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Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Turn your lamp down low (30)
Lyr Req: Police Dog Blues -and- Statesboro Blues (18)


Earl 15 Jul 97 - 03:35 PM
Mountain Dog 15 Jul 97 - 04:46 PM
Jon W. 15 Jul 97 - 06:23 PM
Earl 16 Jul 97 - 12:16 PM
sodshanty 26 Aug 98 - 12:28 PM
Jon W. 26 Aug 98 - 12:57 PM
Joe Offer 26 Aug 98 - 02:35 PM
Jon W. 26 Aug 98 - 05:17 PM
Dave T 27 Aug 98 - 07:24 AM
Jon W. 27 Aug 98 - 02:05 PM
Chet W. 27 Aug 98 - 09:16 PM
Jim Krause 06 Oct 99 - 04:15 PM
CarlZen 06 Oct 99 - 05:34 PM
Stewie 06 Oct 99 - 08:35 PM
Joe Offer 28 Nov 02 - 11:29 PM
Bobert 29 Nov 02 - 08:29 AM
songs2play 29 Nov 02 - 08:41 AM
Jazzyjack 29 Nov 02 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,truckerdave 30 Nov 02 - 09:17 AM
GUEST 30 Nov 02 - 11:39 AM
Stefan Wirz 30 Nov 02 - 11:52 AM
Jazzyjack 30 Nov 02 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,rustyyb 01 Dec 02 - 12:35 PM
BanjoRay 01 Dec 02 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Fivestring Fellow 07 Jun 03 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,barry biesanz 07 Apr 04 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,ABB Fan 21 Apr 04 - 03:20 PM
GLoux 21 Apr 04 - 03:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Apr 07 - 04:17 PM
Suffet 06 Nov 09 - 10:07 AM
Dave MacKenzie 06 Nov 09 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,theridge 18 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Jul 11 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,theridge 08 Jan 12 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Brennan 30 Apr 14 - 04:19 PM
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Subject: Statesboro Blues
From: Earl
Date: 15 Jul 97 - 03:35 PM

I'm looking for the original lyrics to Statesboro Blues by Blind Willie McTell. I know there are many versions of this song, I only want the original.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 15 Jul 97 - 04:46 PM

Dear Earl,

My suggestion would be to listen to Blind Willie's original recording of the tune. I recall Atlantic records issued a compilation of some of his original recordings many years back on an LP titlel "Atlanta Six and Twelve String". You might scout used vinyl shops for it.

Good luck!


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Subject: Lyr Add: STATESBORO BLUES (Blind Willie McTell)
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 Jul 97 - 06:23 PM

Here's a version I just transcribed from the original. I'm pretty confident it's accurate. I also have a transcription of the guitar in a book at home, don't remember if it's by Woody Mann or Stephan Grossman. I learned it once. Thanks for giving me an excuse to listen to it again.

STATESBORO BLUES - Blind Willie McTell version

From the Yazoo reissue "Blind Willie McTell- The Early Years"

Wake up mama; turn you lamp down low (2x)
Have you got the nerve to drive Papa McTell from your door?

My mother died and left me reckless, my daddy died and left me wild, wild, wild. (2x)
No I'm not good lookin' but I'm some sweet woman's angel child.

She's a mighty mean woman--do me this-a way (2x)
When I leave this town pretty mama goin' away to stay.

Once loved a woman, better'n any I'd ever seen (2x)
Treated me like I was a king and she was a doggone queen.

Sister tell your brother, brother tell your auntie now,
Auntie tell your uncle, uncle tell my cousin, cousin tell my friend
Goin' up the country, mama don't you wanna go?
May take me a fair brown, may take one or two more.

Big Eighty left Savannah, lord he did not stop
You oughta saw that colored fireman when he got that boiler hot
You could reach over in the corner, mama, 'n' hand me my travelin' shoes
You know by that I've got them Statesboro Blues.

Mama, sister got 'em, Auntie got 'em, brother got 'em, friend got 'em, I got 'em
Woke up this morning, we had them Statesboro Blues,
I looked over in the corner; Grandma and Grandpa had them too.

PS I'm sure this is available on CD from Yazoo and other sources.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Earl
Date: 16 Jul 97 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Jon. Among other things you cleared up whether it was "Big Eighty", "Big Eddy" or "The 'Gator." who left Savannah.


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Subject: RE: lyrics wanted to Statesboro Blues
From: sodshanty
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 12:28 PM

Can anyone decipher the first verse of Statesboro Blues? It sounds like Taj Mahal is singing Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low (2x) Have you got dinner? Drive Papa John from your door.

