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Lyr Req: Worried Man Blues

DigiTrad:
WORRIED MAN BLUES


Related thread:
It Takes a Biased Man (Worried Man Parody) (1)


Chet W. 22 Dec 99 - 02:15 AM
_gargoyle 22 Dec 99 - 02:48 AM
Roger the skiffler 22 Dec 99 - 04:44 AM
Mark Clark 22 Dec 99 - 09:47 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Dec 99 - 09:53 PM
catspaw49 22 Dec 99 - 10:09 PM
paddymac 22 Dec 99 - 11:17 PM
Chet W. 23 Dec 99 - 12:37 AM
Amos 23 Dec 99 - 01:44 AM
Sandy Paton 23 Dec 99 - 02:26 AM
Gary T 23 Dec 99 - 12:48 PM
Chet W. 23 Dec 99 - 02:07 PM
Margo 15 Nov 00 - 04:34 PM
Allan C. 15 Nov 00 - 04:57 PM
okthen 15 Nov 00 - 07:23 PM
dulcimer 15 Nov 00 - 07:31 PM
dulcimer 15 Nov 00 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Big Red 15 Nov 00 - 07:43 PM
Doctor John 15 Nov 00 - 07:45 PM
raredance 15 Nov 00 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Nov 00 - 04:05 AM
Mrrzy 16 Nov 00 - 11:42 AM
Margo 16 Nov 00 - 02:27 PM
Doctor John 17 Nov 00 - 01:11 PM
dulcimer 17 Nov 00 - 07:04 PM
dulcimer 17 Nov 00 - 07:22 PM
Thyme2dream 18 Nov 00 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,Peter Woodruff 23 Feb 05 - 05:50 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Feb 05 - 09:17 PM
Helen 24 Feb 05 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,G man 12 Sep 10 - 09:55 PM
Suffet 12 Sep 10 - 10:17 PM
Lighter 13 Sep 10 - 09:33 AM
Lighter 13 Sep 10 - 09:34 AM
Suffet 13 Sep 10 - 12:40 PM
The Sandman 13 Sep 10 - 12:57 PM
The Sandman 13 Sep 10 - 12:59 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Sep 10 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Mike In Coventry 10 Jul 12 - 09:53 AM
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Subject: it takes a worried man
From: Chet W.
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 02:15 AM

it takes a worried man to sing a worried song

i'm worried now but i won't be worried long


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: _gargoyle
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 02:48 AM

You are considering suicide?


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 04:44 AM

Having checked my Leadbelly Library of Congress box set I can confirm that Rick (as I suspected) was correct (Damn!)and Leadbelly didn't record it, (see earlier thread on Woried Blues!). I must have been thinking of Sonny Terry's version. I know US 'Catters seemed to have learned it via the Carter family but I don't have any of their recordings and I don't think they would have been the influence on the UK 1950s jazz bands from whence the skiffle version emerged.
The train I ride is 21 coaches long when I sing it but the DT version is 16 coaches long. My version must be British Rail, since privitization they've cut the number of carriages!
If the shackles on his feet were 21 links and each link had a letter of his name, what was his name?
Answers on a postcard please to the Neil Young Center.....
RtS


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Mark Clark
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:47 PM

I've seen this song called "Worried Man Blues" since the KT recorded it nearly forty years ago but the earliest recording I know about was by the original Carter Family and I'd swear they sang it as "It takes a wearried man..." Wearried seems to make a lot more sense to me, does anyone know which is original?

- Mark


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:53 PM

As I mentioned in the other thread I'm virtually certain it's "Wearied Man". The phrase just crops up to often in black folksong. Thanks again for the Skiffle stuff Rog, it's amazing. Think I'll get my pre-war Built-rite washboard out. Oops, no dice. Heather wants help decorating the tree.
Rick


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 10:09 PM

Oh good...Vintage Washboards.........Just great......So is Hickory or Oak the preferred wood? Are the models built in the 60's completely inferior? Should the bracing be scalloped or is straight preferred due to the possibility of warping? Does it have screwed on or fitted legs? Does the galvanizing affect the sound?.......................... oy .......................................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: paddymac
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 11:17 PM

Jeez - I was afraid Chet might have been having a schizoid moment.


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Chet W.
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:37 AM

I have schizoid moments aplenty, but I've just had a bad time lately, a death in the family. I was somewhat intoxicated when I posted the above. Sorry if I alarmed anyone. Hope to be back to normal soon.

