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Origins: Leaving Home (Charlie Poole)

DigiTrad:
HUNGRY HASH HOUSE
IF I LOSE, LET ME LOSE
I'M THE MAN THAT RODE THE MULE 'ROUND THE WORLD
LEAVING HOME
MILWAUKEE BLUES
MOVING DAY
OLD AND ONLY IN THE WAY
TO THE SWEET SUNNY SOUTH


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MickyMan 22 Jul 19 - 08:02 PM
Stewie 22 Jul 19 - 09:30 PM
Lighter 22 Jul 19 - 09:43 PM
Lighter 22 Jul 19 - 09:50 PM
Severn 23 Jul 19 - 01:09 AM
Cool Beans 23 Jul 19 - 09:44 AM
Mrrzy 23 Jul 19 - 10:34 AM
MickyMan 23 Jul 19 - 12:05 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 23 Jul 19 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Jul 19 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 23 Jul 19 - 08:38 PM
Cool Beans 24 Jul 19 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Ozzie guest 25 Jul 19 - 06:08 AM
clueless don 25 Jul 19 - 07:22 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Aug 19 - 01:38 PM
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Subject: Did Poole come up with this alone?
From: MickyMan
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 08:02 PM

"Leaving Home" is Charlie Poole's amazingly unique re-write of the Frankie and Johnny murder song story.   Does anybody know if this pronounced departure from other F&J songs sprang completely from Poole himself?   Do other songs that he wrote show similar signs of off the charts creativity. It came out way back in 1926, and I've never heard another previous version of the song/story that resembles it much at all. Was Charlie Poole that sophisticated of a writer, or did he update something similar that was around at the time?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 09:30 PM

Here's the note by Kinney Rorer in his 'Rambling Blues: the Life & Songs of Charlie Poole':

'Still another version of the popular "Frankie and Johnny" song. This one was written by the Leighton Brothers and Ron Shields and copyrighted in 1923. Though there are some differences in the chorus, Poole follows the Leighton-Shields version closely. The popular band leader, Ted Lewis, recorded the same song for Columbia in 1927 with the title "Frankie and Johnny: You'll Miss Me in the Days to Come". Lewis included only the chorus and not the verses'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 09:43 PM

If memory serves, Poole's song is based on the Leighton Bros.' vaudeville hit, "Frankie and Johnny (or You'll Miss Me in the Days to Come)," written in 1912. Poole's text drew heavily from "traditional" versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 09:50 PM

It may have been copyrighted, perhaps in a revised version, in 1923, but the Leighton-Shields song did originally appear in 1912.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Severn
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 01:09 AM

So Bernard, a white vaudeville performer, a quite successful blackface comedian, recorded the song in 1921. A native of New Orleans, he made a good number of recordings from 1916-1931. They credit the Leighton Brothers. Their version can be found on the CD collection "Tin Pan Alley Blues 1916-19258" (Memphis Archive MA 7003) 1994


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Cool Beans
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 09:44 AM

Fascinating! My wife and I perform this version regularly.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 10:34 AM

Love this song but it is incomprehensible to me... Lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: MickyMan
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 12:05 PM

This is why I love Mudcat!    In the world of American Old-Time and folk, this version of Frankie And Johnny is pretty much always attributed to Charlie Poole.    Considering the sophistication of the song form, that seemed kind of suspect to me, but I din't know the background beyond him.   I thought that it was either that case, or Charlie Poole must have had much more musical background than one would suspect of an old-time 1926 banjo man.
Once again, another American musical genre lets Tin Pan Alley provide the song writing chops needed to appeal beyond their usual audience!   So interesting!
Thank you so much to everybody for contributing!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 12:18 PM

You can download the sheet music for the Leighton Bros/Ron Shields version from Levy: Frankie and Johnny, or, You'll Miss Me in the Days to Come. (you can view it there, or there is a pdf link on the page). And while the entry gives 1919 as the publication date, the sheet music has 1912 as the copyright date.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 02:00 PM

If you care to read Kinny Rorrer's book about his relative Charlie Poole you will find many references to the origins of his material.

In a similar vein many songs attributed to the Carter Family and referred to as Carter Family Songs are derived from earlier commercial material and "adapted".

