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Dock Boggs - ethamotel/ethermotor drops

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Lyr Req: I Hope I Live a Few More Days (Dock Boggs (5)


aj 30 Jun 97 - 02:20 PM
Peter T. 18 Jul 99 - 11:53 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Jul 99 - 10:48 PM
Peter T. 19 Jul 99 - 12:04 PM
Art Thieme 19 Jul 99 - 09:05 PM
gargoyle 20 Jul 99 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Kegan 02 Mar 14 - 01:50 AM
Joe Offer 02 Mar 14 - 02:31 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 14 - 02:53 AM
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Subject: Dock Boggs
From: aj
Date: 30 Jun 97 - 02:20 PM

On a 1970 album, Dock Boggs - Vol 3 (produced by Mike Seeger) is a tune called "I Hope I Live a Few More Days". Dock hand wrote the lyrics that are in the liner notes. They go..

"I hope I'll live a few more days,
and God will give me grace,
I'll buy me a bottle of ethamotel drops, *********
to wash your deceitful face,

I will come in but I won't sit down,
for I haven't hardly time,
I truly understand you love another one,
Sweet heart no longer mine.

Does anyone know for sure what ethamotel drops are ?

Your help is certainly appreciated.

Thanks. Alan


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Subject: Query: Ethermotor Drops (Dock Boggs)??
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:53 AM

transcribing Dock Boggs' "I Hope I Live A Few More Days" (see thread) the third line says: "I'll buy me a bottle of....[what sounds like Ethermotor Drops]. Can any of you splendid practitioners of this music who frequent Mudcat shed light on this stuff? It might help shed some light on the fourth line!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Query: Ethermotor Drops (Dock Boggs)??
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 10:48 PM

I have been doing some "ear" research as well as some paper research. There was a patent tuberculosis medicine called "Ethambutol"--although it doesn't sound like that is what he is saying which is more like what you say; but maybe it is a corruption of the same word.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Query: Ethermotor Drops (Dock Boggs)??
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 12:04 PM

Murray, if your assumption about the fourth line is correct, then maybe it is a cleanser or something worse (like acid)!
yours, Peter T>


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Subject: RE: Query: Ethermotor Drops (Dock Boggs)??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 09:05 PM

Yes, Ethermotor Drops were used in olden times to put one's motor neurons to sleep and simulate a death state. Elvis is thought to have used these sparingly to get high, but one time he took a higher dose and was said, by some, to've died. He enjoyed the anonymity so much (after being dug up) that he had plastic surgery and now exists (if that's what you wanna call it) as Richard Simmons. But every so often he has the old urge to dress in gold lemay and sequins. This is the reason for so many Elvis sightings since he left this bitter orb.

Alas...

Art


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Subject: RE: Query: Ethermotor Drops (Dock Boggs)??
From: gargoyle
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 12:31 AM

Can't settle the question of that line...but the search did pass through the Smithsonian Institution and their "endnotes" from Folkways bio. An interesting charactor with a vibrant life.

Dock Boggs biography

Thanks for leading me towards his path...I'll be looking out for him.


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Subject: RE: Dock Boggs
From: GUEST,Kegan
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 01:50 AM

"I haven't been able to possibly determine just what "Ethamotel" might be. It seems to have been some kind of patent medicine. There is a tuberculosis "remedy" known to have been used around Norton, Virginia called Ethambutol. Perhaps there is a connection."

"Shady Grove: Old Time Music From North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia featuring Kilby Snow, Dock Boggs, Tommy Jarrell, Roscoe Holcomb" by Jody Stecher; page 15.

PDF found at www.guitarvideos.com/_literature_107470/13071_PDF_Booklet‎


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Subject: RE: Dock Boggs - ethamotel/ethermotor drops
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 02:31 AM

I combined the "ethamotel" and "ether motor" threads. Listening to the song, I'd say he's certainly saying "ether motor drops," but I couldn't find out what they were. I did find a patent (click) for an ether motor. The Folkways recording notes say Dock's source for this song is someone from the Phillips family, who were relatives of his, about 1930. I couldn't find a Phillips family recording of this song.
One Dock Boggs recording of this song I could find was on Folkways, and the cut first appeared on a 1970 recording called Dock Boggs Vol. 3.. The liner notes include handwritten lyrics by Dock Boggs, and it sure looks like "etha motel drops" in his handwriting.

So, the mystery remains.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Dock Boggs - ethamotel/ethermotor drops
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 02:53 AM

"Ether" has been used as a motor starting fluid since the first automobiles, and in fact some of the earlier ones ran on "ether" rather than gasoline, prior to improved petro refining. It's possible that something like "ether-motor" was a trade name for a fuel or fuel additive that was popular, or at least commonly known, when the lyric was written(?).

The stuff used for starting and/or fuel line de-icing was (and where you find it still is) very corrosive, and will peel the paint off just about anything. It would certainly "take the smile off" a lost lover's face.

This is, of course wild-assed conjecture, as I have no evidence of that specific name, or anything similar, being significantly used or known at any time.

John


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