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Lyr Req: Hesitation Blues + Spike Driver's Blues

DigiTrad:
IF THE RIVER WAS WHISKEY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Hesitation Blues (42)
I ain't no ethnofolkmusicoligist (20)
(origins) Origin: Hesitation Blues / Hesitating Blues (20)
Lyr/Chords Req: Hesitation Blues (6)


Rick B. 08 Jul 97 - 11:38 PM
Alan B (a-burgess@s-cheshire.ac.uk) 09 Jul 97 - 04:34 AM
Rick 09 Jul 97 - 04:45 AM
Frank in the swamps 09 Jul 97 - 06:42 AM
rechal@earthlink.net 09 Jul 97 - 11:26 AM
Mountain Dog 09 Jul 97 - 03:18 PM
rmr 14 Jul 97 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,furry 30 Sep 00 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,furry 30 Sep 00 - 03:21 AM
Catrin 30 Sep 00 - 04:23 AM
dwditty 30 Sep 00 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,furry 30 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM
Benjamin 30 Sep 00 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Richie 02 Oct 02 - 09:41 AM
Roger the Skiffler 02 Oct 02 - 10:08 AM
Joe_F 02 Oct 02 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Richie 02 Oct 02 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,gino@stratuswave.net 13 Jun 04 - 06:43 PM
khandu 13 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jun 04 - 08:40 PM
Janice in NJ 13 Jun 04 - 10:09 PM
Amos 13 Jun 04 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Lori 14 Jun 04 - 02:09 PM
Mark Ross 14 Jun 04 - 02:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Jun 04 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM
Janice in NJ 15 Jun 04 - 07:19 PM
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Subject: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Rick B.
Date: 08 Jul 97 - 11:38 PM

Help, I can't find the lyrics to these classic folk\blues tunes. Hesitation Blues is Rev. Gary Davis, and Spike Drive's Blues is Mississippi John Hurt. Even partial lyrics would be helpful.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HESITATION BLUES (from Ralph McTell)
From: Alan B (a-burgess@s-cheshire.ac.uk)
Date: 09 Jul 97 - 04:34 AM

Can't help you with the original, but from memory of Ralph McTell's version of Hesitation Blues:


HESITATION BLUES
As recorded by Ralph McTell on "Streets of London: Best of Ralph McTell" (1996)

Got my hesitation stockings, hesitation shoes.
Lord almighty, got them hesitation blues.

CHORUS: And tell me how long must I have to wait?
Can I get you now? Oh, no! Must I hesitate?

A nickel is a nickel and a dime is a dime.
I got a houseful of kids. One of them must be mine. CHORUS

Standing on the corner with a dollar in my hand,
Looking for a woman who's looking for a man. CHORUS

Never been to heaven, but I've been told
Old St. Peter knows how to jelly roll. CHORUS
_____________________________________________________

Not sure of the order of the verses, & some are repeated. In terms of development of the drama, I can't see that it matters too much.

Hope it's of some help.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Rick
Date: 09 Jul 97 - 04:45 AM

Verses I've come across for Hesitation Blues (from the Coffee House Song Book, about 1970), as near as I can remember:

I'm standin' on the corner with a dollar in my hand,
Lookin' for a woman who's a-lookin' for a man. - cho

[??????????? sorry can't remember this line ???????]
Woman wants a man wants to see a dollar first. - cho

You hesitate by one, you hesitate by two,
Angels up in heaven sing the Hesitation Blues. - cho

I'll check in the book when I get back to UK next week and post the full version.

Cheers

Rick.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 09 Jul 97 - 06:42 AM

The Holy Modal Rounders:

I'm a jackhammer man in a jackhammer town,
And I hammer on my hammer 'til the sun goes down....

I was born in Pennsylvania. I was raised in France.
I'm a dirty old man and I wear silk pants....

And from a beer swillin' campfire one night in the swamps:

I've a rocket in my pocket and a pickle in my pants.
Come on, baby, let's lay down and dance....

My rooster he crows and my hen she squawks.
When my baby walks, man! her body sure talks....


