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Lyr Add: He's Long Gone from Bowling Green

Jim Dixon 31 Aug 14 - 07:15 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 14 - 07:23 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Aug 14 - 07:40 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Aug 14 - 08:17 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Aug 14 - 08:52 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: HE'S LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:15 PM

HE'S LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN
As recorded by Buck & Bubbles* & Their Buckets, ca. 1930-34; on "Stars of the Apollo" (1972)

SPOKEN PATTER:
A: Man, I sure can run, can't I?
B: You sure can!
A: You see me runnin'?
B: Boy, you....
A: Man, I can pick 'em up an' lay 'em down.
B: You tellin' me. What was you runnin' up the street for, this mornin' when I see'd you?
A: Oh, you see'd me there?
B: Yeah, I see'd ya. What was you runnin' 'bout?
A: Oh, I's just runnin' to stop a fight.
B: Yeah? Who was fightin'?
A: Me and another fella.
B: Yeah, well, what you want to run for?
A: Is you crazy?
B: What?
A: You don't think my legs is gonna stand around and see my body abused, do ya?
B: Yeah, but why didn't you stay there?
A: Now that's another thing. My father told me, whenever anybody was gonna hit me, for me to leave there.

CHORUS: Did you see? I was long gone from Kentucky,
Long gone; wasn't I lucky?
Long gone, and what I mean,
I was long gone, son; I was headin' for Bowlin' Green.

1. There was a doctor by the name of Peck.
Now, he fell in a well and broke his neck.
Well, it served him right, 'cause he should 'a' stayed at home,
Yeah, and attend to the sick, and let the well alone.

CHORUS: Now look at him: he's long gone from Kentucky.
Yeah, he's long gone; I guess he's lucky.
Long gone, and what I mean,
That's another dead doctor headed for Bowlin' Green.

2. A fly flew into a grocery store.
He flew right in the transom—you know that little hole above the door?
Yeah, he lit on the sugar, and then he lit on the ham.
You know, he had the nerve enough to wipe his feet on the grocery man.

CHORUS: Now he's long gone from Kentucky.
Long gone now; don't you think he's lucky?
Long gone, and what I mean,
Just a long-gone fly that will never be seen.

3. Now another thing: when I was born, you know, my father bet.
He said: "Looky here, mom," to my mother he said, "That boy gonna be black as jet."
My mother said, "No, dad, he'll be as white as a lamb."
And when they looked at me, huh! They say: "I'll be damned!"

CHORUS: I'm long gone from old Kentucky.
I'm long gone, but I really am lucky.
I'm long gone, and what I mean,
I'm long-gone Johnny, headin' for Bowlin' Green.

CHORUS: 'Cause I'm long gone from old Kentucky.
I'm long gone; ain't I lucky?
I'm gone; I'm gone; oh, yes, I'm gone.
I'm long gone, long-gone Johnny from Bowlin' Green.


* Ford Lee "Buck" Washington (? -1955) and John William Sublette a.k.a John Bubbles (1902-1986).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: He's Long Gone from Bowling Green
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:23 PM

Part of it was sung by Sidney Poitier in "The Defiant Ones" (1958).


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:40 PM

LONG GONE FROM BOWLING GREEN
As recorded by Merle Travis on "Live (Recorded at San Francisco State College 1965)" (2014)

1. Now the ugliest fella that I ever seen
Was Long Lost Johnny from Bowlin' Green,
No hat on his head, no shoes on his feet,
Beggin' the women for bread and meat.
One woman said: "Johnny, what can you eat?"
"Forty-nine biscuits and a ham o' meat."

CHORUS: And he was long gone; he was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.
Well, he was long gone; he was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.

2. Old Lost John standin' on a railroad track
Was a-waitin' for a freight train to come back.
'Long come a train, a-skippin' and a-flyin'.
He missed the cow-catcher but he caught the blind. CHORUS

3. Old Lost John he crept in a woman's house.
Said he crept right in just quiet as a mouse.
The woman said: "Lost John, take a chair,
And I'll send a porter for a bucket o' beer."
"Never mind the bucket and never mind the beer.
The hound's on my trail and I can't stay here.

