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Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band

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Jim Dixon 29 Oct 01 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug Band'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:25 PM

The recent thread Jug Band and Skiffle Song Lyrics and Chords showed me there might be significant interest in this CD:

"The Best of the Memphis Jug Band," Yazoo 2059, 2001.

…so I will post my transcriptions in this thread.

[Brakets] enclose my comments and explanations.
(Parentheses) enclose words that are spoken, not sung.
Italics mark the voice of a different person than the one who began the song.
A dash -- represents words apparently omitted by the singer.
An ellipsis … represents words unintelligible to the transcriber.
A question mark in parentheses (?) follows words that are uncertain.

In the interest of keeping the lyrics easily searchable, I have used standard spellings (stealing) rather than dialect (stealin') except in song titles (where I have kept the spelling exactly as printed on the CD contents list), and when dialect is essential to preserve a rhyme or the number of syllables. I have not changed grammar.

There are some songs here that I would not recommend to sing in public without some crucial changes. I hope they will be self-evident.

Naturally, I would appreciate any corrections or additions.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TIRED OF YOU DRIVING ME^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:27 PM

1. TIRED OF YOU DRIVING ME

I woke up this morning, the crying blues on my mind.
I said, I woke up this morning, the crying blues on my mind.
I've done got to the place, baby, that I hardly know my right mind.

I'm tired of you driving me, drive me, baby, all the time.
I'm tired of you driving me, drive me, baby, all the time.
And if you want me to love you, you sure got to take your time.

[Instrumental interlude]

And if you don't want me, baby, sure don't have to pay me no mind.
I said, if you don't want me, baby, you don't have to pay me no mind.
I done got tired of you driving me, driving me all the time.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1929, Ben Ramey, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BLACK WOMAN IS LIKE A BLACK SNAKE^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:29 PM

2. A BLACK WOMAN IS LIKE A BLACK SNAKE

A black woman is like a black snake. She will strike and run.
A black woman is like a black snake. She will strike and run.
If you believe you'll have to hit her, she'll kill you and call it fun,
I mean, and call it fun.

All peach-sized (?) women, they come from different lands.
All peach-sized (?) women, they come from different lands.
When they get all busy (?) they got to do the best they can,
I mean, the best they can.

I wouldn't marry a black woman. I'll tell you the reason why.
I wouldn't marry a black woman. I'll tell you the reason why.
She's so black and evil she can't look you in your eye,
Look you in your eye.

[Repeat verse 2. Then instrumental interlude. Then repeat verse 2 again.]

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928, Will Shade and Charlie Burse, vocalists.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: AUNT CAROLINE DYER BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:30 PM

3. AUNT CAROLINE DYER BLUES

I'm going to Newport News just to see Aunt Caroline Dye.
I'm going to Newport News just to see Aunt Caroline Dye.
(What you gone ask her, boy?)
She's a fortune-telling woman, oh, Lord, and she don't tell no lie.
(I'm going to see her myself.)

I'm going to Newport News, partner, catch a battleship across the dog-gone sea.
I'm going to Newport News, catch a battleship across the dog-gone sea.
Because bad luck and hard work, oh, Lord, sure don't agree with me.

Aunt Caroline Dye she told me, "Son, you don't have to live so rough."
(Yes.)
Aunt Caroline Dye she told me, "Son, you don't have to live so rough.
I'm gonna fix you up a mojo, oh, Lord, so you can strut your stuff."
(Go on and strut your stuff.)

Aunt Caroline Dye she told me, "Son, these women don't treat you no good."
Aunt Caroline Dye she told me, "Son, these women don't treat you no good.
(Yes'm, I know that.)
So take my advice, and don't monkey with none in your neighborhood."

I am leaving in the morning. I don't want no one to feel blue.
Yes, I'm leaving in the morning. I don't want no one to feel blue.
(We're all leaving.)
I'm going back to Newport News, and do what Aunt Caroline Dye told me to do.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Will Shade, vocalist. According to the Lucky W Amulet Archive, Aunt Caroline Dye was a real person, although the singer seems to have confused her actual hometown, Newport, Arkansas, with Newport News, Virginia, a naval port. The spelling "Dyer" in the song title is apparently a transcriber's error, since the singer clearly rhymes "Dye" with "lie."]