Here's what I hear Greg Allman singing Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low (2x) You ain't got no lover, babe to drive from your door.

Blind Willie McTell is usually a pretty intelligible singer. How does he sing the lyric?


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues: Lyrics Add
From: Jon W.
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 12:57 PM

Refreshing the thread. Dick, will you please add this song to the DT?


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Subject: Tune Add: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 02:35 PM

How 'bout a tune, Jon? This is the tune I found in Woody Mann's The Blues Fakebook (Oak Publications, 1995). There are a lot of rests, so i wouldn't trust the ABC version. The MIDI should turn out fine if you use MIDITXT to convert it. Does the tune sound right? I don't think I've ever heard anybody perform this song.

MIDI file: STATES~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Statesboro Blues
Text: By as recorded by Blind Willie McTell
Key: D
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Start
0000 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0160 0 77 000 0032 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0096 0 77 000 0000 1 76 110 0256 0 76 000 0128 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0190 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0256 0 74 000 0032 1 78 110 0288 0 78 000 0000 1 76 110 0096 0 76 000 0000 1 74 110 0336 0 74 000 0048 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 76 110 0160 0 76 000 0032 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 76 110 0096 0 76 000 0000 1 74 110 0256 0 74 000 0128 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0190 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0432 0 74 000 1008 1 77 110 0062 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0062 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0158 0 78 000 0002 1 77 110 0190 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0190 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 74 110 0046 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0046 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0286 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0432 0 74 000 0912 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 77 110 0160 0 77 000 0032 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0256 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0336 0 74 000 0048 1 66 110 0256 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0432 0 69 000 0144 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 74 110 0256 0 74 000 0032 1 77 110 0062 0 77 000 0002 1 76 110 0062 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0062 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 69 110 0432 0 69 000 0048 1 74 110 0336 0 74 000 0048 1 69 110 0336 0 69 000 0240 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0256 0 77 000 0032 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 77 110 0094 0 77 000 0002 1 74 110 0046 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0046 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0720 0 74 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Statesboro Blues
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:D
=f=f2=f=fe3|-e=fed2d3|f3ed4|ee2eed3|-d=fed2d2d|
-d8|d6=f2|-=f27/4=f/2=f3/4|-=f=f2=f2=f=fd/2d/2|
d2d3ddd|-d8|d5d3|-d6dd|fedcd=f2=f|fedBdd3|
d4F3A|-A5dde|=fedBBd3|=f3/4e/2d3/4dBd2BA|
-A4d4|A6=f=f|=f=f3=f=fd/2d/2d|d2ddd2d2|d15/2||

Oh, by the way, this 1995 book says Oak Publications is a division of Music Sales Corporation. I thought Oak had died a long time ago, along with all its wonderful songbooks. Maybe there's a chance we'll see some reissues.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Jon W.
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 05:17 PM

Joe, the tune you posted is a reasonable approximation of Will McTell's vocal melody for the first two verses (reasonable given that it's blues). Other versions differ considerably.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Dave T
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 07:24 AM

I'm sure this song is in the DT or was at some time. I asked this same question about 6 months ago and someone directed me to the lyrics. Jon's version is the same as mine. I have the CD "Blind Willie MctTell: The Early Years, 1927 - 1933" (YAZOO) and the lyrics are right. The only part I had trouble with is the line "Big Eighty left Savannah...". Anyway, I highly recommend the CD if you're a Willie McTell fan. As fas as the music goes, try playing it in drop D tuning.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 02:05 PM

Woody Mann published an excellent transcription of most of McTell's guitar part in his book "Six Early Blues Guitarists." As Dave T says, it's in drop D tuning.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Chet W.
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 09:16 PM

It doesn't have Statesboro Blues on it, but a really fine Blind Willie album is titled "last session", Prestige/Bluesville Records BV 1040. GREAT singing and 12-string. (recorded in 1956).

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Jim Krause
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 04:15 PM

Thanks to all who responded to the Statesboro Blues question. I've been looking for the lyrics for a long time. I have both a Taj Mahal and the Allman Bros. covers of the song. Neither is vocally speaking a satisfactory recording. Great guitar solos, though.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: CarlZen
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 05:34 PM

Aside from Blind Willie McTell's version, I really love the way Rory Block does this. She has a drive in her guitar playing that fits the song, and her vocals are wild. There are times when she almost grunts - and it works (for my ears, at least).


