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Author Topic: Henry Spaulding Lyrics  (Read 6495 times)

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Offline Chezztone

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Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« on: February 14, 2007, 10:43:03 PM »
Henry Spaulding's Cairo Blues, which also was associated with the late Henry Townsend -- anyone understand the lyrics in the part where I have the (???) below? Here's what I hear:



Cairo Blues
Henry Spaulding

Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
Goin? to Cairo, baby and it won?t be long

?Cause I know she take my lovin? arms
Knows my babe she will take my lovin? arms
Know by that I swear won?t be here long

Oo hoo, oo hoo mmm hmm
Oo hoo, oo won?t be here long

Women in Cairo will treat you nice and sweet
Women in Cairo will treat you kind and sweet
Get your hand and knock you off your feet

Kick you and knife you, beat you and cut you too
Kick you and knife you, beat you and cut you too
Then they?ll (???)

Oo babe, Cairo is my baby?s home
Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
I?m going home, I swear it won?t be long.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 08:08:12 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 01:40:29 AM »
Here's how I hear it, with the occasional aid of the magic slowdown software:

Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
Goin? to Cairo, baby and it won?t be long

?Cause I know she take my lovin? home
Know my babe she will take my lovin? home
Know by that I swear I won?t stay here long

Oo hoo, oo hoo mmm hmm
Oo hoo, oo won?t be here long

Women in Cairo will treat you nice and sweet
Women in Cairo will treat you kind and sweet
Get you right and it take you off they feet

Kick you and knot you, beat you and cut you too
Kick you and knot you, beat you and cut you too
They have stole your daddy 'fore they through

Oo babe, Cairo hmm babe
Cairo, Cairo is my baby?s home
I?m going home, I swear it won?t be long.


The part I'm least sure of is "knot you," but there's definitely a "ch" sound in there that would be natural from putting those two words together, and it makes sense in terms of tying someone in knots.
Chris
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 10:48:00 AM by banjochris »

Offline dj

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 02:31:56 AM »
Quote
The part I'm least sure of is "knot you,"

I'm in agreement with you, Chris - I think it's "knot".  Henry Townsend sings "knot" on his post-war recordings of the song. 

JasonE

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 01:26:03 PM »
I swear I remeber hearing the line "Take you to the grave yard and dance with you" in the Henry Townsend that is on "Legends of Country Blues" DVD.


JasonE

Offline tenderfoot84

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 01:45:15 AM »
is it "kick you, knock you."?

and then "catch you ridin' they'll take you off their feet"?

i usually sing this last line as "off your feet" though.

if memory serves me correct henry townsend sings something like

"kick you, knock you, beat you and cut you too (x2)
they'll take you to the graveyard when they're through with you"

but he kind of tails off on the dvd. it's fun to sing this way though.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 01:47:31 AM by tenderfoot84 »
Cheerybye,
David C

Offline banjochris

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2007, 11:36:42 AM »
"Kick you, knock you" would make more sense, but I don't see how the "ch" sound in Spaulding's recording would fit in with that. It's been a while since I've seen the video of Townsend so he may well sing "knock you." I'll listen again and see if I hear "catch you ridin'."
chris

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 06:21:26 PM »
I've been messing around in cross-note tuning and therefore been trying out a few Townsend songs and listening intently to the CD "Cairo Blues."  He definitely says "knock you" and the "catch you" line to me sounds like "catch you ramblin', take you off your feet."
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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dingwall

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 10:50:05 AM »
Possibles to consider?

Verse 2.1/2   take my lovin' on.

5.3   Drag you until you's ready for the grave.

Offline Dr. G

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 04:23:12 AM »
Great suggestions, all!

Not to stir the pot, but I've always heard (Spaulding): "notch" you.

Perhaps he MEANT "notch" you...as is cut you, or stab you.

In addition to intriguing lyrics, this song has great chords...anybody figured them out yet? Is this in open-G (which is where I'm fooling around with it right now)?

Dr. G

Offline dj

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 04:39:27 AM »
Hi, Dr. G.  I think Spaulding plays "Cairo Blues" in standard tuning, E position.  He's capoed somewhere around the fourth fret, if I recall correctly.  The accompaniment has a lot of affinities with Lane Hardin's "Hard Time Blues".

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 11:49:08 AM »
I haven't heard the Spaulding version in a while, but I remember hearing it and thinking it was a wonderful example of the St. Louis style guitar and singing.  Henry Townsend, another musician who played in this style, also played this tune and his guitar playing was strictly in the cross-note tuning (open E minor or D minor -- the actual pitch can vary, of course -- you could get up to G with a capo).  Check out the "Key to the Highway" section for more examples of this tuning.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 03:36:29 PM »
Actually, Slim, Townsend played "Cairo" in E position standard tuning, just as Spaulding did. There's a video of him on one of the Stefan Grossman tapes playing it.
Chris

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Cairo Blues
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 06:52:00 PM »
Blasphemy!

 :D
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline Johnm

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"Biddle Street Blues"--Henry Spaulding
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 04:42:37 PM »
Hi all,
Henry Spaulding recorded "Biddle Street Blues" at the same May 9, 1929 session in Chicago at which he recorded "Cairo Blues".  While "Biddle Street Blues" may not exactly have the magic that "Cairo Blues" has, it's still a superb piece.  Henry Spaulding played it out of E position in standard tuning.  He is one of those two-hit wonders like Rube Lacy, Bobby Grant or Lane Hardin.  I'd appreciate help with the bent bracketed portion of the tagline in verse one.



