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Lyr Req: House of David Blues

RED 31 Jan 97 - 06:40 PM
Nathan Sarvis (nsarvis@tenet.edu) 31 Jan 97 - 11:21 PM
Priscilla Wintermute 14 Feb 97 - 10:34 PM
belter 17 Feb 97 - 09:47 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Feb 97 - 11:32 PM
Bill 19 Feb 97 - 02:02 AM
cnd 16 Mar 21 - 08:14 PM
cnd 16 Mar 21 - 08:15 PM
cnd 16 Mar 21 - 08:20 PM
cnd 16 Mar 21 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Mar 21 - 08:37 PM
gillymor 16 Mar 21 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,# 16 Mar 21 - 09:03 PM
gillymor 17 Mar 21 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: lyric req: House o' David blues
From: RED
Date: 31 Jan 97 - 06:40 PM

I think we learned this from sing out back in the late 60s--early '70s. Nobody can remember the words!! Can you?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOUSE OF DAVID BLUES
From: Nathan Sarvis (nsarvis@tenet.edu)
Date: 31 Jan 97 - 11:21 PM

I have it on the album "Blizard Train" by Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers, JuneAppal JA0056, 1989, It's credited to Arthur Smith

Gee, but ain't it grand, can't you hear that band
Play the House of David blues.
All the folks in town are gatherin' round
To see the funny things they do
When ham was selling for a dollar a pound
I ate so many rabbits, made me jump all around
Gee, but ain't it grand, can't you hear that band
Play the House of David blues.

(Second verse is same except these two lines replace "ham & rabbits" lines

Dominecker rooster and a bow-legged hen
They go together, but they ain't no kin


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Subject: RE: lyric req: House o' David blues
From: Priscilla Wintermute
Date: 14 Feb 97 - 10:34 PM

It would be very interesting to know the history of this song. When I was very young, we used to spend summers in Barrien Springs, Michigan, and near there was a place called the House of David. (We used to go there because they had a little (!) amusement park and sold really great white chocolate ice cream in homemade cones. Anyway...) From what I understand, it was some sort of commune of a religious sect which practiced celebacy. Aside from the park and ice cream shop, I don't remember seeing anyone except VERY OLD bearded men sitting on a balcony. I suspect this was one of those sects which was founded around the end of the 1800s and was dying out for lack of interest. If anyone could shed some light on this piece of Americana, I'd be grateful.


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Subject: RE: lyric req: House o' David blues
From: belter
Date: 17 Feb 97 - 09:47 AM

Sounds a little like the shakers. I'm not an expert, but anyway they were a sect that toke in orphans since they didn't have children, and taught them crafts. they were famous for craftmanship infact. I was told that a comfortable but celebate life would probobly sound real good to a kid with no other options in those days when the world was less "civilized". I might add that this is a little off the subject even if I couldn't resist putting in my two cents.


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Subject: RE: lyric req: House o' David blues
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Feb 97 - 11:32 PM

Hi- For what it's worth, there was a touring semi-pro baseball team in the 30s and 40s (possibly earlier, too) named House of David. All the players wore beards.


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Subject: RE: lyric req: House o' David blues
From: Bill
Date: 19 Feb 97 - 02:02 AM

Howdy all,

From the lists of Shaker Communities that I have looked up for Shaker Songs workshops, I can tell you that there were no Shaker communities in Michigan. My memory suggests that there were other sexless sects, but I can't think of any others right now.

Allinkausay, Bill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: cnd
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:14 PM

You can hear the Ralph Blizzard version here

You can hear Arthur Smith (nb 'Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, not Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith) sing it with The McGee Brothers here. The lyrics are faithfully reproduced, though it is worth noting that the original recording was released under the title "Singing Those House Of David Blues" and recorded 17 February 1937 in Charlotte, NC (link).

Buck Ryan also performs a number titled House of David Blues with a largely similar (though slightly different), a version of which can be heard here. Despite the claim in the description of the YouTube video, it's notably not the recording on Draggin' The Bow (Rebel Records SLP 1552), which is almost a minute shorter and doesn't have a guitar intro. The Draggin' the Bow version does have some lyrics at about 1:10, but I feel they're not worth transcribing as they're just standard square-dance calls.

As noted in this MusTrad article, the composition was possibly Smith's, however, the song was largely not originally his. Essentially, the earlier song was from 1923 and composed by Elmer Schoebel, Billy Meyers and Irving Mills (though the tune was slightly different), while the tune came from Robert Johnson's 1936 "Hot Tamales (They're Red Hot)" -- however, the article is supremely well-written and worthwhile to read in its entirety.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: cnd
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:15 PM

My apologies, my previous post should read: "with a largely similar (though slightly different) tune ..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: cnd
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:20 PM

Here's the liner notes from Fiddlin Arthur Smith and his Dixieliners Vol. 2 (County Records 547, 1978):
Other tunes, Arthur borrowed from jazz, blues and even pop sources. House of David Blues, an old jazz standard recorded many times, was picked up by guitarist Burt Hutchinson, and he in turn conveyed it to numerous other Opry musicians. The House of David was a religious sect founded in 1903 and known primarily for its bearded baseball teams.
Sadly, Buck Ryan's album, which I have, is sparse in the notes department. I'll see if I can find anything else about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: cnd
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:34 PM

Correction: The version of HoDB by Buck Ryan linked above is indeed the version from Draggin' The Bow -- I was listening to the wrong side of my record!

In hindsight, I was thinking his version bore a strong resemblance to Arkansas Traveler.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:37 PM

Connecting back...on my mother's side.

I have photos of a relative, who indeed wore a long beard and played with the Bb evangelical, "House of David".

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Time to exhume some files.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: gillymor
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 08:45 PM

My Dad pitched against the House of David baseball team the Dick Greenhaus mentioned above, in Elko NV and Great Falls MT. He said that they always got up to lots of shenanigans on the ball field and put on a good show.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: GUEST,#
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 09:03 PM

Good Wikipedia article about the House of David.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_David_(commune)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: House of David Blues
From: gillymor
Date: 17 Mar 21 - 10:07 AM

Mention of Grover Cleveland Alexander in that Wiki reminded that Dad told a story of how, when he was 16, he pitched against the Hall-of-Famer when a barnstorming HoD team came to his home town of Elko. He lost 1-0 and was impressed at how quickly the old pro worked and became a quick worker himself after that and he never did have much patience for dawdling pitchers when we'd go to ballgames together.


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