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Lyr Add: songs by Tommy Johnson

Ruslan 08 Oct 99 - 07:20 AM
Jon W. 08 Oct 99 - 10:56 AM
Jon W. 08 Oct 99 - 10:57 AM
Stewie 12 Oct 99 - 05:47 AM
Ruslan 15 Oct 99 - 06:39 AM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 99 - 07:10 AM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 99 - 07:15 AM
21 Oct 99 - 04:25 AM
Ruslan 11 Nov 99 - 05:21 AM
Stewie 14 Aug 01 - 08:33 PM
Stewie 14 Aug 01 - 08:38 PM
Stewie 14 Aug 01 - 08:55 PM
RWilhelm 15 Aug 01 - 12:24 AM
RWilhelm 15 Aug 01 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,harpgirl 23 Nov 19 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,harpgirl 27 Feb 20 - 11:47 PM
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Subject: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Ruslan
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 07:20 AM

Please help me to complete my TJ's lyrics collection.

If you can, please check "Maggie Campbell" lyr for the ________ line that I couldn't be able to put down.

Missing lyr labeled by * character before song name.

Thank you, Jon W.!

--------------------------------------------------------
TOMMY JOHNSON

3 Feb 1928
41836-2 Cool drink of water blues
41837-2 Big road blues

4 Feb 1928
41838-1 Bye-bye blues
41839-2 Maggie Campbell blues

31 Aug 1928
45462-2 Canned heat blues
45463-1 Lonesome home blues
45463-2 Lonesome home blues
45465-1 Big fat mama blues

c. Dec 1929
* L-228-1 I wonder to myself
* L-229-2 Slidin' delta
L-230-2 Lonesome home blues
* L-231-1 Morning prayer
* L-231-2 Bogalusa woman
* L-245-1 Black mare blues
* L-245-2 Black mare blues
* L-249-1 Ridin' horse
* L-250-2 Alcohol and jake blues

---------------------------------------------------------------------

3 Feb 1928
41836-2 COOL DRINK OF WATER BLUES

I asked for water, and she gave me gasoline,
I asked for water, gave me gasoline,
I asked for water, and she gave me gasoline, Lord, Lordy, Lord

Crying, Lord, I wonder will I ever get back home
Crying, Lord, I wonder will I ever get back home, Lord, Lordy, Lord

I went to the depot, looked up on the board
I looked all over, how long has this eastbound train been gone?

It's done taken your fairo, blowed its smoke on you
It's done taken your fairo, blowed its smoke on you, Lord, Lordy, Lord

Lord, I asked the conductor, - could I ride the blinds?
Spoken: -Want to know, can a broke man ride the blinds
- Son, buy your ticket, buy your ticket, 'cause this train ain't none of mine
- Son, buy your ticket; train ain't none of mine

- Son, buy your ticket, 'cause this train ain't none of mine, Lord, Lordy, Lord
Train ain't none of mine

41837-2 BIG ROAD BLUES

Cryin', ain't goin' down this big road by myself.
Now don't you hear me talkin', pretty mama, Lord?
Ain't goin' down this big road by myself.
If I don't carry you, goin' carry somebody else.

Cryin', sun goin' shine in my back door someday.
Now don't you hear me talkin', pretty mama, Lord?
Sun goin' shine in my back door someday.
And if rain goin' change, goin' blow my blues away.

Baby, what makes do me like you do, do, do,
Like you do, do, do, don't you hear me now?
What makes do me like you do, do, do?
Now, you ain't going' do me, like you done poor Jerry Red.

Take this poor boy's money now, sure, Lord, won't take mine.
Now don't you hear me talkin', pretty mama.
Take this poor boy' money, sure, Lord, won't take mine.
Take this poor boy' money now, sure, Lord, won't take mine.

Repeat first verse.

Repeat second verse.

