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Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done

12 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM (#2313864)
Subject: Lyrics - Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: GUEST,Jim

Can anyone complete the first line of the third verse?

'Don't Try It For It Can't Be Done' Riley Puckett

< http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/j15056-18.mp3 >

Don't never say, that I am the best
There's nothing, that I can't do.
You'll find that there's many things put to a test,
Just listen I'll tell you a few.

You can't hit a ball with the bat of your eye
Don't try it for it can't be done.
You can't pick a goose and make gooseberry pie
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might bring/drink ............................................
You might raise a chicken without laying an egg
But you can't raise a cow from the calf of your leg
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You can't sail a ship without getting aboard
Don't try it for it can't be done.
You can't take the rattle all out of a gourd
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might find a barber who tell you just how
you can get a good shave from the blade of a plow.
But you cannot get milk from a gentleman cow.
Don't try it for it can't be done.


12 Apr 08 - 04:48 PM (#2313877)
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: Peace

Sent this thread title to two Mudcat members who are virtual wizards at this kind of search. Don't give up yet.


12 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM (#2313887)
Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T TRY IT FOR IT CAN'T BE DONE
From: deleuran

I have found some old Riley Puckett songs, and would like to learn one of them.
I have been unable to find the lyrics anywhere, so I have tried to write it down from the recording, but as it is an old 78' from the 20's, and english is not my native language, I have been stuck with one line.
Here comes the lyrics and I'll mark the words I don't understand. I have written them as I hear them, but they don't make sense. Hope someone can help me.

The title is:
Don't Try It For It Can't Be Done.


Folks never say, that I am the best
There's nothing, that I can't do.
You'll find that there's many things put to a test,
Just listen I'll tell you a few.

You can't hit a ball with the bat of your eye
Don't try it for it can't be done.
You can't pick a goose and make gooseberry pie
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might bring water for hunting their back??(This is the words I don't get)
You might raise a chicken without laying an egg
But you can't raise a cow from the calf of your leg
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You can't sail a ship without getting aboard
Don't try it for it can't be done.
You can't take the rattle all out of a gourd
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might find a barber who tell you just how
you can get a good shave from the blade of a plow.
But you cannot get milk from a gentleman cow
Don't try it for it can't be done.

The song can be heard here:
http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/j15056-18.mp3


12 Apr 08 - 05:26 PM (#2313901)
Subject: RE: Req: Riley Puckett lyrics - Don't Try It...
From: GUEST,dani

Janie should be by any minute, now....


Dani


12 Apr 08 - 05:46 PM (#2313915)
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: Jim Dixon

I've listened, and I can't make sense of that line either. Furthermore, I find it rather strange that Puckett sings the rest of the song quite clearly, but mumbles this one line. My theory is, he forgot the lyrics himself and just bluffed his way through!
I did find a suitable line with Google Book Search, however:

"You might find a beggar that never does beg."

It's not what Puckett sings in the recording, but it does make sense, and it fits the meter and rhyme scheme, so if you want to sing the song, I recommend you sing that.

That line comes from Prairie Farmer and WLS: The Burridge D. Butler Years, by James F. Evans, 1969, page 218. Since the book is still under copyright, only a "snippet" is viewable online, so I don't have much context, but the song quote seems to accompany a story about Kincaid performing on radio station WLS in Chicago, so it might be the authentic Kincaid composition.

WorldCat might tell you where to find the book in a library near you.


12 Apr 08 - 06:13 PM (#2313926)
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: deleuran

Thank you very much. I have been driven to insanity for three days now :-)
I think this song is very funny, and wanted to sing it. I had considered bluffing my way through that line, as you suggest Puckett has done, but the line you suggest makes perfectly sense, fits the meter as you say, and it rhymes on "eggs" in the next line.
I'll go for that.

Thank you again. Now I can sleep tonight :-)

Can you tell me something about Kincaid? Or maybe a link? I don't know him, but would like to get some details.


12 Apr 08 - 08:34 PM (#2313993)
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: Jeri

This is what I get, with a couple of differences I'm sure about and that line that I'm not:

Folks never say, that I am the best
There's nothing, that I can't do.
You'll find that there's many when put to a test,
Just listen I'll tell you a few.

