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Lyr Req: Catfish Blues (David 'Honeyboy' Edwards)

Related threads:
Honey Boy Edwards Concert March 2010, Connecticut (7)
Obit: David 'Honeyboy' Edwards RIP (1915-2011) (18)
Honeyboy Edwards; Still Worth Hearing? (10)
Honeyboy Edwards on Tour? (6)


Doc 29 Apr 02 - 10:27 PM
Bobert 29 Apr 02 - 10:42 PM
masato sakurai 29 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM
Tweed 29 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM
Rolfyboy6 29 Apr 02 - 11:25 PM
masato sakurai 29 Apr 02 - 11:56 PM
Rolfyboy6 30 Apr 02 - 12:23 AM
katlaughing 01 May 09 - 10:27 AM
VirginiaTam 01 May 09 - 10:39 AM
dilly daly of Adelaide 17 Dec 10 - 04:14 AM
GUEST 17 Dec 10 - 05:34 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Dec 10 - 02:57 PM
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Subject: Catfish Blues
From: Doc
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 10:27 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to Catfish blues? I am working off a great CD by Honeyboy Edwards and tried to get the lyrics off harry's Blues lyrics onlinhe, but the bandwidth was exceeded..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 10:42 PM

Yo, Doc. I love Honey Boy's version but Jimi Hendrix's is, in my opionion, at least equal, and a little easier to snitch lyric from...


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Subject: Lyr Add: CATFISH BLUES (Robert Petway)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM

This is Robert Petway's version (1941).

CATFISH BLUES

1 Well I lay down down last night : well I tried to take my rest
2 Notion struck me last night baby : I believe I take a stroll out west
3 Well if I were a catfish mama : I said swimming deep down in the deep blue sea
4 All these gals now sweet mama : I said now setting out hooks for me
5 Well I went down yeah down to the churchhouse : yes well they called on me to pray
6 Got on my knees now mama : I didn't know not not a word to say
7 Somebody write write me a letter baby : I'm going to write it just you see
8 See if my baby my baby : do she thinking of little old thing of me

(Source: Michael Taft, Blues Lyric Poetry: An Anthology, Garland, 1983, p. 216)

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: CATFISH BLUES (David "Honeyboy" Edwards)
From: Tweed
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM

Is that CD “Mississippi Delta Bluesman” by any chance? I think the words are included in the liner notes. If you don't have the liners, here's the lyrics:

CATFISH BLUES

1. If I was a catfish, swimming in the deep blue sea,
I'd have all these women now, now,
Fishin’ after me. *

2. Yes, I'm going, yes, I'm going, and your crying won't make me stay.
More you cry darling, now, now,
Further you drive me away.

3. Well, my mama told my papa just a day before I was born,
“Boy child's coming, now, now,
Going [to] be a rolling stone.”

4. (Repeat #2)

5. Well, I'm going, mama. Yes, I'm going. I might get lonesome here.
I'm going, pretty mama, I know.
You don't [a] bit more care.

*The last phrase of the second line of each verse is repeated four to six times.

Hope that's the version you're hunting.

HTML line breaks added to replace paragraph marks, which cause unnecessary double spacing. --JoeClone, 2-May-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CATFISH BLUES (sung by Muddy Waters)
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:25 PM

CATFISH BLUES

Well, I wish I was a catfish, swimmin’ in a, oh, deep, blue sea.
I would have all you good lookin’ women, fishin’, fishin’ after me.
Sure ‘nough, a-after me.
Sure ‘nough, a-after me.
Oh, ‘nough, oh, ‘nough, sure ‘nough.

I went to my baby’s house and I sit down oh, on her steps.
She said, “Now, come on in now, Muddy. You know, my husband just now left.”
Sure ‘nough, he just now left.
Sure ‘nough, he just now left.
Sure ‘nough, oh, well, oh, well.

Well, my mother told my father, just before, hmmm, I was born,
“I got a boy child’s comin’. He’s gonna be, he’s gonna be a rollin’ stone.”
Sure ‘nough, he’s a rollin’ stone.
Sure ‘nough, he’s a rollin’ stone.
Oh, well, he’s a, oh, well, he’s a, oh, well, he’s a ...

Well, I feel, yes, I feel, feel that I could lay down. Oh, time ain’t long.
I’m gonna catch the first thing smokin’. Back, back down the road I’m goin’.
Back down the road I’m goin’.
Back down the road I’m goin’.
Sure ‘nough back, sure ‘nough back.

By McKinley Morganfield (and yes, Muddy titled it “Rolling Stone”)

And except, of course, for Robert Petway and Tommy McClennen who recorded it separately in 1941, well before Muddy. Petway and McClennen were close friends and partners and it isn’t certain which originated the song, if it wasn’t already traditional.

For more on this Background on Catfish Blues

Jimi Hendrix recorded what were essentially Muddy’s words.
Hendrix’ Catfish Blues

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 2-May-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:56 PM

Honeyboy Edwards says it was made by Robert Petway:

"'Catfish Blues' is Robert Petway's song. He just made that song up and used to play it at them old country dances. He just made it up and kept it in his head. You call that mother wit. He remembered every verse he ever sang; didn't have towrite down nothing. I learned the 'Catfish' from Robert. Robert and Tommy McClennan and me, we'd be together all the time." (David Honeyboy Edwards, The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards, Chicago Review Press, 1997, p. 32)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 12:23 AM

Honeyboy is one of the last people alive who might know. He was around the Delta then. And then up in Chicago in the early 40s. I'll take his word for it.


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Subject: youtube & origins Catfish Blues
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:27 AM

Thanks to VirginiaTam's thread, I found a wonderful version of this on youtube HERE by a remarkable young man. He also has a link to some of the background of the song at THIS SITE. I have not read it, so do not know how accurate it is, but this young man seems very sincere and knowledgeable besides very talented and versatile. Check out some of his other videos, too. Well worth it, imo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req;youtube video & origin links Catfish B
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:39 AM

Awww Kat... you beat me to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues (David 'Honeyboy' Edwards)
From: dilly daly of Adelaide
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 04:14 AM

Does anyone know the chord progression for Robert Petway's song?Bought a book with the song in and to help me play it and it says it's a one chord song.I can't produce the great sound of Robert's version with an AM chord no matter what i do to it!!!It's such a good song!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues (David 'Honeyboy' Edwards)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:34 AM

Mr Petway's version is, in my humble opinion, by far the best.
Interesting to see the lyrics in writing :)

The absolutely sovereign coolness of Petway's somewhat slurry
phrasing leaves some room for interpretation, I guess.
I might have gotten some of the words completely wrong, haha
- but I still think the song is just about the bestest piece
of human culture ever.

Peace.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Catfish Blues (David 'Honeyboy' Edwards)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:57 PM

I have listened to Robert Petway's version at YouTube, and I have a couple of corrections/additions to the lyrics from Taft:

I hear line 7 as:
I'm gwine to write, write me a letter baby : I'm gwine to write it just to see

In lines 4 and 8, during the repetitions of the final phrase, he sometimes inserts the word "poor" before "me."


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