4 Feb 1928
41838-1 BYE-BYE BLUES

Cryin' bye an' bye, baby bye an' bye
It's bye an' bye, baby won't you bye an' bye
Cryin' bye an' bye, baby won't you bye an' bye

Says the good book tell you, reap just what you sow
The good book tell you, baby, reap just what you sow
Gonna reap it now or, baby, reap it bye an' bye

Well I'm going away, Lord, won't be back till fall
I'm going away, Lord, won't be back till fall
If I meet my good gal, then baby, won't be back at all

Says the good book tell you, reap just what you sow
The good book tell you, baby, reap just what you sow
Gonna reap it now or, baby, reap it bye an' bye

Well it's two trains running, running side by side
It's two trains running, and baby, running side by side
You've got my woman, babe I know you're satisfied

41839-2 MAGGIE CAMPBELL BLUES

Cryin', who's that yonder
Comin’ down the road
Comin’ down the road
Who's that yonder
Comin’ down the road
Said, she looks like Maggie, baby
But she walk too slow

A-a-a, sun gonna shine
My back door someday
My back door someday
M-m-m, sun gonna shine
My back door someday
And wind gonna change, now
Blow my blues away

A-a-a, see see rider
See what you done done
See what you done done
M-m-m, see see rider
See what you done done
______________________
Tryin to put me down

I I I'm goin' away, lord
Won’t be back till fall
Won’t be back till fall
I I I'm goin' away, lord
Won’t be back till fall
If I meet my good gal, mama,
Won’t be back at all.

Repeat first verse.

Repeat 4-th verse.

31 Aug 1928
45462-2 CANNED HEAT BLUES

Cryin' Canned Heat, Canned Heat, mama
Cryin' sure, Lord, killin' me
Cryin' Canned Heat, mama, sure, Lord, killin' me
Takes alcorub to take those Canned Heat blues

Cryin' mama, mama, mama, you know, Canned Heat killin' me
Cryin' mama, mama, mama, cryin' Canned Heat is killin' me
Canned Heat don't kill me, cryin' babe, I'll never die

I woke up, up this morning, with Canned Heat on my mind
Woke up this morning, Canned Heat was on my mind
Woke up this morning, with Canned Heat, Lord, on my mind

Cryin', Lord, Lord I wonder, Canned Heat, Lord, killing me
Takes alcorub, baby, satisfy my soul
Take a brownskin woman, Lord, do the easy roll

I woke up, up this morning, cryin', canned heat 'round my bed
Run here, somebody, take these Canned Heat blues
Run here, somebody, and take these Canned Heat blues

Cryin' mama, mama, mama, cryin' Canned Heat killin' me
Believe to my soul, Lord, it gon' kill me dead

45463-1 LONESOME HOME BLUES

Want you to wash my jumper, starch my overhaul
I'm gonna find my woman, said she's in the world somewhere.

Well, it's good for you, mama, sure, lord, killin' me.
Well, it's good for you, mama, sure, lord, killin' poor me.
Well, it's good for you, mama, says it's sure, lord, killin' me.

I wonder do my rider think of me.
I wonder do my rider think of poor me.
And if she did she would sure, lord, feel my care.

I woke up this mornin', said my mornin' prayer.
I woke up this mornin', I said my mornin' prayer.
I woke up this mornin', babe, I said my mornin' prayer.

I ain't got no woman, speak on my behalf.
I ain't got no woman, lord, speak in my behalf.
I ain't got no woman to speak in my behalf.

Want you to wash my jumper, starch my overhaul.
Want you wash my jumper, starch my overhaul.
I'm gonna find my woman, said she's in the world somewhere.

She don't allow me to holler, got to murmur low.

45463-2 LONESOME HOME BLUES

Want you to wash my jumper and starch my overhaul.
Gonna find my woman, says she's in this world somewhere.

I wonder do my good girl think of me.
I wonder do my good girl think of poor me.
Cryin', if she did she would sure, lord, feel my care.

But it's good of you mama, sure, lord, killin' me.
Well, it's good of you mama, but sure, lord, killin' poor me.
It's good of you mama, but it sure, lord, killin' me.

