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Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece

DigiTrad:
ALICE'S RESTAURANT
LOS ANGELES (Arlo Guthrie)
MOTORCYCLE SONG
RING-AROUND-A-ROSY RAG


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GUEST,Pseudonymous 14 Sep 18 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Gerry 14 Sep 18 - 06:56 AM
gillymor 14 Sep 18 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 14 Sep 18 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 14 Sep 18 - 07:33 AM
gillymor 14 Sep 18 - 07:48 AM
gillymor 14 Sep 18 - 07:50 AM
Mark Ross 16 Sep 18 - 10:45 AM
GMGough 16 Sep 18 - 11:31 AM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 18 - 02:15 PM
gillymor 17 Sep 18 - 03:41 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 18 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Jerry 17 Sep 18 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Gerry 17 Sep 18 - 08:08 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 18 - 10:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 05:54 AM

Can anybody help me with alternative lyrics to Alice's Restaurant? I'm sure it was recorded prior to the Guthrie version with different lyrics, but can't lay my hands on them.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 06:56 AM

Never occurred to me that anyone but AG would ever record that item, but allmusic notes recordings by Bill Anschell, Hap Palmer, The New Christy Minstrels, and Enoch Light, not to mention an Italian recording as Nel Ristorante Di Alice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 07:22 AM

Arlo got the main lick from some old ragtime blues songs. I seem to remember Blind Blake using it on at least one song. Wouldn't be surprised if there's a previous Mudcat thread dealing with this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 07:25 AM

Thanks Gillymor. I was indeed looking for the older version. I'll check out Blind Blake and double check Mudcat. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 07:33 AM

Returning from Spotify: gorrit!

The opening is a bit like Blind Blake's Skeedle Loo Doo Blues. That's probably what I was thinking of. Blind Blake could really play the guitar!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 07:48 AM

He was great.
Robert Johnson's cut "They're Red Hot" (a real departure in style from his other recorded blues) is similar to
"Alice" in chord structure and melody though it doesn't contain that piano lick. I think you'll find a number of songs from that era bear a resemblance to "Alice".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 07:50 AM

"bare"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: Mark Ross
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 10:45 AM

I got to hang out with Arlo in '67 and '68 when he was playing in Greenwich Village. He got tired of doing AR the same way every night, and would occassionaly improvise a new version. The only one I have any recollection of was ALICE'S RESTAURANT PLEASE TIP THE GASLIGHT WAITRESS BLUES, which ended up with, "if you don't tip the waitress, then you are undermining the very foundations of the capitalist system, and nobody here wants to see that happen do they?"


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GMGough
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 11:31 AM

No idea if this info will remain on the web, but today there are notes (not lyrics) of three performances of Alice's Restaurant at
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=511615

01. Alice's Restaurant-1967-02-27-The Bob Fass Show-New York City (WBAI-FM) (19:12) (complete)
02. Alice's Restaurant Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair-1967-05-xx-The Bob Fass Show-New York City (WBAI-FM) (13:37)
03. Alice's Restaurant Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair-1967-08-06-The Bob Fass Show-New York City (WBAI-FM) (20:34)

and notes about 10 more performances at http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=383168

You may have to sign up and stuff to get these links to work for you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 02:15 PM

Well, here's a rather delightful recording by Per Juul:

As for the Arlo Guthrie song, I can't imagine it's anything but original, but I think he meant it to sound familiar. Wikipedia calls it "a protracted spoken monologue, with a constantly repeated fingerstyle ragtime guitar (Piedmont style) backing and light brush-on-snare drum percussion (the drummer on the record is uncredited), bookended by a short chorus about the titular diner." Arlo regularly changed the narrative, but it was more-or-less the same story every time.

To me, the chorus sounds like an advertising jingle one might hear on a small-town radio station, and it has a very nice touch of familiarity. I can imagine the jingle including an old-style telephone number, KEnwood 2-6868, or the like. And of course, you only have to dial the five digits.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: gillymor
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:41 PM

This Blind Boy Fuller song is quite similar to "Alice..."-

What's That Smell Like Fish

Truck'in My Blues, another Fuller tune, was also a bit like it and not surprisingly because those old bluesmen often recycled tunes for different sets of lyrics.


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Subject: ADD:What's That Smell Like Fish (Blind Boy Fuller)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 05:05 PM

That's a great find, Gillymor. I don't think the two tune are so closely related that Arlo would owe royalties to the white man who owns the rights to Blind Boy Fuller songs, but it sure seems like Arlo built on the Fuller melody.


WHAT'S THAT SMELL LIKE FISH?
(Blind Boy Fuller, 1938)

What's that smell like fish, mama?
Food, if you really want to know
What's that smell like fish, baby?
Food, if you really wants to know
Smell like puddin' and it ain't no pie
Same thing that you know you have to buy
What's that smell like fish?
Food, if you really wants to know, I mean
Food, if you really wants to know (Yeah)

What's that smell like fish, mama?
Food, if you really wants to know
What's that smells like fish, baby?
Food, if you really wants to know
Smell like sardines and it ain't in no can
Same doggone thing you chucked at the other man
What that smell like fish, mama?
Food, if you really wants to know, I mean
Food, if you really want to know

What's that smell like fish, baby?
Food, if you really wants to know (Yeah)
What's that smells like fish, mama?
Food, if you really wants to know
Smell like puddin' and it ain't no pie
Really good to me and it ain't no lie
What that smell like fish, mama?
Food, if you really wants to know, still tellin' you
Food, if you really wants to know (Yeah)

(Play it a long time. Play it till it gets good to me)

What's that smell like fish, mama?
Food, if you really wants to know
What's that smell like fish, baby?
Food, if you really wants to know
Make you weep and it'll make you moan
Same doggone thing made me leave my home
What that smell like fish, baby?
Food, if you really wants to know, I mean
Food, if you really wants to know

Source: http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Blind_Boy_Fuller:What%27s_That_Smells_Like_Fish%3F


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 05:53 PM

If I remember rightly, Alice’s Restaurant uses the standard ragtime blues chord progression, with the circle of fifths chord changes. Artists like Blind Boy Fuller used it for a couple of dozen of his songs, and others like Blind Blake, Rev Davis, Willie McTell used it a lot too. I doubt if any one performer could have claimed to have used it first, any more than anyone could genuinely lay claim to the standard twelve bar blues chord progression.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 08:08 PM

Hot Tuna recorded Keep On Truckin' which had a stanza,

What's that smell like fish pretty baby, I really would like to know
Tell me What's that smell like fish oh mama, I really would like to know
That ain't puddin' baby ain't no pie, it's the stuff that I got you by
So keep on truckin' mama, truckin' my blues away

Very similar sound to Alice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWxJOht2yRE


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alternate lyrics to Arlo Guthrie piece
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 10:45 PM

This is a fun thread. Thank for starting it, Pseudonymous.
-Joe-


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