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Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business

DigiTrad:
AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS IF I DO
NOBODY'S BUSINESS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Ain't Nobody's Business (Taj Mahal) (23)
Lyr Req/Add: Ain't Nobody's Business (26)
Chord Req: Nobody's Business - Bluegrass - Oldtime (14)
Tune Req: 'Ain't nobody's business' artist (24)
Lyr Req: Ain't Nobody's Business (Billie Holiday) (3)
Lyr Req: Nobody's Dirty Business (Jesse C Young) (1)
Req: Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do (Witherspoon) (5)


Max Tone 22 Dec 00 - 07:43 PM
Allan C. 22 Dec 00 - 08:07 PM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 00 - 09:01 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Dec 00 - 09:13 PM
Oversoul 22 Dec 00 - 10:40 PM
jaze 23 Dec 00 - 02:36 PM
Mark Clark 24 Dec 00 - 01:10 AM
Max Tone 24 Dec 00 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Mickey191 24 Dec 00 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,honeydhont 20 Mar 04 - 12:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Mar 04 - 01:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Mar 04 - 01:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Mar 04 - 02:02 PM
Stewie 20 Mar 04 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,DD 20 Mar 04 - 11:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Mar 04 - 12:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Mar 04 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,honeydhont 24 Mar 04 - 05:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Dave 15 Jan 05 - 10:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jan 05 - 11:03 PM
Azizi 16 Jan 05 - 01:02 AM
GUEST,ej 08 Nov 06 - 04:31 PM
Richie 31 Jan 07 - 07:10 AM
Richie 31 Jan 07 - 07:23 AM
Roger the Skiffler 31 Jan 07 - 09:25 AM
Richie 31 Jan 07 - 09:34 PM
Richie 31 Jan 07 - 10:10 PM
Richie 01 Feb 07 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 11 - 10:04 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 11 - 03:26 PM
PHJim 29 Sep 14 - 12:35 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Sep 14 - 11:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 14 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 26 Nov 14 - 03:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Max Tone
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 07:43 PM

Taj Mahal credited his version of "Ain't nobody's business" as 'trad' on Satisfied 'n' tickled too,(CBS 81346, UK#) but it appears to bear no relationship to the song in the DT blicky, I hope! .

Does anybody have any idea who penned the original of Taj's version, and whether he changed it much. The words sound very Taj to me.

I'll work out, transcribe and post the LP lyrics, unless any of you have them typed up already, in which case I'll admit to being a lazy Ba*tard and let you post them!

If there's an "original" of Taj's version, does any body have the words, and/or recordings info?
I'm sure MMario would welcome MIDIs of any tune versions, too! (The DT lyrics have no tune attached) One New Year's resolution -- that I might be able to stick to, unlike givin' up combustibles -- is to get, and learn, a MIDI/Dots/MIDI program. Any suggestions for simple (free?) PC software? Must check the FAQ.

Have a purrrrrrrfect Christmas, 'catters
Rob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 08:07 PM

Scroll down on this page:

http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/newbonham/6/contents.htm

[Dead link--a JoeClone]

and see a different version than the DT's. I don't know whether that is the one TM used.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS IF I DO
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 09:01 PM

I wish there were an easy way to combine all the threads on this song. We have a transcription of Taj Mahal's live version in this thread (click), and a search for nobody's business comes up with two versions in the database. I'll paste in the other versions Allan referred to.
-Joe Offer-

'T AIN'T NOBODY'S BIZNESS IF I DO
This song was recorded by Bessie Smith in 1923; it was credited to Porter Grainger and E. Robbins. Two modern versions of this song can be found here under Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women and Jeannie & Jimmy Cheatham. There are two lines here that the transcriber couldn't understand.

There ain't nothing I can do, or nothing I can say
That folks don't criticize me
But I'm goin' to, do just as I want to anyway
And don't care if they all despise me

If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean
'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do, do, do do

If I go to church on Sunday
Sing the shimmy down on Monday
Ain't nobody's bizness if I do, if I do

If my friend ain't got no money
And I say "take all mine, honey"
'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do, do, do do

If I give him my last nickel
And it leaves me in a pickle
'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do, if I do

There are _________________ would hit me
Since _______________up and quit me
'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do, do, do do

I swear I won't call no copper
If I'm beat up by my poppa
'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do, if I do


AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS IF I DO
(Porter Grainger - Everett Robbins)

Lord, Lord, Lord
Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Ain't nobody's business what I do

If I should take a notion
Well I go right down and jump in the ocean
And it ain't nobody's business what I do
Nobody's business what I do

One day we got ham and bacon
The next day, people, ain't nothin' shakin'
Ain't nobody's business, whoo! what I do
Nobody's business what I do

Me and my man fuss and fight
The next day, people, we all right
Ain't nobody's business what I do
Nobody's business what I do

One day I'm goin' crazy
Get me a shotgun and shoot my baby
Ain't nobody's business, I said, it ain't nobody's business
Lord, it ain't nobody's business, hey!, what I do
It ain't nobody's business what I do
Nobody's!