I woke up this mornin', said my mornin' prayer.
I woke up this mornin', lord, said my mornin' prayer.
I ain't got no woman to speak in my behalf.

Cryin', good of you, sure, lord, killin' me.
Well, it's good of you mama, but sure, lord, killin' poor me.
It's good of you mama, says it sure, lord, killin' me.

Now, wash my jumper, starch my overhaul.
Want you to wash my jumper and starch my overhaul.
Gonna find my woman, said she's in the world somewhere.

Want you to wash my jumper, starch my overhaul.

45465-1 BIG FAT MAMA BLUES

Crying, big fat mama, meat shaking on her bones
Time the meat shake, it's a skinny woman lose a home

Well, I'm going away, mama, won't be back till fall,
Won't be back till fall, mmmmm
Going away, mama, won't be back till fall,
Big fat mama with the meat shake on her bones

Well, aaah, mmmm, got to murmur, got to murmur low, mmmmm
No need to holler; I got to murmur low
Big fat mama, Lord, meat shake on her bones

Every time the meat shake, fat mouth lose a home,
Fat mouth lose a home, mmmmmm
Time the meat shakes, it's a fat mouth lose a home,
Time the meat shakes, it's a fat mouth lose a home

Mmmmm, what's the matter rider? Where did you stay last,
Where did you stay last night, mmmmm?
What's the matter rider? Where did you stay last night?
Hair all down, baby, and you won't treat me right

c. Dec 1929
L-228-1 I wonder to myself
L-229-2 Slidin' delta
L-230-2 LONESOME HOME BLUES

Lonesome place don't seem like home to me
This ol' lonesome place don't, mama, seem like home to me.

I woke this mornin', blues all 'round my bed
Uhmm, woke this mornin', blues all 'round my bed.
Had them blues so bad, mama, 'til I couldn't raise up my head.

If you wanna live easy, pack you clothes with mine.
Umm, wanna live easy, pack your clothes with mine,
If you wanna live easy, pack you clothes with mine.

Soon one mornin', blues come fallin' down.
Umm, soon one mornin', blues come fallin' down.
Say they felt so heavy, it caused my heart to moan.

Well I'm goin' back home, gonna fall down on my knee,
Umm, goin' back home, gonna fall down on my knee,
Tell the one I'm lovin', baby, sad I treat you mean.

L-231-1 Morning prayer
L-231-2 Bogalusa woman
L-245-1 Black mare blues
L-245-2 Black mare blues
L-249-1 Ridin' horse
L-250-2 Alcohol and jake blues

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 7-Dec-01.


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Jon W.
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 10:56 AM

The third verse of Maggie Campbell is:

A-a-a, see see rider see what you done done see what you done done
M-m-m, see see rider see what you done done,
You done made me love you, now you' tryin to put me down

Maggie Campbell is a great song and features Charlie McCoy on the second guitar. Charlie was a mandolin player and frequently used mandolin tremolo picking on guitar.

I posted some lyrics to "Canned Heat Blues" a few days ago but I believe the ones you posted are perhaps more accurate than mine. You've done a fine job.

Jon W.


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Jon W.
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 10:57 AM

PS. I don't have recordings of any of the songs you are missing.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALCOHOL AND JAKE BLUES and BLACK MARE BLU
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Oct 99 - 05:47 AM

Greetings Ruslan, it took me a while to get this together. Here goes:

There are some slight textual differences in Jeff Todd Titon's transcriptions of the 2 'Lonesome Home Blues' unissued Victors 45463-1 and 45463-2 (he calls them 'Lonesome Blues') to what you have given. Cf Jeff Todd Titon 'Early Downhome Blues' University of North Carolina Press 2nd Ed 1994 pp 81-83. (For example, he has: 'Won't you iron my jumper starch my overalls', and that sounds right to my hearing). He also has a transcription of 'Lonesome Home Blues' Paramount 13000 (L 230-2) at page 92. There is a slightly different transcription of the same at page 251 of David Evans 'Big Road Blues' Da Capo Press 1982 [even the experts can't agree on what they are hearing]. Titon also has a transcription of 'Maggie Campbell Blues' at page 95. Evans also has transcriptions of 'Cool Drink of Water Blues' (p 134), 'Big Fat Mama Blues' (p237) and 'Big Road Blues' (p 269). I understand (I don't have it) there are some transcriptions in another David Evans book 'Tommy Johnson' Studio Vista London.

