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Lyr Req: Ain't Goin' Down to the Well No Mo'

DigiTrad:
ALABAMA BOUND
BILL MARTIN AND ELLA SPEED
BRING ME LITTLE WATER, SYLVIE
COTTON FIELDS BACK HOME
DUNCAN AND BRADY
DUNCAN AND BRADY (2)
GOOD NIGHT IRENE
JUMPIN' JUDY
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
LININ' TRACK
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
SKEWBALL
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
SONG TO WOODY
TAKE THIS HAMMER
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)
WE SHALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY
WHOA BACK BUCK
YOU DON'T KNOW ME


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GUEST,clark 04 Nov 10 - 12:32 AM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 10 - 12:59 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Nov 10 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,clark 04 Nov 10 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,clark 04 Nov 10 - 01:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 10 - 01:12 PM
BrooklynJay 10 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 10 - 02:56 PM
BrooklynJay 11 Nov 10 - 12:45 AM
Roger the Skiffler 11 Nov 10 - 06:24 AM
Roger the Skiffler 11 Nov 10 - 10:22 AM
redcoon 11 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM
BrooklynJay 14 Nov 10 - 01:09 AM
BrooklynJay 19 Nov 10 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,Dreadbelly 27 Aug 13 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Aug 13 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,delta willie 09 Jan 14 - 10:52 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 14 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well N
From: GUEST,clark
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 12:32 AM

hey was wondering if anyone could find or decipher the lyrics to "ain't goin down to the well no mo'" by leadbelly. not sure what other albums it is on, but i have it on a ten track album called goodnite irene. there is not a lot of words to the song but i just can't quite be sure of what he's saying exactly. it is an amazingly beautiful song to me. thanks.


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Subject: ADD: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 12:59 AM

Geel, about all I can understand from the recording is "ain't goin' down to the well" and "true believer." Using those as search terms, I found what is purported to be the Marianne Faithfull version:

AIN'T GOIN' DOWN TO THE WELL NO MO'
(Marianne Faithfull version)

Oh
I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, honey to the well no more
Oh.
And I ain't got nothing
Oh, and I can't stand nothing
Oh.
I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, sweet mama to the well no more
Oh.
You said you was a true believer
I'm the true believer
I'm a true believer
Oh.
I ain't going down
I ain't going down
Oh, mama to the well no more
Oh.


Source: http://www.lyricsera.com/2442-lyric-Faithfull+Marianne-I+Aint+Goin+Down+To+The+Well+No+More.html


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:49 AM

Not in the Leadbelly Songbook.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST,clark
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:07 AM

here i figured i will type the closest guess i can make to what he is saying then maybe it would ring some bells for someone and they can correct it..... not sure of a few lines...

also would welcome any discussion as to the what the song MEANS.

whooaaa....

i ain't goin' down
i ain't goin' down
oh baby to the well no more

it's a true believer
it's a true believer
heyyyyyyy

i ain't goin' down
i ain't goin' down
oh mama to the well no more

(spoken): late in the evenin' the boys was out and they said, whatcha got on your mind, snatchin' cotton, the boys'll tell him, says, grow your own, man, grow your own.

if i ever did labor
if i ever did labor, labor
?????????????

i ain't goin' down
i ain't goin' down
oh sadie to the well no more

it's a true believer
hoa
it's a true believer
heyyyyyy

i ain't goin' down
i ain't goin' down
oh baby to the well no more

spoken: take 'em, take 'em, boys, take 'em

oh, soon one mornin'
when i could not lay back down, lay back down
whoaaaa

looked right at him
looked right at him
oh, standin' in the mornin' gun
ohhhhh

looked right at him
looked right at him
standin' in the mornin' gun


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST,clark
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:09 PM

actually here is a second crack at one of the verses, as tom waits sang it, although it really sounds like leadbelly is saying "labor" and not "able" but this way makes sense anyway..

if i ever get able
if i ever get able, able
to pay this debt i owe



still not sure about the last verse, "standin' in the morning gun" doesn't make a lot of sense.... does anybody else have a better guess?


