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Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Badly Bent (17)
Chords Req: I Ain't Broke (But I'm Badly Bent) (8)


Richie 23 Feb 03 - 02:09 PM
Richie 23 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM
Willie-O 23 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM
Richie 23 Feb 03 - 06:04 PM
Stewie 23 Feb 03 - 06:12 PM
Richie 23 Feb 03 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 02 Dec 09 - 03:48 AM
PHJim 02 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM
SINSULL 02 Dec 09 - 01:52 PM
leftydee 03 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM
Severn 03 Dec 09 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Songbob 03 Dec 09 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 11 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Pete Walker 04 Feb 12 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,999 04 Feb 12 - 06:46 PM
GUEST 04 Feb 12 - 07:42 PM
GUEST 03 Sep 12 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 04 Sep 12 - 04:33 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 12 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Guest 05 Oct 15 - 02:07 PM
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Subject: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Richie
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:09 PM

I'm trying to find the origin for the bluegrass song: "I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent." It has been attributed to H. Payne.

I thought the lyrics "I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent" originated for blues sources.

Is this a PD song or did H. Payne write it?

-Richie


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Subject: Lyr Add: I AIN'T BROKE BUT I'M BADLY BENT (Payne)
From: Richie
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM

Here are the lyrics:

I AIN'T BROKE BUT I'M BADLY BENT (H. Payne?)

Well I'm going back to the country
I can't pay the rent
My mum and dad will sure be mad
At all the money I spent

Chorus: Now I know
Just what they meant
I ain't broke
But brother I'm badly bent

Well I had a lot of money
But to the city I went
I met a lot of good-looking girls
And that's where my money went

[chorus]

Well when I get back to the country
I'll be living in a tent
My mum and dad will sure be mad
At all the money I spent

[chorus]

Well I'm a-going back to the country
I can't pay the rent
Now I know they're going to be mad
At all the money I spent

[chorus]


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM

Always thought this was a Bill Monroe song. He did sing it, yes?

W-O


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM

I have this by The Tractors, and it's a great recording... done more like a boogie shuffle..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Richie
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:04 PM

I don't know about Bill Monroe but here are some artists with recordings:

Ricky Skaggs;

High Lonesome Sound (Old and Only in the Way) with Jerry Garcia; Vassar Clements - fiddle, vocals
David Grisman - mandolin, vocals
John Kahn - acoustic bass
Peter Rowan - guitar, vocals;

Flatt and Scruggs;

Delaney Brothers;

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:12 PM

Richie

The Sugar Hill album 'Bluegrass: The World's Greatest Show' [SH-CD- 2201] has The (almost) Original New South doing this. The lyrics are almost identical with what you have posted, but the attribution in the insert is to M. Ellis (Tannen Music, BMI).

The stanza from 'The Panic Is On' posted by Charly Noble in the first of the 'Related threads' linked above surely must be among the earliest use of the expression on a recording:

All the landlords done raised the rent
Folks that ain't broke is badly bent
Where they get the dough from, goodness knows
But, if they don't produce it, in the street they goes
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

The pertinent line is inaccurately rendered in the version in the DT. The DT gives no attribution, but the author of the piece was Hezekiah Jenkins who recorded it for Columbia [Co 14585-D] on 16 January 1931. Paul Oliver has noted that Jenkins' song was 'a remodelling of an earlier theme' and therefore it is possible that the expression did not originate with him.

Willie Dixon also used the expression in the chorus of his 'Dead Presidents', but I don't have a date for that.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Richie
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:51 PM

Thanks Stewie and all,

I used to play Dead Presidents, that's probably where I remember the expression.

This still doesn't explain M. Ellis or H. Payne attributed authorships. Anyone?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 03:48 AM

Lattie Moore did a great version of this years ago. Not sure if he wrote it or not.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: PHJim
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM

Del Reeves sang:

I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
I had a little money but that's all been spent
When I look back I wonder where it went
It ain't no joke I ain't broke but I'm badly bent

I went to see a so-called friends
To get a little help for the tie I was in
I said I'll pay you back someday when my rich uncle passes away
But he looked at me kinda foolishly and then he had these words to say

He said I ain't broke but I'm badly bent...

Then I called my true love on the phone
The one I spent my last dollar on
I said I'll pay you back someday when my rich uncle passes away
But she said I'm through with the likes of you
And she had a quite few more words to say

She said I ain't broke but I'm badly bent...
It ain't no joke I ain't broke but I'm badly bent


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:52 PM

Weird - I just asked Seamus Kennedy if he could tell me more about this song. I learned it as a child from a 78RPM my father brought back from Maryland in 1947. Can't remember the artist but the flip side was The Train That Never Returned Again.

