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William Harris & ordinary folk blues

GUEST,Joseph Scott 02 Jun 15 - 04:46 PM
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Subject: William Harris & ordinary folk blues
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 04:46 PM

William Harris's blues "I'm Leavin' Town (But I Sho' Don't Wanna Go)," which is currently on youtube, is interesting as possibly quite representative of ordinary folk blues as of roughly 1910, because of its marked similarity to other available blues lyrics.

From "Midnight Blues" by William Moore (who was 17 in 1910):
"Tell me, fair brownie, where did you stay last night
Tell me, fair brownie, where did you stay last night
Tell me, fair brownie, where did you stay last night
Your hair's all down and your clothes ain't fitting you right"

Collected by Howard Odum from a black folk musician before 1909:
"Got up in the morning, couldn't keep from crying
Got up in the morning, couldn't keep from crying
Got up in the morning, couldn't keep from crying
Thinking 'bout that brownskin man of mine"

From "March Winds Goin' To Blow My Blues All Away" by the Carter Family (A.P. was 19 in 1910):
"Sun's gonna shine in my back door some day
Sun's gonna shine in my back door some day
Sun's gonna shine in my back door some day
March wind's going to blow my blues all away"

From "Motherless Child Blues" by Elvie Thomas (who was 19 in 1910):
"But I did not listen to what my mother said
But I did not listen to what my mother said
But I did not listen to what my mother said
And I'm her child and I'm drifting 'round"


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Mudcat time: 19 August 5:45 AM EDT

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