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Get your hat, get your coat, get shakin' on down the line - Henry Thomas, Texas Worried Blues

Author Topic: Lottie Beaman/Kimbrough Lyrics  (Read 10074 times)

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si

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Lottie Beaman/Kimbrough Lyrics
« on: June 05, 2007, 09:09:15 AM »
I am learning "Rolling Log Blues" by Lottie Kimborough a.k.a Lottie Beaman.
Here is my attempt at the lyrics.
Can anyone fill in the blank or correct any errors?
Thanks
Si



I've been driftin n rollin along the road
Lookin for my room n board
Like a log I've bin jammed on the banks
So hungry I've bin ...?
Get me a pick n shovel dig down in the gound
Gonna keep on diggin til the blues come down
Mmm
I got the blues for my sweet man in jail
And the judge won't let me go his bail
I've bin rollin n driftin from shore to shore
Gonna fix it so won't have to drift no more
Mmm
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:00:59 AM by Johnm »

si

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 09:26:51 AM »
Just realised there are 2 versions.
I am working from the longer of the 2 versions on Weenie Juke.
East River String Band do a good cover of "Rolling Log", see the movie at

Also check out their myspace site for more videos of early blues.
Si

« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:02:22 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 02:57:52 PM »
This is a bit of a guess after a quick listen but I'm hearing "So hungry, I feel lean and lame". It's not that clear to me actually. But Lottie was a big woman, so feeling lean would be a dramatic change for her.  :D

Offline natterjack

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 04:12:59 PM »
I've always heard as "lean and lank", this might be because I heard the Rory Block cover first and I'm sure that's what she sings. It does rhyme with "on the bank" I suppose. Which reminds me, I think it could "cast on the bank", rather then "jammed" but I'm not too sure really.

The Lottie Kimbrough version is one of my all time favourite CB recordings.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 04:39:08 PM by natterjack »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2007, 07:56:10 AM »
Hi natterjack. Yes, "So hungry, I feel lean and lank" makes more sense to me. Thanks for the correction. Lottie Kimbrough was known as the Kansas City Butter Ball, so "lean and lank" would carry a little extra meaning.

I'm definitely hearing "jammed" and not "cast".

I agree, this is one of the great country blues of all time and Lottie one of the great singers.

dingwall

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2007, 06:54:58 AM »
My versions of Rolling Log Blues.

The  Gennet one.
              ROLLING LOG BLUES                          Ge 6624
                  ------------------------
I been drifting and rolling along the road.
Looking for my room and board.

Like a log, I've been jammed on the bank.
So hungry, I've grew lean and lank.

Get me a pick and shovel, dig down in the ground.
Gonna keep on diggin' till the blues come down.

(Humming verse.)

I've got the blues for my sweet man in jail,
And the judge won't let me go his bail.

I've been rolling and drifting from shore to shore.
Gonna fix it, so I won't have to drift no more.

(Humming verse.)

The Brunswick one.
                    ROLLIN' LOG BLUES                    Br 7147
                      ----------------------
I been rolling and drifting along the road.
Just looking for my room and board.

Like a log I've been jammed on the bank.
So hungry, I feel lean and lank.

Get me a pick and shovel, dig down in the ground.
Gonna keep on diggin' till the blues come down.

[Humming verse.]

I've got the blues for my sweet man in jail,
And the judge won't let me go his bail.

I've been rolling and drifting along the road.
Gonna fix it, won't have to drift no more.

si

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Re: "Rolling Log" lyrics
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 06:29:58 PM »
Thankyou all for your help. Yes now I think it is "lean and lank" and a quick bit of research reveals that was probably a commoner expression at that time in the USA than "lean and lame".
Gonna do this live soon, hopefully with a female singer. I have a question about the guitar but am going to ask that in the relevant forum.
Thanks again.
Si

Offline Johnm

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Lottie Kimbrough's "Don't Speak To Me"
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2008, 12:18:48 PM »
Hi all,
I've been listening to this track, re-issued on the Yazoo set "The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of", with great admiration.  What a beautiful singer Lottie Kimbrough/Beamon was!  On this one she is accompanied by one of the Pruitt twins playing a guitar with a high G string out of C position in (otherwise) standard tuning, and is joined by a less-annoying-than-usual Winston Holmes (no birdcalls).  I'm missing one word in the spoken introduction.  Holmes pronounces Kimbrough, by the way, "kim-brew".  Holmes joins Beamon, singing the last verse with her.  The song has a pretty 16-bar progression that sounds as though it may have come out of the Parlor music tradition.

   |      C      |       C      |     C     |     C     |

   |     F        |      F       |      C    |     C     |

   |     E        |     E        |      F    |      F     |

   |      C       |     G7      |     C     |     C     |



   SPOKEN:  Holmes:  Hello there, Jerry!  Drop them dice, boy, and let me have that bottle of liquor.  Jerry:  Oh, looky-here, here comes Lottie Beamon.  Holmes:  Hello, Kimbrough.