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: rechal@earthlink.net
Date: 09 Jul 97 - 11:26 AM

Rick --

That line is:

"Eagle on the dollar says 'in God we trust'
Woman wants a man, she wants to see a dollar fust."

And here's a few more verses, which, like most of these others, seem to work in most standard blues ditties:

"Two old ladies, sittin' in the sand,
Each one wishin' that the other was a man.

Apples on the table, peaches on the shelf,
Looking for a woman, tired of sleeping by myself.

Never been no doctor, nor no doctor-man's son,
But I'll work on your case 'til your doctor-man come.

Never been no plumber, nor no plumber-man's son,
But I can clean your pipes 'til your plumber-man come.

Hope it's helpful.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 09 Jul 97 - 03:18 PM

More verses from a Doc Watson version I recall:

I'm a hesitatin' papa in my hesitatin' shoes
Got a hesitatin' mama that I can't afford to lose.

Come here, sister, pin a rose on me,
Got a sweet-talkin' mama that I'm a-gonna see.

Sittin' in my cell with my back to the wall,
And a long-tongued mama was the cause of it all.

Rather drink muddy water, sleep in a hollow log
Than to stay right here and let you treat me like a dog.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HESITATION BLUES (Hot Tuna)
From: rmr
Date: 14 Jul 97 - 04:29 PM

HESITATION BLUES
As recorded by Hot Tuna on "Hot Tuna" (1970)

Well, a nickel is a nickel, say, dime is a dime,
Need a new gal; she won't mind.

CHORUS: Tell me, how long do I have to wait?
Can I get you now, said, must I hesitate?

Eagle on the dollar says: "In God We Trust."
You say you want a man, you want to see that dollar first.

Well, if the river was whiskey, said, I was a duck,
You know, I'd swim to the bottom, might never come up.

Well, rocks in the ocean, said, fish in the sea,
Knows you mean the world to me

Well, hesitation stockin's, got the hesitation shoes,
You know, Lord, I got them hesitation blues.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,furry
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 03:07 AM

Here goes:

John Hurt's SPIKE DRIVER BLUES

Take this hammer to the captain; tell him I'm gone. (Repeat)

This is the hammer killed John Henry; ain't gonna kill me. (Repeat)

John Henry left this hammer by the side of the road
All covered in red, all covered in blood.

It's a long way to east Colorado. That's why I'm gone
It's a long way to east Colorado. That's my home
John Henry was a steel driven man. Now he's gone.

This is mixed up and out of order. Many variants exist, frequently all mixed up with the older song JOHN HENRY that it's based on.
I'm a little embarrassed to not nail them all. I named my band JOHN HENRY'S HAMMER.
John Henry is the quintessential hero of the industrial age which contrary to popular opinion ain't over. Spike driver is a prison song variant. John used to be working for top dollar on the railroad in the original (as he actually did if he exists beyond the Myth) but most spike driver variants, although they leave him driving steel, frequently make it sound like he is breaking rocks chain-gang style. I DON'T WANT YOUR COLD IRON SHACKLE ROUND MY LEG.

HESITATION BLUES
Gary Davis style
Some verses were presented earlier in the thread. Others are improve in nature:

I ain't no brick layer; ain't no brick layer's son,
But I can lay a few bricks till your brick layer come.

I ain't no chauffeur; ain't no chauffeur's son,
But I can do a little drivin' for you till your chauffeur come.

Tell me, how long do I have to wait?
Can I get you now or, woman, must I hesitate?

I ain't no rich man...