You can't hit a ball with the bat of your eye
Don't try it for it can't be done.
You can't pick a goose and make gooseberry pie
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might bring water, folks, punching the bag
You might raise a chicken without laying an egg
But you can't raise a cow from the calf of your leg
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You can't sail a ship without getting aboard
Don't try it, it can't be done.
You can't take the rattle all out of a gourd
Don't try it for it can't be done.

You might find a barber who tell you just how
you can get a good shave from the blade of a plow.
But you cannot get milk from a gentleman cow
Don't try it for it can't be done.


12 Apr 08 - 09:09 PM (#2314004)
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: Jim Dixon

Whoops! I forgot to give Bradley Kincaid's full name.

Wikipedia is a good place to start.

A few more corrections:

"Folks, never say that I am the best."

"You'll find that there's many when put to a test."

"You can't take the rattle all out of a Ford."


13 Apr 08 - 12:53 AM (#2314064)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: Janie

I can't tell either.

I also wonder if he flubbed the words there.

"You might spring water, would make a bit more sense than "drink" or "bring"

Janie (who Dani knows too well>)


13 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM (#2314125)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: GUEST,Ptarmigan

OK

So if we've established that nobody here actually KNOWS what the original line was, then why don't we just see who can come up with the best, most amusing, most appropriate substitute line?

Here goes:

"You might bring water in a brown paper bag,"

Cheers
Dick


13 Apr 08 - 07:51 AM (#2314167)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: deleuran

As I wrote above, english is not my native language, so I am grateful for all the help I can get here. You folks have certainly done some serious work.
As far as I can hear, the line: "You might spring water, folks, punching the bag" is the closest to what Puckett sings. And it gives good meaning, in the context and the concept of the song.
I guess that "spring water" means breaking a sweat, or what?
This is one of the lines about what you might possibly be able to do, as opposed to the things you can't do.
It is the best guess yet. The line: "You might find a beggar that never does beg." was a good one too. Not what Puckett sing, but it gives meaning and it works.


13 Apr 08 - 08:05 AM (#2314174)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: deleuran

Hey Ptarmigan!
I didn't see it was you until now. Nice to meet you here too :-)
But sorry, I don't go for the brown paper bag.

And Jim Dixon. Thanks for the corrections. It's getting better and better :-)
Not only I have got the lyrics correct (or almost) I also have got the composers name.
I will take a closer look at Bradley Kinkaid. He seems to be an influential and interesting character. I would like to lay my hands on his book "My Favorite Mountain Ballads". But I guess it would be hard to find these days. At least over here in Denmark.


13 Apr 08 - 08:34 AM (#2314185)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: GUEST

Yeah I know, it's not a great idea is it. I just thought it might trigger a few more ideas.

I didn't think it really had much going for it anyway ....... given that most folks think of [i]sick[/i] when they think of a brown paper back! :-(

Cheers
Dick


13 Apr 08 - 08:49 AM (#2314196)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: deleuran

It's not a bad Idea, Dick, and it could be fun to see some creative thinking, finding alternative lines, but I go for the line: "You might spring water, folks, punching the bag"
It sounds like it is what Puckett sings.

Another thing is, that we don't always have to go for the correct lyrics. We can make our own. It has been done a lot in the old days. Yesterday I got a CD, with recordings from the medicine shows in the 20's and 30's. There was a great one with Gid Tanner & His Skilled Lickers: "It ain't Gonne Rain No More" I liked it and looked up the lyrics on the internet, and found it, I thought. The melody is the same, the chorus is the same, but the verses has completely different words. And funny too.
So your idea of triggering new ideas is not bad. On the contrary. It could be fun.


13 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM (#2314225)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try - Riley Puckett
From: GUEST

OK ... howsabout:

1 - "You might wake up rich & not have to beg."