(as recorded by Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham - From the CD "Sweet Baby Blues" (1985), this is the Cheathams's version of this classic that was recorded by Bessie Smith


T AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS
This is a reworking of a classic blues song, that was already recorded by Bessie Smith in 1923 (as 'T Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do). It was composed by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins. Saffire, the Uppity Blues Women, recorded it in 1994. It can be found on the Alligator album "Old, New, Borrowed & Blue" as well as on the Alligator Records 25th Anniversary Collection double CD. The group consists of Ann Rabson, Gaye Adegbalola and Andra Faye McIntosh.

There is nothing I can do
Nothing I can say
That folks don't criticize me
But I'm gonna do
Just what I want to anyway
Don't care if they all despise me

If I go to church on Sunday
And I honkytonk all day Monday
Ain't nobody's business if I do

And if I should get a feeling
I wanna dance upon the ceiling
Ain't nobody's business, oh it ain't nobody's business if I do

If I stay out all night
Spend all my money, well that's all right
It ain't nobody's business if I do

You try to tell me I got no right to sing the blues
What gives you the right to tell me what I should do?
It ain't nobody's, ain't nobody's business if I do

Well it ain't nobody's business
It ain't no it ain't nobody's business
You know it ain't nobody's business
Ain't nobody's business what I do
Whoa what I do
You know it ain't nobody's business
Ain't nobody's business if I do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 09:13 PM

There were several recordings of this song in a variety of versions during the sixties. Tom Rush, Ric Von Schmidt, Josh Graves, and several bluegrass groups did it. I seem to remember it usually being P.D. Verses seemed to be interchangeable with a lot of old "hokum" songs.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Oversoul
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 10:40 PM

Frank Stokes did a fine version of this, (on the Yazoo CD.,w/Dan Sane.) This is my point of reference for this song, if I may be so crass. All the other renditions of this sound contrived, forced. And I have heard many! "Leroy was here!" dig it if you get a chance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: jaze
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 02:36 PM

Mississippi John Hurt does a great version of this song on his "The Best Of..lp. He does some different verses,though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Mark Clark
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 01:10 AM

I've heard many versions but my favorite will always be Lady Day's. Many people performed it as a sort of devil-may-care tune but Billie's version is, as you might expect, dark and serious. When she sings the verse about being willing to suffer physical abuse from her man, it gets to me every time.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Max Tone
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 03:27 PM

Many thanks Joe and Merry Christmas,

------Yeh, the version in the earlier thread is the one I know from Taj, but typically with ad-libbed bits and the odd extra verse.
I now assume they're all his own words, but he's too much of a gent to claim copyright.

I once saw him play a jumpin' dance set, with the caribbean setup, ---to a seated jazz cabaret audience!
Since I was working another R&R club in Edinburgh at the time, that had no seats, I determined to book him in there next time.
Ligged it as far as the dressing room door and knocked........."Whaddaya wan?" boomed from inside, as the door opened 2". Explained my quest to a face through the gap. "Hang on" came the reply.
The next thing to emerge from the gap was a beer-can pipe, fully loaded with ganja. "Smoke that!"
I returned the finished toke, and was then admitted.
"Have a seat, man an' NOW whaddaya wan'" says Taj.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 05:12 PM

Alberta Hunt Did an outstanding rendition of this song,everything she did was top drawer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST,honeydhont
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 12:41 PM

There seems to exist an even older version than Bessie Smith's 1923 version. It was done the previous year by Sara Martin with Fats Waller on piano.
This song was 'adapted' from Howard Odum's older song "Tain't Nobody's Business But My Own", written around 1910.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 01:40 PM

There is an entry in The Traditional Ballad Index, "Nobody's Business," giving the date 1911 (JAFL) and authors Grainger, Williams, Prince and Robbins(?).
Three 1923 recordings listed (Sara Martin with Waller seems to be first).

Not related to "Nobody's Business But Our Own" as sung by the Dockstader Minstrels (1880s)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 01:45 PM

Not related to "It's Nobody's Business But My Own" sung by Bert Williams; by Skidmore and Walker, from Ziegfield Frolic, 1919.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 02:02 PM

Don't forget the Minnie Pearl and Red Sovine "Nobody's Business," and the Tennessee Ernie Ford and Kay Starr "Nobody's Business," both of which which may be heard on The Record Lady. No relation to the Grainger et al. song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 06:43 PM

Meade gives 'Will E. Skidmore - Walker 1919'. Earliest recordings: Bert Williams 16 April 1919 [Co A2750, 35593]; Sara Martin 1 December 1922 [OK 8043]; Bessie Smith 11 April 1923 [Co A3898].
[Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' p499].

