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Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone (Blind Blake)

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Barbara 23 Jan 01 - 12:50 AM
Plume 23 Jan 01 - 11:24 AM
Peter T. 23 Jan 01 - 11:40 AM
Plume 23 Jan 01 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 23 Jan 01 - 02:35 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 01 - 03:58 PM
Mark Cohen 23 Jan 01 - 08:28 PM
Barbara 24 Jan 01 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 24 Jan 01 - 03:47 AM
Barbara 26 Jan 01 - 01:21 AM
Barbara 26 Jan 01 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Wally Macnow 20 May 08 - 01:12 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 May 08 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Bigmikeydread 15 Sep 09 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Bigmikeydread 15 Sep 09 - 01:10 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 15 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM
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Subject: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 12:50 AM

I bought a set of Gordon Bok (and friends)'s February Tapes when he was out here in December, and I've been driving around with them playing in the car ever since.
This song is attributed to Alphonso Blake, and the chorus goes:
    "Ah ka ra ka, ku nay shee bamba, conch ain't got no bone
    "Ah ka ra ka, ku nay shee bamba, conch ain't got no bone
I can post my best guesses for the verses but I thought perhaps one of you out there in Mcatland might already have worked this out.
Blessings,
Barbara
PS It's a great set of tapes, and good for the season. "The only criterion [for the songs on the tape] was that the music would take you somewhere you weren't, in the longest month of the year."


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Subject: Lyr Add: CONCH AIN'T GOT NO BONE
From: Plume
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 11:24 AM

Dear Barbara,

I have this song on an old EP released by the ART record company of Nassau in 1952 entitled "A Second Album of Bahamian Songs by Blind Blake and the Royal Victoria Hotel Calypso Orchestra." Blake's real name was Blake Alphonso Higgs. The song is copyrighted to Blind Blake but the liner notes seem to imply that it is, at least in part, traditional. Oddly enough, for a recording of this period, the EP included a lyric sheet so here's the real article, no guesswork involved:

Mosquito had a party, sandfly went to see
Poker stood behind the door and poke it out to me
What?

CHO: Accaracca coon a shammama
Conch ain't got no bone
Accaracca coon a shammama
Conch ain't got no bone

Brother he like he conch and fish
He can't bother with the meat
Because the chew so hard he grind on bone
And break off all his teeth
Aye. CHO.

I went to a place the other day
To get meself some souse
Me chewed so much bone, me swallowed a spoon
Me forgot me had a mouth
Aye. CHO.

Crab and okra, fish and conch
Brother, he make you bite your tongue
You set on the floor — no knife, no fork
Eat until you want no more. CHO.

Get me boiled fish, me guinea corn grits
The devil with the meat
When you see the dent' (dentist)
I'll be content in having all my teeth
Aye. CHO.

Mosquito had a party, sandfly went to see
Poker stood behind the door and poke it out to me
What? CHO.

The entire album is really fun. Blake's a great singer and the band is pretty funky for 1952. Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Plume


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 11:40 AM

Is this the blues Blind Blake? (I know he hailed from Florida).
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Plume
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 02:28 PM

Nope, different Blind Blake altogether. And sorry about the double posting. Patience is a virtue I have yet to completely master. Plume


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 02:35 PM

Peter, I started a thread on Delia's gone some time ago where the difference between the Ragtime guitarist and the Calypsonian were aired (I had been looking for recordings by the first of the song written by the second and heard on a Kingston Trio track!). If you can track it down all is revealed!
RtS (each day on the Mudcat I learn one new thing- trouble is ,I forget two others!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 03:58 PM

Roger, were you talking about the Delia's Gone thread or the Delia thread? Were you once Roger the Zimmer?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 08:28 PM

Thanks, folks, I've been listening to the February Tapes for years till they're just about bald, and always wished Gordon had added a lyric sheet. I remember several wonderful meals of conch I had long ago on Grand Cayman Island...back before it was crowded.

