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Chords Req: Ragged But Right

DigiTrad:
RAGGED BUT RIGHT
RAGGED BUT RIGHT (2)


GUEST,equalrice 25 Aug 01 - 06:57 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 01 - 08:27 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM
Amos 26 Aug 01 - 05:07 AM
Janie 12 Oct 02 - 08:29 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Oct 02 - 10:56 PM
Troll 13 Oct 02 - 07:49 AM
12-stringer 13 Oct 02 - 10:03 PM
MMario 01 Nov 02 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Gordy 04 Apr 09 - 11:14 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Apr 09 - 09:43 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 05 Apr 09 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,iancarterb 05 Apr 09 - 11:31 AM
Joe_F 05 Apr 09 - 08:19 PM
Artful Codger 03 Apr 10 - 05:12 PM
pdq 03 Apr 10 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,sherlock 06 Aug 11 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Aug 11 - 07:11 AM
Chris in Portland 06 Aug 11 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Guest 07 Aug 11 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,jackdad 07 Aug 11 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Evan in Georgia 21 May 12 - 06:22 PM
12-stringer 22 May 12 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 16 Jul 12 - 05:02 AM
GUEST 14 Dec 12 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Bob Brown 25 Jun 15 - 05:47 PM
PHJim 25 Jun 15 - 11:59 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Sep 16 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: chords for Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 06:57 PM

I searched here and yon and only came up with the lyrics. Seems to work in C (capoed up to D), but the chorus is a little tricky.

Thanks again. You Mudcatters are one helpful group of humans!

E


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Subject: RE: chords for Ragged But Right
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 08:27 PM

Try here.


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Subject: RE: chords for Ragged But Right
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM

We used to sing this when we were kids (1930s). Anyone know when it was written?


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Subject: RE: chords for Ragged But Right
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 05:07 AM

The words and the chords I know to this song are quite different -- folk process at work, I guess.