Thanks, really, you are good people, Chet


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Amos
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 01:44 AM

I went across the river, and I lay down to sleeeeeeeeep...chaching chaching....


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 02:26 AM

My father told me (and sang a brief example of it, too) that he had heard black roustabouts (laborers) singing "Takes a wearied man to sing a wearied song" in the Oklahoma oil fields when he was roughnecking there, circa 1920. Long, slow, and drawn out, he sang it, like a prison worksong. Sounded real to me!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Gary T
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:48 PM

I grew up in a part of the U.S. where if you asked for a pen you would get a writing instrument and if you asked for a pin you would be asked "straight or safety?". I now live in an area where if you ask for a pen you get the question "an ink pen or a straight pen(pin)?". In speaking and hearing, no distinction is heard between "pen" and "pin". This leads me to wonder if possibly the word "worry", when pronounced in some American black dialects, sounds like "weary" to American whites. In the context of the song, "worried" makes more sense to me than "wearied", and sinced I don't believe "weary" is a verb, "wearied" isn't even a "real" word. Rural/southern whites like the Carters may have had ears trained to hear their black neighbors dialect, and therefore understood that "worried" was being said even though it sounded like "wearied" to others' ears. What do you think?


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Subject: RE: it takes a worried man
From: Chet W.
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 02:07 PM

Gary, We are a colorful people; we sing, we dance, we talk different. You're absolutely right about wearied/worried. I always heard my grandfather say worry so that it sounded almost just like weary. My parents less so. Now my youngest sister (a late wonderful surprise child who is now twenty-two) doesn't talk much like the rest of us, and young teenagers here learned a lot of their language from TV, so to hear them talk they might have come from California. Even sadder, a good many people of my generation or older who grew up with a distinct accent (coastal South Carolina) actually changed their accents after watching The Dukes of Hazard and the Beverly Hillbillies and such as that. In a another generation or two our way of speaking will be gone. An odd thing, when I went away to college in 1972, just across the state in Greenville, near the mountains, I found that I had a hard time being understood, so I had to actually work at it just to communicate.

Chet


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Subject: Worried man blues
From: Margo
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 04:34 PM

Did a forum search but couldn't find any lyrics other than the Kingston Trio version. My guitar teacher asked me to find the lyrics and specifically requested that I not bring in the Kingston Trio version. The other threads alluded to a Leadbelly version - does anyone have those lyrics? I'm hoping to find them without having to purchase a CD.... Margo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 04:57 PM

You can find a version (I don't know if it is the Leadbelly one) here:

http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~motoya/W/Worried_man_blues.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: okthen
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:23 PM

I think we here in the UK first heard this by Lonnie Donnegan.

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: dulcimer
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:31 PM

Most of the country/bluegrass people I've been playing with of late sing the Carter version done in 1930. Line notes say the Carters learned it from "someone" but could not remember from where. The song was probably a black prison song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: dulcimer
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:40 PM

Just checked to DT. The verses are attributed to the KT, but all are not sung as part of their version, at least on the albums I have. The verses are all the verses sung by the Carter family in 1930. I would suggest that if you take those verses and tell you teacher these ARE the verses performed by the group--the Carter Family-- that influenced Woody Guther, KT, and other subsequent redos.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORRIED MAN BLUES
From: GUEST,Big Red
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:43 PM

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song (3x)
I'm worried now but I won't be worried long

I went across the river and I lay down to sleep (3x)
And I woke up with shackles on my feet.

Twenty links of chain around my leg (3x)
And on each link an initial of my name

I asked the judge what might be the fine, (3x)
Twenty-one years--but I got ninety-nine

Twenty-one years to pay my awful crime (3x)
Twenty-one years--but I got ninety-nine

The train arrived, sixteen coaches long, (3x)
The girl I love is on that train and gone

I looked down the track as far as I could see, (3x)
Little bitty hand was waving after me

If anyone should ask you who composed this song, (3x)
Tell them it was I and I sing it all day long

Found this in an old songbook that I have had for 35 years or more. No cover, no idea what it is or who sang these. Hope it helps.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 1-Aug-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Doctor John
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:45 PM