I had the great joy of being in a class Gordon gave at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in 1988 (or close thereabouts) called "Things to do with more than one voice." We learned several of the songs on the tapes, as well as "Wind Calling" from "Another Land Made of Water." About a third of the camp performed Wind Calling at the student concert...and that night a strong windstorm blew down several trees! Gordon said that wasn't the first time something like that had happened.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 01:04 AM

My brother was a part of that PSGW, Mark. He came home with the score for "Wind Calling", and a story to tell.

The February tapes have one different verse, maybe two. Here's the one I remember:
Slack eye knock the sailor man down
Take all of his money
I haul him on board [.....]
And sail before the wind

I don't have the tapes to hand so I'll give them a listen tomorrow. thanks ever so much, Plume -- I'd never have figured out the second line on the mosquito verse. Is the chorus in a pidgin dialect or is that just plain nonsense?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 03:47 AM

Yes, Joe, the first thread: "Delia's Gone" (and I was that Zimmer. My present "handle" is more relevant to the Mudcat (the other was a private joke which noone understood).Thanks for linking it for Peter.
BTW did you see the Peoria thread? I took your name in vain.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Barbara
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 01:21 AM

Here's the two on the tape that aren't in Plume's transcription above. In the first verse, a number of other singers obscure the first word. It might even be 'Sailor'.
In the second verse, it seems logical that 'money' is what is taken, but maybe it means "takes him away [to] the mine", since 'mine' rhymes with 'wind' better than 'money' does.

[Kapele?] man he don't drink no rum
Man he tell me no more fun (he lie)
He flog [fog?] de dog all over de floor
And he tell me he don't want no more

Slack-eye knock-a the sailor man down
And he take him away the money [mine?]
He come onto me I slap her down
And sail before the wind

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Barbara
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 01:25 AM

The February tape does not have Blake's verse about the dentist, and the two verses I quoted above are the second to last and last -- fourth and fifth. Bok doesn't repeat the initial mosquito verse at the end, either.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: GUEST,Wally Macnow
Date: 20 May 08 - 01:12 PM

Does anybody know of any guitar tab available for Joseph Spence's version?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:18 PM

I was really impressed with Joseph Spence's version when I first heard it years ago and, Joseph Spence having sung it in his own inimitable way, was keen to get a version with words (which I had a vague hope might be suitably euphemistic!). I later saw that Ry Cooder had recorded it, but on gettin that recording was disappointed to find that he did it only as an instrumental!.

I eventually tracked down a Blind Blake version (from a Big Mikey Dread show - it's not really euphemistic!) and have that on disc now and it seems to be pretty much as Plume's post at the start of the thread.

There seem to be only a few Joseph Spence tabs online and they don't include Conch. Neither (afaik) does Elijah Wald's book on the guitar music of Joseph Spence.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone (Blind Blake)
From: GUEST,Bigmikeydread
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 12:35 PM

hey who's to say it's not Euphemystically correct!

I'm just about to put up an entire show dedicated to Higgs, step in to :

http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/

I've also got a potted history alongside it and had seen this page before I put some Blake up to listen to, he's been a favourite of mind for years...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone (Blind Blake)
From: GUEST,Bigmikeydread
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 01:10 PM

http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/entry/eg/2009-09-15T09_58_53-07_00


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Conch Ain't Got No Bone (Blind Blake)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM

Big Mikey - thanks for that. I'll certainly be having a listen later. To save others looking, here's the playlist:

01. Yes! Yes! Yes!
02. Pretty Boy
03. Love Alone
04. Never Interfere With Man and Wife
05. Conch Ain't Got No Bone
06. Foolish Frog
07. Hold 'Im Joe / Wheel and Turn / Jump In Line
08. Goombay Drum
09. Emmanuel Road
10. Run Joe
11. Curley Cay
12. De Pig an Goat
13. Goombay Rock
14. Loose Goat, Tie Goat
15. O' Liza

Mick


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