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:12 PM

Seems to pick up floating verses in different versions.
Tom Waits adds the verse:

If I ever get able, if I ever get able,
to pay this debt I owe
Ain't goin' down
I ain't goin' down
Momma to the well, momma to the well,
Momma to the well, no more.
Momma to the well, momma to the well,
Momma to the well, momma to the well
Momma to the well, no more
Ain't goin' down
Ain't goin' down
Ain't goin' down.

I'll have to dig out Leadbelly's version. It appears in at least two albums; Folkways, and "Last Sessions."


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM

Here are the lyrics (as part of a medley) from p.125 of Lead Belly - No Stranger to the Blues. [©1998 TRO Folkways Music Publishers Inc.] Here is everything from that page:

Ain't Going Down To The Well No More/Go Down Old Hannah

Medley transcribed from 1939 Musicraft recording sessions now available on Lead Belly Memorial Vols. 3 & 4, Collectables CD 5604. Other CD recordings: "Ain't Going Down" - Lead Belly/Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen, Rounder 1098; "Go Down, Old Hannah" - Lead Belly/Go Down Old Hannah, Rounder 1099 (1935 Library of Congress sessions); and Lead Belly's Last Sessions (1948), Smithsonian Folkways boxed set 50068/71 includes both songs.

(Ain't Going Down to the Well No More)

Ohhh,
Ain't going down, ain't going down, oh baby,
to the well no more.

Here's a true believer, here's a true believer, yay.
Ain't going down, ain't going down, oh momma,
to the well no more.

If I ever get able, if I ever get able, able to pay this
debt I owe, oh,
Ain't going down, ain't going down, oh Sadie,
to the well no more.

Here's a true believer, here's a true believer, yay.
Ain't going down, ain't going down, oh baby,
to the well no more.

Oh, soon one morning when I could not lay back down,
lay back down, oh,
Looking right at her, looking right at her, oh,
standing in her morning gown, oh. (2)

(additional verses)

Oh, down, down in the bottom, mmm.
Mud up to my knees, mud up to my knees, oh Mary,
he was so hard to please.
Oh baby, oh black gal, oh black gal, black gal.

Oh, something funny, oh Lord, Lord, Lord.
I couldn't understand, I couldn't understand,
oh couldn't understand.
Got me charged with murder, got me charged with murder,
murder, oh Lord, I ain't raised my hand.
Ain't raised my hand, ain't raised my hand,
oh, ain't raised my hand.
Oh black gal, oh black gal, oh.

Turn me loose, turn me loose, please man,
won't you turn me loose?
Lord, I was on the outdside, on the outside looking in, oh.
Looking in, looking in, oh black woman, I was looking in.
Now I'm on the inside, Lord, I'm on the inside, inside, oh.

I ain't got no friends, ain't got no friends, praise God,
I ain't got no friends.
Oh Mamie, Petey, come home to the baby, oh.
To the baby, to the baby, oh black gal, to the baby.


(Go Down, Old Hannah)

Go down old Hannah, don't you rise no more,
And if you rise in the morning, bring Judgement Day.

You oughta been on the Brazos, nineteen and ten,*
Well, they were driving the women like they do the men.

Oh, the sun was shining and the men was flying,
Oh, the captain was hollering and the men was flying.

(additional verses)

If a man don't know, if a man don't know --
It's a man lying dead on the low turn row.**

Oh, the man on the end hollering
"Bring 'em, bring 'em on in."

It was soon one morning when the sun did rise
And I was singing about my goodlooking baby;
I would hang my head and cry.

Yes, I run to the captain and I shake his hand,
I says, "Look-a here, captain, you got a hardworking man."

Go down old Hannah, don't you rise no more,
If you rise in the morning, set this world on fire
(change this world around).

And I told the captain that old Ben was dead
And the captain didn't do nothing but nod his head.

