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Origins: Lazy Lazy River (Mississippi Sheiks)

Mark-o 14 Oct 14 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,# 15 Oct 14 - 01:20 AM
Mark-o 15 Oct 14 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,# 15 Oct 14 - 04:22 PM
Stewie 15 Oct 14 - 08:13 PM
Mark-o 16 Oct 14 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Ken 16 Oct 14 - 08:58 PM
Mark-o 17 Oct 14 - 03:02 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: LAZY LAZY RIVER (Mississippi Sheiks)
From: Mark-o
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 05:31 PM

Howdy all

I'm working on a new book of classic jug band & string band songs arranged for uke and I'd love some assistance.

I'm drawing a complete blank on the origins of this song. It's found on the "Folks He Sure Do Pull Some Bow" CD. The song is pretty obviously based on an old chestnut, but so far I've not found anything in any of the online sheet music archives or old recording sites.

I've got the bulk of the lyrics figured out, but I could use some help on a couple of phrases that are unclear to my moss-filled ears. I'll put brackets around my best guesses. As you can see, a couple of things don't make a lot of sense as I've heard them, so maybe someone with better ears can set 'em right.

Lazy Lazy River
Mississippi Sheiks

I've been blue all day, just walking' here on [borrowed] ground
I've [looked beneath the daisies] my pal could not be found
Just down the lazy river, I'm just lost from here
That's the only place between heaven and earth I long to get..

When I find that river, that lazy lazy river
Then my life will be complete
I searched this whole world over, I've slept out on the clover,
Hoping there to rest my feet
I've [searched beneath in the daisies] and looked up in the moon
I've followed every rainbow and I hope to be there soon.
And when I find that river, that lazy, lazy river
Then I'm coming home for you.


Of course, both "walking on borrowed ground" and "searched beneath the daisies" do have a certain odd poetic weirdness.

Many thanks!

Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 01:20 AM

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=430.0

The page that comes up is worth a read.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: Mark-o
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 02:54 PM

Howdy

Thanks for that; funny that the page hadn't come up when I searched Weenie Campbell a couple weeks ago. Ah well, dag blamed interweb.

So it looks like I may have the lyrics right after all. For the record, so far I'm keeping it in Eb; which is a great fiddle key.

I'm still wondering where this puppy came from; yes, maybe they wrote it, but that "searched beneath the daisies" sure sounds familiar somehow.

Onward!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 04:22 PM

Best wishes to you :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 08:13 PM

In line 2, I hear 'my path' not 'my pal'.

Chris Smith's note for this piece in the Document CD reissue may be of interest to you:

'Doubtless inspired by Hoagy Carmichael's "Up a lazy river", it seems, like "Honey babe let the deal go down", to respond to a request for a song that the Sheiks didn't know. They weren't about to let a minor obstacle like that get in the way, and this charming 32-bar pop song was the result'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: Mark-o
Date: 16 Oct 14 - 01:09 PM

Hi Stewie

Many thanks for that bit of info about the origins. It is probably the case, but I'm still going to dig. There is something rattling around in the back of my skull that makes a couple of the specific phrases familiar; though that just may be cuz I've been playing the dang thing over and over.

Yeah, it could be "path," though I'm pretty sure I hear a terminal "l" sound, which would suggest "pal." That could make the next line "She's down the lazy river..." which kinda makes more sense to me than the way I had first heard it.

That appears the consensus over at Weenie Campbell, too.

I'm really impressed with the accumulated knowledge on these two sites. So thanks to all.

Onward!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: GUEST,Ken
Date: 16 Oct 14 - 08:58 PM

A couple new possibilities:
I think "borrowed ground" might be "foreign ground." Makes a lot of sense.

It seems to me that he sings "I've looked beneath for the daisies"
(or the "for" could be "through" the first time and "of" the second time). There is something there besides "...beneath the..", and it doesn't sound like "in."

The rest of what you wrote is what I hear, too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Lazy River by the MS Sheiks
From: Mark-o
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 03:02 PM

Hi Ken

Thanks for your thoughts.

I'm thinking it's "walking borrowed ground." Turns out it is an old phrase that's been found in at least one written source according to a correspondent. He suggests it means pretty much what it sounds like, trespassing. Nice turn of phrase.

--There is something there besides "...beneath the..", and it doesn't sound like "in."--

True that. If you transcribe that phrase, there is definitely another syllable in there each time it comes up. Could just be kind of vocal embellishment.

This is getting fun.


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