Meade has 15 entries for country recordings of the song from 1924 to 1940. Riley Puckett recorded it 3 times.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST,DD
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 11:52 PM

my favorite is Bessie Smiths version.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT'S NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT MY OWN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 12:57 AM

IT'S NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT MY OWN
Will E. Skidmore and Marshall Walker
New York: Skidmore Music, 1919.
“Bert Williams’ big 1919 riot in Ziegfield’s Frolic”

1. A delegation of deacons from a "hardshell" congregation called on Parson Brown.
They told him someone had volunteered a lot of information 'bout a scandal goin' 'round.
Says they, “Now, we heard some things that's unbecomin' to a preacher. We wants to hear your case.”
He looked them over one by one, then told them to their face:

CHORUS: “It's nobody's bus'ness but my own, what I do
When my preachin's thru,
So refrain from "messin'" 'round my home.
Leave me alone.
What I do in church you all can see.
Don't you worry 'bout me privately.

It's nobody's business but my own.”

2. This delegation of deacons couldn't come to no conclusion 'bout the case in hand.
They didn't argue too much because they figured they might lose him, for they liked their preachin' man.
At last they come to the point and told him he would have to stop it or else he could resign.
Says he, “I ain't no Diplomat, but here's what's on my mind:

CHORUS 2: “It's nobody's bus'ness but my own, what I do
When my preachin's thru,
So refrain from "messin'" 'round my home.
Leave me alone.
There's a time to preach, a time to shout;
Then there's other things to think about.

It's nobody's business but my own.

CHORUS 3: “It's nobody's bus'ness but my own, what I do
When my preachin's thru,
So refrain from "messin'" 'round my home.
Leave me alone.
When a flock of sisters seek my door,
You old jealous deacons all get sore.

It's nobody's business but my own.

As I previously posted, this blackface comedy piece made famous by Bert Williams (Deacon Series No. 6) has little in common with the Graham et al. composition sung by Sara Martin and Bessie Smith, except the title. It is closer to the old Dockstader Minstrel piece of the 1880s in spirit, but is a song in its own right.

Sheet music for this song at: Duke University.

There are other songs that include "nobody's business" in the title.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT OUR OWN (Dockstader
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 01:57 PM

NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT OUR OWN
C. R. Dockstader 1882

Oh, I just arrived in town the other evening,
Walked along to drive away the blues;
Went and bought an early daily paper,
And sat down a while to read the news.
There's folks getting lazy, and a keep going crazy,
A killing folks and breaking up their home.
If we don't hang the cranks, put an end to their pranks,
Why it's nobody's business but our own.

A rich man may steal a hundred thousand,
To get out of it he'll never chance to fail;
If a poor hungry man should take a loaf of bread,
Why they'll hurry up and put him into jail.
If I was the President of these United States,
There's a heap of folks that I would let alone;
I would keep in my place. Stare the world in the face.
'Tend to nobody's business but my own.

A man and a woman get acquainted,
Both act a little strange about the head;
The next thing you hear about an elopement,
Then the man and the woman are wed.
You ramble out at night, get into a fight.
With your clothes full of mud you reach your home.
If your wife throws you out in the middle of the street,
Why it's nobody's business but my own.

Published by J. W. Pepper, Philadelphia, 1882. Performed by the Dockstaders in blackface.

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection has both an arrangement for voice and piano and an arrangement for orchestra.

Another 'nobody's business' song, related by name only to the Graham et al. composition sung much later by Bessie Smith and Sara Martin.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FREEDOM ("Come all who love freedom....")
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM

FREEDOM

Come all who love freedom, my maxim pursue,
Don't set your affections on a girl that scorns you,
For they are as full of notions as the skies full of stars,
Or the seas full of motions, the world's full of air;
I beg you take warning, and sit down by me,
For I will despise those that do despise me.

This world is a compound of freedom and ease,
I'll go where I choose and come when I please;
Sometimes I am high, sometimes I am low,
Sometimes I am fast, sometimes I am slow,
'Tis nobody's business, I am single and free,
And why should I love those that do not love me?

If I love a lady, and she sets by me,
Her conduct will show it wherever we be;
But if she should alter, and treat me with scorn,
Our friendship would break, and union be gone;
But thanks be to heaven I am single and free
And I will not love a person that does not love me.

