To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
12 messages

Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest (W Guthrie/B Bragg)

02 Feb 00 - 01:35 AM (#172118)
Subject: Unwelcome Guest
From: John in Brisbane

Something made me think of this one - it's been in Sing Out in the last year or so, but I don't have access. Can anyone kindly oblige with the lyrics please? Regards, John

02 Feb 00 - 02:00 AM (#172130)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: Joe Offer

Well, John - Click here for the tune. I'll post the lyrics later, after I finish a late dinner...
Maybe not... I can't find that issue. It's Voluem 43, #3. Can anybody help. It's Woody Guthrie's lyrics with music by Billy Bragg. Anybody got Sing Out! or the Bragg-Guthrie album?
-Joe Offer-

02 Feb 00 - 03:03 AM (#172146)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: Brendy

Yo there John.
I couldnt find the lyrics, but if you keep an eye on This Page, there are links to Billy Bragg sites, with loads of other lyrics. Or, Try these references on Google.
All the best.

02 Feb 00 - 02:15 PM (#172406)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: GUEST,Arkie

Don't know that one. How about Come After Breakfast, Bring Your Lunch and Leave Before Suppertime?

02 Feb 00 - 05:24 PM (#172498)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: Rick Fielding

Arkie, is that an existing song? If not I'd love to write a swing tune with that title. Thanks


02 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM (#172680)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: JamesJim

John in Brisbane, this is a great song. Written by Woody Guthrie and found by his daughter in a bunch of his unpublished songs (fairly recently). She commissioned Billy Bragg to do an album of these songs - Unwelcome Guest is my favorite and I do have the album (have words/chords and will keep track of this thread to see if anyone can send you to a site where you can find them). If not, I'll send them to you. Jim - Louisville, Ky.

02 Feb 00 - 11:57 PM (#172711)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: Arkie

Rick, Come After Breakfast was written around 1908 and I'll see if I can find it. If not I'll pass the job on to Dale Rose, who can locate just about anything. But no need to wait, go ahead with your swing tune.

03 Feb 00 - 11:24 PM (#173278)
Subject: Lyr Add: UNWELCOME GUEST (W Guthrie/B Bragg)^^
From: JamesJim

Okay J from B, here goes:

Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg

To the rich man's bright lodges, I ride in this wind
On my good horse, I call you, my shiney Black Bess
To the playhouse of fortune to take the bright silver
And gold you have taken from somebody else

And as we go riding in the damp foggy midnight
You snort, my good pony, and you give me your best
For you know and I know, good horse, amongst the rich ones
How oftimes we go there an unwelcome guest

I've never took food from the widows and orphans
And never a hard working man I oppressed
So take your pace easy, for home soon like lightening
We soon will be riding, my shiny Black Bess

No fat rich man's pony can ever overtake you
And there's not a rider from the east to the west
Could hold you a light in this dark mist and midnight
When the potbellied thieves chase their unwelcome guest

I don't know, good horse, as we trot in this dark here
That robbing the rich is for worse or for best
They take it by stealing and lying and gambling
And I take it my way, my shiny Black Bess

I treat horses good and I'm friendly to strangers
I ride and your running makes my guns talk the best
And the rangers and deputies are hired by the rich man
To catch me and hang me, my shining Black Bess

Yes, they'll catch me napping one day and they'll kill me
And then I'll be gone, but that won't be my end
For my guns and my saddle will always be filled
By unwelcome travellers and other brave men

And they'll take the money and spread it out equal
Just like the Bible and the prophets suggest
But the men that go riding to help these poor workers
The rich will cut down like an unwelcome guest

Woody's communism was showing a little when he wrote this one. Billy Bragg did a great job composing the music. There are other great songs on that album as well. Hope you enjoy. Jim

03 Feb 00 - 11:31 PM (#173282)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: John in Brisbane

Jim, that's truly marvellous - better than I expected. I must admit it will take me some time to absorb it. Many thanks, John

Joe, if you wish I can submit the MIDI to Alan. I'd like some time to play around with it though. I found the Sing Out version of the MIDI to be very unfriendly.

03 Feb 00 - 11:47 PM (#173296)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: JamesJim

John, you've heard the Midi, so you know the tune. I sing this in C, and here are the chords:

C - Am - F - C/ C - Am - D7 - G7/ C - Am - F - C/ C - Am - F - C

This progression works all the way through. Hope this helps.

04 Feb 00 - 02:27 PM (#173612)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest
From: JamesJim

John,note in the 6th verse - Should be "I treat horse's (plural)good"....... When I sing this song, I catch myself replacing Woody's words. Guess that's just part of the folk process. Oh, and thanks Joe - I appreciate you adding the "breaks."

17 Oct 18 - 10:54 PM (#3957210)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Unwelcome Guest (W Guthrie/B Bragg)
From: GUEST,Marcia Palmater

No one has mentioned Molly and Tenbrooks!