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Lyr Req: Downtown Blues (Frank Stokes)

GUEST,garyvoa 02 Jul 02 - 03:22 PM
masato sakurai 02 Jul 02 - 07:42 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 11 - 11:00 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 11 - 12:10 PM
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Subject: Downtown Blues
From: GUEST,garyvoa
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 03:22 PM

Anybody out there have the correct lyrics for "DOwntown Blues"? I mean the one by the great Memphis blues musician Frank Stokes, recorded in the late 1920s. Geoff Muldaur recorded it with the Kweskin Jug Band in the '60s, but it's a bit difficult to understand the lyrics. Can anybody help?


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWNTOWN BLUES
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 07:42 PM

Two takes for this blues by Frank Stokes.

DOWNTOWN BLUES
(rec. Memphis, 1 Feb. 1928)

(1) record number: (41822-1) Vi-21272 BC-5

1 Hey listen mama : the world is done gone away
2 I'm got a bad-luck deal : give me trouble every day
3 And I'm going I'm going : pin up black tape on your door
4 Tell your man ain't dead : just ain't coming to your house no more
5 And I'm going downtown : going to stay around there till dark
6 I don't want no trouble : don't want you to drive off
7 Now when you lay down at night : lit out early try to take your rest
8 You'll get a couple phone calls : wake up and try to do your best
9 I'm got a gal in the country : I'm got two that stays in town
10 Reason I can fill it so careful : because nar' of them don't throw me down

(2) record number: (41822-2) Vi unissued His HLP-31

1 Hey listen mama : the world is done gone away
2 I got a bad-luck deal : give me trouble every day
3 And I'm going I'm going : pin up black crepe on your door
4 Tell your man ain't dead : just ain't coming to your house no more
5 And I'm going downtown : going to stay around there till dawn
6 And I don't want no trouble : don't want you to drive me home
7 Now when you lay down at night : lit out early try to take your rest
8 You'll get a couple phone calls : wake up and try to do your best
9 I got a gal in the country : got two that stays in town
10 The reason I can *fill it* so careful : because man don't know me there

*...*: questionable passage(s)

(From: Michael Taft, Blues Lyric Poetry: An Anthology, Garland, 1983, pp. 257-258)

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWNTOWN BLUES (Frank Stokes)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 11:00 AM

This is a different recording. The tune and guitar arrangement is the same (as near as I can tell) but the words are quite different. My transcription from the recording at Spotify:


DOWNTOWN BLUES
As sung by Frank Stokes on "The Best of Frank Stokes" (2005)

And I don't drink whiskey, but I'm crazy 'bout my gal(?)
It is 1928 an' it must be a brand-new year(?)

And it's my yard; take me to your back door
If the time get rough, I ain't gon' make it there no more

An' I'm goin' downtown, gon' stay right there till dark
You don't like my treatments, you can make you another start

An' I'm settin' right here now, look straight in your face
If you're goin' to ..., well, it's time for you to make haste

Now when you lay down at night, lay down early; try to take your rest
You'll get a couple ... : wake up ... to try to do your best

Now what make I know that my good gal like me so
'Cause she takes her time; she do work ev'rywhere she goes


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN TOWN BLUES (Curtis Jones)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 12:10 PM

This is a totally different song with a similar title. I figure I might as well post it here rather than start a new thread. My transcription from the recording at Spotify:


DOWN TOWN BLUES
As sung by Curtis Jones on "Curtis Jones: Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order: Vol. 3, 1939-1940" (Document DOCD-5298, 2005)

My baby—Lord, she hangs around downtown.
With these policy writers [or "riders"?]—she tore her reputation down.

I don't want no woman—want ev'ry downtown man she sees.
If I was the chief policeman—she would not be let out on the street.

I did you wrong—when I let you have your way.
Now someone else, baby—hung his snow(?) ring in your face.

Pretty soon—all my worries will be done.
It's true I love you baby—but someday that I'll overcome.


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