G7 ~~C~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~D7~~~~~~~~~
Well, I just got up to tell ya that I'm ragged but right
D7~~~~G7~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~C~~~~~~~~~~C7
I'm out on the town and getting drunk every night
C~~~~~F~~~~~~~B7~~~~~~~~~~~C~~~~~~~~~A7
I order Porterhouse steak three times a day for my board
~~~D7~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~G7~~~~~~~~
That oughta be the best that any gal can afford.
 

I got a big electric fan to keep me coool when I sleep

A big handsome man to play around at my feet,

'Cuz I'm a rrrrrambling woman, a gambling woman and Lordy, I'm tight,

But I just got up to tell ya that I'm ragged but right!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: chords for Ragged But Right
From: Janie
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 08:29 AM

Another verse as sung by Critten Hollow String Band

I just come here to tell you people I'm ragged but right
I'm a thief and I'm a gambler, I get drunk every night
I got a big Stetson hat that sits on top of my head
Pretty little wife who keeps me clean and well-fed.
I got an ol' lazy hound dog who brings me my shoes.
He sleeps at my feet and we drink the same booze
Oh he's a ramble-ing gambler, he gets drunk every night.
I tell you people we're ragged but right.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 10:56 PM

Generally attributed to Riley Puckett (also member of Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers)


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Troll
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 07:49 AM

The Greenbriar Boys recorded it but I don't know which album. I have the album but it's back in Florida and I won't be home until the end of November.

troll


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: 12-stringer
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 10:03 PM

Probably *not* written by Riley Puckett (if it was, this would seem to be the only song he ever wrote).

Riley's 78, from which I first learned the song in the middle 60s (via the GHP reissue), was recorded in San Antonio, TX (mx 82700-2), 29 March 1934 and was issued on Bluebird 5587. The reverse was "I'm Gettin' Ready to Go," which also appeared on the GHP album.

Buddy Jones recorded the song 11 December 1937, I don't know where; it was issued on Decca 5476 (mx 63009). Although I haven't had a 78-capable phonograph in over 20 years, I think I may still have this on shellac -- assuming it's not broken! The link above to a text of the song takes you to a version which derives from the George Jones (no relation?) 45rpm of the 50s and which credited Buddy Jones as composer. Since Buddy Jones only made slight changes to the Puckett text, the attribution seems unlikely.

Cf, Dixon, Godrich, and Rye, BLUES AND GOSPEL RECORDS 1890-1943 (4th ed), which shows an interesting and perhaps related title I haven't heard but which is probably extant: Blue Harmony Boys (Rufus and Ben Quillian), "Ragged But Right", recorded c25 Oct 1929 in New York (mx GEX-2476-A) and released on Paramount 12976. This may well be the origin of the Puckett recording, as these black artists were also Atlanta-based. The Quillians also worked with Atlanta string musician Perry Bechtel, whom Dixon et al describe as a "hillbilly artist" though I doubt he considered himself as such (see Bastin, RED RIVER BLUES). Bechtel in turn worked at least occasionally with members of the white musical circle to which Riley Puckett belonged.

Cf, also, http://www3.clearlight.com/~acsa/introjs.htm?/~acsa/songfile/RAGGEDBU.HTM. This is a Grateful Dead song encyclopedia with some interesting notes, a couple of stanzas that are new to me, and two femme versions of the song that are also quite interesting. Some of the lyrics are mildly raunchy. The main text is credited to George Jones, as arranger, but it seems clear from the accompanying notes that the song is older than the recorded versions, probably dating back to before 1920. A cathouse origin in the ragtime years seems likely, composed by the well-known songwriter Anonymous.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: MMario
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 01:53 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,Gordy
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 11:14 PM

My memory of this song must be from the Greenbriar boys. I don't know where else I would have heard these lyrics;

I come here to tell you people I'm ragged but right,
a thief and a drunkard and I'm lit-up every night
Its three porter house steaks each night and day for my board
That's more than any flatfoot in your town can afford
Well, a big electric fan keeps me cool while I sleep,
a matress stuffed with hundred dollar bills at my feet
I's a rambler,a gambler, and I'm lit-up every night
I tell you people I'm ragged but right


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 09:43 AM

Chords, lyrics and tab for "Ragged but Right"


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 10:18 AM

I knew this as a Wilf Carter (Montana Slim song) He probably wasn't the first to record it but helped he made it popular.

Wilf singing it


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 11:31 AM

I am told, without documentation but from his encyclopedic knowledge of American pop music from just before 1900 into the 1950s by a friend here in the Pacific Northwest that Ragged But Right is actually a Phil Harris song from one side or the other of 1920. That would fit with the other citations, Riley Puckett and such, who would likely have learned it directly or indirectly from recordings. It fits with late ragtime period pop lyrics, which Phil Harris continued to produce from the acoustic, electric, electronic, and on into digital recording periods. Not many did that! The booze (that was so central to the character he played on Jack Benny's radio show) must have preserved him well!
My local source is John Frielingsdorf of Suquamish, WA, whom many here before my PNW time will remember as the host of an American Pop Music of the first half of the 20th century radio show on KRAB (RIP). KRAB was the WBAI or KPFA of Seattle until the early 80s.
Carter


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 08:19 PM

The New Song Fest has words pretty near Amos's, and says "Words and music by Bonnie Windsor and Tom Glazer. Copyright 1945 by Bonnie Windsor...."