The "folk process" isn't always as it sounds.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 08:38 PM

It's hardly a secret -- all one has to do is listen to melody and lyric -- that many Carter Family songs were originally commercial and urban. But A. P. Carter rewrote freely and at times radically, and sometimes the folk process had already done that before Carter collected the material. Moreover, the Carter Family arrangements and harmonies were far removed from the pop originals.

See

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/original-carter-family-songs--alphabetical-order.aspx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ???????
From: Cool Beans
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for the link, Hootenanny. As I read the lyrics, it's clear that Charlie Poole or someone else brought a few innovations to the song, chiefly the truncated line "The ground is covered up" instead of the original "The ground is covered up with snow" (which the mind of the listener fills in). It makes for a more interesting song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ?
From: GUEST,Ozzie guest
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 06:08 AM

There's a great Canadian documentary, recently on TV down here in Australia, called Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World .... well worth watching if you can find it.
It's about the influence of indigenous 'Americans' in American music.
Amongst the greatest of the olds was Charlie Poole (probably Chocktaw) ... and Mildred Bailey (Coeur d'Alene)...HowlinWolf(Chocktaw)... too many others to mention ...
People probably don't realize that when the African slaves arrived the Native Americans were the 'slaves' in the states (they were treated worse if you can believe it} ... so there was a fair bit of intermingling between the two cultures .... blacks were taken into tribes ... they were all classified as colored in those days.
And the doco shows how old 'Indian' music was very very bluesy.
Mardi Gras in New Oleans is the most prominent expression of it all these days.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Charlie Poole's 'Leaving Home' ?
From: clueless don
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 07:22 AM

An unimportant contrary opinion: I much prefer versions where "snow" is explicitly stated.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (Leighton Bros&Shields
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Aug 19 - 01:38 PM

From the sheet music at the University of Illinois at Chicago:

(Besides having an extra verse, this throws some light on what Charlie Poole actually sang. It turns out he followed the original lyrics a lot more closely than anyone who tried to learn the song from him.


FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, or “You’ll Miss Me in the Days to Come”
Words and music by Leighton Bros. & Ren Shields, ©1912.

1. Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts; they had a quarrel one day.
Johnny he vowed he would leave her; said he was goin’ away.
He’s never comin' home; he’s goin' away to roam.
Frankie she begged and she pleaded, cried: “Oh, Johnny, please stay.”
She says: “My honey, I have done you wrong, but please don't go away.”
Then Johnny sighed and to his Frankie cried—

CHORUS*: “Oh, I'm a-goin' away; I'm a-goin' to stay; I’m never comin’ home.
You’re goin’ to miss me, hon’, in the days to come.
When the winter winds begin to blow, the ground is covered up with snow,
You’ll think of me, and you will wish to be, back with your lovin’ man.
You’re goin’ to miss me, hon’, in the days, days, days to come.”

2. Frankie says, “Listen now, Johnny: to prove my love is true,
Every dollar I can save, dear, I’m goin’ to give to you.
So I think now, dear, that ought to keep you here.”
Johnny says: “Listen, now, Frankie: don’t want to tell you no lie.
I’ve lost my heart to another queen; her name is Nellie Bly.”
Then Frankie groaned as her Johnny moaned—CHORUS

3. Frankie then said to her johnny: "Say, man, your hour has come."
From underneath her silk kimona she drew a forty-four gun.
Oh, it was a bear; ‘twas quite a large affair.
Johnny he dashed down the stairway, cryin’: “Oh, Frankie, don't shoot.”
Frankie took aim with her forty-four five times with a rooty-toot-toot.
As Johnny fell, then miss Frankie yelled—CHORUS

4. “Send for your rubber-tired hearses; go get your rubber-tired hacks.
Take lovin’ Johnny to the graveyard; I shot him in the back
With my great big gun, just as he went to run.
Send for a thousand policemen detectives right away.
Lock me way down in the dungeon cell and throw the keys away.
My Johnny's dead, just because he said—CHORUS

- - -
* In the third chorus, the pronouns are reversed, because Frankie is speaking:
I = you or thee (for the rhyme), You = I or me, etc.

The Internet Archive has a 1921 recording by the Paul Biese Trio with Frank Crumit, which gives an idea of what the song originally sounded like.


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