My mind is too noble, my heart is too stout,
Such things are all folly, I cast them all out,
Love comes by embraces, as I have been told,
'Tis easily bought and as easily sold;
I never stop to buy it, I am single and free,
And why should I love those that do not love me?

I will dress in my laces and single I will be,
Not all their fair faces shall ne'er entrap me;
I'll vary my colours, the highest and best,
I'll fiddle and dance, and sometimes will rest.
'Tis nobody's business, I am single and free,
And why should I love those that do not love me?

Some choose for to marry, and some to live free,
But I am resolved to live as I be;
Sometimes I will labour, sometimes I will lay by,
No wife for to scold, no children to cry;
And thanks be to heaven I am single and free,
And I will not love a person that does not love me.

Songsheet at American Memory. No date, no author, 19th c., published L. Deming, Boston, Mass.
Spelling suggests English origin. The lyrics seem familiar- author?


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BUS'NESS IF I DO
From: GUEST,honeydhont
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 05:37 PM

In case somebody's desperately seeking out for the original lyrics of this old blues song? I will add them right here. Maybe it's interesting to compare with Billie's version in the DT, even Bessie's version from the following year is already a bit different. The trick to find them, was to look under T of "Tain't nobobody's...." instead of under A of the later more often used title "Ain't nobody's....".

'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BUS'NESS IF I DO
As sung by Sara Martin, accompanied by Fats Waller, recorded 12/1/1922.
From Fats Waller 1922-1926; The Chronological Classics, 664.

There ain't nothing I can do,
Or nothing I can say,
That folks don't criticize me;
But I'm gonna do just as I want to anyway,
And don't care if they all despise me!

If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, love, do, do.
If I let my best companion,
Drive me right in the canyon,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.

If I dislike my lover,
And leave him for another,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, love, do, do.
If I 'tend church on Sunday,
Then cabaret on Monday,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.

Swear I won't call no copper,
If I'm beat up by my papa,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, love, do, do.
I'd rather he would hit me,
Than jump right up and quit me,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do

If my daddy ain't got no money,
And I say, "Take all mine, honey,"
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, love, do, do.
If I give him my last nickel,
And it leaves me in a pickle,
'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM

Thanks, honeydhont, for the words to the Sara Martin-Fats Waller version, which hadn't been posted. The words are very close to those used by Bessie Smith; along with part of the sheet music, Bessie's version may be found at: Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do
The sheet music lists the authors as Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, copyright 1922, 1949, 1960 by MCA.

In 1911, according to an article in JAFL, Grainger and others had already prepared a version, which hasn't been posted. In a previous post, I mistakenly listed Grainger's name as Graham.

Unlike the singers, the original words by Grainger and Robbins did not repeat the 'do do...'

Lyrics Add: TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO
Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins 1922

1. There ain't nothin' I can do, nor nothin' I can say,
That folks don't criticize me;
But I'm gonna do just as I want to anyway,
And don't care if they all despise me.

Refrain:
I I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.
Rather than persecute me,
I choose that you would shoot me,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.
If I should get the feelin'
To dance on the ceilin',
'TAINT NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.
If I get my best companion
Drive me right into the canyon,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.

If I dislike my lover
And leave him for another,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.
If I go to church on Sunday,
Then cabaret on Monday,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.
If my friend ain't got no money
And I say "take all mine, honey,"
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NEEE IF I DO.
If I give him my last nickel
And if it leaves me in a pickle,
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO.

2. After all, the way to do is do just as you please,
Regardless of their talkin';
Often times ones that talk will get down on their knees,
And beg your pardon for their squawkin'.

At Public Domain Music:
Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness

Note that the Grainger-Robbins lyrics lack the couplets about the 'copper' and 'hit me.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 10:40 PM

A fun and lively Virgin Islands version of Nobody's Business was released in 2004 by Jamesie and the Allstars on the CD 'We Don Skylark', with lyrics that are relevant to Virgin Islands culture. The band's version of the song is played in the Scratch Band style, also called Quelbe, that is traditional to the Virgin Islands. Jamesie is known as the "King of Scratch", and has been playing this song from many years.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 11:03 PM

Guest Dave, could you post the lyrics? I would be interesting to see the difference.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 01:02 AM

Disc 3 of Africa In America CD {song #9 and not #6 as is written in the CD notes} has a tune from Belice called "Nobody Business". The singer is Brad Pattico. This CD was produced in 1992 by Musica Tradicional, Mexico and is distributed in the United States & Canada by Rounder Records.

