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Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)

Jim Dixon 26 Oct 03 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 26 Oct 03 - 05:57 PM
Jim Dixon 01 May 04 - 02:01 PM
SINSULL 01 May 04 - 04:13 PM
dick greenhaus 01 May 04 - 09:02 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Jul 07 - 08:33 PM
cptsnapper 10 Jul 07 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 11 Jul 07 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 11 Jul 07 - 07:28 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Feb 11 - 08:42 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 01:50 PM

While researching the song SOMEBODY – also known as SOMEBODY ELSE, NOT ME, I learned that Bert Williams had also written and recorded this one.

The following text is a composite. Verses 1-2 come from Bert Williams' own performance, transcribed by me from a sound sample found Archeophone. The other verses come from various sources on the Internet, and I suspect they were not all in Williams' original version.

NOBODY
(Bert Williams and Alex Rogers, from the musical show "Abyssinia," 1905.)

When life seems full of clouds and rain
And I am full of nothing and (or "naught but") pain,
Who soothes my thumpin' bumpin' brain?
Nobody.

When winter comes with snow and sleet,
And me with hunger and cold feet,
Who says, "Here's twenty-five cents. Go ahead and get something to eat"?
Nobody.

CHORUS: But I ain't never done nothing to nobody.
I ain't never got nothing from nobody, no time,
And until I get something from somebody sometime,
I don't intend to do nothing for nobody, no time.

When summertime comes, all warm and clear,
And my friends see me drawing near,
Who says, "Come on in and have a beer"?
Nobody.

Well, one time when things was looking bright,
I started to whittling on a stick one night.
Who said, "Hey, that's dynamite"?
Nobody.

When all day long things go amiss,
And I go home to find some bliss,
Who hands to me a glowing kiss?
Nobody.

When I try hard an' scheme an' plan,
To look as good as good as I can,
Who says, "Ah, look at that handsome man"?
Nobody.

[Recordings:
Bert Williams, on "Middle Years 1910-1918" 2003.
Merle Travis, on "Unreleased Radio Transcriptions 1944-1949" 1991.
Jimmy Dean, on "Portrait of Jimmy Dean" 1962.
Nina Simone, on "Broadway-Blues-Ballads" 1964.
Ry Cooder, on "Jazz" 1978.
Max Morath, on "Jonah Man: A Tribute to Bert Williams" 1996.
Johnny Cash, on "American III: Solitary Man" 2000.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 05:57 PM

Hey Jim, thanks loads for posting this stuff. I love Bert Williams' stuff. I discovered his material on 78rpm records. Many that I've found were too scratchy to understand. I've managed to work up versions of his songs by listening to these few recordings I have. "Somebody" is one I've enjoyed by others as well. I just sat down for the first time and worked up "Somebody" from what I've managed to remember. "Nobody" is another wonderfully written song that is on my got-to-do list. I already have "Twenty Years", "Some Little Bug", and "Death Where Is Thy Sting".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:01 PM

The Virtual Gramophone has a recording of NOBODY sung by Arthur Collins in 1920. The fake dialect, vocal glissandos, and other embellishments are a bit overdone, in my opinion.

It includes one verse not shown above:

When I was in that railroad wreck,
And thought that I'd cashed in my last check,
Who took that engine off my neck?
Not a soul.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:13 PM

Thanks Jim. My brother used to sing this one and "My Buddy" to the family dog. Brought back some funny memories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:02 PM

Just to point out, Bert Williams' stuff has surfaced on CD. CAMSCO carries it (actually, them)


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBODY (Alex Rogers, Bert Williams)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 08:33 PM

I wonder why I didn't find this back in October, 2003? Maybe it was recently added to the collection.

From The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music: (I have inserted links to explain a few obscure references.)

NOBODY
(Words, Alex Rogers. Music, Bert Williams.
New York: The Attucks Music Publishing Co., 1905.
From the musical show "Abyssinia," 1905.)

1. When life seems full of clouds and rain
And I am filled with naught but pain,
Who soothes my thumping bumping brain? Nobody!
When winter comes with snow and sleet,
And me with hunger and cold feet,
Who says, "Here's two bits. Go and eat"? Nobody!

CHORUS: I ain't never done nothin' to nobody.
I ain't never got nothin' from nobody, no time,
And until I get somethin' from somebody, sometime,
I don't intend to do nothin' for nobody, no time.

2. When summer comes all cool and clear
And friends they see me drawing near,
Who says, "Come in and have a beer?" Nobody!
I had a steak some time ago
With sauce I sprinkled it all.—Oh!
Who said that sauce is Tabasco."? Nobody!

3. When I try hard and scheme and plan,
To look as good as good as e'er I can,
Who says, "Look at that handsome man."? Nobody!
When all day long things go amiss,
And I go home to find some bliss,
Who hands to me a glowing kiss? Nobody!

4. a man and wife they fought one day
I interfered in a friendly way.
Who said, "Don't have a thing to say."? Nobody.
The man he knocked off al my chin.
The woman kicked my ribs all in.
Who cried out, "Shame! My, what a sin!"? Nobody.

5. When I fussed with Bill Jones 'bout Mame,
And I called Bill out of his name,
Who said I'd never look the same? My grandma.
When Jackson threw a brick one day
And my face it was in the way,
Who was it had the most to say? Dr. Smith.

6. Last fall when things were looking bright,
I started to whittle a stick one night.
Who cried out, "Stop! That's dynamite"? Nobody.
When I in swimming went one day,
And on the banks my clothes did lay,
Who took my clothes far, far away? Somebody.

7. I donned a bathing suit one morn,
The only one I'd ever worn.
Who told me that the pants were torn? Nobody.
When I at one time wrote a play,
And played the play upon Broadway,
Who said, "Go off and drive a dray?" Alan Dale.

8. When I on ship for London bound,
Was many, many miles from ground,
Who helped me keep my dinner down? Nobody.
The time I had that foolish fit,
And struck a guy with this small mitt,
Who told me it was Hackenschmidt? Nobody.

9. When I was with my brother Claude,
And met a mule which kicked and pawed,
Who told me that her name was Maud? Nobody.
When I was slammed against a tree,
And Maud "hee-hawed" with deviltry,
Who dug the horseshoes out of me? Nobody.

10. When I fell off the Flatiron block,
With force enough to stop a clock,
Who spread a net to stop the shock? Nobody.
One night I went to get a pair
Of pullets for my bill-of-fare.
Who told me of the steel-trap there? Nobody.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: cptsnapper
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 09:27 PM

Funnily enough Russell Davies played Nina Simone's version on his Radio 2 show last Sunday night.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 07:26 AM

Jerry Reed recorded a good version of this many years ago!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 07:28 AM

.....and I believe Phil Harris (Balu?) did too.

Jerry Reed recorded an album of Phil Harris songs with 'Preacher & the Bear' etc. called Downtown Poker Club.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobody (from Bert Williams)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 08:42 PM

YouTube has all these recordings! (ranked roughly in descending order of quality, in my opinion)
Bert Williams
Nina Simone
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash (duplicate)
Johnny Cash (duplicate)
Ry Cooder and the Golden Gate Quartet
Bing Crosby beginning at 3:09
Jimmy Dean
Jimmy Dean (duplicate)
Will Billy & Pete Divine
Kristofer Flowers


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