......... Well, one can dream, can't one? :-)

Cheers
Dick


15 Apr 08 - 03:42 PM (#2316539)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: deleuran

I thank all you people who have helped me find out the lyrics for this song.
I have made a little recording of it. Playing on a parlor guitar.
You can hear it here:
http://www.jesperdeleuran.dk/media/Musik/RAIN2_02.MP3


15 Apr 08 - 03:43 PM (#2316542)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: deleuran

Sorry! Wrong song.

http://www.jesperdeleuran.dk/media/Musik/DONTTRY3.MP3


15 Apr 08 - 09:05 PM (#2316850)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,DWR

I had the luxury of listening to two other versions, most recently recorded by The Gillette Brothers, Live From The Camp Street Cafe & Store, Big Daddy Records, 2001. Pipp and Guy credit Otto Gray and His Oklahoma Cowboys as their source. A check shows that they recorded the song January 17, 1928 on Gennett 6376.

Anyway, the Gillette Brothers sing FORD as Jim suggests, and for the questionable line they have "Now you might find a beggar who never does beg."

The other version is a bit less common, recorded by Ozark musician Arkansas Red. He also sings FORD but his take on the disputed line is "You might feel wonderful punching a bag."

Other differences are of a minor nature. My guess is that later versions have the same problems, trying to decipher early recordings. I think I'd try to find the Otto Gray version if I could. It has been reissued on BACM 139.


15 Apr 08 - 09:16 PM (#2316856)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Janie

"How about a clicky for deleuran's recording of the song?"

"Ok. Sounds like a good idea to me:>)"

http://www.jesperdeleuran.dk/media/Musik/DONTTRY3.MP3


16 Apr 08 - 12:06 AM (#2316940)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: 12-stringer

DWR wrote:
The other version is a bit less common, recorded by Ozark musician Arkansas Red. He also sings FORD but his take on the disputed line is "You might feel wonderful punching a bag."


Ya know, I used to do this song 'way back in the 60s (one of several I learned off the GHP album, the first Riley Puckett reissue), and what I made of that line was "You might dream wonderful punching a bag." Made no sense on God's green earth but that's the way I did it back then. I doubt I've even started this song since the Nixon administration, but listening to an mp3 at Juneberry the other night, that's still what I hear him saying. And it's definitely Ford (notorious rattletraps), not 'gourd.'


16 Apr 08 - 04:17 AM (#2317025)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Pete

I really like the song.
Could anyone also supply the chords?
Thanks


16 Apr 08 - 05:27 AM (#2317047)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: deleuran

I play it this way:

|C--|C--|D7--|D7--|G--|G--|C--|C--|
|C--|C--|D7--|D7--|G--|G--|C--|C--|

|Am--|E--|Am--|Am--|D7--|D7--|G--|G--|
|C--|C--|D7--|D7--|G--|G--|C--|C--|


30 Sep 10 - 06:38 AM (#2996679)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Uncle Wiggley

The verse you are asking about goes like this:
You might go to sleep without punching the bag.
You might raise a chicken without laying an egg
But you can't raise a cow from the calf of your leg
Don't try it for it can't be done.

Turns out that folks used to use the following expressions for going to sleep:
"I am going to punch the ol' bag."
"I am hitting the bag"
"I think I will punch the sack."
"I am going to punch the sack."

Also the very first verse begins:
"Folks, never say - I am the best"


30 Sep 10 - 10:26 AM (#2996822)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,leeneia

"You can't hit a ball with THE bat of your eye" is wrong. It should be:

You can't hit a ball with A bat of your eye.

To bat one's eyes is to lower the eyelids flirtatiously.
============
I think the mystery line is "You can't bring water for punching a bag." It doesn't make much sense, but "punching the bag" either refers to boxing practice where fighters punch a hanging bag at the gym, or to going to sleep, as Uncle Wiggley says.

I believe boxing was much more on people's minds in the 1920's than it is today.


30 Sep 10 - 03:00 PM (#2997031)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Jim Dixon

To "bat" one's eye was in my father's vocabulary. It simply meant "blink." It could be voluntary or involuntary. One could bat one's eyes "at" someone, which was a flirtatious gesture by a woman to a man, or it could also be done by a child trying to appear "sweet" in order to get some favor from an adult.


30 Sep 10 - 07:15 PM (#2997197)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Mark Ross

Bob Bovee does a great version of this.

Mark Ross


30 Sep 10 - 11:31 PM (#2997307)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Seamus Kennedy

"You can't bring water or punch in a bag"
i.e. you can't carry two liquids in a bag?


01 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM (#2997504)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,leeneia

Could be, I s'pose.


