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Lyr Req: Electricity (Jimmy Murphy)

jofield 07 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM
Stewie 08 Mar 01 - 12:45 AM
jofield 08 Mar 01 - 01:13 AM
Stewie 08 Mar 01 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Jim Webb 10 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM
Severn 11 Dec 05 - 09:40 AM
Firecat 12 Dec 05 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,amos smith 26 Mar 14 - 04:53 PM
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Subject: Electricity
From: jofield
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM

Years ago, I used to do a little country/bluegrass tune called "Electricity" which had a chorus that went:

You can't see elec-tricity as it moves along the line,
But how in the world can you doubt it, when you can see it shine?
When you get salvation, it's something you can feel.
You won't need nobody to tell you that it's real.

Anyone got the full lyrics to this one?


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Subject: Lyr Add: ELECTRICITY (Jimmy Murphy)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 12:45 AM

Jimmy Murphy's party piece. Can't say the lyrics of this one do much for me, but his energetic performance and phenomenal guitar playing are something else. I prefer his lovely rendition of 'Shanty Boat Blues' and his gentle 'It Seems I Always Get What I Don't Want'. Here's 'Electricity' for you:

(Jimmy Murphy)

CHORUS: Well, you can't see electricity a-moving on the line.
How in the world can you doubt it when you can see it shine?
When you get salvation the current you can feel.
You won't have to have nobody to tell you that it's real.

Some people don't know good music when they hear it in the air.
Some people they don't know God when they kneel down in prayer;
But let me tell something and I'm not a-gonna tell you wrong:
When you get salvation you'll know it by its tone.


Some people don't believe in religion; they think it's all a fake.
It's just as real, good people, as eating a T-bone steak.
It's as sweet as any honey that any bee could make,
With a good old sugar molasses and a great big chocolate cake.


This old-time salvation he gave to me and you.
I'm a-feasting on the mountain like Jesus told me to.
I'm a-drinkin' from God's fountain that flows from up on high.
I'm a-feasting on the mountain where God's fountain won't run dry.


Words and music by Jimmy Murphy. Copyright Southern Melody Pub. Co. BMI.

Source: transcription of reissue on Jimmy Murphy 'Electricity' Sugar Hill SHCD-3890.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: jofield
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:13 AM

Ah, Stewie, ya done it again. But I am chagrined to admit I have never heard of Jimmy Murphy. What era are we talking about? 50's? And was he bluegrass, country, or what? I am imagining a Roy Acuff-type bouncy entertainer.

Merci bien.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:59 AM


Murphy's brief recording career was in the 1950s when he made a few recordings for Columbia and Victor. He was from Alabama and his influences were the blues records of Blind Boy Fuller, Leadbelly etc and the Opry. He was an excellent guitarist and his early recording career was promoted by Chet Atkins, another superlative guitarist. His commercial problem was that he did not fit neatly into either Nashville country or bluegrass and consequently faded into obscurity. All his 50s recordings have been collected together on a Bear Family CD: 'Sixteen Tons Rock 'N Roll' BCD 15451. In the 70s, he was 'rediscovered' and made an album, titled 'Electricity', for Sugar Hill with bluegrass musicians such as Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas. The CD I transcribed from (details given above) comprises the original 1978 Sugar Hill album plus additional tracks that were previously omitted because of time constraints. I was wrong in stating above that the 'Electricity' on the Sugar Hill CD was a reissue of his 1951 recording - it was a 'new' (ie 1978) recording - but the lyrics are identical. Murphy died in 1981. He was/is much admired as a guitarist and also for his fine hard-country voice. He is well worth a listen. If you are curious, get the Sugar Hill CD and, if impressed, work back to the Bear Family collection.

Cheers, Stewie.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: GUEST,Jim Webb
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM

These words have been runing through my mind for the last 50 odd years. Used to remember all the words but now just the Chorus seems to surface.I first heard this fellow play at one of the enumerable Bible tent shows along the East coast and always had the feeling that he seemed more of a participant in the show than just a crowd warmer.

He was a good musician and expressed himself well. I agree that he did not fit the mold but he sure made his inviornment more interesting.

I would classify his music more hillbilly than either blue grass or country only because he didn't seem to fit Bill Monroe's strict interpertation of Bill's music and because "Country" not yet gained wide acceptence as a classification.

There were really a lot of pickers out there and I don't think the market was large enough. Maybe if google were around things would have been different.

Thank You

Jim Webb

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: Severn
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 09:40 AM

He was apparently very shy about performing. Dick Spottswood attempted to bring him out of hiding once and booked him into the late, lamented Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, MD. A bunch of us came out, but he didn't show for whatever reason. I'd heard The Country Gentlemen and Mike Seeger covering his tunes, but had not heard his own recordings yet and was among thoes waiting in vain.

A few years later, Mr. Spottswood got him (and his wife, who joined him on a few numbers) up to the National Folk Festival at Wolf Trap Park in Vienna, VA, where I finally got to hear him. I eventually got the Sugar Hill LP as soon as it appeared. Some of the performances from Wolf Trap were tacked on by Dick on the end of the Sugar Hill recording at the time of its CD reissue, along with some new liner notes by Dick as well.

Not easily pigeonholed with his blues, country and hillbilly influences, mainstream country it's not, but definately worth the listen and the effort to find.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: Firecat
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 07:40 AM

Sorry, I thought you meant the song from Billy Elliott The Musical!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Electricity
From: GUEST,amos smith
Date: 26 Mar 14 - 04:53 PM

Jimmy murphy is truely an artist in his own right. I am by the way his grandson and have several fond memories of him all I wish is that the world could have seen him the way I got to see him. He never was to busy to drop what he was doing for a game of hide and seek, or to listen when the day was going wrong. He is vreatly missed.

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