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Subject: Lyr Add: PAPA'S GOT YOUR WATER ON^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:31 PM

4. PAPA'S GOT YOUR WATER ON

[Female voice:] Say, you tell me who's the flapper I see you with every night.
And she's vamped you so hard I'm 'bout to lose my appetite.
[Male voice:] That's my brown-skin mama. … right.

I'm going to make you wish you never had been born.
I just went uptown, got my gun out of pawn.
Don't start nothing, baby, because your papa's got your bath water on.

If you don't have me, papa, you won't have no gal at all.
And it seem all the women you meet is bound to fall.
Now, if you don't agree by my jockeying, you can back your mule up in my stall.

Come on, old papa, 'cause mama ain't mad at you.
But tell me what make you keep me so worried and blue.
Your daddy's headed straight, mama, but it ain't got his work to do.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Hattie Hart, lead vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE ROAD AGAIN^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:32 PM

5. ON THE ROAD AGAIN

I would not -- black woman, tell you the reason why. (Why?)
Black woman's evil, do things on the sly. (No!)
You look for your supper to be good and hot. (Uh-huh!)
She'll never put a neck-bone in the pot.

She's on the road again, just as sure as you're born.
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
She's on the road again, …
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
I went to my window. My window was propped.
I went to my door. My door was locked.
I stepped right back. I shook my head.
A big black nigger in my folding bed.
I shot through the window. I broke the glass.
I never seen a little nigger run so fast.
He's on the road again, …
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
He's on the road again, …
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
Your friend come to your house, while passing, to rest his hat. (Yeah.)
The next thing he want to know where's your husband at.
She says, "I don't know. He's on his way to the pen."
"Come on, mama, let's get on the road again."
He's on the road again, …
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
He's on the road again, …
Lord, a natural-born eastman on the road again.
Come on, mama, on the road again.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928, Will Shade and Charlie Burse, vocalists. According to the "Dictionary of American Regional English," eastman or easeman: "among black speakers, old-fashioned ... A man who lives on money earned by a woman." This definition is unsatisfactory, because the sung lyrics clearly apply the term to women as well as men.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: K. C. MOAN^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:33 PM

6. K. C. MOAN

I thought I heard that K. C. when she blow. (3x)
She blow like my woman's on board.

When I get back on that K. C. Road, (3x)
Gonna love my baby like I never loved before.

[Variations recorded by the Grateful Dead, but not in the Memphis Jug Band's recording:]

I thought I heard that diesel engine moan. (3x)
Well, she sound like she got a heavy load.

When I get back on the K. C. road, (3x)
Left my woman out there alone.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1929. According to The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics, the "Casey moan" was a moaning sound produced by a train whistle, the trademark of Casey Jones. "K. C. Road" probably referred to the Kansas City, Memphis, and Birmingham Railroad. The two concepts might have been confused by singers.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: COCAINE HABIT BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:34 PM

7. COCAINE HABIT BLUES

Cocaine habit's mighty bad.
It's the worst old habit that I ever had.
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.
I went to Mister Lehman's in a lope.
Saw a sign on the window says, "No more dope."
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.

If you don't believe cocaine is good,
Ask Alma Rose and Angel Wood.
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.
I love my whiskey and I love my gin,
But the way I love my coke is a dog-gone sin.
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.

Since cocaine went out of style,
You can catch them shooting needles all the while.
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.
It takes a little coke to give me ease.
Strut your stuff long as you please.
Hey, hey, honey, take a whiff on me.

(… take a whiff on Hattie, now.)

Hey, hey, hey.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Hattie Hart, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: COAL OIL BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:35 PM

8. COAL OIL BLUES

Woke up early, early this morning, blues all 'round my bed.
And the blues, they tell me, crime in a bed (?).

If you be bent down, you just know just how I feel.
If you're bent down, now, just know just how I feel.

Woke up early, early this morning, raging blues all 'round my bed
And the blues they tell me crime in a bed (?).
(Sorry to say, I know how you felt, boy.)

Oh, the preacher in the pulpit, he laid his Bible down
(For what, boy?)
And the members in the corner singing Alabama Bound.
(What kind of women was that?)

And the jury called on Johnny, sure was a born in hell.
Papa tree-top dog he sure was upon a hill.
(What kind of man was he?)

[Instrumental interlude, with harmonica solo.]
(Ah, blow it, blow it.)

