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There's some fellows - I shouldn't say nothing because I made some of those jive records, too - but they should have at least two meanings to what their song is. There is going to be little children hearing those songs, you know - Tampa Red, quoted in the liner notes to Don't Jive Me

Author Topic: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson  (Read 1941 times)

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Offline doctorpep

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Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« on: November 19, 2008, 10:27:37 PM »
In the original Sonny Boy Williamson's versions of "Got The Bottle Up And Gone" and "You Give An Account", I noticed something very interesting. The former appears to have morphed into "Bottle Up And Go", as done by Tommy McClennan, and the second seems to be related to John Estes' "Whatcha Doing"'s "You got to give in kind" refrain. I'm not sure who recorded this song first- Estes or Williamson. Has anyone else noticed this?



« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 05:46:04 PM by Johnm »
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

dingwall

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 08:55:05 AM »
Sleepy John Estes came first, and I hear the refrain as 'Got to give an account---'.  In the 'bottles', Sonny Boy Williamson comes first.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2008, 09:16:03 AM »
It's interesting how you hear Estes' refrain as "Give an account", because Guy Davis covered the song and called it "Give In Kind". The mystery deepens.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline dj

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2008, 09:45:58 AM »
As for "Got The Bottle Up And Gone", it was around before Sonny Boy Williamson recorded it.  The Picaninny Jug Band, which was drawn from the same pool of personnel as the Memphis Jug Band, recorded "Bottle Up And Go in August of 1932, and the Memphis Jug Band recorded it in November of 1934.  Sonny Boy's version was recorded in May 1937 and McClennan's in November 1939.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 10:14:46 AM »
In the original Sonny Boy Williamson's versions of "Got The Bottle Up And Gone" and "You Give An Account", I noticed something very interesting. The former appears to have morphed into "Bottle Up And Go", as done by Tommy McClennan, and the second seems to be related to John Estes' "Whatcha Doing"'s "You got to give in kind" refrain. I'm not sure who recorded this song first- Estes or Williamson. Has anyone else noticed this?
FWIW Wolfgang Lorenz in his once valuable 200 page "Bluebird Blues: The Blues Of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson" (1986) not only contains complete lyric transcriptions and discography but also 10 pages of useful discussions, where appropriate, of the antecedents of songs. Lorenz notes that "Account" is also aligned to Yank Rachell's "It's All Over".

Offline dj

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 10:34:23 AM »
Quote
...his once valuable 200 page "Bluebird Blues: The Blues Of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson" (1986)...

Since it's no longer valuable, please pack it up and send it on to me.    :P

Good point, BH.  Estes' "Whatcha Doing" was recorded in 1930 with Yank Rachell on mandolin.  Sonny Boy's "You Give An Account" and Yank's "It's All Over" were both recorded on June 17, 1938, with Yank and Sonny Boy playing on each other's records.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 11:36:20 AM »
Quote
...his once valuable 200 page "Bluebird Blues: The Blues Of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson" (1986)...
Since it's no longer valuable, please pack it up and send it on to me.    :P
I like it, I like it. The adjective I should have used was "indispensable". In the intervening decades our friend Dingwall has published the entire SBW lyrics whilst B&GR4, along with its post war companion The Blues Discography, have taken care of that side of things.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 12:15:17 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Harry

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Re: Two Interesting Lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2021, 01:47:29 PM »
Ground Hog Blues


Sonny Boy Williamson - Vocals, Harmonica
Blind John Davis - Piano
Charlie McCoy - Guitar
Alfred Elkins - Bass
Washboard Sam - Washboard

December 11, 1941
Chicago, Illinois

Piano in A





Lord I'm that walkin' groundhog mama and I walks around in my den
Lord I'm that walkin' groundhog mama and I walks around in my den
Now and if I come out and see my shadow John I believe I'll go back in

Lord and I want some feedin' mama so I can hear a higher sound
If you don't feed me baby I believe I'll go back in the ground
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog mama and I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow you say you don't love me I believe I'll go back in

Lord I wanna hear some swingin' music I wanna hear a Fats Waller sound
Now if I start to jitterbuggin' I'm forgettin' my hole down in the ground
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog man and I walks around in my den
Lord if I come out and see my shadow my woman don't love me I believe I'll go back in

Now and I need some pettin' baby baby you know what I mean
Now if you don't pet me baby I believe I'll go back down in New Orleans
Because I'm that walkin' groundhog now and I walks around in my den
Now if I come out and see my shadow my woman don't love me yeah and I believe I'll go back in

 


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