Yes, when I went to school, teacher ask me one thing,
She says to me, "Partner, did your mama learn you to sing?"
Then I says, "Go down old Hannah,
I'd like to be knocking on somebody's door."


* Brazos River was the location of state prison farms.

** Where teams with ploughs can be turned at the end of the field.


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 02:56 PM

Thanks for quoting the page in full.

(There are threads describing the prison farms- I think 'Ain't no more cane on the Brasos' is one).


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 12:45 AM

I see the song also turns up in the 1949 live recording of Leadbelly's concert in Texas. When I can check the CD I'm borrowing from my local library I'll see if I can decipher the lyrics and if I can detect any major differences.


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 06:24 AM

I'll try to find time to check against the "Last sessions" as well.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 10:22 AM

After a quick listen: misses out the "debt" verse, a couple of versions of the "One morning" verse adding "sun ain't gonna shine". "Momma" added to end of most lines. Clearly one of those songs where floating verses are added at will.
He sings it "a capella"*.

RtS
(*a musical term meaning "with an English manager" - if the manager changes my best intro joke is stuffed!)


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: redcoon
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM

try "it aint gonna rain no more"


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 01:09 AM

Earlier I had a quick listen to the song from Leadbelly's 1949 concert, and it's extremely abbreviated. Next, I'll see if I can decipher what he's saying.


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:45 PM

Here is the entire transcription from Leadbelly's concert of June 15, 1949, recorded live at the University of Texas in Austin. (Leadbelly had just performed the field holler "Ho Day.") I think I've got it around 99.99% accurate.

Leadbelly (Spoken):

Now, this is gonna be a different holler, and this is when a man is drivin' mules, and drivin' oxens, and workin' in the field. My mother used to call this a "cornfield holler," but just still, I'm still hollerin'. I wouldn't let her hear me, 'cause she wanted me to go to church and sing the spirituals, what, I wanted to sing that cornfield holler, little boy, because I liked to!

Now, I'm gonna holler one for you. But, when she was livin' at the time and I was little, I wouldn't let her hear me holler it - but I'm still hollerin' 'em, and this is "Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No More," and that means, "I ain't goin' down to the well no more," that means a whole lotsa things - 'cause a lotsa boys sometime makes a error, and gets in jail. When they be lucky enough to get out - uh-uh! - no, they ain't goin' back there no more! Or sometime, a fella might be gamblin' and he lose all his money...got to go home to his wife - uh-uh! - no, he ain't gonna do that no more! [Audience laughs] That's what I mean...what I mean, "ain't goin' down to the well no more." And the boy started hollerin':

Ohhh...ohhh...Lord, Lord,
Ain't goin' down,
I ain't goin' down,
Oh baby, to the well no more.

Ohhh...I'm the true believer,
Ohhh...I'm the true believer,
Ohhh...I ain't goin' down,
I ain't goin' down,
Oh baby, to the well no more.

Ohhh...if I ever gets able,
If I ever gets able,
Able to pay this debt I owe,

Ohhh...I ain't goin' down,
I ain't goin' down,
Oh baby, to the well no more.

Ohhh...whoa!


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST,Dreadbelly
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 05:11 PM

Hey BrooklynJay, i know this is an old thread but i found your transcription really useful. i will have to find a recording of that concert. i'm doing a project where i'm writing new music for the last sessions acapella songs, i used your transcription in my blog post about my arrangement of the song. i hope you don't mind. http://dreadbellysongs.wordpress.com/songs/i-aint-going-down-to-the-well-no-more/


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 13 - 12:18 PM

You can hear the notes that he sings to the words to here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHRrE-lpTPY

As Leadbelly just said, it's a song for a man to sing while working the fields - hard, hot (probably) and lonesome. He sings high, then sings low, to keep himself company.


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST,delta willie
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:52 PM

"the well" is also the place in the center of a courtroom, in front of where a defendant would be tried.
The 'debt' is not monetary, its a prison sentence, a debt to the state at hard labor.


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Subject: RE: Req: Leadbelly: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No Mo'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 10:58 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHRrE-lpTPY


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