(I 'spect I'm gonna have to leave this town, boy.)
I'm o leave this town, honey, it won't be long,
And I won't be dead, just won't blow back here no more.

If I feel tomorrow just like I feel right now,
Boy, the rising sundown sure won't get me up.
(Oh, play it,…, play it.)

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928, Vol Stevens, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: YOU MAY LEAVE, BUT THIS WILL BRING...^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:37 PM

9. YOU MAY LEAVE, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK

My father was a jockey, learned me to ride behind.
You know by that, I got a job any time.
You may leave, but this will bring you back.

I walked around the corner to the peanut stand.
My gal got stuck on the peanut man.
You may go, but this will bring you back.

You quit me, pretty mama, 'cause you couldn't be my boss,
But a rolling stone don't gather no moss.
You may leave, but this will bring you back.

Just a nickel's worth of meal, a dime's worth of lard
Will feed ever' Jane in Jeff Berg's (?) yard.
You may leave, but this will bring you back.

I'm satisfied, satisfied.
My tote-load shaker by my side.
You may leave, but this will bring you back, back, bring you back.

[Additional verse found at the St. Louis Zipper web site, but not in the Memphis Jug Band's recording:]

I'm built like a tadpole, shaped like a frog.
When I go with your woman, she'll holler, "Hot dog!"
You may leave but this will bring you back.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Charlie Nickerson, vocalist. Tote-loader shaker seems to have been someone employed in a mill who would shake the "tote-box", presumably to empty it. This may have been the origin of the ragtime "todalo dance." The refrain (and not much else) is apparently taken from a popular 1898 "coon" song in which "this" obviously means "money."]


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Subject: Lyr Add: MEMPHIS YO YO BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:38 PM

10. MEMPHIS YO YO BLUES

I woke up this morning feeling sad and blue.
Couldn't find my yo-yo. Didn't know what to do.
Come home, Daddy. Mama's got the yo-yo blues.

I went downtown, called my daddy on the phone.
He said, "Don't cry, Mama. Daddy'll bring your yo-yo home.
Go back, Mama. Your daddy's got you. Come right on.

If you don't b'lieve I can yo-yo, watch me wind my string.
Come home, Daddy, and make the yo-yo sing.
Mama knows Daddy is kind of tight in everything.

Bring your yo-yo. Wind the string around my thumb.
Mama knows just how to make the yo-yo hum.
Bring your yo-yo, Daddy, and we'll have lots of fun.

If your daddy can't yo-yo, you better learn him how.
Listen, women. I don't mean to start no row.
'Cause ev'rybody is doing the yo-yo now, anyhow.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1929, Hattie Hart, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE STAYS OUT ALL NIGHT LONG^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:39 PM

11. MEMPHIS SHAKEDOWN

[Instrumental]

12. SHE STAYS OUT ALL NIGHT LONG

(Oh, tell it, … tell it.)

I told my old lady, no longer than week 'fore last.
I told my old lady, no longer than week 'fore last.
(What'd you tell her?)
This old staying all night long, mama, Lord, it's gone come to a pass.

How can a poor man sleep, Lord, when the one he loves stays out all night long?
(Can't sleep at all.)
How can a poor man sleep, Lord, when the one he loves stays out all night long?
Oh, Lord, he's rolling and he's tumbling. No, he just can't sleep alone.

[Instrumental interlude featuring guitar solo.]
(Now, your business … Old boy know how to do that thing, too. …step time. … Lord, today, now, let's go.)

Lord, how can a poor man sleep when the one he loves stays out all night long?
How do you think a poor man feels when the one he loves stays up both night and day?
And like a old boy on a freight train, have any meals today?

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928, Will Shade, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: MENINGITIS BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM

13. MENINGITIS BLUES

I come in home one Sat'day night, pull off my clothes and I lie down. (2x)
And that morning just about the break of day the meningitis begin to creep around.

My head and neck was paining me. Feel like my back would break in two. (2x)
I had such a mood (?) that morning, I didn't know what in the world to do

My companion take me to the doctor. "Doctor, please tell me my wife's complaint." (2x)
Doctor looked down on me, shook his head, said, "I wouldn't mind telling you, son, but I cain't."

He take me round to the city hospital. The clock was striking ten. (2x)
I done hear (?) my companion say, "I don't b'lieve I'll see your smiling face again."

