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Chord Req: Waiting for a Train (Miss. John Hurt)

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GUEST,Jenn 10 Sep 08 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Pete 11 Sep 08 - 04:56 AM
PoppaGator 11 Sep 08 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Jim 11 Sep 08 - 12:02 PM
PoppaGator 11 Sep 08 - 12:53 PM
Fortunato 11 Sep 08 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Jim 11 Sep 08 - 07:48 PM
Brian Hoskin 12 Sep 08 - 04:55 AM
PoppaGator 12 Sep 08 - 03:19 PM
PoppaGator 12 Sep 08 - 03:21 PM
PoppaGator 13 Sep 08 - 08:44 PM
Brian Hoskin 15 Sep 08 - 04:57 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: GUEST,Jenn
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 10:59 PM

Have been searching forever for Mississippi John Hurt tab/chords for waiting on a train. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:56 AM

Oh! Mississippi John Hurt. When I saw the subject title I thought you meant the elephant man


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 10:13 AM

Mississippi John did not play/sing the Jimmie Rodgers classic "Waitin' for a Train." However, one of his own compositions is set to the same melody: "Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me." Hurt plays it in C; I've seen sheet music showing "Waiting for a Train" in the key of F.

If you learn the John Hurt guitar part, you could easily sing the lyrics to either song along with it. (Just add an extra C-G(7)-C at the end of the verse to accommodate the yodel part for "Train.")

Last year, I wrote out tabs for "Mermaids" in Randytab format and contributed it to the MJH Museum website, where it is posted along with tabs for many other John Hurt songs. A large number are the work of Ken Whitfield, aka Mudcatter Khandu, plus a bunch from webmaster Frank Delaney and another two or three from me. (The site also provides a free download of the Randytab software, without which you can't open the files.)

For those who can't or won't deal with the Randy software, maybe someone else can provide a more conventional and more easily accessed version of tab for this song.

I learned many MJH songs from tablature over the years, from a number of different books (Stephan Grossman, Oak Publications) but never did run across this particular song.

(Only after learning a number of other songs in the key of C was I able to figure out "Mermaids" for myself.)

Oops ~ almost forgot the link!

http://www.msjohnhurtmuseum.com/tablature.html

Scoll about halfway down the page; "Mermaids" is directly across from a photo of Mr Hurt.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 12:02 PM

Poppagator said: Mississippi John did not play/sing the Jimmie Rodgers classic "Waitin' for a Train."

While he did not record Waitin' For A Train, I've heard that John Hurt and Skip James used to play/sing a bunch of Jimmie Rodgers' songs back stage during the mid sixties.

Many of the old blues guys we love so much were not encouraged to sing the songs that they loved.

I've read that Robert Johnson liked to play pop tunes like My Blue Heaven, but no one wanted him to record them 'cause they weren't Bluesy enough.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 12:53 PM

I stand corrected: Of course, I should have said that Hurt never recorded "Waitin' for a Train." All of us undoubtedly play and sing a greater number of songs than we perform in public, certainly more of them than we would ever record.

However, I know quite well that a person could heard MJH playing "Mermaids" and easily assume that he was listening to "Train" ~ because I had that very experience myself.

Several years ago, I turned on the radio in the middle of a song and immediately thought "That sure sounds like Mississippi John; I didn't know he played 'Waitin' for a Train'!" (On that recording of "Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me," Hurt alternates sung verses with instrumental verses, and I had tuned in near the beginnning of a verse that he wasn't singing.) When the next repetition of the verse came around and the vocal part resumed, my guess as to the artist was verified ~ it was Hurt's voice, unmistakably ~ but the words were not what I expected.

Both John Hurt and Jimmie Rodgers lived in Mississippi at around the same time, but of course in vastly different "worlds." John Hurt lived much longer, of course, but I think they were more-or-less contemporaries back when both made their first recordings. Did one "steal" this melody from the other, or did both of them set lyrics to an existing "folk" melody? I'd like to believe the latter.

Jimmie Rodgers, "The Singing Brakeman," got around much more widely than John Hurt, who lived in relative isolation, never venturing far from his patch of sharecropped farmland except for two trips to make recordings ~ and then, many years later, touring as a "redicovered" star of the folk revival.

So Jimmie, the railroad man, had more chances to hear someone playing or singing a song learned from John Hurt "live" than for John to hear Jimmie's song in person. On the other hand, while both men made records, Jimmie's were much more widely known and distributed, so John might have been more likely to hear a Jimmie Rodgers i>record than for Jimmie to hear any of John's.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: Fortunato
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:38 PM

Jim,
Your story is interesting. The transition from the flat pick/country guitar style I use for Waiting for a Train could easily be substituted for by a John Hurt/Piedmont fingerstyle I use for a John Hurt tune. I frequently put John Hurt and Jimmie Rodgers in the same set.

cheers,
chance


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 07:48 PM

I use a John Hurt/Libba Cotton style of picking for Waitin' For A Train. Since I'm not much of a yodeler, I play the yodelling part on the guitar. I play it in C positions with the capo on the second fret.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 04:55 AM

After a quick search around it seems to me that John Hurt did record Waiting for a Train. Firstly I found a copy of his recording being used as backing music for this Youtube video. So I checked Stefan Wirz's online discography of Hurt and found a listing for the song on the Hurt's Library of Congress Recordings volume 3 Sacred and Secular

all the best

Brian


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 03:19 PM


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 03:21 PM

Ooops, I only meant to "Add to Tracer," not to post.

I'd like to listen to that youTube video soundtrack & can't do so at work. I would imagine that MJH's guitar part would be essetially identical to the way he plays "Mermaids"; I'd like to hear him sing Jimmie's lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 08:44 PM

So ~ John Hurt couldn't yodel!

The guitar part was indeed exactly what he plays for his own song, right downto the quick little bass runs. Notice that he sings the title as the fourth, rather than the second, line of the song. (Also make a few other minor changes/omissions to the lyrics, nothing worth mentioning.)


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: John Hurt 'Waiting on a train'
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 04:57 AM

Worthwhile learning PoppaGator's tab for 'Mermaids' - you get the potential for two different songs for your efforts!


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