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Mama whip, mama spank, if her daddy don't come home - Mamie Smith in dominatrix mode

Author Topic: Blind Lemon Jefferson lyrics  (Read 151115 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Blind Lemon Jefferson lyrics
« on: March 27, 2004, 09:44:25 AM »
My turn to solicit help on some lyrics. This is one of those Lemon in C things I'm working on and probably my favorite along with Lonesome House Blues of the Lemon tunes using this C accompaniment. This one was one of the earlier instances of it in the Lemon "oeuvre", and has cool stuff packed into it, including a verse that uses the Black Horse Blues guitar part and an ending that uses something similar to the Black Horse solo.

Chock House Blues

1)
So many wagons, it have cut that good road down ???
I said so many wagons have cut that good road down ???
And the girl I love her mama don't want me around

2)
Baby I can't drink whiskey but I'm a fool 'bout my homemade wine
Baby I can't drink whiskey but I'm a fool 'bout my homemade wine
Ain't no sense in leavin' Dallas they makes it there all the time

3)
These here women want these men to act like a ???
I said these women want these men to act like a ???
Grab a pick and shovel and roll from sun to sun???

4)
I got a girl for Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday too
I got a girl for Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday too
I'm gonna (sweeten up??? clean up???) on the Saturday what the women through the week going to do

5)
Don't look for me on Sunday I wanna take (pigmeat? baby?) to Sunday school
Don't look for me on Sunday I wanna take (pigmeat? baby?) to Sunday school
She's a fine-looking fair brown but she ain't never learned Lemon's rule

The Eric Sackheim book suggests "These here women want these men to act like some ox from dawn" for verse three. Don't know that I hear that. Not sure about the opening lines of verse one either, which I've taken from Sackheim.

The mp3 file is attached for scholarly purposes...
« Last Edit: March 27, 2004, 09:45:57 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Richard

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2004, 02:05:37 PM »
My thoughts by verse number -

1. I think it's correct - and refers to cutting\making the road with wagon wheels.

3. "These here women want these men to act like a ?????? dog"
    "Grab a pick and shovel and roll from sun to sun" surely just meaning non stop work? 

4. I hear 'sweeten up' not 'clean up'

5. I hear 'baby' not 'pigmeat' - he'd be a bit naughty with pigmeat at Sunday school!!

Well, it's a start :)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline frankie

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2004, 07:57:20 AM »
Great tune - all kinds of cool stuff going on!

So many wagons, it have cut that good road down ???
I said so many wagons have cut that good road down ???
And the girl I love her mama don't want me around

I think that's right - the road to his woman's house has ruts in it from the traffic generated (by her suitors, or tricks, maybe?).  The woman who runs the house lets the other men visit, but not Lemon...

These here women want these men to act like a ???
I said these women want these men to act like a ???
Grab a pick and shovel and roll from sun to sun???

I think the "sun to sun" line is right - working from sunup to sundown.  In this context, the "ox from dawn" makes sense, but doesn't really sound satisfying...


I'm gonna (sweeten up??? clean up???) on the Saturday what the women through the week going to do

I hear 'sweeten up'.

Don't look for me on Sunday I wanna take (pigmeat? baby?) to Sunday school

I'm undecided about this - either way, I think the sense of the verse would be the same, no?


Offline GhostRider

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2004, 07:58:37 PM »
Hi UB:

This is a fun tune. You're goin' to have a nimble thumb after you get that turnaround down.

I think verses 1 and 2 are exactly as you have written them.

Verse three. " some ox from dawn" is wrong as this passage (as you noted) begins with a definate "a" sound. I hear (after about 25 listenings) "am ox from dawn" (maybe his an sounds like am). I'm pretty sure of the "from dawn", as I don't hear a "g" at the end (I thought it was dog at first).

Verse 4 I hear "sweeten up" as well.

Verse 5 I hear "pigmeat"

I wonder what "Lemon's Rule" was.

After looking around the internet I found out that a Chock House is " 'chock house'- which refers to a place where they serve a very potent form of home brew." Fits with verse 2.

Best of luck,
Alex
« Last Edit: March 29, 2004, 12:21:04 PM by pyrochlore »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2004, 08:22:49 AM »
Thanks fellers for the help. For the last verse I lean towards pigmeat the first time, baby the second, but like frankie am still really undecided. The "ox from dawn" line is a mystery. As Alex notes it sounds something like "am ox from dawn" or "a mox from dawn" which obviously ain't right. Plus in the 2nd repeated line I don't really hear an "fr" sound in "from dawn". Difficult!

Offline Rivers

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2004, 10:47:29 AM »
When Alvin Y Hart did this song at a Port T session in '98 on Texas Blues with Mick Knight & Steve James he sang the "act like an ox from dawn" line. I think it is correct. That was a killer performance BTW, I have it on tape, will see if I can MP3 it and post it for you Lemonheads that weren't there.