Then the nurses all began to set around me. The doctors had done give me out. (2x)
Every time I'd have a potion, I would have a foaming at the mouth.

Mm, the meningitis killing me. (2x)
I'm failing, I'm failing, baby. My head is bended (?) down until my knee.

[Additional verse found at Harry's Blues Lyrics Online and sung by Memphis Minnie in another recording, but not in the Memphis Jug Band's recording -- inserted after verse 3:]

"Just take her 'round to the city hospital, just as quick quick as you possible can.
Take her 'round to the city hospital, just as quick quick as you possible can,
Because the condition she's in now, you will never go home live again."

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Memphis Minnie, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: STEALIN' STEALIN'^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM

14. STEALIN' STEALIN'
Stealing, stealing. Pretty mama, don't you tell on me.
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.
Now, put your arms around me like the circle round the sun.
I want you to love me, mama, like my easy rider done.
If you don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been.
If you don't believe I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in.
Stealing, stealing, pretty mama, don't you tell on me.
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.
I'm stealing, stealing. Pretty mama, don't you tell on me.
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.
The woman I'm loving she's just my height and size.
She's a married woman come to see me sometimes.
If you don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been.
If you don't believe I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in.
I'm stealing, stealing. Pretty mama, don't you tell on me.
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.
I'm stealing, stealing. Pretty mama don't you tell on me.
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.

Stealing, stealing. Pretty mama don't you tell on me
I'm stealing back to my same old used-to-be.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928, Jab Jones, lead vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE'S IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM

15. HE'S IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW

I remember last election, (Yeah.)
Jim Jones got in action, (Uh-huh.)
Said he's voting for the man that paid the biggest price.
Next day at the poll,
He voted with heart and soul,
But instead of voting once, he voted twice. (Uh-huh.)
He's in the jailhouse now. He's in the jailhouse now.
Stead of him staying at home,
Letting those white folks' business alone, (Where he's at now?)
He's in the jailhouse now.

You remember Henry Cruise (Oh, yes.)
That sold that no-good booze
He sold it to the police on the beat.
Now Henry's feeling funny.
Police give him marked money.
He's got a ball and chain 'round his feet.
He's in the jailhouse now. He's in the jailhouse now.
The judge gave him two years
And Henry's shedding tears.
He's in the jailhouse now.

[Instrumental interlude with harmonica solo.]
(Play that thing!)

Son was walking down the street. (Yeah?)
A little chick he chanced to meet. (Yeah?)
Went to every cabaret in town.
He bought lots of liquor.
Troubles got so thicker
Now Son is jailhouse bound.
He's in the jailhouse now. He's in the jailhouse now.
If he's got a political friend,
Judge's sentence he will suspend. (Uh-huh.)
He's in the jailhouse now.

Jim Johnson liked to roam around, (Yes.)
Flirt with every gal in town, (Uh-huh.)
Until he flirted with Benny's wife, (Benny Ramey?)
And Benny cut him in the face. (I swear!)
Now it's a disgrace, (That's awful, isn't it?.)
But now he's graveyard bound. (How did Benny do that thing?)
He's in the jailhouse now. He's in the jailhouse now.
Benny was his friend.
Place of letting that matter end, (Uh-huh.)
He's in the jailhouse now.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Charlie Nickerson, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: TAKING YOUR PLACE^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:43 PM

16. TAKING YOUR PLACE

Now tell me, baby, how come you do me this-a-way?
Oh, tell me, baby, how come you do me this-a-way?
Ah, you go off to stay in the morning, and you stays all day.

I love you, baby. I didn't know that you would do me this-a-way.
Yes, I love you, baby. I didn't know you'd do me this-a-way.
How can I love you, mama, when you goes off and stay away?

Now, you done throwed me, baby, until you have throwed me away.
Yes, you done throwed me, baby, until you done throwed me away.
Now someone else done come, mama, ah, to take your place.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1929, Will Shade, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: AMBULANCE MAN^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:44 PM

17. AMBULANCE MAN

Hey, daddy, hey, daddy, don't let me die in vain.
You see I'm wounded, wounded and bleeding. Can't you ease my pain?
Mister am'lance man, will you rush me to a doctor, please.
I has no while (?) a-rushing. Your daddy can ease your pain with ease.
Can't you see I'm cut in the stomach? That's the reason I ease your pains with ease.

