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Lyr Req: Moaning the Blues (Mississippi John Hurt)

DigiTrad:
BIG LEGGED WOMAN
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alanabit 23 Feb 04 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,nonmember 18 Mar 04 - 10:35 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Mar 04 - 11:14 PM
alanabit 23 Mar 04 - 04:38 AM
khandu 16 May 04 - 11:26 PM
alanabit 17 May 04 - 04:26 AM
GUEST,mick 17 May 04 - 03:36 PM
alanabit 17 May 04 - 04:24 PM
khandu 17 May 04 - 07:37 PM
khandu 07 Aug 04 - 05:34 PM
alanabit 08 Aug 04 - 04:52 AM
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Subject: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:28 PM

I have been listening to this haunting piece by Mississippi John Hurt a lot lately. I can't understand why I find it so affecting. He slurs the words in an accent which I can't understand and there are all sorts of weirdly timed bass runs. Can anyone else tell me more about the piece? Is it a version of another song? Is it played in open tuning? I think it's a masterpiece, but I can't for the life of me say why!


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: GUEST,nonmember
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:35 PM

Moaning the Blues is in standard tuning and played in the key of E. Try using a eaegc#e (A7). The timing seems to be the big deal here, for me as well.   

I also see you are interested in Skip James. If you get a chance, check out Jack Owens.


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:14 PM

I find this problem intriguing, because I've listened to a couple of sound samples of Mississippi John Hurt singing MOANING THE BLUES, and I find his words totally unintelligible.

There seem to be lots of songs out there called MOANING THE BLUES (sometimes spelled MOANIN') also MOANING BLUES, DEEP MOANING BLUES, MOANING AND GROANING BLUES, AWFUL MOANING BLUES. If you consider that MOANING is awfully close – in meaning, pronunciation, and etymology – to MOURNING, which can sound like MORNING – then there's a whole host of other songs that might be related.

I've listened to several of them – as sound samples, anyway – but none that I've heard throw any light on what MJH is singing, or even seem like the same song.

Songs called MOANING THE BLUES or MOANIN' THE BLUES have been recorded by Blind Blake, Memphis Minnie, Allen Shaw, Charlie Spand, Victoria Spivey, Pigmeat Terry, and Henry Allen. A song with that name was written and recorded by Hank Williams, and covered by Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, and Mel Tillis.

Songs called MOANIN' BLUES have been recorded by John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins.

DEEP MOANING BLUES was recorded by Ma Rainey.


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:38 AM

Thanks for a couple of interesting and informative posts long after I had expected any interest. I think MJH recorded another title which sounded very similar. The name of it escapes me for the moment. I bet Rick Fielding could have pointed me in the right direction, but I didn't want to bother him when I knew he had other things to cope with. Maybe khandu or one of the other blues buffs can come up with something more.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AVALON MY HOMETOWN & AVALON BLUES
From: khandu
Date: 16 May 04 - 11:26 PM

"Moaning the Blues" is from the "Immortal MJH" on Vanguard. It is one of 4 versions of basically the same song under 4 different titles;
"Avalon Blues"(from the 1928 recordings) "Avalon, My Home Town"(from Vanguard's live "The Best of MJH"), "Lonesome Blues" (from Quicksilver's "MJH-Satisfied") & "Moanin' the Blues".

I am working on an MJH lyrics library website which hopefully eventually be a complete collection. At this time, I do not have the lyrics to "Moanin'the Blues", but I will get them! Till then, perhaps these will help!:



AVALON, MY HOMETOWN

Avalon my hometown always on my mind
Avalon my hometown always on my mind
Pretty mama in Avalon want me there all the time

Left Avalon this morning bout half past nine
Left Avalon this morning
Pretty mama in Avalon want me there all the time

When I left Avalon blowing kisses and wavin' at me
Left Avalon this morning
Left Avalon this morning throwin' kisses and wavin' at me

Says come back daddy stay right here with me
Oh come back daddy
Come back daddy and stay right here with me

Oh mama
Hate to tell you pretty mama

Hate to tell you pretty mama you've got to know
Hate to tell you pretty mama
I'm leavin' Avalon, ain't comin' back no more

Avalon my hometown always on my mind
Avalon my hometown
Pretty mama in Avalon want me there all the time

New York's a good town but it's not for mine
New York's a good town
Pretty mama in Avalon want me there all the time

One thing I can't understand
One thing, man
Many pretty mamas in Avalon and I'm just one man

Avalon my hometown
Avalon my hometown
Pretty mama in Avalon want me there all the time

AVALON BLUES

New York this mornin' just 'bout half past nine
Got in New York this mornin' just 'bout half past nine
In Avalon could hardly keep from cryin'

Avalon my hometown always on my mind
Avalon my hometown always on my mind
Pretty mamas in Avalon want me there all the time
When the train left Avalon, throwin' kisses and waving' at me
When the train left Avalon, throwin' kisses and waving' at me
Said Come back daddy and stay right here with me

Avalon's a small town, got no great big range
Avalon's a small town, got no great big range
Pretty mamas in Avalon sure will spend your change

New York's a good town but it's not for mine
New York's a good town but it's not for mine
Goin' back to Avalon have my pretty mamma all the time

Hope this helps!!

ken


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: alanabit
Date: 17 May 04 - 04:26 AM

Thanks Ken, good to have you back here. I have the latter two versions on CD and I have heard Avalon Blues. I am indisposed as a guitarist at the moment and I am not sure how much - if at all -I am going to play again. I'd still like to know how MJH did it though. It's a haunting piece.


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 17 May 04 - 03:36 PM

There was another guitarist playing on the Vanguard Immortal MJH record. Was that Skip James?


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: alanabit
Date: 17 May 04 - 04:24 PM

Patrick Sky certainly played on some of the later MJH sessions. Skip James was rumoured to have been MJH's brother in law, but I have not been able to confirm that story. I have never read of him playing on an MJH recording, although that's no evidence either way. If the thread stays up, a more knowledgeable Mudcatter is likely to show up!


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: khandu
Date: 17 May 04 - 07:37 PM

Skip was not MJH's bro-in-law!
Patrick Sky played guitar on a few of John's studio recordings; in fact, he plays second guitar on "Moanin' the Blues"!

ken


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOANING THE BLUES (Mississippi John Hurt)
From: khandu
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 05:34 PM

Here you go, Alan!
And remember, other MJH lyrics can be found HERE!

MOANING THE BLUES

Oh sweet baby
Yes just try me one more time

Naw naw baby, I don't wanna go
Naw naw baby
Honey you might do me like you did before

That girl in Avalon, yes she's moaning & crying
Left my girl in Avalon
Left my girl in Avalon, yes she's moaning & crying

Yes I don't wanna go
Naw naw baby
Honey you might do me like you did before

Oh yes
Um Hmmm um hmmm
Easy baby I come home and stay

Be rough with me, sho' might drive me away
Be rough with me baby
Um hmmmm sho' might drive me away

Sometime I do, baby then again I don't
Sometime I do
That's alright baby just give me just what I want

Yes she's grieving & crying
Little girl in Avalon
Yes she's sho' is grieving & crying

Cause she's crying & moaning

Ken


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Subject: RE: MJH - Moaning the Blues
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:52 AM

Thanks Ken, now I shall have to try and make some sense of it musically - which may prove beyond the range of my modest musicianship! I am sure that only someone from the Southern States could decipher the lyrics. It's a lovely piece, though.


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