Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: West Indies Blues

Charley Noble 02 Nov 01 - 04:14 PM
Sorcha 02 Nov 01 - 11:19 PM
masato sakurai 03 Nov 01 - 12:52 AM
Charley Noble 03 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM
Charley Noble 03 Nov 01 - 11:17 AM
Charley Noble 04 Nov 01 - 09:55 AM
Charley Noble 04 Nov 01 - 12:36 PM
Charley Noble 05 Nov 01 - 10:19 AM
Charley Noble 07 Nov 01 - 01:39 PM
Charley Noble 13 Nov 01 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Charley Noble 27 Apr 02 - 07:35 PM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM
Charley Noble 11 Jun 03 - 08:37 AM
Charley Noble 28 Aug 03 - 08:40 AM
Charley Noble 09 Jul 08 - 08:25 AM
Paul_Schurr_PSG_NY 13 Jul 08 - 11:20 AM
Charley Noble 13 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM
stallion 18 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 12 - 07:37 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: WES' INDIES BLUES
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:14 PM

I can't seem to find this one in the DT and all I've got is a couple of verses from the singing of my mother's nursemaid, Ella Madison, back in the 1920's; Ella also had a singing role in the original production of Porgie & Bess and sang my mother a whole bushel basket full of songs from spirituals to blues. I would welcome any additional verses or suggestions. I use "Been All 'Round This World" as the tune.

Wes' Indies Blues

(From the singing of Ella Madison Greenwich Village, NY, 1920's Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 2001)

Been all over dis doggone world,
Even been as far as China,
Worstest place I ever did see
Was Charleston, South Carolina.

I'se goin' home,
Goin' 'cross de water,
Make my livin' sure's you bone,
Diving after quarters.
Got dem Wes' Indies blues!

Charleston folks eat alligator meat,
Fried wi' rice and taters,
Bestes' eatin' I ever did have
Was monkey hips an' tomaters.

I'se goin' home,
Get meself a carriage,
Get meself a Badian* gal,
An' make a Badian marriage.
I'se goin' home.

* "Badian" is short for from Barbados


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 11:19 PM

This ! has the same title, maybe you could use some of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 12:52 AM

There are 8 recordings of "West Indies Blues" listed in Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943 (Oxford): Esther Bigeou (the one Sorcha linked to); Rosa Henderson; Home O' Blues Trio; Viola McCoy; Clara Smith; Jack Sneed; Unknown Artists (Field Recordings); and Ukulele Bob Williams.
~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM

Well, Sorcha and Masato, you certainly nailed that one, definitely the same family and now I have much more to work with. Thanks so much.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WEST INDIES BLUES (Edgar Dowell)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 11:17 AM

Here's the additional lyrics from the link above:

WEST INDIES BLUES
(By Edgar Dowell, Transcribed from Piron's New Orleans Orchestra, vocals by Esther Bigeou, recorded December 14, 1923; From The Complete Works of Esther Bigeou, Lillyn Brown, Alberta Brown & the Remaining Titles of Ada Brown in Chronological Order (1921-1928), Document Records DOCD-5489)

Got my grip and trunk all packed,
The ship, I'm gwine to take her,
So, good-bye, dear old New York town,
I'm gwine to Jamaica.
When I get on the other side,
I'll hang around the water,
I'll make my livin', sure as you're born,
Diving after quarters.

I'm gwine home, won't be long,
Gwine home, sure as you're born,
I'm gwine home, won't be long,
'Cause I got no time to lose!

I'm gwine home, I can't wait!
I'm gwine home, oh, Lord, I'm late!
I'm gwine home, I can't wait!
'Cause I got the West Indies Blues,
I got the West Indies Blues!
I got the West Indies Blues!

Gotta give up this worthless job,
Running the elevator,
I told my bossman I'd be back,
Some time soon or later,
When I come back to this great land,
You better watch me, Harvey,
'Cause I'm gonna be a great big man
Like my friend Marcus Garvey!

I'm gwine home, won't be long,
Gwine home, sure as you're born,
Gwine home, won't be long!
'Cause I got no time to lose!

I'm gwine home, I can't wait,
I'm gwine home, oh, man, I'm late!
I'm gwine home; I can't wait,
'Cause I got the West Indies Blues.
I got the West Indies Blues!
I got the West Indies Blues!
I got the West Indies Blues!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:55 AM

Any other verses?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: WES' INDIES BLUES
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 12:36 PM

Well, here's what I've pieced together for my own satisfaction, mostly from the above. Sounds nice with the banjo as a kind of Southern Appalachian blues that probably owes a lot to Si Kahn's "Gonna Work on Monday One More Time." Repaste in Word for chord correlation.

