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Lyr Add: Aunt Caroline Dyer

Stewie 25 Oct 99 - 09:34 PM
Stewie 12 Nov 02 - 01:58 AM
masato sakurai 12 Nov 02 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,dumpp 26 Dec 12 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Dec 12 - 12:31 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: AUNT CAROLINE DYER BLUES^^
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 09:34 PM

AUNT CAROLINE DYER BLUES

I'm goin' to Newport News
Just to see Aunt Caroline Dyer
I'm goin' to Newport News
Just to see Aunt Caroline Dyer
She's a fortune tellin' woman
(What you gonna ask her boy?) (Spoken)
Oh lord, and she don't tell no lies
(I'm gonna see her myself) (Spoken)

I'm goin' to Newport News (this morning)
Catch a battleship across the doggone sea
I'm goin' to Newport News
Catch a battleship across the doggone sea
Because bad luck and hard work
Oh lord, sure don't agree with me

Aunt Caroline Dyer she told me
Son, you don't have to feel so low
Aunt Caroline Dyer she told me
Son, you don't have to feel so low
I'm gonna fix you up a mojo
Oh lord, so you can strut your stuff
(Go on and strut your stuff) (Spoken)

Aunt Caroline Dyer she told me
Son, these women don't mean you no good
(I reckon I knowed that) (Spoken)
Aunt Caroline Dyer she told me
Son, these women don't mean you no good
So take my advice
And don't monkey with none in your neighbourhood

I am leavin' in the morning
I don't want no one to feel blue
(We'll all leave then) (Spoken)
I am leavin' in the morning
I don't want no one to feel blue
I am going back to Newport News
And do what Aunt Caroline Dyer told me to

Source: Memphis Jug Band. Original recording Vi 23347, recorded on Thursday 29 May 1930. Reissued on 'The Memphis Jug Band Vol 3' JSP CD 608.

Note: Newport News figures in a number of other blues, including some by the Memphis Jug Band. This port in Virginia was a major embarkation point for the US troops of the American Expeditionary Force in WWI which accounts for the second stanza. It appears that Aunt Caroline was a real person and Dick Spottswood informs us that it is said she lived to the ripe old age of 140 years!

The words 'this morning' in the first line of the second stanza are in brackets because what is sung is indecipherable – it sounds like 'partner', but this seems unlikely. I have followed the lead of Susie Rothfield, who does a lovely version with the Blue Flame Stringband (Flying Fish), and have opted for 'this morning'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Aunt Caroline Dyer
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 01:58 AM

A transcription by Jim Dixon of this and other Memphis Jug Band songs may be found in this thread: Click Here.

An extensive article by J.Q. Wolf, which confirms Jim's note about the 'Dye' spelling and the confusion re Newport, Arkansas, and Newport News, may be found HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Aunt Caroline Dyer
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 02:52 AM

One line is missing from the stanza in the article by John Quincy Wolf. From Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs (1925; rpt. Folklore Associates, 1963, p. 267):

The St. Louis Blues, according to its author [W.C. Handy], is a composite, made up of racial sayings in dialect. For instance, the second stanza has its origin in a Negro saying, "I've got to go to see Aunt Ca'line Dye," meaning to get his fortune told; for at Newport there was a well-known fortune-teller by that name. "Got to go to Newport to see Aunt Ca'line Dye," meant to consult the colored oracle.

    Been to de Gypsy to get mah fortune tole,
    To de Gypsy done got mah fortune tole,
    'Cause I'se wile about mah Jelly Roll.
    Gypsy done tole me, "Don't you wear no black.
    Yas, she done tole me, "Don't you wear no black.
    Go to St. Louis, you can win him back."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Aunt Caroline Dyer
From: GUEST,dumpp
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:43 AM

key of F# to B back to F# then C#


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Aunt Caroline Dyer
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:31 PM

Almost 13 years have passed since this thread started. The Memphis Jug Band can now be heard on YouTube doing this very song. I enjoyed the old-fashioned sound of it.

Aunt Caroline

I think that the spoken word in the second verse is indeed 'partner.'


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