The following are my attempted transcriptions of 2 of the Paramounts for which you are missing lyrics. These unissued takes are very rare and, like many old Paramounts, sound like they were recorded under water and pressed on to corrugated cardboard. These will definitely be subject to correction, but I gave them my best shot. We are probably entering new territory here – I am unaware of any transcriptions of these.

Tommy Johnson: 'Alcohol and Jake Blues' Pm 12950 c. December 1929

Square brackets = spoken by a second voice.

Alcohol, alcohol I am sure, lord, killin' me
[Is that so, boy?]
Alcohol, mama, sure lord killin' me
[Well, let it 'lone then]
If alcohol don't kill me, lord, I'll never die.

I woke up early this morning, I had alcohol round my bed
[What happened then?]
Early this morning, alcohol was round my bed
If I don't get drunk, I'll be losin' my (broken ?) mind.

Mm mm, mm mm, mm mm, mm mm
[The morning a long time (?)]
Mm mm I ain't gonna be here long
[Morning a long time, boy]
'Cos I'm hatin' time, mama, got you on my mind.

I drank so much jake, but I can't get me that lemonade
[And that sure mess you up]
Drank so much jake, dear god, give me the lemonade
[Sure mess you up, boy, that (?) is a fact]

If I don't quit drinking, alcohol gonna kill me dead.
[You're no lyin' man]
Mm mm, mm mm, mm mm
[You ain't got (?) ]
Sure gonna kill me dead if it don't kill me, lordy, I'll put me down
[You ain't gotta put 'em on me 'cos you got 'em]

I woke up early this morning, I had alcohol on my mind
Woke up this morning, alcohol was on my mind
I got the alcohol blues, man, I can't rest me here.

Source: Transcription from Various Artists 'Jake Leg Blues' Jass J-CD-642

Tommy Johnson: 'Black Mare Blues' Pm 13000 c. December 1929

Hitch up my buggy, saddle my black mare, saddle my black mare
Hitch up my buggy, saddle my black mare
Went to find my woman, but she wasn't there.

I've been drinkin' all night, baby, drank the whole night long, drank the whole night long
I've been drinkin' all night, baby, yes the night before
I've been drinkin', I ain't go sober yet.

I'm goin' back home, fall down on my knees, fall down on my knees
I'm goin' back home, girl, fall down on my knees
(?) ain't nothing, mama, (happy ?) as you please.

Mm mm I ain't gonna stay no more, ain't gonna stay no more
Mm mm ain't gonna stay no more
Saw you last night, mama, and the night before.

Ah, you gonna have 'em, troubles of your own
Ah, you gonna have 'em troubles of your own.

Source: Transcription from Various Artists 'Delta Blues Vol 1 1929-1930) Document Limited Edition DLP 532.

I hope the above assists you, and can I thoroughly recommend the Jake Leg Blues CD (if you can still get it). It is musically satisfying (and has both white and black performers) but also makes for an important historical document of an American tragedy – the jake paralysis story. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance, regards Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Ruslan
Date: 15 Oct 99 - 06:39 AM

Thanks!

I couldn't understand what's the matter with my end-of-line symbols? When I had inserted texts everything was ok.

Stewie, thanks for your biblography. It's difficult to buy or find these books in Russia.


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 99 - 07:10 AM

Ruslan, Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 99 - 07:15 AM

I wanted to help and it seems I need the help myself. Next try.