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Stewie
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 08:35 PM

It's also on a fine compilation by Indigo: Blind Willie McTell 'Statesboro Blues' IGOCD 2015. The best compilation of McTell, however, is probably the Columbia Roots N' Blues Series double CD: 'The Definitive Blind Willie McTell' Columbia/Legacy C2K 53234. It doesn't have Stateboro Blues, which was a Victor recording, but the sound quality is generally better than the recordings on the Yazoo 'Early Years' referred to by DaveT.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: Statesboro Blues
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 11:29 PM

Here's another transcription of McTell's recording. Should be about the same as Jon's above, but may be easier to read. I found it at this website (click), which looks like it may have some good blues information.

-Joe Offer-

Statesboro Blues
sung by: Blind Willie McTell (1928)

Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low
Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low
Have you got the nerve to drive Papa McTell from your door?

My Ma died and left me reckless,
My Daddy died and left me wild, wild, wild
Mother died and left me reckless,
Daddy died and left me wild, wild, wild
No I'm not good looking but I'm some sweet woman's angel child.

She's a mighty mean woman, treatin' me this a-way
She's a mighty mean woman, treatin' me this a-way
When I leave this town, pretty Mama,
I'm goin' away to stay.

Once loved a woman, better than I'd ever seen
I once loved a woman, better than I'd ever seen
Treated me like I was a king, and she was a doggone queen.

Sister, tell your Brother
Brother tell your Aunty
Now Aunty tell your Uncle
Uncle tell my cousin now
Cousin tell my friends
Goin' to the country, Mama don't you want to go
May take me a fair brown, may take one or two more.

Big Eighty left Savannah,
Running, did not stop
You outta saw that colored fireman when he got some boiler hot
you can reach over in the corner Mama, hand me my travelling shoes
You know by that I got them Stateboro Blues.

Mama, Sister got 'em
Aunty got 'em
Brother got 'em
Friend got 'em
I got 'em
Woke up this morning, we had them Statesboro Blues
I looked over in the corner; Grandma and Grandpa had 'em too.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 08:29 AM

Rory Block's version ain't half bad either and worth a listenin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: songs2play
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 08:41 AM

Sopposedly a mp3 download at

http://www.sobent.com/sobent/pd4u/html/Blind_Willie_McTell.htm


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 06:09 PM

I just performed this tune a few weeks ago to a noisy pub audience and asked " are there any Blind Willie McTell fans out there ? ". I waited until some dude shouted " obviously nobody knows him so get on with it ". Of course I did this deliberately because the racket was pissing me off. I do the Tom Rush version which admittedly isn't authentic but sometimes what you hear first is what sticks.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: GUEST,truckerdave
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 09:17 AM

I have it on CD. I was never impressed enough with Blind Willie's original version to learn it. Besides, no one would want to hear it anyway. It's not that interesting a song to modern ears. I saw Dave Bromberg doing a version of it on PBS back in the 1980's i think. Of course i tried to play it back then but didn't have a clue. I would like to find it again if it exists on a recording and learn his version. Anyone have a clue what CD it might be on?


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 11:39 AM

Guess my ears ain't modern enough. Blind Willie is on my short list of 'all-time greats'. Might want to give it a'nother listen, truckerdave.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 11:52 AM

originally on his 1974 (his 3rd) album 'Wanted Dead or Alive' (Columbia 32717), 'Statesboro Blues/Church Bell Blues' has been re-released on the 1998 Sony compilation CD 65263 'The Player: A Retrospective', which is still available (further info: Dave Bromberg discography ;-)


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 11:24 PM

Hey trucker dave; go out and get the old Tom Rush album with his more rockin' version of Statesboro Blues. I know what you mean about this kind of dated stuff. I usually don't want to play it either but I think you'll be surprised.


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: GUEST,rustyyb
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 12:35 PM

I've just gotta throw in here that Chris Smither's version is pretty hard to beat. Just my opinion...:)


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: BanjoRay
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 06:27 PM

songs2play said:

Supposedly a mp3 download at
http://www.sobent.com/sobent/pd4u/html/Blind_Willie_McTell.htm

It turns out this MP3 is not Statesboro' Blues, but a wrongly labelled "That'll Never Happen No More". Still good, though.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: GUEST,Fivestring Fellow
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 03:30 PM

Does anyone have a transcription of the lyrics as performed by Taj Mahal? IMHO the McTell version's better but I need to learn the TM version by next Tuesday!


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Subject: RE: Statesboro Blues
From: GUEST,barry biesanz
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 10:17 PM

It works in dropped D, but works even better in open C. 12 strings are usually tuned down anyway, is there a chance he was in a relative equivelant of open C? The V chord lick is real easy in open C.