         Poor Folk


Haven't got a nickle
Haven't got a dime
Wonder why we're poor folk all the time
XXXXXX
XXXXXX
Wonder why we're poor folk all the time

What's the use of workin.
i can't save a cent
Can't say I'm exactly broke
I'm just badly bent.

poor folk need the XXXX
Want a hill to climb
Wonder why we're poor folk all the time.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: leftydee
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM

It's a very old expression. I have a letter that my grandfather wrote to his mother during the Spanish-American War that asks for a few cents for postage as " I'm not broke but badly bent". It was 1898, I think.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: Severn
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 11:29 AM

A blues take on the theme called "Badly Bent" shows up on the LP "Official Music" by King Biscuit Boy w/ Crowbar (Paramount PAS 5030), a Canadian blues band who, like The Band previously, had once been a set of Ronnie Hawkins' Hawks up in Toronto. They played together for a while and then King Biscuit Boy (a/k/a Richard Newell) and Crowbar both went on to seperate recording careers. I don't know whatever happened to either after the 70's some time. Maybe a Canadian Catter could fill me in).

The song in question was credited to Newell and published by Love-Lies-Bleeding Music BMI


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 04:40 PM

Woody Guthrie:

One leg up, one leg down,
One leg up and a hole in the ground,
Lord, Lord, walking down the railroad line.
Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, walking down the railroad line.

Ain't got a job, ain't got a cent,
If I ain't broke, I'm badly bent,
Lord, Lord, etc.

Passenger car came down the road,
Woman and a dog in a big fur coat,
Lord, lord, etc.



I don't recall the rest of it.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:31 PM

One verse goes:

I'd give up this ramblin' life
For a good warm bed
And a good warm wife,
Lord, lord, walking down a railroad line.
Lord, lord, walking down a railroad line.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RAILROAD LINE BLUES (Woody Guthrie)
From: GUEST,Pete Walker
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 01:00 AM

Here are the lines I have. Might fill in some holes.

One leg up, one leg down,
One leg up and a hole in the ground.

Chorus:
Lord, Lord, walking down the railroad line.
Lord, Lord, I'm walking down the railroad line.

Ain't got a job, ain't got a cent,
If I ain't broke, I'm badly bent.
Lord, Lord, etc.

From Frisco Bay to old New York,
I been lookin' for a job of work.

The Susquehanna Railroad's mighty slow
Cold wind blows right through the floor.

Passenger car came down the road,
Woman and a dog in a big fur coat,

That Mississippi is full of ice,
And I otta know 'cause I fell in twice.

Passenger train come down the line,
I see how the rich folks ride.

I'd give up that road today,
For an honest job with honest pay.

I'd give up this ramblin' life
For a good warm bed and a good warm life.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TALKING SUBWAY (Woody Guthrie)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 06:46 PM

Talking Subway by Woody Guthrie

I struck out for old New York,
Thought I'd find me a job of work.
One leg up and the other leg down,
I come in through a hole in the ground.
Holland Tunnel. Three mile tube.
Skippin' through the Hudson River dew.

I blowed into New York town,
And I looked up and I looked down,
Everybody I seen on the streets
Was all a running down in a hole in the ground.
I follered 'em. See where they's a going.
Newsboy said they're tryin' to smoke a rat out of a hole.

I run down thirty eight flights of stairs,
Boy, howdy! I declare!
I rode old elevator twenty two
And spent my last lone nickel, too.
Feller in a little cage got it.
Herded me through a shoot the shoot.
Run me through three clothes wringers.
So many people down in there I couldn't even fall down.

I swung onto my old guitar,
Train come a rumbling down the track,
I got shoved into the wrong damn car
With three grass widows on my back.
Two of 'em looking for home relief,
Other one just investigating.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 07:42 PM

Edd Mayfield brought "I ain't broke..." to Bill Monroe and sang it as a solo. It was featured on the radio and live shows (when Monroe would have his lead singer do a solo) and became well known in the mid 50's until Mayfield's tragic and untimely death in 1958. Monroe never recorded it but it passed by oral tradition; Skaggs had a nice version.


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 02:17 PM

I ain't Brokw But I'm Badly Bent
Was without doubt written by Lattie Moore
from Scottsville, Ky.
I knew him.
Tom Wilson


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 04:33 AM

A fascinating thread, this.
Jake Holmes touched on the theme in his great song BEAM ME UP SCOTTY
(1983), wonderfully performed by Tom Rush on his 1984 album
"Late Night Radio".

"Now the President, he's telling me#
The recession came and went.
Nobody got broke,
We only got bent."


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 12 - 12:55 PM

We're putting out a bluegrass album and had to go through the CMRRA (Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency) to obtain rights to press a run. They found it credited to H.Payne and that's who'll the royalties in Canada.

kyle
forwardmuiscgroup.com


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Subject: RE: Origin: I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Oct 15 - 02:07 PM

Which artist recorded the one about the dog runnning away?!?!?!


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