Ruslan,
type <br> for the end of a line. We will not see that, but the next word starts in a new line.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From:
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 04:25 AM

Test (thank you, Wolfgang)

Still missing:

c. Dec 1929
* L-228-1 I wonder to myself
* L-229-2 Slidin' delta
* L-231-1 Morning prayer
* L-231-2 Boogaloosa woman
* L-249-1 Ridin' horse


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: Ruslan
Date: 11 Nov 99 - 05:21 AM

Folks! Please check up my text.

L-229-2 Slidin' delta

Well, I slide, coming here an' go
Well I do that sliding
Jumping here and go.

Baby, I'm in a delta ???????????????? ride
?????????? ride
If I don't quit jiving, baby, Lord, I, sure, Lord, loose my mind.

Crying Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord.

Lord, I wonder ????????????
But I can't do nothing but I hang my hands and cry
Baby, I'm leave ain't coming here no more.

Well, I'm leave here coming here no more.
Lord I'm goin' away to wonder on my mind.

Crying Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord.

Lord, I wonder, wonder to myself.
Crying', you know, i wonder, that I wonder to myself.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLIDIN' DELTA
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:33 PM

I have recently obtained a copy of David Evans' long-out-of-print seminal work on Tommy Johnson. This enables me to fill in a couple more gaps in this complete Tommy Johnson lyrics thread. First, here is 'Slidin' Delta':

SLIDIN' DELTA

Delta Slide done been here and gone
Well, the Delta Slide, babe, it's done been here and gone

When you hear the Delta, baby, it's don't you want to ride?
Baby, Sliding Delta, don't you want to ride?
If you don't get to ride it, baby, gonna sure, Lord, lose my mind

Crying, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Lord, I wonder, what is I'm gon' do
Lord, I can't do nothing but hang my head and cry

Baby, when I leave, I ain't coming here no more
When I leave here, coming here no more
Lord, I'm going away to worry you off my mind

Crying, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Lord, I wonder, wonder to myself
Crying, you know that I wonder, that I wonder to myself

Source: transcription in David Evans 'Tommy Johnson' Studio Vista 1971, p63. Original recording, Tommy Johnson 'Slidin' Delta', issued on Paramount 12975, master L-229-2.

Note: the Sliding Delta was a train that ran across the Delta and inspired several blues singers such as Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt and J.D. Short.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WONDER TO MYSELF (Tommy Johnson)
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:38 PM

I WONDER TO MYSELF

Crying, Lord, and I wonder, I wonder, baby, to myself
I wonder will I ever be back home

Oh, my poor old mother, she's standing there already
Just a' looking for her son to make it home

Lord, I needs enough to buy me a railroad
Got to stagger to the rear of some passenger train

Source: transcription in David Evans 'Tommy Johnson' Studio Vista 1971, p63. Original recording, Tommy Johnson 'I Wonder To Myself', issued on Paramount 12975, master L-228-1.

Note by Evans: 'This song is in all respects totally unlike the others he recorded. Although the text is rather short, it is both thematic and developed. Its seriousness, even its sentimentality, is rather oddly offset by the melody and accompaniment … The vocal occupies only a short space in the middle of the piece'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Black Mare Blues (2)'
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:55 PM

First, a correction. As Ruslan indicated, Johnson made 2 recordings of 'Black Mare Blues' - master nos L-245-1 and L-245-2. My transcription of 'Black Mare Blues', given in above posting of 12 Oct 1999, was of master L-245-1 which was in fact an unissued Paramount pressing. I indicated incorrectly in the October '99 posting that it was issued on Paramount 13000. The recording that was in fact issued on Paramount 13000 was master L-245-2. The words differ significantly from those on the unissued pressing. Evans' transcription of L-245-2 follows:

BLACK MARE BLUES

Hitch up my buggy, saddle up my black mare, saddle up my black mare
Hitch up my buggy, saddle up my black mare
Find my woman, 'cause she's out in the world somewhere

Mmmmm, if I call you and you will fail to come, you will fail to come
Aaaah, if I call you and you will fail to come
If I call you, mama, gonna sure, Lord, call your name