Here's a new one I am making up now:

I ain't no well digger; ain't no well digger's son,
But I can dig in your well till your well digger come.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,furry
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 03:21 AM

can anyone tell me how not to have everything lump into a paragraph I didn't write that last post like that . thanks


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Catrin
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 04:23 AM

Guest furry - all you have to do is enclose the letters 'br' in 'spiky paragraph marks <>at the end of each line.
I can't show you properly because I'll get a line break and the command becomes invisible. If, as I suspect, this sentence makes no sense at all, please click on the green 'permathread' named 'FAQ' at the top of the thread list - in fact, do that anyway because it contains some really good hints about all sorts of things, including
HTML codes
Good luck

Cheers,

Catrin


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Subject: Lyr Add: HESITATION BLUES (Gary Davis)
From: dwditty
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 08:19 AM

HESITATION BLUES

Rev. Gary Davis
(my version)

You get a nickle, I'll get a dime
Put 'em both together and we'll buy some wine
Refrain: How long must I wait
Can I get you now, or, honey, must I hesitate

I got some apples on the table, peaches on the shelf
I'll tell you darlin I'm tired of sleeping by myself

I got some hesitation blues and some hesitation stockings
I need a hesitation woman to do my hesitation rocking

I went down to the corner, a dollar in my hand
I was looking for a woman who was looking for a man

The eagle on the dollar screams In God We Trust
The woman says she trusts the man who give her the dollar first

I ain't no doctor, ain't no doctor man's son
But I'll stay on your case until your doctor comes

I ain't no baker, ain't no baker man's son
But I'll keep your biscuits warm until your baker comes

I ain't no architect, I'm an architect's son
Got designs on you, baby, make Fran Lloyd Wright run


Spike Driver's Moan
John Hurt
(As performed by Dave Van Ronk)

This old hammer, it killed John Henry
Well it won't kill me, no it won't kill me
This old hammer, it killed John Henry
Well it won't kill me, no won't kill me

John Henery left his hammer lying there
By the side of the road, by the side of the road
John Henry left his hammer lying there
By the side of the road, in the drizzling rain

Take this hammer, carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, I'm surely gone
Take this hammer, carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, yes I'm gone

Tied a rainbow around my shoulder
Well it shines, it shines like gold
Tied a rainbow around my shoulder
Shines like gold, it shines like gold

Take this hammer and throw it in the river
It'll ring right on, ring right on
Take this hammer and throw it in the river
It'll ring right on, yes ring right on

Repeat 1

dw


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,furry
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM

THanks Catrin
I think I got it
I'll see when this posts


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Benjamin
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 07:01 PM

I don't reconize to many of those lyrics to Hesitation Blues. Then the recording I have is a live one and the Rev. could have been throwing in/different stuff.

"I woke up this morning, about a half past 4. Them hesitating blues, was knocking on my door."
"I aint no good man, I aint no good man's son. But I'll get in the place of your good man, till your good man come!"

It goes on for awhile! I'll have to listen to it a few times.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 09:41 AM


According to info I have: Art Gillham's Society Syncopaters published their first composition, Hesitation Blues. The same year, W.C. Handy published a similar song, Hesitating Blues. Both appear to have been based on a folk song. W.C. Handy acknowledged the two songs were independently composed.

In 1925, Gillham did an acoustic session for Columbia 140390-2 Hesitation Blues (electric microphone) (2 takes) recording his version. Does anyone have Gillham's version?

Are Handy's and Gillham's 1915 versions the earliest?

Has anyone posted the Rev. Gary Davis lyrics? I have them somewhere and can post them if anyone wants them.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:08 AM

The version of Hesitation Blues I have (On Rev G.Davis: Blues & Ragtime, Shanachie 97024) plays for 11-minutes. I believe Stephan Grosmann wrote down all the dots and, presumably, the words, in one of his transcription books. I bet Stewie has the details.
RtS (white boy lost in the blues)


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 07:31 PM

_The Coffee House Songbook_ has:

Well, pussy ain't nothin' but meat on the bone:
You can ---- it, you can ---- it, you can leave it alone.

Well, you hesitate by one, and you hesitate by two,
Angels up in heaven singing hesitatin' blues.

As to what the dashes stand for, your guess is as bad as mine.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 09:37 PM

Roger-

I have Stephan Grosmann's book somewhere. That's what I was going to post from.

Joe-

The lyrics from Blind Sam Collins have already been posted. If you need to fill in the blanks check the DT.

Anyone have info on Gillham's version? I wanted to see if it was similar to the Poole or Davis versions.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,gino@stratuswave.net
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 06:43 PM

My Dad used to sing this stuff to me when I was a kid, in the 1960's. One verse I haven't seen here: "I got a girl, she lives on the hill, she won't do it, but her sister will!"

