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Lyr Req: If I Had My Way (Rev. Gary Davis)

DigiTrad:
CANDY MAN
IF I HAD MY WAY
MOTHERLESS CHILDREN


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denealon@aol.com 02 Oct 99 - 10:52 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM
PHJim 15 Mar 13 - 12:42 AM
Mark Ross 15 Mar 13 - 02:02 AM
PHJim 15 Mar 13 - 03:02 AM
open mike 15 Mar 13 - 03:33 AM
open mike 15 Mar 13 - 03:35 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Mar 13 - 12:18 PM
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Subject: If I had my way
From: denealon@aol.com
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 10:52 PM

Need lyrics to If I Had My Way (Gary Davis; Peter, Paul and Mary). I can't get last couple of lines of verse three.

Thanks!


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Subject: Lyr Add: IF I HAD MY WAY (from Peter, Paul & Mary)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM

Hi - I found this at the Peter, Paul and Mary Website.
-Joe Offer (lyrics sent by e-mail)

IF I HAD MY WAY
(Rev. Gary Davis)

You read about Sampson; you read about his birth.
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day as Sampson was a-walking alone,
He looked down on the ground; he saw an old jaw-bone.
He lifted up that jaw-bone and he swung it over his head,
And when he got to moving ten thousand was dead.

If I Had My Way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I Had My Way, I would tear this building down.

Sampson and the lion got in attack.
Sampson he crawled up on the lion's back.
You read about this lion; he killed a man with his paw.
Sampson he got his hands around that lion's jaw
And he ripped that beast till the lion was dead,
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.
If I Had My Way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I Had My Way, I would tear this building down.

Delilah she was a woman; she was fine and fair.
She had lovely looks, God knows, and coal black hair.
Delilah she climbed up on Sampson's knee.
said, "Tell me where your strength lies, if you please."
She talked so fine, she talked so fair,
Sampson said, "Delilah, cut off my hair.
Shave my head clean as your hand
And my strength will be like a natural man."

If I Had My Way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I Had My Way, I would tear this building down.

If I Had My Way,
If I Had My Way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I Had My Way, I would tear this building down.
^^


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Subject: If I Had My Way
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 12:42 AM

I just watched a lady called Elizabeth Cook sing on The Letterman show. She sang the song called "If I Had My Way" (I would tear this building down). She told Dave that it was written by Blind Willie Johnson. I had always assumed that Rev Gary Davis wrote this song. Was I mistaken?


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Subject: RE: If I Had My Way
From: Mark Ross
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 02:02 AM

They both did versions of it.   Every version I've heard sounds like Rev. Gary Davis.

Just found Blind Willie's version on Spotify, it's close to Rev. Davis' version but not quite the same. The Rev.'s guitar playing is much better. I would have to hear this version you're referring to to be able to tell.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: If I had my way
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 03:02 AM

This is pretty much how she did it on Letterman. She even wore the same dress (nighty?)

Elizabeth Cook's version


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: If I had my way
From: open mike
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 03:33 AM

just watching this now...Elizabeth Cook...she has not sung it yet... from her E.P. Gospel Plow with members of gospel band..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: If I had my way
From: open mike
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 03:35 AM

hmmm....Greg Brown had an album called Honey in the Lion's Head...


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Subject: Lyr Add: IF I HAD MY WAY (Rev. Gary Davis)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Mar 13 - 12:18 PM

Here's my transcription from a recording on Spotify. There are several extant recordings of Davis singing this song, made at various concerts and festivals. The words vary somewhat.


IF I HAD MY WAY
As sung by Rev. Gary Davis on "Classic African American Gospel from Smithsonian Folkways" (2008)

If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this buildin' down.
If I had my way,
Oh, if I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this buildin' down.

Delilah she was a woman, fine and fair,
Had good looks, God knows, and coal-black hair.
Delilah gained old Sampson mind
When the first he met this woman at the field this time.
{Delilah she gained Sampson mind
When the first he met this woman at the field this time.}*
Delilah she set down on Sampson knee,
Said, "Tell me where your strength lie if you please."
She spoke so kind, God knows, she talked so fair,
Sampson said his strength lie in his hair.
She shaved his head clean as his hand
And his strength come natural as any other man.

If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this—ooh!
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this buildin' down.
(Talk to me—yeah!—uh-huh—yeah—yeah—talk to it—yeah.)

If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this buildin' down.

You read about old Sampson how from his birth
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day while Sampson was a-walkin' alone,
He looked on the ground and saw an old jawbone.
He stretched out his arm; God knows, it broke like thread,
And when he got to movin' ten thousand was dead.

If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this—.
If I had my way,
I would tear this buildin' down.

Well, Sampson and the lion, he got in attack.
Sampson he jumped up on the lion back.
You read 'bout this lion had killed a man with his paws,
But Sampson got his hands in the lion jaws.
He reared(?) that beast until it killed him dead,
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.

If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this—ooh!
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
If I had my way,
I would tear this—ooh!

[* I suspect Davis got confused at this point and repeated 2 lines to temporize. These words are mumbled the second time he sings them.]


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