Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)

lefthanded guitar 06 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM
Fred McCormick 06 Jan 11 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Songbob 06 Jan 11 - 04:08 PM
lefthanded guitar 07 Jan 11 - 01:00 PM
Roger in Baltimore 07 Jan 11 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,catyronwode 14 Mar 18 - 01:35 AM
Chris C 16 Mar 18 - 06:42 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 18 - 10:55 AM
rich-joy 19 Mar 18 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 20 Mar 18 - 04:31 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Req: I was born in the country
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM

Having one of those 'moments' where I forgot the title and words to a song I not only knew, but used to perform!

Can you help?

I believe the first line of this country blues song is :
    I was born (or is it raised???) in the country
    You thought I'd be easy to rule

another line goes:
    I give sugar for sugar, I give salt for salt
    If you don't like it, it's your own d**n fault


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I was born in the country
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 03:02 PM

LHG. The song you're after is James Alley Blues recorded by Richard "Rabbit" Brown in New Orleans in 1927. It doesn't seem to have been re-released all that often but it was a mainstay of the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of American Folkmusic. Also, it's on Times Ain't Like They Used to Be-Vol 2. Yazoo 2029.

let me know if you have trouble tracing the words and I'll look them out for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: JAMES ALLEY BLUES (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 04:08 PM

Check it out on YouTube, too. There are several really good versions there, of which my favorite is by one of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons.

It's interesting -- way back 'in the day,' I first learned the song, but I heard that most folkies at the time liked a version in Open G; however, I've never heard it, and don't seem to find it among the YouTubed versions. Anyone know about that?

Anyway, here are the lyrics:

JAMES ALLEY BLUES
Songwriter?

Times right now ain't nothin' like they used to be
Well times right now ain't nothin' like they used to be
You know I'll tell you all the truth, won't you take my word from me

Well I seen better days, but I ain't puttin' up with these
Well I've seen better days, but I ain't puttin' up with these
I had a lot better time with those women down in New Orleans

Well I was born in the country so she thinks I'm easy to lose
Well I was born in the country so she thinks I'm easy to lose
She wants to hitch me to a wagon and drive me like a mule

I bought her groceries, and I pay the rent
I bought her groceries, and I pay the rent
She wanted me to wash her clothes but I got good common sense

Well if you don't want me then why don't you just tell me so?
Well if you don't want me then why don't you just tell me so?
It ain't like I'm a man that ain't got nowhere else to go

I give you sugar for sugar, but all you want is salt for salt
I give you sugar for sugar, but all you want is salt for salt
Well if you can't get along with me, then it's your own fault

Well, you want me to love you, but then you just treat me mean
Yea, you want me to love you, but then you just treat me mean
You're my daily thought and you're my nightly dream

Well, sometimes I think that you're just too sweet to die
Ah, sometimes I think that you're just too sweet to die
And other times I think that you ought to be buried alive


Bob Clayton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I was born in the country
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 01:00 PM

Thanks Fred and Songbob.

You know when I got offline, and picked up my guitar, the songjust came back to me: but I am glad to have the title & these references b/c the version I remember was slightly different (same melody but diff. pacing and some different verses) I will be glad to have these to add to my verson.

I first heard this terrific song by a local performer (who, my faltering memory reminds, MAY have gotten the song from an old Carolyn Hester album) , and then I heard a similar version by David Johannson (of the NY Dolls, but in his Harry Smith persona) and I probably 'folk processed' it a bit too.Here's the words I remember:

"I was born in the country, you thought I'd be easy to rule 2x
But times are changing: this country boy ain't everybody's fool.


I give sugar for sugar, I give salt for salt 2x
If you don't like it, it's your own d**n fault

You can walk by my window, you best not walk to my door 2x
Cause if you come in my doorwway, you'll be facing my ol' 44.

Then repeat first verse. "

Think I'll take a few stanzas from the above version to 'fill in' mine and perform it next time I'm onstage. THANKS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: ADD: I was born in the country/James Alley Blues
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:53 PM

Roger Mc Guinn does a version of this song. His guitar part is way different from Richard "Rabbit" Brown's. Brown's is a damn nice guitar part.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: GUEST,catyronwode
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 01:35 AM

Correction on the lyrics:

Well, I seen better days, but -> I'm <- puttin' up with these
Well, I've seen better days, but -> I'm <- puttin' up with these

The substitution of "ain't" for "i'm" is all over the internet and yet is it false.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: Chris C
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 06:42 AM

This is a great old blues song, and the Richard "Rabbit" Brown record is fantastic. He's an interesting figure; if I recall correctly, not much is known about him, and he only made a few recordings. His sound and his diction are very distinct. Perhaps the recording, and his accent, are factors, but he shifts between being clearly understandable and difficult to make out.(His voice sometimes reminds me of Cat Stevens, of all people.)
In listening back to the original record, the lyrics posted above are basically correct, but are not an exact transcription of Brown's recording. I think the biggest difference is that he seems to be saying:
"I been givin' you sugar for sugar, let you get salt for salt.
I('ll) give you sugar for sugar, let you get salt for salt."

Also, I always thought it was:
"Cause I was born in the country she thinks I'm easy to rule.",
but listening back, maybe it's "lose". I like "rule", though.

Another: I think it starts with:
"Times (they?) ain't now nothing like they used to be", which seems a more poetic rearranging of the words.

Agreed with catyronwode above re no "ain't" in that stanza. It's:
"I done seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these".

There are other small variations.

Thanks, all!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 10:55 AM

You may be thinking of Judy Roderick's version ... Born in the Country

I think it was her who rewrote the lyrics as quoted. (playing in open G.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: rich-joy
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 11:21 PM

I'm rather fond of Alice Stuart's version (thanks Stewie!) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5epRvDuNFQc

Cheers!
Rich-Joy
Down Under


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James Alley Blues (Richard Rabbit Brown)
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 04:31 AM

Musicians Clarence Vincent, Eddie Dawson, and Lemon Nash knew Rabbit Brown and were interviewed, so we know a bit about him, such as that he played at fish fries a lot and he loved to talk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 June 1:29 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.