Its chords are
D B7 E7
A7 D
G B7
E7 A7


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 05:12 PM

A different version titled "The Dope Fiend" at Miserable Music (http://www.subliminal.org/wretchedbastards/miserable/index.html ). Look in the scrollable list on the right-hand side of the page); with RealAudio recording (click on the song title) and linked lyrics page.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: pdq
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 05:39 PM

Both verses of "The Dope Fiend" seem to have been incorporated into the Greenbriar Boys' version.

The song goes back to the last years of the 1920s, at least.

Carson Robison wrote and recorded under many names and composed in many styles. Is suspect this song is his.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,sherlock
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 07:05 AM

Anyone know these additional words: Well I go anywhere,I don't pay no fare,i can hop a freight train most anywhere,if it's win or lose, I don't get the blues,just a ramblin joker,that's me                then a whole additional verse that starts:my house is made of pawn shop tickets,red,white and blue ......from rick curtis,fort wayne in


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 07:11 AM

My House is filled with pawnshop tickets red, white and blue
My Boots are made from zebra skin right out of the zoo
I've got a pile of money in the bank I made it all myself
And the hearts of all my girl friends lying right here on the shelf

With a big electric fan etc etc


Hoot


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: Chris in Portland
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 08:44 AM

We go to song circles where there are folks who might not appreciate the older words to this wonderful song, so I rewrote it a smidge.
Here' the second verse I do -

I just come here to tell you people I'm ragged but right
A rambler and a rounder, I stay out every night
I got a big Stetson hat that sits on top of my head
Pretty little wife that keeps me clean and well-fed
I've got an old lazy hound dog that brings me my shoes
He sleeps at my feet and we watch the same news   (spoken: "Fox")
Well he's a ramblin' rounder. He stays out every night               
I tell you people we're ragged but right.

I also always mention that one George Jones bio is aptly titled "Ragged, but Right."

Chris in Sunny Portland


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 07 Aug 11 - 05:51 AM

Thanks,Hoot,for confirming the verse that starts with pawn shop tickets. The version Rick Curtis did had "I got ten jugs of corn mash, I made it myself". I like yours too. Just a fun song to pick..


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,jackdad
Date: 07 Aug 11 - 05:31 PM

Here is another version which I play on my uke:

RAGGED BUT RIGHT

G7 C                      A7                                           D7      
I Just called up to tell you that I'm Ragged but Right,

G7                                                                            C      
A thief and a gambling woman and I'm drunk every night

    F                                                 C                   A7
A porterhouse steak three times a week and my board

    D7                                       G7
Is more than any ordinary girl can afford

                C               A7                     D7
I've got a big electric fan to keep me cool when I sleep

   G7                                                                     C
A big and a handsome man to play around at my feet.

                  F                                                             C            A7
I'm just a gambling woman, a rambling woman, and boy am I tight.

   D7                                                 G7            C
I Just called up to tell you that I'm ragged but right.

G7    A7               Bf7       A7                           D7
They call us sassy lassies, what the hell do we care

          G7                                                   C
We've got terrific chassis and a do or die air.

                      F                                                          C                   A7
We've got the hips that sank the ships from England, France, and Peru

       D7                                                       G7
And If you're like Napoleon, we'll be your Waterloo.

                F                                                               C            A7         
I'm just a rambling woman, a gambling woman, and boy am I tight.

   D7                                                 G7            C
I just called up to tell you that I'm ragged but right.

    A7                   Bf7       A7                D7
I'll take you for a quickie in your Ford V8

    G7                                                C
I'd like to stay much longer but I've got a late date.

                F                                                               C             A7      
I'm just a rambling woman, a gambling woman, and boy am I tight.

D7                                              G7               C
I just called up to tell you that I'm ragged but right.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,Evan in Georgia
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:22 PM

Does anyone have any info on the Rufus & Ben Quillian version? I'm trying to get the lyrics but it's proving difficult to translate.
I've been able to get this much so far.

I used to know a man by the name of Joe
The old me told me he didn't need no more
He said you're ragged and you're dirty and you _______
____________________ hanging round my place
_________________ before I go
Working for a man don't make me _______
I'm ragged it's true, but more than I do
Keep on dogging me around


I want you to know that I'm ragged but right
______________________________________________
I eat a porterhouse steak three times a day for my board
That's more than most people in the town can afford
A big electric fan to keep me cool while I sleep
_______________ from my head to my feet
I'm a ______ I'm a ______ I'm a ______ I'm a ______
I'm ragged but right

If anyone's got any ideas I'd appreciate it!


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: 12-stringer
Date: 22 May 12 - 03:22 AM