IMO, the notes that are included with the 3 CD set are written in Spanish & English. These notes are much more interested in provided information about the musical genres then in givng information about the featured selections. No transcriptions are provided. Still, I would heartily recommend purchasing this set for the music and for the notes. {I lucked up and bought it at a used record store!!}

Here is the note for Pattico's 'Nobody Business' selection:
"The most popular rhythm in the English-speaking Caribbean, calypso or kaiso, was born basically as an urban style in the capital of Trinidad, Port of Spain, during the last century [meaning the 19th century]. Many of the country's musical styles contributed to its conception: the bamboula and bele on one hand, the pecussion used in the kalinda {the music and dance style in which athletes challenge each other with bamboo sticks} and the beats of the tamboo bamboo on the other. In the 1920s, the Trinidad carnival began the tradition of erecting tents where the leading calypso troubadours would get together to show their abilities and vie for position.

end of quote.

Pattico's short version is rather moderate in tempo. I listened to this version multiple times before writing this post and STILL had a very difficult time understanding many of Pattico's words. However the 'nobody's business' refrain is very clear. One of the verses has the "N- word" {I understood that word quite clearly}. Pattico sings the lyrics to the accompaniment of a guitar. The lyrics are follow the structure of a rhyming couplet followed by the line "Nobody business but me own", followed by another two line rhyming verse, and then followed by the chorus.

Even though my transcription is extremely incomplete, I'll post it in the hope that someone with a better ear than me, or someone who has a complete copy of these lyrics will share them here..

NOBODY BUSINESS
Soloman's grandpa [got out of?} Ecuador
{pick me [he]wife and pick me [he]house and home}?
Nobody bizness but me own

Soloman grandma {swears she ____}?
{teeth wear out and _____}?

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.

If I marry to a N-man.
{leave him get {wid} me to a }Chinee man
Nobody bizness but me own

And {______}???
And {______}??? a Triniman
Nobody bizness but me own.

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.

Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness, bizness.
Nobody bizness but me own.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT AIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ'NESS WHAT I DO
From: GUEST,ej
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 04:31 PM

IT AIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ'NESS WHAT I DO
As sung by the Hoosier Hot Shots

Whiskey don't hurt this baby.
Morphine don't drive me crazy.
Women won't put me in my grave. (Tra-la-la-la-la-la!)
I learned to drink my liquor
Way out in Costa Ricker.
Ain't nobody's business what I do.

What I do (what I do),
What I do (what I do),
Oh, it ain't nobody's business what I do. (Tra-la-la-la-la-la!)
I learned to drink my liquor
Way out in Costa Ricker.
Ain't nobody's business what I do (what I do).

I know a nice young lady—
This is, she was a lady,
Until this nudist stuff came through. (Tra-la-la-la-la-la!)
She used to wear nice clothes,
But now she's forgotten those.
It ain't nobody's business what I do. (Ha ha ha!)

What I do (what I do),
What I do (what I do),
Oh, it ain't nobody's business what I do. (Tra-la-la-la-la-la!)
She looks so nice and cute
In her ol' birthday suit.
It ain't nobody's business what I do (what I do).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 07:10 AM

Since I'm going to post more info. I thought the Traditional Ballad Index would help:

Nobody's Business

DESCRIPTION: Singer confesses to all sorts of infractions -- rambling, drinking, gambling -- but says it's "nobody's business if I do." He says he might even kill somebody; his girlfriend "runs a weenie stand..." and drives a Cadillac, but it's all nobody's business
AUTHOR: Porter Grainger, Clarence Williams, Graham Prince, Everett Robbins?
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (JAFL)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer confesses to all sorts of infractions -- rambling, drinking, gambling -- but says it's "nobody's business if I do." He says he might even kill somebody; morphine, cocaine and women will drive him out of his mind; his money goes to buy his girlfriend fancy clothes; "she runs a weenie stand/way down in no man's land" and drives a Cadillac, but it's all nobody's business
KEYWORDS: sex homicide clothes gambling rambling drink nonballad whore
FOUND IN: US Jamaica
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Murray, pp. 34-35, "Nobody's Business" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Noel Dexter and Geodfrey Taylor, _Mango Time: Folk Songs of Jamaica_ (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2007), pp. 86-87, "Nobody's Business" (1 text, 1 tune)

