To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
11 messages

Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues

09 Jul 00 - 03:16 PM (#254639)
Subject: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: Stefan Wirz

Somebody *had* to do it - so I did it:

CHRIS BOUCHILLON (189? - 197?) 'The Original Talking Blues Man'

("I was born in the last month of the year, the last week in the month, the last day in the week, the last hour in the day ....")

at last online:

Additional info is appreciated !

Stefan Wirz

11 Jul 00 - 01:40 PM (#255801)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: Art Thieme

I used to do both "THE ORIGINAL TALKIN' BLUES" as well as "HANNAH". They were side A and B of the same 78 rpm record. (Columbia 15120D) Sadly it broke at least 30 years ago during a move either from Chicago to Oregon or back again. I got much mileage out of both songs. Especially "HANNAH"...

(C)I'm still at the door, chilled to the core,
Hannah darlin', maybe you take-a-me back once more,
(D7)I'm out in the snow and shivering so,
My bones are rattlin' with the breezes that (G7)blow,
Hannah be nice 'cause I done knocked twice,
Let me in there black child (I always sang "darlin'") 'cause I'm cold as ice,
(D7) Something new---I smell chicken stew,
Oh Hannah, I love only you!


(C)Hannah, Hannah,
Hannah, won't you open that door,
(F) Hannah, Hannah, won't you change your manner,
This is (D7) old Bill Johnson -- don't you love me no more?
(C)I plead 'cause I need,
That place behind the stove I used to have before,
(F)Hannah (knock, knock, knock, knock) (C) Hannah (knock, knock, knock, knock)
Why the devil don't you open (G7) that (C)door.

Let me in please, honest I'll freeze,
I'll catch the grip--I just started to sneeze,
Put off that rhyme 'cause it sure is a crime,
You singin' that song about "The Old Summertime",
Frost bitten feet---my nose is like a beet,
Let me in there, Hannah, 'cause I need some heat,
I love you still -- and I always will,
Hannah, Hannah, this is BILL.

Art Thieme



11 Jul 00 - 01:44 PM (#255806)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: Art Thieme

...that was 1926.


11 Jul 00 - 02:28 PM (#255848)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: GUEST,I guess

I never heard a Talkin Blues before Woody Guthrie, but I've heard Chris Bouchilon's name. Did he use the same chords in order that Woody did. Also, if i can ask two questions, did Ricky Skaggs have a similar song out a few years ago. Something like Honey won't you open that door. He probably heard a lot of the older records.


11 Jul 00 - 04:43 PM (#255950)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: Songster Bob

"I Guess" asked if the talking blues form all used the same chord progressions. The answer is yes and no. There seem to have been two common progressions, the I/IV/V and the "Circle of fifths." Art quoted the words and chords to "Hannah," which is not a talking blues (thanks for the reminder, Art, I always liked that song, but never learned it). He also quoted some of "Born in Hard Luck," which IS a talking blues, but which uses the circle of fifths (e.g., C/A7/D7/G7/C). The "original talking blues" format is the one Woody used for so many of his (Talking Columbia, etc.), and it's the I/IV/V (e.g., G/C/D) pattern. I've heard recitatives related to talking blues that use other progressions ("Alice's Restaurant" comes to mind), but the most common progression by far is the "original talking blues" pattern.

For one more example, look up my own "Walking Folk Musician Purist Snob Blues" in Digitrad. It uses the G/C/D pattern throughout.

Bob Clayton

09 Jun 09 - 04:24 PM (#2652532)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: Atwaterkent

Here is a link to this song sung by Arthur Collins in 1904:

29 May 10 - 09:21 AM (#2916540)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: GUEST,Judy

So glad I found these lyrics, which I knew from Jim Kweskin's record Relax Your Mind - in the 1970s. I couldn't find them under Jim Kweskin's name, but maybe if I post this, I'll come up on Google. It did quote on one of the links that he'd gotten the song from "Chris Bouchillon" so that's how I found this. I met a woman named Hannah online and I wanted to tell her about them. She so young, she woulda never heard themn!!


30 May 10 - 12:20 AM (#2917014)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: dick greenhaus

If anyone would like to hear a CD of Chris Bouchillon, CAMSCO Music has one (everything he recorded, I believe).

09 Mar 11 - 05:14 PM (#3110701)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: GUEST,Blake Lindsey

I am from the area in which he was born and am in fact his direct descendant (hes my great great uncle). For my senior thesis, I am doin a research project on him and would appreciate any kind of help as far as tracking down sources of information. I am interviewing relatives who knew him, but they don't know much! books or scholarly articles would be most helpful but any source of info would be appreciated! contact me either through here or at my e-mail at

Blake L.

08 Dec 17 - 11:49 AM (#3892824)
Subject: Lyr Add: TALKING BLUES (Chris Bouchillon)
From: Jim Dixon

This is how I hear it:

As recorded by Chris Bouchillon, 1926.

If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how to do [it]:
Grease your feet with a little mutton suet.
Stand right out of the devil's hands,
And slide right over in the promised land.
Go easy.
Make it easy.
Go greasy.

Standin' in the corner by the mantelpiece,
Up in the corner by a bucket of grease,
I greased my feet with a little axle grease,
Went slippin' up an' down that mantelpiece,
Huntin' matches,
Cigarette stubs,
Chewin' tobacco.

Make up the bed, gal; make 'em up nice.
Ol' preacher Johnson gonna be here tonight.
He's a chicken eater.
Loves cake.
Loves the sisters too.

Standin' on the corner, standin' like a man,
Standin' on the corner with a bucket in my hand.
Standin' on the corner with a bucket in my hand,
Waitin' for a sop by the white folks' hand,
Sweet'nin' 'taters,
Cold biscuits.

Down in the wildwoods sittin' on a log,
My finger on the trigger and my eye on a hog.
I pulled the trigger and the gun said "blip."
Jumped on that hog with all my grip.
Did you scrape him?
Eatin' hog-eye.
Love chit'lin's.

Behind the hen-house the other night,
It was awful dark an' I had no light.
I scrambled 'round; I got a hold of a goose.
The white folks say you gotta turn him a-loose.
Jumped gulleys.
Rode bushes.
Dodged bullets too.

Behind the hen-house on my knees,
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze.
It was only a rooster sayin' his prayers
And a-givin' out the hymns to the hens upstairs,
Just a-preachin',
Hens a-singin',
Rooster's prayin'.

They put me in the jailhouse on my knees.
All they give me was a pan of peas.
The peas was red and the meat was fat.
I got stuck on the jailhouse just for that.
Got frazzy(?).
Wanted to cry.

They ain't no use me a-workin' so hard.
I got a woman in the white folks' yard.
When she'd kill a chicken she'd save me the feet.
She thinks I'm a-workin' but I'm loafin' in the street,
Havin' a good time,
Talkin' about her
To other women.

They ain't no use me a-workin' so hard.
I got a woman in the white folks' yard.
When she'd kill a chicken she'd save me the head.
She thinks I'm a-workin' but I'm lyin' in the bed,
Havin' a good time,
Dreamin' about 'er.

[I have seen discussions at Mudcat where people refer to this as "The Original Talking Blues"--as if "Original" was part ot the title, but it was not, as you can see from the record label, seen here. Apparently John Greenway gave it the title "Original Talking Blues" when he recorded it in 1958.]

10 Dec 17 - 02:41 AM (#3893113)
Subject: RE: Chris Bouchillon - Talking Blues
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott

If you go through Howard Odum's long 1911 article, which I don't feel like doing right now, the song family was around by then, including the adding the short "chittlins"-type lines stuff.