   Yes, Biddle Street's the thing that's easin' down on me
   Yes, Biddle Street's the thing that's easin' down on me
   'Cause my best baby have quit me and no one to care for me

   Now, will youse please be kind, babe, let me speak just one more time
   Will youse please be kind, babe, let me speak just one more time
   'Cause I have somethin' to tell you, baby, will ease your trouble in mind

   SPOKEN DURING SOLO:  Aw, babe, aw, baby

   Now I'm going back to Biddle Street, to worry youse off my mind
   Now I'm going back to Biddle Street, to worry youse off my mind
   'Cause I have another woman on Biddle Street, will treat me nice and kind

   Biddle Street, Biddle Street, now, is only twenty-six blocks long
   Biddle Street, Biddle Street, now, is only twenty-six blocks long
   And the women on Biddle Street just won't leave me alone

   That's why I'm going back to Biddle Street, I swear, and it won't be long
   That's why I'm going back to Biddle Street, I swear, and it won't be long
   'Cause I know my baby's there, she will take my lovin' on

Edited 12/20 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 08:09:11 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: "Biddle Street Blues"--Henry Spaulding
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 06:23:21 PM »
John -- it's
'Cause my best baby have quit me and no one to care for me.

Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: "Biddle Street Blues"--Henry Spaulding
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 06:57:20 PM »
Thanks, Chris.  I thought I heard "world" and it threw me completely off.  I've made the change.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 11:15:40 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 12:50:07 PM »
Hi all,
I merged a pre-existing thread on "Cairo Blues" with the "Biddle Street Blues" thread since it didn't seem to make much sense to have two separate threads for a musician who only recorded two titles.  From my reading of the earlier thread, it doesn't seem as though a consensus was ever reached with regard to the lyrics for "Cairo Blues".  Here's what I have, and maybe we can wind it up.  Any help is most appreciated.

   Cairo, Cairo is my baby's home
   Cairo, Cairo is my baby's home
   Going to Cairo, baby, and it won't be long

   All I know, she take my lovin' on
   Know my babe, she will take my lovin' on
   Know by that I swear I won't stay here long

   Hmm, hmm, mmm
   Hmm, hmm, won't stay here long

   SOLO

   Women in Cairo will treat you nice and sweet
   Women in Cairo will treat you kind and sweet
   Get you a ride and then take you off their beat

   Kick you and notch you, beat you and cut you, too
   Kick you and notch you, beat you and cut you, too
   When they get through with, you's ready for the grave

   Hmm, babe, Cairo, hmm, babe
   Cairo, Cairo is my baby's home
   I'm going home and I swear and it twon't be long

Edited 1/2/11 to pick up corrections from uncle bud

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:28:59 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 10:14:17 AM »
Hi John -

This is sure tricky to hear in places even though it's not a bad recording. Spaulding runs a lot of words together.

In the 4th verse I am currently hearing something different than what others have posited so far. I think Henry Townsend, in his versions, sings "Catch/Get you a RIDE AND THEN take you off your feet" in that last last line, which makes sense, but Spaulding doesn't sing "feet" to my ear - I definitely hear the B sound. Townsend really seems to sing CATCH in the performance caught on film that Chris referred to (available on YouTube). I lean towards GET for Spaulding's version.

My best guess for verse 4 is:

Women in Cairo will treat you nice and sweet
Women in Cairo will treat you kind and sweet
4.3 Get you A RIDE AND THEN take you off THEIR?? beat

For the 5th verse, I hear the following:

Kick you and notch you, beat you and cut you, too
Kick you and notch you, beat you and cut you, too
5.3 When THEY get through WITH YOU'S READY FOR THE GRAVE

I think he leaves a YOU out, and YOU'S does double duty.

For the last verse I hear:

I'm goin' home and I swear it WON'T be long

He sings this sort of as IT TWON'T. I think it refers back to the first verse.


Offline Johnm

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 11:34:58 AM »
Hi uncle bud,
Thanks so much for the help.  I do think Spaulding is definitely saying "beat" at the end of verse four, rather than "feet", whatever Henry Townsend may have sung when doing the song.  It wouldn't be the first time that a contemporary of the original performer misunderstood the lyrics when covering a song.  "Beat" makes more sense in any event, if you think of street-walkers having a beat in the sense that foot policemen have a beat.
Likewise, I think you nailed the tagline of the fifth verse, which is the one place in the song where I hadn't a clue.  "It twon't" sounds dead on for the tagline of the last verse, too.  Way to listen--that is great work!  I've made the changes.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline venturer

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2016, 09:14:39 PM »
I think the lyrics are pretty well nailed, but does anyone know what 'notch' means? I can't find a meaning in any of the slang dictionaries I could find. Maybe it is 'knock'???

Offline Lyndvs

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2016, 03:21:24 AM »
I think it`s  "KNOCK" not "NOTCH".Leadbelly uses the term "knock" to describe fighting,punching and hitting in the LOC recordings and it is used in the Leadbelly Wolfe bio..

Offline Rivers

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Re: Henry Spaulding Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2016, 08:36:00 PM »
Re. page 1 of this thread, which I just read for the first time, 'knotting someone' could mean beating them using a rope knotted in a specific way to be used as a close-quarter weapon. Google "knots as weapons" for some interesting info and pics, particularly of the monkey's fist knot.

I have a vague memory of making such a thing as a young lout, don't ask me what for, I probably read about it somewhere. I no doubt stored it with my DIY arsenal of assegais, slingshots, boomerangs, stink bombs, bows & arrows, and film canister glo-plug fertilizer bombs.  :P
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 08:37:39 PM by Rivers »

 


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