RECORDINGS:
Emry Arthur, "Nobody's Business" (Vocalion 5230, 1928)
Jerry Behrens, "Nobody's Business" (OKeh 45564, 1932)
Tommie Bradley "Nobody's Business If I Do" (Champion 16696, 1933; Varsity 6055, n.d. [as by Big Richard]; rec. 1932; on GoodForWhatAilsYou)
Warren Caplinger's Cumberland Mountain Entertainers, "Nobody's Business" (Brunswick 294, 1929; Brunswick [Canada] 224, 1928)
Edric Connor with the Caribbeans and Earl Inkman, "Nobody's Business" (on WIEConnor01)
Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five, "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" (Decca 27200, c. 1950)
The Gaylads, "Nobody's Business" (2002, on "Ska Days," Soul Beat CD, 2002 [apparently a reissue of a Rolando & Powie 1964 45EP)
Boysie Grant with Reynolds' Calypso Clippers, "Sweet Charlie";"Mattie Rag";"Nobody's Business" (1952, on Motta MRS 06A, 2004, "Mento Madness, Motta's Jamaican Mento: 1951-56," V2 Music Ltd CD 63881-27201-2)
Alberta Hunter, "T'ain't Nobody's Biz-ness" (Paramount 12018, 1923)
Mississippi John Hurt, "Nobody's Dirty Business" (OKeh 8560, 1928; on MJHurt01, MJHurt02)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Ain't Nobody's Business" (OKeh 45092, 1927, on Rough2)
[Billy] Jones & [Ernest] Hare, "Nobody's Business" (CYL: Edison [BA] 5115, n.d.)
Lulu Belle & Scotty, "It Ain't Nobody's Bizness" (OKeh 04962, 1939)
Sara Martin w. Fats Waller "'Tain't Nobody's Bus'ness If I Do" (OKeh 8043, 1923; rec. 1922)
Charles Nabell, "Nobody's Business" (OKeh 40389, 1925)
Riley Puckett, "Nobody's Business" (Bluebird B-6103, 1935; Bluebird B-8621, 1941)
Roy Sexton & his Arizona Hoedowners, "Nobody's Business" (Old Timer 8013, n.d.)
Bessie Smith, "Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do" (Columbia A3898, 1923)
Leo Soileau & his Aces, "Nobody's Business" (Decca 5101, 1935)
Peter Tosh, "Leave My Business" (on "Early Masters," (2009, on Goldenlane Records MP3 [recorded 1971; see NOTES])
Walker's Corbin Ramblers, "Nobody's Business" (Vocalion 01648, 1934)
Lena Wilson, "Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do" (Victor 19085, 1923)
Jimmy Witherspoon, "Ain't Nobody's Business, Pts. 1 & 2" (Supreme 1506/Swing Time 263, 1947)

NOTES: This shouldn't be confused with Will E. Skidmore & Marshall Walker's 1919 "It's Nobody's Business But My Own," which concerned the extracurricular activities of a deacon. Skidmore and Walker copyrighted that song (and Bert Williams recorded it on Columbia A2750 the same year), but the JAF reference precedes that copyright, so it's likely they arranged and adapted a traditional piece. And, while I have not seen the sheet music to the copyrighted version, I strongly suspect it doesn't contain all the verses listed above. - PJS
THE JAMAICAN VERSIONS
The Gaylads' ska structure is the same as Dexter/Taylor and Murray, with the chorus line being "nobody's business, business" and a verse of "if I marry a tiny girl/ or I marry a fat gal/ nobody's business but me own." Dextor/Taylor and Murray is in Jamaican patois with, partly, a similar theme to Gaylads' "if I marry a black man/ And left him for a Chinese man/...." This theme is also in - for example - Tommy Bradley's version: "If I dislike my lover/ And leave her for another/ Nobody's business if I do."
The structure of Boysie Grant's mento version and Peter Tosh's reggae version is like the U.S. recordings: the chorus line is simply "nobody's business" rather than "nobody's business, business."
Grant's verse, like all but Tosh's, has to do with trading lovers: a sailor man for a soldier man, and a Coolie [East Indian] man for a Chinee man.
Tosh's, like the U. S. versions, deals with hard times and shady business, among other things: "When landlord come collectiing rent/ Me not come beg you fifty cent/ That's nobody's business but my own" and "If I get high and fly like bird/ You should never say a word...." So does Dexter/Taylor, "Solomon granma swear she no go beg/ Tief 'way an Bra Sammy fowl an' egg/ Nobody's business but she own."
The date on the Peter Tosh recording is from KAZO, Bob Marley and the Wailers "Compared Discography", Issue 14(February 2nd, 2010) p. 52, downloaded March 14, 2015, from http://kazo.wailers.free.fr/. - BS
Last updated in version 3.7
File: RcNobBu1

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBODY'S BIZNESS BUT MINE (from Odum)
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 07:23 AM

I'm posting the 1911 version referred to in the Traditional Ballad Index. In the notes Odum says, "The sentiment is somewhat similar to the song- 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness but my Own" which means in 1911 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness but my Own was an already established song.

