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Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)

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Joe Offer 30 Jun 21 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,# 01 Jul 21 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 01 Jul 21 - 06:01 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jul 21 - 04:09 AM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jul 21 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Jul 21 - 06:19 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Marley)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 21 - 11:49 PM

I SHOT THE SHERIFF (Clapton Version)
(Bob Marley)

I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy

All around in my home town
They're trying to track me down
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy
For the life of a deputy, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, and they say it is a capital offense

Sheriff John Brown always hated me
For what I don't know
Every time that I plant a seed
He said, "Kill it before it grows"
He said, "Kill it before it grows", I say
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town
All of a sudden I see Sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down
So I shot, I shot him down, I say
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy

Reflexes got the better of me
And what is to be must be
Every day the bucket goes to the well
But one day the bottom will drop out
Yes, one day the bottom will drop out, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy, oh no
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot no deputy, oh no

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Marley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0xLLPJ0bOw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 02:38 PM

Joe, I'm hearing didn't, not did not. The 'did not' is I think Clapton's phrasing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 06:01 PM

The Wailers original is more like:

Every day the bucket ah go ah well,
One day the bottom ah go drop out.
One day the bottom ah go drop out.


Other, mostly minor, stuff. Singing, I wouldn't go too hard on the 'patois' if it's foreign to you anyhow. The Clapton clean-up should do for most folk.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jul 21 - 04:09 AM

Here's the Marley studio version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG52YAe8Crg

I SHOT THE SHERIFF
(Bob Marley)

I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy

All around in my home town
They're trying to track me down
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy
For the life of a deputy, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, and they say it is a capital offense

Sheriff John Brown always hated me
For what I don't know
Every time that I plant a seed
He said, "Kill it before it grows"
He said, "Kill them before they grow", and so
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down
So I shot, I shot, I shot him down,
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy

Reflexes got the better of me
And what is to be must be
Every day the bucket goes to the well
But one day the bottom will drop out
Yes, one day the bottom will drop out, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy,
I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot no deputy...

Source: LyricFind (corrected to Marley recording)
Songwriters: Bob Marley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 03:51 AM

Sounds to me like "de bottom haff fi drop out" (has to drop out) here. cf. "de bucket bottom mus' drop out" ( = will drop out) and Phil's other possibility ( = is going to drop out).

Funny enough, this is the Wailers in their let's-appeal-to-Rock-audiences phase and with British production bringing them closer to the Anglo audience, and there is almost no patois in it—it just barely sneaks in for the familiar proverb.

As a deep Jamaican music listener, who might otherwise be inclined to rake covers by non-Jamaicans over the coals, I feel Clapton's cover is not a disaster but rather is not far off from and, in some ways, actually feels more aligned with Jamaican music style (be it as it often includes Black American musical style) than The Wailers' slightly odd sounding performance. Not sure if it was because they had Marley and Tosh playing guitars (rather than Reggie Lewis) or because they were possibly augmented (as on _Catch a Fire_) by some English studio musicians. I'm not saying that's bad, just remarking on the idiosyncratic sound of this song/album. The irony is that The Wailers, for many, became a model for Jamaican music sound, so it's a matter of interest (to me at least) when in cases like their sound actually wasn't representative.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 06:19 AM

Whelp, this ain't folk music, it's the music business.

The verse I posted was transcribed from the Wailers Burnin' LP, Tuff Gong, TG 002, 1974, track A3. Only version you'll find it on, afaik. Live shows they go with the Anglo lines but, typically, there's a lot more “I” for “me” Dreadspeak, eg: Sheriff John Brown always hate I... &c that's not on the LP.

The studio original is a Chris Blackwell & Harry J. (Johnson) production. Not sure where reggae in general, and the Wailers in particular, would have gone without Blackwell &co. but… not better off methinks.

The Clapton version has Tom Dowd and Mac Emerman (Criteria, Miami) in those jobs which is Layla revisted. IMNSHO one could do a lot worse… inevitably almost.


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