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My name is Piggly Wiggly and I swear you can help yourself - Lucille Bogan, Groceries on the Shelf

Author Topic: Georgia Crawl  (Read 3877 times)

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poorboyjohnson

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Georgia Crawl
« on: July 24, 2005, 05:27:55 PM »
Hi all. Wandering if anyone knows the lyrics to Georgia Crawl by Eddie Anthony & Henry Williams.

Here's what I got:

Run here papa, look at this,
Out in the back yard just shaking like this.

Doing the Georgia Crawl, ah, Georgia Crawl.
(Donít need a bad time???) to do the Georgia Crawl.

I can shake it east, shake it west,
Way down south I can shake it the best.

Come in this house girl, come here right now,
(something about not doing the georgia crawl???), you donít know how.

I can shake it east, shake it west,
Way down south I can shake it the best.

(??) Sally, old and grey,
Doing the Georgia Crawl Ďtil she died away.

The missing line in the chorus would be most helpful since I'm sure the rest could be bluffed.

Hope y'all have better ears for them old voices than me. Thanks.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 11:20:45 AM »
Hi all. Wandering if anyone knows the lyrics to Georgia Crawl by Eddie Anthony & Henry Williams.

Hi Poorboy,

Bumping this up since there was no reply before (a bunch of us were distracted with Port Townsend preparations). And it ties into recent Peg Leg Howell discussions. This one sure is hard to hear. I'd love to know the lyrics as well, since it's a favorite of mine. I've made a couple changes based on what I hear or barely hear. But damned if I can get the chorus...

Run here papa, look at sis',
Out in the back yard just shaking like this.

Doing the Georgia Crawl, ah, Georgia Crawl.
We donít need a bad time??? to do the Georgia Crawl.

I can shake it east, shake it west,
Way down south I can shake it the best.

Come in this house girl, come here right now,
(something about not doing the georgia crawl???), you donít know how.

I can shake it east, shake it west,
Way down south I can shake it the best.

Now (don't look??) Sally, old and grey,
Doing the Georgia Crawl Ďtil she died away.

Also posting the tune for those who don't have it.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 11:44:03 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Slack

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 11:33:15 AM »
Quote
We donít need a bad time??? to do the Georgia Crawl.

Tough to make sense of this, you'd think we'd be able to get it as the chorus is repeated often.. Only alternative I can suggest is using "about time" instead of 'a bad time" - whcih makes less sense.

Quote
(something about not doing the georgia crawl???), you donít know how.

Out there trying to do the crawl and you don't know how

Quote
Now (don't look??) Sally, old and grey,

I hear 'don't look' as well.

Offline dj

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 02:37:01 PM »
I agree with Uncle Bud's version of the lyrics, and with Slack's ammendments to that.  That last verse really seems to be "Now don't look Sally, old and gray...", possibly with an "at" intended but left out between "look" and "Sally".  My only further suggestion is that the last line of the chorus is "We don't need a bad time.  Do the Georgia Crawl".  I think when you hear two syllables after "time", it's just Henry Williams and Eddie Anthony coming in at slightly different times on the "do".     

What a great song!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 04:28:11 PM »
What about "We don't need nobody tryin' to do the Georgia Crawl"?

Online Johnm

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 11:03:15 PM »
Hi all,
I've heard the line in question done both as
   "You don't need to buy a tie", and
   "You don't need a black tie", but I don't feel a strong degree of certainty about either one.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2005, 08:27:53 AM »
Listening closely, it does kinda sound like "You don't need a black tie".  I've sung this, but never really obsessed over the words...  I've sung "Don't need 'bout dyin'", which of course makes no sense whatsoever but felt good at the time.

Offline MTJ3

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2005, 11:56:34 PM »
This may be an interesting genre bending piece.  I don't recall having heard "Georgia Crawl," but I have to buy the Peg Leg Howell Documents after reading all of the great press on the forum.  The lyrics (including the order of the verses) are very close to those of Louis Armstrong's "Georgia Grind."  See below.

"Georgia Grind" Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five recorded February 26, 1926 (Composer credit: A. Williams)  Vocal duet

[Lil Armstrong]

Papa, papa, just look at sis
Out in the back yard shaking like this.
Doing that Georgia Grind, that old Georgia Grind.
Now everybody's talking about that old Georgia Grind.

I can shake it East, I can shake it West,
But way down South I can shake it best.
Doing the Georgia Grind, ah the dirty Georgia Grind.
Now everybody's raving about that old Georgia Grind.

[Louis Armstrong]

Come in here, gal.  Come in here right now.
I been trying to be bad, and you don't know how.
Doing the Georgia Grind, oh the Georgia Grind.
Everybody's trying to do the Georgia Grind.

Said old Miss Jones was getting grey.
Saw the Georgia Grind, threw her stick away.
She did the Georgia Grind, yes sir, she went crazy 'bout the Georgia Grind
You know what I mean, everybody's trying to do the Georgia Grind.