I agree with the Traditional Ballad index that Skidmore's song (above by Q), is not the source for this song as given by Meade. Skidmore's song was based on existing folk songs and only the chorus and sentiment are similar. Here's the JOAFL song:

NOBODY'S BIZNESS BUT MINE

The Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 24, No. 94. —October-December, 1911.
"Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes" by Howard W. Odum

Repeated much in the same way is the song "Nobody's Bizness but
Mine." The sentiment is somewhat similar to the song "'Tain't
Nobody's Bizness but my Own," but is more careless and care-free.
The chorus is repeated after each stanza or omitted at will.

|: Georgia Luke, how do you do?
Do lak' I use ter, God knows! :|
|: Do lak' I use ter, God knows! :|

And in the stanzas the first two lines are sung, with the second or the chorus line repeated four times, or the second sung once with the chorus line three times, either of which makes a good impression.

Goin' to my shack,
Ain't comin' back,
|: Nobody's bizness but mine, :| (four times)

Git upon my bunk,
Look into my trunk,
Count my silver an' my gold.

If you don't believe I'm fine,
Git me behin' a pine,
Treat you lak' a lady, God knows!

Goin' back up North,
Goin' pull my britches off,
Goin' sleep in my long shirt-tail.

Goin' to my shack,
Goin' have hump on my back,
Nobody's bizness but mine.

Goin' be hump on my back —
So many chickens in de sack,
Nobody's bizness but mine.

Chickens in my sack —
Big hounds on my track,
Nobody's bizness but mine.

Hounds on my track, boys,
Never did look back,
Nobody's bizness but mine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:25 AM

Ottillie Patterson (75 today) did a great recording of this with Chris Barber, way back.
I have a piano roll of this but never manage to sing along with it successfully, I always seem to have a "Do do" left over!!!

RtS


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBODY'S BUSINESS (from Warren Caplinger)
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:34 PM

This version is from 1928 and is very similar to Earl Johnson's 1927 version. Both can be heard on-line.

NOBODY'S BUSINESS
Warren Caplinger's Cumberland Mountain Entertainers
Brunswick 294, 1929; Brunswick [Canada] 224, 1928

(Fiddle)

Sometimes I ramble
Get drunk and gamble
Nobody's business if I do.
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do.

(Fiddle)

That's where my money goes
To buy my sweet baby clothes
Nobody's business if I do
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do

(Fiddle)

Morphine's gonna run me crazy
Cocaine's gonna kill my baby
Some pretty girls gonna cause me to lose my mind
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do.

(Fiddle)

She rides a Ford machine
I buy the gasoline
Nobody's business if I do
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do

(Fiddle)

She runs a weenie stand
Way down in no man's land
Nobody's business if I do
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do

(Fiddle)

She rides in a Cadillac
Oh boy she makes the jack
Nobody's business if she do.
Nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business if I do


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZNESS BUT MY OWN
From: Richie
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 10:10 PM

I found the collected version, usually titled T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness ('Tain't Nobody's Bizness):
The Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 24, No. 94—October-December, 1911.
"Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes" by Howard W. Odum


'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZNESS BUT MY OWN

Jingling rhymes are sought at the sacrifice of meaning and the sense of the song. Rhymes are thus more easily remembered. If the sentiment of the subject of the song appeals to a negro, he may take it and make his own rhymes, departing from the original version. The frequent omission of words, and the mixing of dialect and modern slang, usually result. "'Tain't Nobody's Bizness but my Own" represents the more reckless temperament of the wanderer.

Baby, you ought-a tole me,
Six months before you roll me,
I'd had some other place to go,
'Tain't nobody's bizness but my own.

Sometimes my baby gets boozy,
An' foolish 'bout her head,
An' I can't rule her,
'Tain't nobody's bizness but my own.

I'm goin' to happy Hollow,
Where I can make a dollar,
'Tain't nobody's bizness but my own.

I want to see my Hanner
Turn tricks in my manner,
'Tain't nobody's bizness but my own.

Don't care if I don't make a dollar,
So I wear my shirt an' collar,
'Tain't nobody's bizness but my own.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TENNESSEE JUBILEE (from Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 06:53 AM

An Uncle Dave Macon medley had a version on Br 355 in 1929 entitled "Tennessee Jubilee."   The first part is Turkey in the Straw, the second is Nobody's Business:

[spoken] Uncle Dave, you're an awful old man to be a-cutting up that way.

[Uncle Dave:] Yes, but listen Bud, [starts singing]

It's nobody's business, nobody's business,
Nobody's business, what I do.

[spoken] Kill yourself!

Backbones and sausage meat,
Hog head and pickled feet,
Nobody's business what I eat.

No, it's nobody's business, nobody's business,
Nobody's business, what I do.

[spoken] Hurt yourself!

She buys the gasoline,
I crank the old machine,
Nobody's business what I do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 10:04 AM

What is the difference between the original Grainger/Robbins composition and the one which has Clarence Williams as a co-writer?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 03:26 PM

Multiple threads complicate searching for versions and working out the history of the song, and adding unnecessary duplications.
Gene first posted the Grainger-Robbins version (1922, public domain) in 19 Nov 97, thread 3306; Joe Offer posted in this thread.