WES' INDIES BLUES

(From the singing of Ella Madison and Esther Bigeou, 1920's Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 2001 Tune: after I've Been All Around This World Key: F (5/C))

C
Been all over dis doggone world,
-----------------F
Been as far as China;
C
Worstest place I ever did see
----------------------------------F
Was Charleston, South Caro-lina.

Chorus:

F----------C-----------------G7
I'se gwine home, won't be long,
--------C-------------------F
Gwine home, sure's you bone;
------------C-----------------G7
I'se gwine home, won't be long,
----------F-------------C
Got dem Wes' Indies blues!

Got me grip and trunk all packed,
The ship, I'm gonna take her;
Say, good-bye, to Charleston town,
I'se gwine to Jamaica. (CHO)

Charleston folks eat alligator meat,
Fried wi' rice and taters,
Bestes' eatin' I ever did have
Was monkey hips an' tomaters. (CHO)

When I gets to Kingston town,
Gonna hang around the water;
Make me livin', sure's you bone,
Diving after quarters. (CHO)

When I gets to Kingston town,
Gonna get meself a carriage;
Ride on down to Sally's house
An' make a Creole marriage. (CHO)

So good-bye, ol' Charleston town,
Me packet sails termorrer;
Good-bye, all you dance hall gals,
I leave you without sorrer. (CHO)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:19 AM

Here's one for the road!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 01:39 PM

Apologies for refreshing this thread again, but I had such a good time introducing the song to other members of Roll & Go the other night that I just have to blabber on some more. Still, be nice to find some more alternative verses, or receive some suggestions. "Bone" by the way should really be spelled in the above as "bo'n" as an abbreviated form of "born" but that is probably obvious. I also prefer "Roll on down to Sally's house", rather than "Ride on down to Sally's house." Sally, of course, is Sally Brown.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WEST INDIES BLUES (Edgar Dowell)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Nov 01 - 11:06 AM

Just transcribed another version of this song, which is pretty close to what's up above but does have one unique verse which I can't completely or reliably transcribe. Any suggestions?

WEST INDIES BLUES(3)

(Original Words and music by Edgar Dowell)

Transcribed from the singing of Viola McCoy, recorded April 14, 1924; from The Complete Works of Viola McCoy in Chronological Order Volume 2 (1924-1926), Document Records DOCD-5417.

Got my grip and trunk all packed,
The ship, I'm gwine to take 'er,
So, good-bye, good ol' New York town,
I'm gwine to Jamaica.
When I gets on the odder side,
I'll hang around the water,
I'll make my livin', sure as you's bo'n,
A-diving after quarters.

I'm gwine home, won't be long,
Gwine home, sure as you's bo'n,
I'm gwine home, won't be long,
'Cause I got no time to lose!

Gonna give up the bestes' job,
A-running elevator,
I told my bossm'n I'd be back,
Some time soon or later;
When I gets back to this great land,
You better watch me, Harvey,
'Cause I'm gonna be a great big m'n,
Like my friend Marcus Garvey!

I'm gwine home, I can't wait!
Gwine home, Lord, I'm late!
I'm gwine home, I can't wait!
'Cause I got the West India Blues,
I've got the West India Blues!
I've got the West India Blues!

I eat my night stick shrimp ____(?)
There's nothin' sharp is better;
Just like they have in Barbados
It's Limpey (?) squash and pepper;
When I get back there on the dock
The "steam" I will not take 'er,
'Cause all these people on this side,
They call me the monkey-taker (?).

I'm gwine home, won't be long,
Gwine home, sure as you's bo'n,
I'm gwine home, won't be long!
'Cause I got the West India Blues.
I've got the West India Blues!
I've got the West India Blues!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WEST INDIES BLUES (Jack Sneed)
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 27 Apr 02 - 07:35 PM

Still having fun exploring diffeent versions of this song. Here's some additional notes. Ella Madison's version (above with the Charlston verses), according to my mother, may have been from her days singing with a minstral show. I ran into a John Clark at NEFFA who was kind enough to transcribe two other versions of this song:

Here's the Jack Sneed version (from John Clark):

West Indies Blues-III

Got my trunk and grip all packed
Steamboat I'm gonna take her
Goodbye good old New York town
I'm going to Jamaica

Refrain:
I'm gwine home (won't be long)
I'm gwine home (as sure as ye born)
I'm gwine home (won't be long)
'cause I got the West Indian Blues, mon,
I got the West Indian Blues

I done left my bestest job
Running elevator [he pronounces this "hello-waiter"]
I tell de boss I'll be back
Sometime sooner or later.