Heart is aching. Day's a-breaking. Listen to me, I pray.
See, it's snowing. Police blowing, so please be on your way.
Mister am'lance man, please don't you drive so rough.
I about to do it. Your daddy has got to strut his stuff.
Can't you see I'm wounded and bleeding? That's the reason your daddy has to drive so rough.

Mister am'lance man, I can't stay still to save my soul.
And you ought to be careful how you handle my jelly roll.
Mama, you know the road is rotten, baby, and your daddy's trying to satisfy your soul.
I mean my weary soul. I mean your soul.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Hattie Hart and Will Shade, vocalists.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: BEALE STREET MESS AROUND^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:45 PM

18. BEALE STREET MESS AROUND

Woke up early this morning, blues all 'round my bed. (2x)
And this blues a killer … (?)

I sit right here thinking thousand miles away.
I sit right here think a thousand miles away.
I'm studying 'bout that brown-skin on my mind.

I'm 'on' blow this town. Honey, it won't be long. (2x)
And I won't be dead, just won't blow back here no more.

And I'm going for the summer. Won't be back at all.
And I'm going for the summer. Won't be back till fall.
Times don't get no better, think I'll go back here no more.

Woke up Sunday morning, child. Honey, it won't be long.
And it's Monday morning. Honey, it won't be long.
(Sing that thing, boy. Sing it!)
You gone look for me, I'll be a thousand miles away.

If you take these blues, lay them on your shelf.
If you take these blueses, lay them on your shelf.
Yes, blues till morning, sing them to yourself.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1927, Vol Stevens, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOING BACK TO MEMPHIS^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:46 PM

19. GOING BACK TO MEMPHIS

I'm leaving here, mama. Don't you want to go? (2x)
Because I'm sick and tired of all this ice and snow.

When I get back to Memphis, you can bet I'll stay. (2x)
And I ain't gonna leave until the judgment day.

I love old Memphis, the place where I was born. (Sure do love it, boy.)
I love old Memphis, the place where I was born.
Wear my box-back suit and drink my fine old corn.

(Ah, if I just had railroad fare! It would be tight like that.)
(That would give you the breaks.)
(Don't want no breaks. I want a freight.)

I wrote my gal a letter way down in Tennessee. (Ah, today.)
I wrote my gal a letter way down in Tennessee.
Told her I was up here hungry, hurry up and send for me.

I'm gonna walk and walk till I walk out all my shoes. (You'll be walking some.)
I'm gonna walk and walk till I walk out all of my shoes.
Because I got what they call them leaving-here blues,
Them leaving-here blues.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Charlie Nickerson, vocalist.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: STATE OF TENNESSEE BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:46 PM

20. STATE OF TENNESSEE BLUES

I'm worried now, and I won't be worried long. (2x)
If you don't come to see me, you can count the days I'm gone.

Some sweet day, I say, that's a while. (2x)
You having a good time now, but your troubles will be after while.

When I leave this town, don't put black crape on my door. (2x)
I'm won't be dead, baby, but I ain't coming back here no more.

I want all you women to strictly understand. (2x)
You don't want no trouble, please don't you worry my man.

I got a voice like a radio that broadcasts everywhere. (2x)
Ah, you can find the wild women wherever I broadcast it in the air.

I got a new way of spelling the dear old state of Tennessee.
I got a new way of spelling the state of Tennessee.
Double-E-double-R-O-double-E-double-N-O-C.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1927, Jennie Clayton and Will Shade, vocalists.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: INSANE CRAZY BLUES^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:48 PM

21. INSANE CRAZY BLUES

(Now, let me hear it.)

I just now changed my notion to dive right in the ocean.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
Everybody calls it love. Me and my little turtledove.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
Why would I go insane standing out in the rain, yeah,
Thinking 'bout my baby? It don't mean a thing.
Everybody knows it well. Me and my little mademoiselle.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.

[Scat interlude.]

Everybody knows it's love. Me and my little turtledove.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
Everybody knows this notion about that deep blue ocean.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
I'm going insane still standing out in the rain. Yeah!
Spent a thousand dollars. It don't mean a thing.
Everybody knows it well. She's my little mademoiselle.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.

[Scat interlude.]

