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Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time

DigiTrad:
MOTHERLESS CHILDREN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Motherless Child (from Eric Clapton) (8)
(origins) Lyr Add: Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child (24)
Lyr Req: Motherless Child Blues (Elvie Thomas) (7) (closed)
Lyr Req: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (5)


Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 01 - 09:41 PM
Dani 10 Nov 01 - 09:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Nov 01 - 09:55 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 01 - 10:17 PM
Stewie 10 Nov 01 - 10:32 PM
masato sakurai 10 Nov 01 - 11:08 PM
Charlie Baum 11 Nov 01 - 01:55 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM
Stewie 11 Nov 01 - 08:55 PM
Stewie 12 Nov 01 - 12:24 AM
wysiwyg 10 Feb 02 - 10:31 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 02 - 01:40 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 21 Jul 02 - 06:28 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHERLESS CHILD SEES A HARD TIME
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 09:41 PM

MOTHERLESS CHILD SEES A HARD TIME

Cho.
Motherless child sees a hard time,
Mother is dead. Mother is dead.
Motherless child sees a hard time,
Mother is dead. Mother is dead.

Father ain't goin' be your friend,
Talk about you on every hand,
Motherless child sees a hard time,
Mother is dead, Mother is dead.

Father won't treat you like your mother did,
Mother is dead. Mother is dead. Mother is dead.
Father won't treat you like your mother did,
Mother is dead. Mother is dead.
Father won't treat you like your mother did,
Talk about you on every hand.
Cho.
Sister won't treat you like your mother did,
Mother is dead. Mother is dead. Mother is dead. etc.
Cho.

Sung by Dock Reed and Vera Hall, Livingston, Alabama. John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip.
@religion @spiritual @lament


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Dani
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 09:48 PM

Pretty darn close to Rev. Gary Davis' "Motherless Children". Did he write that?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 09:55 PM

It's good to see this version, which I don't have. I know this song from the recording of Blind Willie Johnson. From memory, a couple of verses go more like this:

   Father will do the best he can,
     When your mother is dead
   Father will do the best he can
     When your mother is dead
   Father will do the best he can
   But no one can do you like your mother can

   Jesus will be a mother to you
     When your mother is dead
   repeat
   Jesus will be a mother to you,
   Through trials and tribulations, he'll see you through
   Jesus will be a mother to you
   When your mother is dead

  There are more verses, but I'm sure someone will quickly provide them.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 10:17 PM

Hope the other verses show up.
WYSIWYG hopes to match gospel, blues and related spirituals in the same thread. I'm sure she would like to see both of the above (and so would I).
Also post any discography you have on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 10:32 PM

Harry's excellent site has a transcription of Blind Willie Johnson's version:

Click Here

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHERLESS CHILDREN (Carter Family)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 11:08 PM

"Motherless Children" is in the DT (CLICK HERE), but the Carter Family version is:

MOTHERLESS CHILDREN

Motherless children sees a hard time when their mother is dead
Motherless children sees a hard time when their mother is dead
They are driven out in the cold, God knows where to go
Motherless children sees a hard time when their mother is dead

[INSTRUMENTAL BREAK]

Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Sister does the best she can, but she really don't understand
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world

Brother won't treat you like mother will when your mother is dead
Brother won't treat you like mother will when your mother is dead
You may ask for a piece of bread, you are told to go to bed
Motherless children sees a hard time when their mother is dead

[INSTRUMENTAL BREAK]

Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Sister does the best she can, but she really don't understand
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world

[INSTRUMENTAL BREAK]

Friends won't treat you like mother will when your mother is dead
Friends won't treat you like mother will when your mother is dead
They will tell you what to do, but they'll turn their back on you
Motherless children sees a hard time when their mother is dead

[INSTRUMENTAL BREAK]

Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world
Sister does the best she can, but she really don't understand
Orphan children sees a hard time in this world

SOURCE: Song texts of the original Carter Family

Charles Wolfe says in notes to The Carter Family: In the Shadow of Clinch Mountain (Bear Family): "Motherless Childen was a gospel song the family learned from Leslie Riddle. It appears to date from 1904, when it was copyrighted by S.C. Brown (words) and Charles Driscoll (music). The powerful, rough-voiced Blind Willie Johnson had recorded it for Columbia a couple of years before the Carters did theirs. Their recording emerged as one of their strongest."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 01:55 AM

Click here to listen to the Dock Reed/Vera Hall version mentioned by Dicho above.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 12:41 PM

Thanks for the click on the Dock Reed/Vera Hall version from the 1939 Lomax trip. Its stark simplicity is haunting. Lomax put a few of their renditions out commercially but I couldn't find this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 08:55 PM

The Golden Gate did fine recording of 'Motherless Child' in 1938. I have it on 2 fine CD reissues of their work: 'Travelin' Shoes' RCA Heritage Series 07863 66063 0 and 'Gospel Train' JSP JSPCD602. The latter CD was remastered by the best in the business - John R.T. Davies.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:24 AM

That last post was a bit sloppy: it should have read 'Golden Gate (Jubilee) Quartet'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:31 PM

Could someone please check out and post, if needed, the Blind Willie Johnson's version mentioned above by Stewie? Everything else above is indexed.

~S~


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHERLESS CHILDREN HAVE A HARD TIME
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:40 AM

Lyr. Add: MOTHERLESS CHILDREN HAVE A HARD TIME

Motherless children have a hard time
Motherless children have a hard time, mother's dead
They'll not have anywhere to go, wanderin' around from door to door
Have a hard time.

Nobody on earth can take a mother's place when mother is dead, Lord
Nobody on earth takes mother's place,
when you were startin', paved the way
Nobody treats you like mother will, when mother is dead.

Your wife or husband may be good to you, when mother is dead, Lord
They'll be good to you, mother's dead
A wife or a husband may be good to you,
but, better than nothing has proved untrue
Nobody treats you like mother will when, when mother is dead, Lord.

Lord Lord Lord
Well some people say that sister will do, when mother is dead
That sister will do when mother's dead
Some people will say that sister will do,
but, as soon as she's married, she turn her back on you
Nobody treats you like mother will.

And father will do the best he can, when mother is dead, Lord
Well, the best he can do when mother is dead
Father will do the best he can,
so many things a father can't understand
nobody treats you like mother will.

Motherless children have a hard time, when mother is dead, Lord
Motherless children have a hard time, mother's dead
They'll not have anywhere to go,
Wanderin' around from door to door
Have a hard time.

Blind Willie Johnson, Columbia C2K-52835 ©. Harry's Blues Lyrics Online. The sound clip is inactive. There may be mistakes in the website's transcription of the lyric; it is copied as given with one or two corrections of obvious mistakes.
@blues @lament
I would not classify this song as either spiritual or gospel; religion is not mentioned. I don't know why the Lomax's placed it there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Motherless Child Sees a Hard Time
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 06:28 PM

Blind Willie Johnson sometimes added another verse at the end of his "Motherless Children Have A Hard Time." (see text above)

It's no mistake about that Canaan Land,
Nobody treat you like mother will.
Ehhh, motherless children have a hard time
When mother is dead, Lord.
Motherless children have a hard time-
Mother's dead.
Well, they don't have anywhere to go,
Wanderin' around from door to door.
Well, a hard time.

Col. 14303 (Ethnic Folkways Library FE 4530).
Courtlander, 1965, Negro Folk Music U. S. A., Columbia Univ. Press,


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