Is this stuff copyrighted or in the public domain? I'm writing a book about my Dad and just wanted to include a few verses of lyrics. Be glad to give credit.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: khandu
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM

30 MJH song lyrics are posted at TINK'S LYRICS, including the 1928 version of "Spike Driver Blues"

This site promises to eventually become the complete MJH lyrics library!

Oh, & please sign the guestbook!

k


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 08:40 PM

Ralph sings slightly different words on his live video
Met a young woman handed her a quarter
she said young man, I'm a rich man's daughter

Met a young woman , put a dollar in her hand
she said young man, now I understand
tell me how long did you have to wait

I wonder if any other folk song fans other than myself have noticed that Putty Nose is singing Hesitation Blues when JimmY Cagney shoots him in the 1930 film called Public Enemy

To this I attribute the confusion about the words!


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:09 PM

Here are a few of the verses to Hesitation Blues I learned at Resuurection City in 1968. We didn't sing them when the cameras and microphones were around.

WARNING: Bawdy song. Rated NC-17!

Standin' on the corner with a dollar in my hand,
I'm lookin' for a woman who's lookin' for a man,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

The eagle on the dollars says, "In God we trust,"
Woman says she wants a man, but wants to see his dollar first,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

Woman got a pussy that can cut you to the bone,
You can fuck it, you can suck it, you can leave it alone,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

Woman got a pussy, when she's young it smells so fine,
You can dick it, you can lick it, you can drink it up like wine,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

Woman got a pussy, when she's old it smells like fish,
You can taste it, you can waste it, you can put it your dish,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

I'm comin' in your pussy, I comin' in your can,
If you don't hurry up, I'm comin' in your hand,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

Now a nickel is a nickel, and a dime is a dime,
Got a house full of little children, maybe some of them is mine.
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?

The darker grows the cherry, the sweeter flows the juice,
Takes a coal black woman for my kind of use,
Tell me how long must I wait,
Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:36 PM

Dat sho' is one bawdy song, awright!!

A


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,Lori
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 02:09 PM

Things tended to get pretty funky at Resurrection City once the sun went down. The SCLC honchos like Rev. Abernathy and Rev. Jackson never really spent the night. But with folks like Jimmy Collier and Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick taking up residence, some really fine music could be heard. Len Chandler spent a couple of days there, as did Phil Ochs and Eric Anderson, but it was more like Collier and Kirk who would be singing songs like Hesistation Blues.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 02:18 PM

Ah, Resurrection City, Libba Cotten, Miles Horton, Ralph Rinzler,
The Georgia Sea Island Singers, Pete Seeger, Rev. Kirk, Jimmy Collier, What an incredibly magical time. I don't remember hearing Hesitation Blues but, after all these years, when your memory goes forget it!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 06:46 PM

Dave Van Ronk used to play it but I haven't heard his version for many years - he may have been the first person I heard sing it.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM

Among the many improvised stanzas to "Hesitation Blues" produced by U.S. soldiers in World War I:

               I'd rather be a bulldog in a big back yard
               Than a brigadier general in the National Guard.


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Subject: RE: Hesitation Blues and Spike Driver's Blues
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 07:19 PM

Kirk used to sing bawdy songs including Hesitation Blues at night. I doubt he would have done so with Pete Seeger around. Yes, lots of great music. I don't recall seeing Libba Cotten, but I certainly do remember Bessie Jones with her whole family up from the Georgia Sea Islands. Others I remember are Chuck Neblett, Cordell and Bernice Reagon, Guy and Candie Carawan, Cornelius Givens, and Emory Harris. I don't remember if Fanny Lou Hamer was there -- she was a really fine singer in addition to being such an activist -- but I'm pretty sure Chris Smither showed up one day.

Aside from the music and the companionship, there was the bread -- delicious freshly baked bread day and night. Otherwise the accommodations were primitive, to say the leasr. Unless you enjoy mud when it rained and dust when it didn't!


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