CHORUS: "Got to get along," and he was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.
Well, he was long gone; he was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.
He was long gone; he was long gone.
He was long, long gone from Bowlin' Green.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE (FROM BOWLIN' GREEN)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:17 PM

LONG GONE (FROM BOWLIN' GREEN)
As sung by Louis Armstrong with Velma Middleton

1. Pops, did you hear the story of Long John Dean? (Not yet, Velma.)
A bold bank robber from Bowlin' Green,
Was sent to the jailhouse yesterday,
But late last night he made his getaway.

CHORUS: He was long gone from Kentucky.
Long gone; ain't he lucky?
Long gone; what I mean,
Long Gone John from Bowlin' Green.

2. Long John stood on the railroad tie,
Waitin' for a freight train to come by.
Freight train came by puffin' and flyin'.
Oughta seen Long John grabbin' that blind.

3. They caught him in Frisco; to seal his fate,
At San Quentin they jailed him one evenin' late;
But out on the ocean, John did escape,
'Cause the guards forgot to close the Golden Gate.

4. Why they offered a reward to bring him back
Even put bloodhounds on his track
Those doggone bloodhounds lost his scent
Now nobody knows where John went

5. A gang o' men tried to capture Dean,
So they chased him with a submarine.
Dean jumped overboard and grabbed the submarine,
And made that gang catch a flyin' machine.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONG GONE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:52 PM

From an article "The 'Blues' as Folk-Songs" by Dorothy Scarborough in Publications of the Texas Folklore Society, Number II (Austin: Texas Folklore Society, 1923), page 54:

Long Gone has its foundation in another old Kentucky song, which tells of the efforts a certain Negro made to escape a Joe Turner who was pursuing him. Bloodhounds were on his trail and were coming perilously close, while he was dodging and doubling on his tracks in a desperate effort to elude them. At last he ran into an empty barrel that chanced to be lying on its side in his path. He sprang out and away again. When the blood-hounds a few seconds later trailed him into the barrel, they were nonplussed for a while, and by the time they had picked up the scent again, the darkey had escaped.

The song was printed as a broadside. I reproduce by permission the words. It is interesting to note that the chorus varies with some verses, while it remains the same for others.

"LONG GONE"
Another "Casey Jones" or "Steamboat Bill"
EVERYBODY IS SINGING
"LONG GONE"
With These Seven Verses
EVENTUALLY you will sing "LONG GONE" with a hundred verses

1. Did you ever hear the story of Long John Dean,
A bold bank robber from Bowling Green,
Sent to the jailhouse yesterday,
Late last night he made his getaway.

CHORUS: He's long gone from Kentucky,
Long gone, ain't he lucky,
Long gone and what I mean,
He's long gone from Bowling Green.

2. Long John stood on a railroad tie,
Waiting for the freight train to come by,
Freight train come by puffin' and flyin,'
Ought to seen Long John grabbin' the blind. CHORUS

3. They offered a reward to bring him back,
Even put bloodhounds on his track,
Doggone bloodhounds lost his scent,
Now nobody knows where Long John went. CHORUS

4. They caught him in Frisco and to seal his fate,
At San Quentin they jailed him one evening late,
But out on the ocean John did escape,
Cause the guard forgot to close the Golden Gate.

CHORUS: John's long gone from San Quentin,
Long gone and still sprinting,
Long gone I'm telling you,
Shut your mouth and shut mine, too.

5. A gang of men tried to capture Dean,
So they chased him with a submarine,
Dean jumped overboard grabbed the submarine,
And made that gang catch a flyin' machine.

CHORUS: Now's he's long gone and still a swimmin',
Long gone with them mermaid women,
Long gone just like a fish,
My that boy's got some ambish.

6. A vamp thought she had Long John's goat,
She took his watch and money right from his coat,
John stole all she had now she thinks he's a riddle,
He didn't leave her enough clothes to dust a fiddle.

CHORUS: He's long gone from Kentucky,
Long gone that guy is some lucky,
Long gone from this queen,
Long gone from Bowling Green.

7. When pro'bition said I'll lick John Barleycorn,
I never thought she'd do any harm,
But she's chased him strong, didn't stop to wait,
And blacked his eye in every state.

CHORUS: Now John's gone and he left me weeping,
Long gone but only sleeping,
But from the Drug Store we catch his breath,
Long gone and scared to death.


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