I been drinking all night, did the night before, did the night before
I been drinking all night, gal, did the night before
Been drunk, baby, and I ain't got sober yet

Mmmmm, I ain't gon' tell you no more, I ain't gonna tell you no more
Mmmmm, I ain't gon' tell you no more
Told you last night, mama, what I did the night before

Says you gon' have a rounder of your own, rounder of your own
Yes, you gon' have a rounder for your own
You gon' have a, mama, rounder for your own

Source: transcription in David Evans 'Tommy Johnson' Studio Vista 1971, p65. Original recording, Tommy Johnson 'Black Mare Blues', issued on Paramount 13000, master L-245-2.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Complete Tommy Johnson's lyr
From: RWilhelm
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 12:24 AM

This is from R. R. MacLeod's book, _Document Blues –1_, published by Pat Publications. It includes transcriptions of all Document CD's from DOCD 5001 to DOCD 5032.

MacLeod says "Morning Prayer Blues" and "Boogaloosa Woman" are different takes of the same song as "Black Mare Blues." He calls them untitled and gives their Document title in parentheses but says Document's titles are obviously reversed.

L-231-1 Untitled Song (Morning Prayer Blues)

Cryin' lordy, lord, lordy, lordy, lord
Lordy, lord, lordy, lordy, lord
Says I would go with you, but your doggone man's too bad

Cryin' when I was with you baby, you had button-up shoes to wear
When I was with you baby, you had button-up shoes to wear
Now then I done quit you, you have your bare feet on the ground.

Mmm, looky here, mama, see what you done done.
Looky here, mama, see what you done done.
You done make me love you, now you're tryin' to put me down.

Say's I would go to Bogalosa, but it's too low down.
Would go to Bogalosa, but it's too low down.
Tell you them Bogalosa women, never teach this easy roll

L-231-2 Untitled Song (Boogaloosas Woman)

Cryin' lordy, lord, lordy, lordy, lord
Lordy, lord, lordy, lordy, lord
Says I would go with you, but your doggone man's too bad

Cryin' when I was with you baby, you had button-up shoes to wear
When I was with you baby, you had button-up shoes to wear
Now then I done quite you, you have your bare feet in the ground.

Says I would go with you, but your home ain't none of mine.
Says I would go with you, home ain't none of mine.
Says I would go with you, but your home ain't none of mine.

I woke up this mornin', said my mornin' prayer.
Woke up this mornin', said my mornin' prayer.
Lord, and I ain't got no woman to, well, speak in my behalf.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RIDIN' HORSE (Tommy Johnson)
From: RWilhelm
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 12:39 AM

From the same source:

L-249-1 "Ridin' Horse"

Cryin', who's that yonder comin' down the road, comin' down the road?
Now, who's that yonder comin' down the road?
Well it looks like Maggie Campbell, gut she walks too slow.

Cryin', want me back, lord, comin' back so, comin' back so slow.
Mmm, want me back, lord, I'm comin' back so slow.
They won't forget it, they will charge me, sins done eight long years ago

Cryin' see see rider, see what you done done, see what you done done. Mmmm
See see rider, see what you done done.
You done made me love you, now you're tryin' to put me down

Now, and I ain't gonna be your ridin' horse no more, ridin' horse no more
I ain't gonna be your ridin' horse no more
Long before I be, I will take morphine and die.

What good is a bulldog, he won't bark or bite, he won't bark or bite?
What good is a bulldog, he won't bark or bite?
Say what good is a woman, she won't ask what mens do like

Now, who's that yonder, baby, dressed in red, baby all dressed in red?
Now, who's that yonder, baby, dressed in red?
Says it looks like Maggie Campbell, mama, walkin' on down the road.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Tommy Johnson
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 23 Nov 19 - 10:17 PM

Hey kids, what a great thread. love,harpy..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Tommy Johnson
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 27 Feb 20 - 11:47 PM

Hey 'catters....

Joe Offer can you help me find the threads on Tommy Johnson and Dave Evans. The search is different, it seems.


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