The names Williams (Bert?) and Prince appear in the Traditional Ballad entry for composer(s); the former sang an unrelated song (see Q above, 21 Mar 04. Hank Williams sang a late version. I am not sure where Prince comes into it.

Odum (1911) and Odum and Johnson (1925) published the first collected version of this particular song (others with similar title but unrelated); posted 31 Jan 07 by Richie this thread, and by Q in another thread.

Dunno if this helps, Guest-


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBODY'S BUSINESS (from Riley Puckett)
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 12:35 PM

I realise this is an old thread, but I just transcribed Riley Puckett's lyrics and figured I'd put 'em here since they don't seem to be anyplace else on the web where you can just capture them.

NOBODY'S BUSINESS from Riley Puckett

Sometimes I ramble.
I get drunk and gamble.
It's nobody's business if I do.
Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.

Some of these mornin's, gonna wake up crazy,
Kill my wife and save my baby.
Nobody's business if I do,
Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.

Morphine's gonna run me crazy.
Cocaine's gonna kill my baby.
Cigarettes gonna cause me to lose my mind.
Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.

She drives a Cadillac,
And that's where she makes her jack.
Oh boy, that's where my money goes.
That's where my money goes,
Buyin' my baby clothes.
Nobody's business if I do.

Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.
Nobody's business, nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.

She runs a weenie stand,
Way out in no man's land.
Oh boy, that's where my money goes.
That's where my money goes,
Buyin' my baby clothes.
Oh boy, that's where my money goes.

Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.
Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.

She drives a Ford machine,
And I buy her gasoline.
It's nobody's business if I do,
Nobody's business, it's nobody's business,
Nobody's business if I do.


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BUS'NESS IF I DO
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 11:08 PM

Here are the lyrics as they appear in the sheet music, which can be seen at the Indiana University web site. (I can't explain why they are different from those posted by Q on 24 Mar 04, but I have boldfaced the differences (disregarding mere spelling and punctuation, except in the title).

TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZ-NESS IF I DO [Title as given on cover of sheet music]
'TAIN'T NOBODY'S BUS'NESS IF I DO [Title as given on first page of sheet music]
Words and music by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, ©1922.
Featured by Will Kraemer in Phil Taylor's Musical Surprise "Seven o' Hearts"

1. There ain't nothin' I can do, nor nothin' I can say,
That folks don't criticize me;
But I'm gonna do just as I want to anyway,
And don't care if they all despise me.

CHORUS: If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean,
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do, do, doodle-oo, do, do, doodle-oo.
Rather than persecute me,
I choose that you would shoot me.
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do.
If I go to church on Sunday,
Then just "tear it down" on Monday,

'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do, do, doodle-oo, do, do, do.
If I let my best companion
Drive me right into the canyon,
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do.

2. After all, the way to do is do just as you please,
Regardless of their talkin'.
Often times the ones that talk will get down on their knees,
And beg your pardon for their squawkin'.

CHORUS 2: If I dislike my lover
And leave him for another,
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do, do, doodle-oo, do, do, doodle-oo.
If I go turtle-dovin'
With one another's lovin',

'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do.
If my friend ain't got no money,
And I say: "Take all mine, honey,"
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do, do, doodle-oo, do, do, do.
If I give him my last nickel
And if it leaves me in a pickle,
'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 02:34 PM

There seem to be differences in the editions. But I plead guilty to leaving out the do, do, do, because the version at pdmusic left it out. I assumed that they had taken the lyrics from the original sheet music. Jim Dixon quotes the lyrics from the Seven O' Hearts version of 1922.

Following my link (24 Mar 04, 10:06pm) to music as sung by Bessie Smith, following her lyrics is a link to full sheet music (1922-1960 MCA):

Verse 1, of music dated 1922---1960

If I go to church on Sunday
Then just shimmy down on Monday

Verse 3

I'd rather my man would hit me
Then to jump right up and quit me
Tain't nobody's biz-ness if I do
I swear I won't call no copper
If I'm beat up by my papa
Tain't nobody's biz-ness if I do.

There may be different sheet music versions in the MCA 1922-1960 printings, and these differ from the lyrics of the sheet music for "Seven O' Hearts" as given above by Jim Dixon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ain't Nobody's Business
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 26 Nov 14 - 03:17 PM

Dockstader's crazy/lazy rhyme in 1882 has become only "wake up crazy" in Earl Johnson 1927, John Hurt 1928, and Riley Puckett 1935, but in 1990 Hank Williams Jr. had a top twenty country hit with this song including the crazy/lazy rhyme.


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