R

When I get on the other side
Hang around the water
Make my living as sure as ye born
Diving after quarters.

R

When I get on the other side
Get myself a carriage
Get myself a monkey gal
And have a monkey marriage.

R

Now, mon, you eatin peas and rice
You think you eatin' somethin
But mon you ain't eatin' a blasted thing
But monkey hips and dumplins.

R

Now I don't like this New York town
It's getting too outrageous
Every time I go to the zoo
I see my folks in cages.

R

Here's the Clara Smith version (from John Clark):

West Indies Blues-IV

I got my grip and trunk all packed
Steamship I'm gonna take her
So goodbye good old New York town
I'm gwine to Jamaica

(no R)

When I get to the other side
I'll hang around de water
I'll make my living sure as you born
Diving after quarters.

R
Gwine home (won't be long)
Gwine home (sure as you born)
Gwine home (won't be long)
'Cause I've got no time to lose.

Gwine home (I can't wait)
Gwine home (Lawd, I'm late)
Gwine home (I can't wait)
'Cause I've got the West Indies Blues
I've got the West Indies Blues
I've got the West Indies Blues.

[instrumental interlude]

Gotta give up the bestest job
A run an elevator
I told my boss that I'd be back
Sometime soon or later.

When I get back to this great land
You better watch me, Harvey,
Cause I'm gwine a be a great big mon
Like my mon Marcus Garvey.

[instrumental interlude]

Lord, I'm gwine home (I can't wait)
Gwine home (man, I'm late)
I'm gwine home (I can't wait)
Cause I got the West Indies Blues
I've got the West Indies Blues (Lord, Lord)
I've got the West Indies Blues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM

Refreshing for those reading the "Johney Come Down to Hilo" thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 08:37 AM

Here a link to my personal website where I sing the first verse and chorus of my arrangement of Wes' Indies Blues:Charley Noble Website

It's a fine song and will be on the next Roll & Go recording for sure.

The original blues tune is quite different and is available on some of the re-released CD's mentioned above. Many would prefer that arrangement and I urge folks to make comparisons.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:40 AM

Here's some background notes on Ella Robinson Madison's theatrical and musical career in the late 19th century:Click Here!

I still haven't found any versions of "West Indies Blues" with the "Charlston verses."

Roll & Go will be recording my adapted version this winter.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 08:25 AM

Refreshing for a few folks who heard me sing this at the recent Mystic Sea Music festival, and here's a fresh link to my new website: click here for website!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Paul_Schurr_PSG_NY
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 11:20 AM

Charley, Thanks for drawing my attention to this thread. I enjoyed reading about the folk process in action. You did a great job giving a new interpretation of the song. I've listened to two of the original recordings (iTunes), and for the life of me I couldn't see any potential in the song. It takes an artist's eye, for sure. That it came almost by word of mouth from Ella Madison makes it all the more pleasing. Well done!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM

Paul-

Thanks for the compliment.

Oh, one of the wild card things that happened when I was doing a Goggle search on the original Porgy folk opera is that I found my way to the New York Public Library photo archives, and they had some lovely medium resolution images of the play in action, and one of Ella right out in front, stage left center: click here for website!

My mother was very pleased to get a print of this image.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: stallion
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM

Secoind that Paul, we are now singing Charlies version it's great! Charley, you have a marvellous ear for a song and find gems in the dump and turn them around for us to nick, great! ;o)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: West Indies Blues
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 07:37 AM

Thanks, Peter.

Next Monday evening Steve Carrigan will be interviewing me on his Portsmouth, NH, radio program, 7 pm, about how I pulled together such songs as "West Indies Blues," "Yangtse River Shanty," and "Mobile Bay." I'm happy to see this thread refreshed, given that all my
"West Indies Blues" notes are included here.

You folks across the Great Pond certainly have done a nice job with "West Indies Blues."

Ella Madison, my mother's former nursemaid, would be much amused.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 September 9:37 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.