Offline Slack

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2004, 02:48:51 PM »
Quote
James he sang the "act like an ox from dawn" line.

I like this, it makes contextual sense.  It's not hard to imagine a plow oxen being stubburn first thing in the morning.  Maybe it's 'damn ox'.  I wonder how common it was to use owen in the south... hmmm.

Say!  The Quote Oracle just weighed in with it's opinion:

 "So many wagons have cut that good road down. And the girl I love, mama don't want me 'round" - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Chock House Blues

Ha!

cheers,
slack

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2004, 05:52:23 PM »
As much as I'd like to go with "ox from dawn", I've been listening to this incessantly, and I just don't hear that. I'll have to listen more.

Mark, I'd be extremely innerested in that mp3...


Offline frankie

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2004, 06:48:23 PM »
I'm with Andrew on this...  been listening to the tune and the phrase that we're interpreting as "an ox from dawn" sounds phonetically to me like:

moxon don

Here's a longshot for the first word:  moccasin

Parenthetically, there's a town called Moccasin Branch about 40 miles southeast of Mexia, TX.  Too bad Dirty Red isn't around.  He'd have a lot of fun slapping me around about that suggestion...

Offline Slack

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2004, 07:15:29 PM »
Whut? ...we're supposed to be listening!?  :P

No, I agree phonetically - moxon don is reeel close.  with a southern accent, maybe 'mox' could be 'marks', marks um, mocks em, mocks um. 

Dang tough.  Sure would like to know what those women expect.  The context is men acting like slaves? (grap a pick and shovel from sun to sun).

Anyone tried to slow it down or speed it up to listen?

cheers,




Offline waxwing

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2004, 08:28:57 PM »
Well, I loaded it into my recently downloaded Transcribe! and ran it at 75% and 50%, but it still is pretty undecernable. So I broke down and checked to see what Bob McLeod had for it. He has it as "act like some oxen done". Hmm, not bad, but still not great, as if anything could be. The first line sounds to me like "fum dawn" as in "from dawn", but the second line sounds like maybe "act like 'um oxen done" as in "them oxen done". I'm gonna email Ari and see if I can get him to come on board for this one. I'll tell him we all chipped in to pay his membership fee.
BTW, I really like this Transcribe! program. I think the sound quality is way better than Transkriber, which I've been using for a while, and it is way more user friendly. The graphic waveform of the sound makes it really easy to grab and loop a phrase, and the spectrum analysis is downright cheating. It's shareware and you can download and use it for 30 days before paying $40 to register and get free upgrades. Check it out.
All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2004, 08:30:43 PM by waxwing »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2004, 12:33:56 AM »

Mark, I'd be extremely innerested in that mp3...


Andrew, I haven't forgotten, hope to get caught up with this over Easter.

HardLuckChild

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Re: Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2004, 12:52:39 PM »
I think Blind Lemon is definitely saying "pigmeat," a term which probably refers to chunky girls, who were often viewed by southern blacks as being very attractive~

Offline Wailing Wolf

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Blind Lemon Jefferson Mosquito Moan
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2004, 02:48:03 PM »
Had an attempt at this recently, flatpicking it in C and managed to work out about 50% by ear, need to know more about Blind Lemon licks to get the rest.? Firstly the usual plea for the blanks in the lyrics, uncertain words in italics:-

MOSQUITO MOAN Blind Lemon Jefferson C

I'm sitting in my kitchen, mosquitoes all around my screen?
I'm sitting in my kitchen, mosquitoes all around my screen?
About all ready to get to the mosquito farm, I'll be sitting? ??? ??? ???

I believe I'll keep my tent up, how about some brandy meal
I believe I'll keep my tent up, how about some brandy meal
Mosquitoes so bad in this man's town, keep me away from my whisky still

I love my whisky, but some people likes to eat
I say I love my whisky, but some people likes to eat
Mosquitoes bothering me so, I can't hardly stay on my feet

I brought a spray last night, and I sprayed all over my house
I brought a spray last night now, sprayed all over my house
Mosquitoes all round my door, won't let nobody come out.

Mosquitoes all around me, mosquitoes everywhere I go
Mosquitoes all around me, mosquitoes everywhere I go
No matter where I go,? ??? ??? ??? ???

I would say gal a nippem, nippem bite too hard
I would say gal a nippem, nippem bite too hard
I'm sat back in my kitchen, and it's spraying up in my back yard.

Any comments on the exact timing of the tremolo picking behind the first line appreciated.? For the IV chord it seems he starts with F then moves through a short chromatic run to Ab7.? Found the V chord section too indistinct to grasp with any certainty.

I think it says a lot about the blues that what bothers him most is not being covered in itchy bumps, nor the risk of malaria, but being unable to get to his whisky still.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 06:27:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Blind Lemon Jefferson Mosquito Moan
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2004, 08:22:32 AM »
Wolf:

Can you post an .mp3.

Alex

 


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