Lead Belly didn't record "Worried Man Blues" although he did record "Worried Blues" a totally different song. Woody Guthrie recorded in and probably took it from the Carter Family, modifying it to his own style. Lonnie Donegan brought it to the UK on "Backstairs Session". It's not a blues at all! If you want the lyrics let me know and I'll send them tomorrow evening. Very late: gruelling day! Dr John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: raredance
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 08:10 PM

"Hard Hitting Songs For Hard-Hit People" by Lomax, Guthrie & Seeger (1967) has the same verses as above and also attributes it to the Carter Family.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 04:05 AM

Most of the versions I know, KT,Lonnie D.,Vipers, Woody,Ramblin' Jack etc have some or all of the verses Big Red lists, not always in that order. Lonnie sings "21 years on the Old Rock Island Line".
I usually omit the last verse he mentions (to save the audience further misery!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 11:42 AM

The one Big Red lists is the one I've known for ever, by Ed McCurdy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Margo
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 02:27 PM

Thanks folks! I think I got my question answered. I'll take the DT version in and see what ol'George has to say. Margo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Doctor John
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 01:11 PM

To add to RtS, Woody and the Carter sing: "21 years on the Rocky Mountain Line" and later "Twenty one years but I've still got ninety nine". The first line is repeated only once there. Er...Any idea what the songs's about! Sounds like vagrancy laws. Dr John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: dulcimer
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 07:04 PM

In the 1930 version, it is R.C. Mountain Line. According to Charles Wolfe, the reference is cryptic. There may be another Carter Version or version attributed to them, but this I think is the original.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: dulcimer
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 07:22 PM

Retraction--Sorry, I just glanced at the DT words when I responded about the Carter Version in my first post. Look and listened again. In the DT, only verses 1,2,3,5 and 7 were done in the 1930 recording and only verses 1,2,3, and 5 were done by Maybelle at Newport in 1963. Don't know if this really makes a difference about getting a non-KT version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Thyme2dream
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 12:09 AM

I always thought the song was about a prisoner on a chain gang...as for the 'line', didn't chain gangs work on railroad lines?


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Subject: Folklore: It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried
From: GUEST,Peter Woodruff
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 05:50 PM

"It takes a worried man to sing a worried song." I remember this song from my puberty! I believe that Bush is singing a worried song now! I hope he will do all the right? things and I'm afraid he will.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Folklore: It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Wor
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 09:17 PM

This isn't folklore, it's BS!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Wor
From: Helen
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 01:08 AM

Welcome to Mudcat, Peter.

At the regular sessions I attended for 10 years there was one man who sang this song whenever he came along. I used to sing an extra verse, in honour of the length of the song:

"The song that I sing is 21 verses long,
etc etc"   :-)

Uncle DaveO, maybe Peter is new to Mudcat and doesn't realise the significance of the BS topics below the line and prbably is unaware of the importance of putting the BS before the thread title if it is not strictly a thread about music.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: GUEST,G man
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 09:55 PM

I think it is like a lot of other songs of the black musical tradition in the south. In the years following slavery through the first part of the 20th century, blacks could be jailed and forced into labor without so much of a reason or fair trial. So, the narrator's being shackled and forced to work the railroad for the rest of his life is the kind of stuff that happened. See Douglas Blackmon's book "Slavery by Another Name."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Suffet
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 10:17 PM

Try this version.

Enjoy!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 09:33 AM

Sounds good, Steve.

Nobody seems to have noticed (or have they?)that the tune is a word-down "Battle Hymn of the Republic."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 09:34 AM

"Worn-down."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Suffet
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 12:40 PM

Greetings:

Fine or time?

Most singers have the main character ask the judge: What's gonna be my fine? That doesn't make much sense when discussing an offense serious enough to merit a 21 year sentence. So I always have the protagonist ask: What's gonna be my time?

Doesn't that make better sense? I'm sure I'm not the only one who sings it that way.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 12:57 PM

this song is often sung with sixteen bars by blugrassers, in fact the carter version was shorter,12 bars i think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 12:59 PM

I like sara carters version.12 bars .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried man blues
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 04:50 PM

I think the Carters started off with the 3 line version but later sang the 4 line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Worried Man Blues
From: GUEST,Mike In Coventry
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 09:53 AM

For what it's worth, RC might be R-something City. My best candidate is the Rapid City, Black Hills & Western Railroad. The dates look ok; but unfortunately it's in South Dakota, a long way from The Carter Family in Virginia. I suppose they might have learnt it from an itinerant musician, but to me it just doesn't feel that likely.


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