Everybody calls it love. Me and my little turtledove.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
Everybody knows it well. She's my mixed-up mademoiselle.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.
I'm going insane, yeah, standing out in the rain.
Spent a thousand dollars. Yeah! It don't mean a thing.
Everybody knows it well. Oh, me and miss mademoiselle.
Ain't any use thinking on an insane crazy plan.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1934, Will Shade and Charlie Burse, vocalists.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: MEMPHIS JUG^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:49 PM

22. MEMPHIS JUG

Rain, jump down, jump down, smelling like chance of rain. (2x)
Lord, every once in a while I think I hear my baby call my name.
(What does she say, boy?)

I, I ain't gonna tell you no more. (Let me tell you, Lord.)
I ain't gonna tell you no more. (Ain't, now.)
Stay away from my window, mama told me, to get in my back door.

I ain't been your good man, mama, since you have been my Jane. (?) (2x)
Now you want me to do, since I ain't gonna change.

I stuck with you, mama, when you did not have no man at all. (2x)
Now, baby, you must want me for to be your low-down dog.

Lord, I can sit right here, partner, look on Culligan Avenue. (2x)
Lord, I can see ever'thing that a Culligan (?) easy roller do.

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1927, Will Shade, Will Weldon, and Charlie Polk, vocalists.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOT A LETTER FROM MY DARLIN'^^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:50 PM

23. GOT A LETTER FROM MY DARLIN'

Got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
Got a letter from my darling, says, "How long you been gone?"
She's little and neat, hair so sweet,
… big legs and … feet
Got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I say, says, "Hurry home."

I got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I got a letter from my darling, says, "How long you been gone?"
She's got red-beet eyes … cheeks
Now, boy, you know she must be a peach.
Got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I say, says, "Hurry home."

I'm coming home, mama, if I have to catch a cannonball.
I'm coming home, mama, if I have to ride the rods.
You know you're as sweet as a candy doll.
If you didn't have another man in my stall.
Got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I say, says, "Hurry home."

I got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I got a letter from my darling, says she didn't have a single dime.
I'll get in in the morning, ain't gonna lose no time.
… walk behind.
Got a letter from my darling, says, "Hurry home."
I say, she says, "Hurry home."

[As recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, 1930, Will Shade and unknown, vocalists.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B
From: RWilhelm
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:53 PM

Jim,

I think in "On The Road Again" it should be "natural-born easeman" meaning someone who takes it easy and doesn't work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 04:32 AM

Bravo, Jim!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 08:01 PM

Oh Wow Oh Wow Oh Wow! Great job jim. I'm glad to know that there are a few Mudcatter's out there that enjoy this great music!

Keep on thumpin'

JAB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 09:29 PM

Here is another great thread compliments of Jim Dixon:

Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD, 'Best of the Memphis Jug B
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 09:32 PM

Ooops. Talk about recursion and song circles!

Please ignore the above post. I meant to post it to the Jug band thread and got confused.

JAB

turning very very red.


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Subject: Lyr Add: YOU MAY GO, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK^
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 10:46 AM

Here is the “coon song” I referred to in item #9 above. The song has little merit, I’m afraid, except for its historical interest. It’s obviously related to the Memphis Jug Band’s song, YOU MAY LEAVE, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK. The title is practically the only thing they have in common, however. This song makes it clear that “this” means money; the MJB song left “this” undefined. That implies (I think) that it didn’t NEED to be defined – the audience already knew what it meant. But I can’t quite believe that the following song was ever very popular in the black community. Is it possible that the following song and MJB’s song were BOTH derived from some other popular song? Or a popular saying?

YOU MAY GO, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK (A COON PROPHESY)
(Ben Harney, 1898)

A gambling coon had a fuss with his gal one warm day in the spring.
She had no right for to fuss and fight, for ev'ry dollar home he'd bring.
But things were getting bad for that jap until his luck did change.
She meant to have gone, for it is true, she was packing up her things.
But on that day, luck came his way, and he had money to burn.
He came home soon a happy coon, but on his return,
He saw her trunk packed in the hall. A man was taking it out
When he saw her follow the trunk out, and loudly he did shout:

CHO: "You may go, but this here will bring you back.
You'll be sorry you ever gave me the sack."
It worked her up and got her flurred
She heard these words as out she stirred:
"You may go, but money will bring you back."

