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Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)

GUEST,Dan 06 Jan 20 - 08:28 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jan 20 - 10:07 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jan 20 - 10:19 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jan 20 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Dan 06 Jan 20 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Dan 06 Jan 20 - 10:33 PM
cnd 06 Jan 20 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Dan 07 Jan 20 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jan 20 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Dan 07 Jan 20 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Dan 07 Jan 20 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,NightWing (without his cookie again) 07 Jan 20 - 08:48 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 20 - 08:53 PM
leeneia 08 Jan 20 - 12:49 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 08:28 PM

I cannot understand - at all - what Dr John is singing on Junco Partner. It's loaded with patois and sung in his inimitable NO accent. An American friend here (Melb Aust) had a go but gave up, tho she's from Minn. so was no use at all. Can anyone help me?!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 10:07 PM

OK, so here's the YouTube link:I'll put my headphones on and make a stab on it later, but it's very hard to understand.

The video does have an attempt at a transcription:
    Down the road came a Junco Partner
    For he was loaded as can be
    He was knocked out, knocked out loaded
    He was a'wobblin' all over the street

    Singing six months ain't no sentence
    And one year ain't no time
    I was born in Angola
    Serving fourteen to ninety nine

    Well I wish I had me a million dollars
    Oh one million to call my own
    I would raise meat and say, "grow for me baby"
    I would raise me a tobacco farm

    Well I wish I would have me a great deal of money
    Yeah and mighty good things all over town
    Now I ain't got no more money
    All of my good friends are putting me down

    So now I gotta pawn my rifle and pistol
    Yeah I'm gonna pawn my watch and chain
    I would have pawned my seat Gabriella
    But the smart girl she wouldn't sign her name
    Give me headstone when I die
(boy, I don't like this transcription at all)

I did the lyrics transcriptions for the Rise Again Songbook, and the Blues chapter drove me crazy (I think we got pretty good results, though). Some of those songs are so good, but they're so hard to understand completely. At the time, I had a bit of correspondence with Michael Taft, former head of the American Folklife Collection at the Library of Congress. Mr. Taft had done a book of blues lyrics transcriptions titled Talkin to Myself: Blues Lyrics, 1921-1941. Mr. Taft said that he had such a hard time transcribing these songs, that he was almost embarrassed to publish them. No matter what he thinks of his own book, I love it.

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD: Junco Partner (The Clash version)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 10:19 PM

A Google search comes up with a transcription of the recording by The Clash, which still doesn't satisfy me (but it sure is interesting, and it's an amazing recording).

Down the road came a Junco Partner
For he was loaded as can be
He was knocked out, knocked out loaded
He was a'wobblin' all over the street

Singing six months ain't no sentence
And one year ain't no time
I was born in Angola
Serving fourteen to ninety nine

Well I wish I had me a million dollars
Oh one million to call my own
I would raise meat and say, "grow for me baby"
I would raise me a tobacco farm

Well I wish I would have me a great deal of money
Yeah and mighty good things all over town
Now I ain't got no more money
All of my good friends are putting me down

So now I gotta pawn my rifle and pistol
Yeah I'm gonna pawn my watch and chain
I would have pawned my seat Gabriella
But the smart girl she wouldn't sign her name

Give me headstone when I die

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Robert A. Shad
Junco Partner lyrics © BMG Rights Management

The online transcription is the same thing in both of my posts - it's a good transcription of the recording by The Clash (which is very good), but it sure ain't the Dr. John version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 10:20 PM

WTF is a Junco Partner, anyhow?

This is a song with a lot of unanswered questions.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 10:21 PM

Youre right Joe, it's way off.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 10:33 PM

What's a JP, Joe? Wouldn't have a clue. A fellow dope dealer perhaps? American patois/slang has fascinated/frustrated me for nigh 60 years. One of my favourites; "Two on a raft and wreck 'em" = scrambled eggs on toast! ...and you translators are doing God's work - whoever he/she/it may be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: cnd
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 11:26 PM

This (https://genius.com/Dr-john-junko-partner-lyrics) transcription I found is pretty spot on, but with a hole in the center right before the break I can't fill.

Sounds to me like "moujee farm" but that's meaningless as best I can tell. Moody farm, moody phone, not sure.

As for the meaning of Junco partner, I've always assumed it was a "junkie partner" - ie, someone to do drugs with


Down the road come-a Junko Partner
Boy, he was loaded as can be
Boy, he was knocked down, knocked down loaded
You know he wobbled all over the street

Singing six months ain't no sentence
Thought that one year ain't no time
They got boys up on Ponderosa
Servin' nine to ninety nine

If I had, if I had, if I had, a million dollars
Just-a one million to call my own
I would buy me the land around Parish Prison
And I would grow me a (big doobie farm)?
Alright

Down the road, down the road, down the road
Here he comes, Mr. Jones
Whoo boy, you're on your back so hard
Got to say lordy-ho
If a penny make a nickel, a nickel make a dime
A dime will make you half, a half will make a dollar
Make you ha-a-a-ller

Give me whisky
When I get a little frisky
Cus it's-a mighty good drink
When you get a little dry

Give me tobacco-o-o
When I get a little sickly
But give me heroin
Before I die

Down the road, down the road, down the road
Come Junko Partner (Partner, Partner, Partner)
Boy he was loaded as can be
But he was knocked knocked knocked, he was knocked out loaded
Don't you know he wobbled, yes, all over the street

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqfH_1xCSME


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 12:46 AM

Thanks cnd. I think we have a winner.
Clear diction was not big in the Rebennack household I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 06:35 AM

Dan: What's a JP?

Junco partner is a heroin user.

Junco (Creole or Cajun) = jonque (French) = slang for heroin aka 'junk.'

fwiw: Originally old bits of rope to be reused as caulking, chafing gear, making paper &c.

Partner is a person, typ. male. ie: Howdy pardner!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 07:21 PM

JP = Junco partner. Being lazy I guess.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 07:27 PM

Chuck Berry recorded it as "The man and the donkey" with his own lyrics. Doing an "Ida Red" I guess.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: GUEST,NightWing (without his cookie again)
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 08:48 PM

In Joe's two versions I would suspect that fifth verse, third and fourth lines are

I would have pawned my sweet Gabriella
But the smart girl she wouldn't sign her name

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 08:53 PM

Yup. "Sweet" it is.

Night Wing, if you need login help, email me.

joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Junco Partner (Dr John's version)
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Jan 20 - 12:49 AM

from the OP " It's loaded with patois and sung in his inimitable NO accent."

I've been to New Orleans twice and had no trouble understanding people. This guy's problem isn't his accent; his problem is mumbling. He's pretending to be half-wasted, whether drunk or drugged, I can't say. Why not both?

I guess record producers figure this gives him some kind of street cred.


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