One of the best county blues, IMO.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: GUEST,ABB Fan
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 03:20 PM

I still think the Allman Brothers Band cover is by far the best version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: GLoux
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 03:30 PM

I've always liked Chris Smither's version because of his guitar playing, but I've always wondered where he got the line:

You give me back that wig I bought you
Let your goddamned head go bald

since it wasn't in the McTell version.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 04:17 PM

"Ernest Seabrooks McTell, "Blind" Willie McTell's son, has confirmed Peermusic's rights in respect of the 28 musical works originally signed to peermusic by the composer, with such famous works as "Statesboro Blues," covered by the Allman Brothers in addition, peermusic has been granted administration rights for all other "Blind" Willie McTell musical works (approximately 80) including "Broke Down Engine" recorded by Bob Dylan; ..."

Announcement by Peermusic.
http://www.peermusic.com/news/newsitem.cfm?announcement_id=487


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell
From: Suffet
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 10:07 AM

Please click here a completely different version of Statesboro Blues.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 10:15 AM

GUEST Fivestring Fellow asked for a transcription of the Taj Mahal words sometime back. Probably too late now, but here it is:

Yes now, wake up mama, turn your lamp down low,
Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low,
Have you got the nerve to drive poor papa Taj from your door.

Woke up this mornin', baby I had them Statesboro' Blues,
        - Statesboro' Georgia, that is -
Woke up this mornin', had them Statesboro' Blues,
Looked on the corner, found my baby had them too.

Mama died an' left me reckless,
Papa died an' left me wild,
I ain't good lookin', baby,
But I'm sweet 'n a child,
Goin' up the country, baby do you want to go?
I know if you can't make it, your sister Lucille says she wanna go.

You know I loved that woman better'n any woman I've ever seen,
Yes I loved that woman better than any woman I've ever seen,
She treat me like a king, I treat her like she was a doggone queen.

Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low,
Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low,
Have you got the nerve drive papa Taj from your door.


As sung by Taj Mahal on CBS Direction LP 8-63279 "Taj Mahal".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: GUEST,theridge
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM

Don't know if anyone will ever read this, but I've always wanted to post it somewhere. In the fourth stanza, what McTell actually says is: "Once loved a woman, better'n ary'n I'd ever seen." The "I'd" might just be "I" without the "'d" but I don't have easy access to the song. "Ary" is the (sort of) positive form of "nary" and "ary'n" would be a contraction for "ary a one" or "ary one" which means something like "any one" but with a little more intensity. And, just to give an opinion, this is one of the great blues songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:42 AM

GUEST,theridge: I agree with your assessment.

My father used "ary" and "nary" although in his dialect the pronunciation came out "ear a" and "near a" (spelling phonetically).

He'd say to me, "I went to git me a cookie an' they wadn't near a one in the jar!" This usage emphasized his surprise and disgust, because he correctly deduced that I had eaten all the cookies! Others might have said, "There wasn't a single one!"

If it had been something he didn't care so much about, he probably would have said, "They wadn't none."

He was from western Kentucky.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: GUEST,theridge
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 08:31 PM

Jim, I'm from Northwest Georgia. My dad pronounced "ary" and "nary" as "airy" and "nairy." However, I've heard them pronounced as you wrote, "ear a" and "near a."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
From: GUEST,Brennan
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 04:19 PM

Gloux,

The Chris Smithers line that you reference comes from "Up Country Blues" by Sippie Wallace, which McTell's Statesboro Blues answers. Specifically Sippie Wallace sang "I told him pull of that that hat I bought him, and let his nappy head go bald"... and the Smithers line is "You give me back that wig I bought you, Let your goddamned head go bald."

Full lyrics to "Up Country Blues":

Hey hey mama
Run tell your papa
Go tell your sister
Run tell your auntie
That I'm going up the country
Don't you want to go

I need another half a dozen
To take them on my ragtime show
When I was leaving
I left some folks a grieving
I left my friend a moaning
I left my man a crying
He knew he didn't want me
He had no right to stall

He treated me low down and dirty
He's bound to reap what he done sowed
He knocked me and kicked me
He stomped and abused me
He knocked and cursed me
He treated me dirty
Even asked me would a matchbox
Hold my dirty clothes?
He treated me low down and dirty
He's bound to reap what he done sowed

I told him to gimme that coat I bought him
That shirt I bought him
Those shoes I bought him
Those socks I bought him
Cuz he knew he didn't want me
He had no right to stall

I told him pull of that that hat I bought him
And let his nappy head go bald

My mama got em
My papas got em
My sisters got em
My auntie had em
When I woke up this morning
Had the up the country blues
When I looked over in the corner
My grandma had em too


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