02 Oct 10 - 12:40 AM (#2997941)
Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T TRY IT ('CAUSE IT CAN'T BE DONE)
From: Gene

Here's a variation:

Don't Try It ('Cause It Can't Be Done)
Volo Bogtrotters

Now folks never say to yourself I'm the best
There's nothing that I cannot do
You'll find there are many when put [thru/to]
the test
Just listen I'll tell you a few

You can't hit a ball with a bat of your eye
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done
You can't take a goose and make gooseberry pie
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done

You might find a beggar who never does beg
You might raise a chicken without laying an egg
But you can't raise a cow from the calf of your leg
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done

You can't sail a ship without getting aboard
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done
You can't take the rattle all out of a Ford
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done

You might find a barber who'll tell you just how
You get a good shave from the blade of a plow
But you cannot get milk from a gentleman cow
Don't try it 'cause it can't be done

For mp3 - PM or email me: cn8gv9@aim.com

Gene


27 Dec 10 - 08:37 PM (#3062277)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST

You might find a baker who never did bake, is the correct line.

And you can't take the rattles out of a Ford.

Dave Raun


19 Jun 11 - 02:44 PM (#3172972)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST

It's "you can't get chocolate mild straight out of a cow" on that last line.


19 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM (#3172973)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST

^ Correction. *Chocolate MILK (not mild)


20 Jun 11 - 12:48 AM (#3173213)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Gurney

Good. Chocolate mild sounds a vile mixture.

On a similar theme, does anyone have the words to a poem, much quoted in the industrial English Midlands long ago, which starts

They told him the job couldn't be done!
He said "Let ME try."
They said; "Others before you have tried and failed!"
He said 'Others, yes. But not I."

Please?


20 Jun 11 - 01:43 AM (#3173220)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Gerry

Gurney, there's an Edgar Guest poem, It Couldn't Be Done, set to music by Vin Garbutt, words available all over the web - is that what you're thinking of?


21 Jun 11 - 12:42 AM (#3173662)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Gurney

No, Gerry. This one is about youthful arrogance and a 'can do' attitude that isn't backed up by skills, told by an older and wiser head. The last two lines are-

So he tackled this job that 'couldn't be done.'
And he COULDN'T BLOODY DO IT!

Most of the rest is the lad pleading to be allowed to try.

I was the butt of it at the time, of course.


21 Jun 11 - 09:57 AM (#3173850)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Grishka

Gurney, no doubt it's a parody of Edgar Guest's "It Couldn't Be Done". See this thread.


21 Jun 11 - 04:41 PM (#3174118)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Gurney

Just possibly inspired by, Grishka, but it is very different in all ways except the title. And maybe I have the title wrong! And since I am now at an age when I could be expected to be 'older-an-wiser-' I'd like to pass it on.

Ha. Me, wiser. Not likely.


21 Jun 11 - 06:10 PM (#3174156)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Grishka

Gurney, of course I have no wisdom in this matter except it were given me from the internet.

It seems evident to me that your lines
So he tackled this job that 'couldn't be done.'
And he COULDN'T BLOODY DO IT!
are not only inspired by, but a direct parodistic derivation (in almost the same metre) of Guest's
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
In the thread I linked to ClaireBear (30 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM) posted:
My father used to recite a shorter, possibly more realistic version of "It Couldn't Be Done":

They told him that it couldn't be done,
But he said, "Lead me to it!"
Then he tackled that thing that couldn't be done
And found that he couldn't do it.


05 Mar 16 - 11:48 AM (#3776812)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: GUEST,Grouser

The line in question doesn't seem to make much sense and is either a blown line as suggested or an arcane idiom. I hear "punching a/the bag" at the close of the line and the garbled words to me sound like either "bring water for", or "dream wonderful", but I've been going with this:

"you might raise wonder for punching a bag" since the next two claims in the stanza use the word "raise".

The last stanza says Ford, though gourd makes sense as well.


09 Mar 16 - 12:31 AM (#3777539)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Try It for It Can't Be Done
From: Jim Dixon

The Internet Archive has a recording of DON'T TRY IT; IT CAN'T BE DONE recorded by Pie Plant Pete in 1934. The lyrics are nearly the same as those posted by Gene above, from the Volo Bogtrotters.