This would be a lot easier if the only surviving copy of the 78 had not been played to death by an appreciative owner. Here's what I make of the Quillian lyrics, followed by the transcript from a slightly different but much better condition take of the song by Bob Howard in 1938. The Quillians' verse is problematic but the chorus is quite clear to me, except for one word (which is clearly the name of a lodge; I just can't dredge one up that matches the sound):

Once there was a man by the name of Joe
Boss man told him he didn't need him no more.
He said you're ragged and you're dirty and you cause me disgrace?
Don't want to see you hanging 'round my place.
(Listen, let me?) tell you just before I go
Working for a man (????)
I'm ragged, it's true, but (????)
Keep on dogging me around

I want you to know that I'm ragged but right
Just like the people that passes for white
Have a Porterhouse steak every day for my board
More than most people in this town can afford
Two 'lectric fans to keep me cool while I sleep
Mosquito net from my head to my feet
I'm a Shriner, I'm a (?), I'm a Mason, I'm a Knight,
I'm ragged but right, I say I'm ragged but right.

This is Bob Howard's version, "Raggedy But Right" from Decca 1698:

I knew a fellow once, his name was Joe
His boss said to him, "Joe, I need to know more.
With your raggedy clothes, Joe, and your lonesome face,
You know you're bound to be a disgrace to my place."
Joe said, "Boss, you know I can go,
But I have forgot more than you will ever know.
I know, Boss, I'm raggedy, raggedy but true,
But just before I go, Boss, I'd like to say to you:

I want you to know, I'm raggedy but right
I'm free but I'm livin', same as a person that is white.
I've got Porterhouse steaks, every day for my board
That's more than the market in your home town can afford.
I have two mosquito nets, one at my head and feet,
Two great big electric fans to keep me cool while I sleep.
I'm a Legion, I'm an Elk, a Mason and a Knight
Thank God, I'm raggedy but right."

Howard's lyrics are pretty much the same that were recorded by Banjo Ikey Robinson in 1937, so that's probably where he got them.

There was a discussion of the song on Weenie Campbell some while back, and this is the link to the Ikey Robinson thread, which has transcript of his version and an attempt at the one by the Quillians (but only of the chorus). The Quillian transcript reads one line as "Just like the people that are ever so white," but it sounds clearly to me as "passes for white." There's also some discussion, with reference to a book called "Ragged but Right," about the history of black vaudeville in the early 20th century, which I haven't read but if I can ever find an affordable copy I will. There's also a thread on Riley Puckett's version: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=580.0


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:02 AM

Thanks 12-stringer, that was helpful. After reading your transcription I'm hearing things I didn't hear before and the context helps a lot too. I think I may actually be able to figure the rest out now.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 09:09 PM

I heard thius song on a 78 rpm in the early 40's. Thought it was by Wilf Carterm cause my parents had some of his records.
The words I rememnber are:
Big electric fan keeps me cool whilde I sleep
Little baby boy plays round at daddy's feet.
I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler.
I lead every life.
I tell you boy's, I'm ragged, but I'm right.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: GUEST,Bob Brown
Date: 25 Jun 15 - 05:47 PM

The second verse of the Greenbriar Boys version goes something like this;

My house was built with pawn shop tickets, red white and blue
My clothes are made from Zebra skins right out of the zoo
I've got a fortune in the bank I made it myself
and the hearts of all my girlfriends lyin right there on the shelf
well now I've sung you my song and I'll give you a taste
I'd like to linger longer but I've got to make haste
I'm always wheelin and dealin with lots of feelin, I'm high as a kite
I tell you folks I'm ragged but i'm right


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Ragged But Right
From: PHJim
Date: 25 Jun 15 - 11:59 PM

Ragged But Right - Riley Pucket

(D) I come here to tell you people I'm (A) ragged but right
I'm a thief and a gambler, I get (D) drunk every night
It's a (G) porterhouse steak three times a (D) day for my (B7) board
That's (E7) more than any flatfoot in (A) this town can afford

A (D) big electric fan to keep me (A) cool while I sleep
A mattress full of $100 (D) bills at my feet
I'm a (G) rambler and a gambler and I'm (D) lit up every (B7) night
I (E7) tell you boys I'm (A) ragged but (D) right

I go everywhere, I don't pay no fare
I can ride a freight train just (G) any(A)where
(D) If I win or lose, (G) I don't get the blues
I'm a (D) ramblin' (A) joker, that's (D) me.

I hopped on a freight train in North Caroline
Rode down to Atlanta and bought me some shine
Went into a card game with 39 cents
Came out with enough for another month's rent

Well you may think I'm bragging but don't get me wrong
I can't run for office while I'm singing this song
I'm a thief and a gambler and I'm drunk every night
I tell you boys I'm ragged but right.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RAGGED BUT RIGHT (Riley Puckett)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 02:55 PM

There seem to be a lot of versions of this song in circulation, and some of the attributions. I personally verified these by listening to the recording. Puckett mumbled a bit on the last line of part B, so that part is questionable, but I'm reasonably certain of the rest. I notice that line doesn't rhyme with anything either. Did Puckett mess it up?


RAGGED BUT RIGHT
As recorded by Riley Puckett, 1934.

[A] I come here to tell you people I'm ragged but right.
I'm a thief and a gambler; I get drunk ev'ry night.
Get a porterhouse steak three times a day for my board.
That's more than any loafer in this town can afford.
Big 'lectric fan to keep me cool while I sleep,
A little baby girl to play around at my feet.
I'm a rambling gambler and I'm drunk ev'ry night.
I tell you, boys, I'm ragged but right.

[B] I go ev'rywhere.
I don't pay no fare.
I can ride a freight train just anywhere.
If I win or lose,
I don't get no blues.
Lord, it's gamblin' and rollin' for me.

[REPEAT PART A TWICE.]


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