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Lyr Add: Oh Lovin' Babe - 2 versions

Stewie 01 Nov 99 - 03:42 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: OH LOVIN' BABE (Uncle Dave Macon; Connell
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Nov 99 - 03:42 AM

Here are a couple of versions of a song that Uncle Dave Macon recorded in 1930, but which didn't appear on record until 1979. It is a little gem, not the least because of its delightful tune which, unfortunately, I am unable to supply. I was puzzled why no one else (as far as I am aware) picked it up and recorded it after the Rounder issue in 1979. Anyhow that has now been remedied. I am prompted to this posting by the very recent release of a version by Dudley Connell whom bluegrassers will know as the fine lead singer of the excellent Johnson Mountain Boys (and latterly of a recent line-up of the Seldom Scene). I don't know whether Connell's version is based on Uncle Dave's (perhaps with amendments and bowdlerism by omission because of the dreaded PC – which is fair enough). The Macon version is Uncle Dave at his most gentle, with lovely banjo accompaniment (and Sam McGee on guitar), but Connell accompanies himself very delectably on guitar (I'm not sure which I prefer, but perhaps the banjo has the edge as a complement to the song). Uncle Dave elongates the syllables of 'babe' in the chorus line of each stanza, but Connell prefers to play around with the 'oh' in his high, lonesome bluegrass voice – lovely! May I also say that the Connell-Rigsby CD (details below) is wonderful. The Connell album attributes the song to 'traditional', but as Wolfe points out (see note below) the tune at least was an original composition.

The Uncle Dave Macon version:

OH LOVIN' BABE

Bible true, I've been readin' it, babe
Bible true, I've been readin' it
If you want to be saved, better believe it, babe
Oh lovin' babe

Oh round the mountain I must go, babe
Round the mountain I must go
Anything happen, gonna let you know, babe
Oh lovin' babe

God made a woman for the glory of man, babe
God made a woman for the glory of man
The man saw the woman, it was more than he could stand
Oh lovin' babe

Sweetest pleasure in all my roamin', babe
Sweetest pleasure in all of my roamin'
Was just a kiss from a pretty, strange woman
Oh lovin' babe

All the sweethearts and all the pretty wives, babe
All the sweethearts and all the pretty wives
Are just the joys of all men's lives
Oh lovin' babe

Eve pulled the apple and she gave it to Adam, babe
Eve pulled the apple, gave it to Adam
Right there old Adam had 'em, babe
Oh lovin' babe

If a man give a woman everything she needs, babe
Man give a woman everything she needs
He'll have to make it through the winter in his BVDs
Oh lovin' babe

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder 1026. Recorded 17 December 1930. Charles Wolfe noted: 'Oh Lovin' Babe is another song never before issued (Rounder issue 1979) and nowhere else recorded by Macon. The unusual melody for the song seems to have been adapted from the verse of 'Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose', an old coon song written in the ragtime era by one B. Harney. Macon had recorded 'Mister Johnson' with Sid Harkreader in 1929 with the melody (but not the words) to the verse identical to what is heard here … The juxtaposing of the sacred (verse) with the profane (chorus), common enough in Macon's music overall, was seldom illustrated so dramatically in a single song'.

The Dudley Connell version:

OH LOVIN' BABE

Bible's true and I've been a-readin' it, babe
Bible's true and I've been a-readin' it
If you want to be saved, you better believe it, babe
Oh lovin' babe

Eve pulled the apple and she gave it to Adam, babe
Eve pulled the apple, gave it to Adam
Right there old Satan had 'em, babe
Oh lovin' babe

I love a woman, she loves another man
I love that woman but she loves another
When she left my side, I felt like nothin' , babe
Oh lovin' babe

Sweetest pleasure in all my roamin', babe
Sweetest pleasure in all of my roamin'
Was just one kiss from that strange woman, babe
Oh lovin' babe

I tried to give her everything she needs, babe
Tried to give her everything she needs
But there's just no way - there ain't no pleasin'
Oh lovin' babe

Round the mountain I must go now, babe
Round the mountain I must go
From the very top to the valley low, babe
Oh lovin' babe

Now I've told you all that I'm knowin', babe
Now I've told you all that I'm knowin'
You can find me there where the cold wind's blowin', babe
Oh lovin' babe

Source: Dudley Connell and Don Rigsby 'Meet Me by Moonlight' Sugar Hill SUG-CD 3897


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