Armstrong's recording must have been a hit, or the song must have independently been a hot number, because songs of that title were recorded by Duke Ellington (NYC 3/26, with composer credits to Spencer Williams--instrumental, same melody), Caroline Johnson 3/30/26 (NYC), Edmonia Henderson 7/21/26 (Chicago, with Jelly Roll Morton (!) on piano), and Mike Jackson 8/17/26 (NYC, with Jabbo Smith on cornet and Coleman Hawkins on tenor).  I haven't heard the Johnson, Henderson or Jackson versions.  Williams and Anthony recorded their version on April 19, 1928, in Atlanta, GA.  Accordingly, it appears that the Armstrong recording may have been the source.  Or there could have been a direct or indirect common source.

The Georgia Grind was reportedly a dance, though it is plainly a double entendre here, and closer to a single entendre, as one might expect, in Lucille Bogan's "My Georgia Grind," recorded in 1930 (but not related lyrically or in form to Armstrong's song).  Georgia Crawl, which McTell refers to in "Broke Down Engine," which he recorded in October 1931, may have been a local variant on that and seems to have a similar meaning.  ("What make me love my woman, she can really do the Georgia Crawl.")   

BTW, a lot of the Hot Five and Hot Seven sides were blues or ragtime forms, some of which lay very nicely on the guitar (though none as readily, IMHO, as Mr. Miller's truly ingenious "Muskrat Ramble.")  If you're interested in mining another, but related, vein, get the JSP 4 CD box set, remastered by John R.T. Davies, which is not only cheaper than but has sound quality vastly superior to the Columbia reissues.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2005, 09:04:03 AM »
Hi MTJ3 - thanks for the great information on the Armstrong version. I was hoping my lone Columbia CD had it to listen to, but alas does not. Been meaning to get that JSP set for ages.  Anyway, it certainly doesn't surprise me that Eddie Anthony got the song from Armstrong. A number of the songs that seem more "his" than Peg Leg's are taken from elsewhere (Too Tight, Everything's Comin' My Way, even "Turkey Buzzard" is Turkey in the Straw - I'm sure there's others). Peg Leg solo tends to come up with more original material. Anyway, great song.

Online Johnm

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2005, 12:00:35 PM »
Hi MTJ3,
I'd like to add my thanks to those of Uncle Bud for your post.  My knowledge of pre-1940 Jazz is sketchy at best, so I miss out on a lot of the connections between jazz and blues in the 20s and 30s, I'm sure.  I have a feeling that it was a period when there was really a lot of cross-pollination.  Verses to the "Georgia Grind" also appear to share some similarity to those of "Winin' Boy".
All best,
Johnm

Offline waxwing

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2005, 02:40:04 PM »
I'm not sure we could say definitively which way this song was cross pollinated. Why would blues players in Georgia be the ones who would cover a song called Georgia whatever from NO jazz players. Why not visaversa? It's not always correct to assume recording dates signify who played a song first. Does anyone have bot recordings and can point to reasons why one version is derivative of the other. I think all we can say is that, sure, there was cross pollination, but who knows which way it was going when.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline MTJ3

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2005, 06:25:26 PM »
Johnm,  You're surely being modest about your knowledge of pre-War jazz.  For those who are interested in hearing more pre-War jazz without spending a ton of money on it, if you don't have an objection to Real Player, there is a wealth of great music at www.redhotjazz.com.  There's a fair amount of blues on there as well, including a lot of Lucille Bogan.

Regards.

boots

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2005, 06:13:02 AM »
...if you don't have an objection to Real Player...

If like me you do, then give Real Alternative http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4094.html a try.

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2005, 06:11:02 PM »
I've been offline for a few weeks -- we listened, and listened, and listened to Georgia Crawl a few years ago, and finally I called John Miller about that mystery line in the chorus.  We had been singing "don't need a black tie" but we knew that wasn't right!  John suggested "no need to buy a thing" or maybe "you don't need to buy a thing"  "to do the Georgia Crawl"

Come here papa, look at sis
Out in the backyard just shaking like this
   Doin'  the Georgia Crawl, oh Georgia Crawl
   (You) don't need to buy a thing,  do the Georgia Crawl

I can shake it east, shake it west
Way down south I can shake it the best

Come in this house gal, come here right now
Out there trying to do the crawl and you don't know how

Old Aunt Sally, old and gray
Doin' the Ga. Crawl til she died away

Great song, and GREAT fiddling by Eddie Anthony on this one!
Suzy T.

Offline MuddyBuddy

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Re: Georgia Crawl
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2005, 05:15:14 PM »
Hmm found this somewhere, Mudcat maybe...  this seems to sound like the record I have
the unsure line....

 "We donít need nobody tryiní do the Georgia Crawl"

cheers
Buddy

 


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