, feed crops and vegetables."
See Handbook of Texas articles on Prison System, Goree farm, Sugar production, Sugarland, etc.

The Handbook of Texas has the details, but scattered in several articles.

Texas rivers are subject to periodic flooding. The worst flood on the Trinity River was in 1908. The Sabine, they say, floods like clockwork every five years (not true, but the interval is roughly that).

The Brazos has been dammed for flood control at several points, it empties in the Freetown-Galveston area.
In the period 1913-1928 levees and drainage systems were built along the Brazos to protect Sugarland and Imperial Sugar property.
I have not found any information about state farm prisoners being used in Brazos levee work, but is was likely, or to shore up levees in flood times when all able-bodied people helped to protect towns along the water courses. I doubt that Goree Farm female prisoners were used in the levee-drainage construction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No More Cane on the Brazos (from M Platt)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 04:37 PM

Origins thread- 39464:
Origins No More Cane


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