The summer passed and winter came. The ground was covered with snow,
When she changed her mind and left her ma and thought straight back she'd go.
So she wrote a note right to this moke, and asked him to take her back.
But she'd no excuse and he's bound to loose buying diamonds and a sealskin sack.
He read the note that she sent, and then he shook his head
And told the boy there was no answer, and went right straight to bed.
And early next morning this gal came a-creeping up to this black man's door,
But she nearly fell dead when he said, "I don't need you never no more.

CHO: You can go. I don't want you to ever come back.
You can stay, old gal, and that is a fact."
As she was leaving, she heard him say,
"You've been a good pebble but been washed away.
You may go. I don't want you to ever come back."

A week ago, a darky went to a chicken coop at night,
And looking in the place, like one of his race, the coon saw a bird in sight.
He made a grab and caught that fowl and started off in the night.
The chicken said "no," and hollered so, the dogs began to bark and bite.
And in a sack with the chicken on his back, he started on a run for home
With dogs a-howling and a-growling and gnawing at his bones.
Old farmer Dunn reached for his gun and out of the house he came.
There was a report and a nigger fell and I heard the old man exclaim,

CHO: "You may run, but the gun will bring you back,
For it's loaded to the muzzle with carpet tacks."
The coon dropped down very lame and blind.
The tacks made him look like a porcupine.
He started right but an ambulance brought him back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST,Leonard
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 10:43 AM

Excellent stuff! Just a few points: "Aunt Caroline Dyers" verse 4 "these women don't MEAN you no good..." "On the Road Again" : first line is "I WHIPPED my black woman" "Cocaine Habit": verse 2, "ask Alma Rose in Minglewood" (as in Minglewood Blues, Gus Cannon/Noah Lewis, "If you go down to Mephis, please stop by Minglewood, the womens in the cabins don't mean no man no good.") Also, I've never been able to decipher verse 2 on "A Black Woman is a like a Black Snake" and I don't think you've cracked it either but hopefully someone will post a correct version to this thread. Damn good shot though! I know that these lyrics come from a different time and a different place but they are too racist and sexist to pass muster today. Unless your into Gangsta Rap!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST,ART
Date: 05 Oct 03 - 10:18 PM

I agree with your deduction or translation, but have also though it might be natural born evil.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST,Art Jones
Date: 05 Oct 03 - 10:20 PM

instead of "they come from different lands" I think it should be "they got double dippin' hands".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 07:29 PM

On The Road Again .... correction ...
'she's a natural born easement ... '

meaning any one could 'travel' on her


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 09:07 PM

Well, I've heard several theories about the origin and meaning of "easeman" or "eastman"—all of them unprovable—but "easement" is a new one on me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST,cStu
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 10:39 AM

that line in Cocaine Habit Blues about Alma Rose and ? Wood
I can't hear Angel or Mingle in there - it 'sounds like' preacher without the 'Pr', or perhaps EJ.

I can hear how Old Crow Medicine Show got to using Elijah Wood in their version (or Elijah Wald maybe!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
From: GUEST,catherine yronwode
Date: 09 Mar 16 - 09:58 PM

In verse 2 on "A Black Woman is a like a Black Snake"

Aw, [fish?] eye[d] women, they come from Jim Kinnane's
Aw, [fish?] eye[d] women, they come from Jim Kinnane's
When they get on Beale Street, they got to do the best they can,
I mean, the best they can.

The reference is to Jim Kannane's Monarch CLub, which also appears in Robert Wilkins' 1935 song "Old Jim Canaan's." It was built in 1910 and was also known as "The Castle of Missing Mem."

The meaning seems to be that certain women, having no longer qualified to be sex workers at Jim Kinnane's, are now reduced to the role of streetwalkers on Beale Street.

As for that first line, i have seen many attempts:

Aw, fish-eyed women

All peach-sized women

A few shy women

Ah, fleshized women

Ah, flea-sized women

Ah, fish-thigh women

And what are "fish-eyed women"???

Well, according to the urban dictionary, the fish eye is defined as this: "Fish eye: The act in which the fellow, performing intercourse with his gal doggy-style, pulls out right before orgasm, spits on her back or neck to trick her into thinking he ejaculated on her, then shoots his load into her eye when she turns her head."

Or, in India, "The name Meenakshi has a special meaning. Meena means fish and akshi means eyes. It is a description of the fish like eyes of the goddess of Madurai, known as "the fish-eyed goddess."


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