   Don't speak to me, don't speak to me
   If you're a friend to Jerry Lee
   For he's a hustler, gambler too
   He belongs to that gamblin' crew

   Oh, boys and girls, take my advice
   Quit playing cards and shooting dice
   For in bad company, you must shun
   From the policeman, you must run

   SOLO:

   Don't drink no booze, for it ain't no use
   To end up in the calaboose
   For you can shun the doctor's bill
   By keeping away from the liquor still

   Be careful where you always go
   Don't be no thief, don't be no rogue
   Go to church and Sunday School
   Don't let nobody make you no fool

   I'm going to leave and let you be
   Take my advice and sympathy
   For if you're wild, as wild can be
   Just keep right on and don't speak to me

Edited 3/22 to pick up correction from Andrew
Edited 3/22 to pick up correction from dingwall

All best,
Johnm


   
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:03:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Don't Speak To Me"
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2008, 01:34:11 PM »
Hi John - I don't have the spoken part, though I momentarily thought it might be "here comes Lottie Beaman". It seems too clipped for that.

I think the 2nd line of the first verse is "If you're a friend TO Jerry Lee".

Great tune.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Don't Speak To Me"
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2008, 08:11:38 AM »
Thanks, Andrew.  I had "friend to" transcribed and typed "friend of".  That's a good catch.  I think in what I'm missing, the person may refer to Lottie as "Lena _______".  I know at least a couple of her titles were recorded by her as Lena Kimbrough.
All best,
Johnm

dingwall

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Don't Speak To Me"
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2008, 01:13:53 PM »
I would agree with Andrew on both points, Johnm (LOTTIE BEAMAN in the spoken intro, and TO in 1.2).   I find 'Lottie Beaman' quite clear.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 01:24:05 PM by dingwall »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Don't Speak To Me"
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2008, 05:01:13 PM »
I will make the "Lottie Beamon" insertion, dingwall, and thanks for the help.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Lottie Kimbrough's "Red River Blues"
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 07:27:21 PM »
Hi all,
Lottie Kimbrough recorded "Red River Blues" at her first recording session, in Chicago around March of 1924.  The Pruitt Twins, Miles and Milas, accompanied her, with one of the brothers playing out of F position in standard tuning and the other working out of E position in standard tuning, either capoed a fret higher or tuned a half-step high.  The twins' accompaniment is superb, with a great deal of variety and a host of ideas.  It's only shortcoming is the egregiously flat D string on the guitar of whichever brother was playing out of F; it's hard to see how such accomplished players could have missed it.
Lottie Kimbrough's singing is wonderful, as it pretty much always was.  For her final verse, she is thrown for a bit of a loop by the twin playing in F going into an 8-to-the-bar walking bass line, but she rights herself by the time they get to the tagline.  The lyrics to "Red River Blues" have a sort of stilted formality here and there that reminds me of Peg Leg Howell's lyrics to "Low Down Rounder's Blues".  Some of the turns of phrase are surprising.  The opening line of verse four is just great.  Are there other blues lyrics that refer to a "Jonah"?  It's a term I'm accustomed to hearing in a nautical context, but was surprised to hear here.  I'm not at all certain that I have the beginning of the taglines on the first and last verses right, so I would appreciate corroborration/correction, however it works out.



   The Red River flows like Dago wine
   The Red River flows like Dago wine
   A mystery 'bout it, that stays on my mind

   I'm going to that river, going just for fun
   I'm going to that river, going just for fun
   I'm going to do something I ain't never done

   I've been done so dirty, treated so doggone mean
   I've been done so dirty, treated so doggone mean
   I've been 'cused of things I ain't never seen

   I wish I knew how much life was mine
   I wish I knew how much life was mine
   I'd steal away, live down by the Rhine

   I'm going away, worry you off my mind
   I'm going away, worry you off my mind
   I refuse to stay with the mistreating kind

   The blues a Jonah, you say what you choose
   Oh, blues is a Jonah, say what you choose
   They sure gonna kill you, these Red River Blues

Edited, 4/24, to pick up corrections from Stuart and dingwall

All best,
Johnm

     
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:04:02 AM by Johnm »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Red River Blues"
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 08:36:10 PM »
John:

I just listened on my computer, which is far from the best way to go,  but which will have to do for now.

For "The mystery" I hear "A mystery."

Re: [The joke'll kill you], I can't do much better, except to suggest that "joke'll" might be "joker'll."

This might possibly be a mispronunciation of "Jonah," which works contextually, but I don't think so. I don't really think she's mispronouncing "Jonah" after singing it correctly 2X.

For those of you not familiar with Lottie Kimbrough, she is also known as Lottie Beaman (alt. spelling: Beamon) and Lottie Kimbrough-Beaman (alt. spelling: Beamon).

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lottie Kimbrough's "Red River Blues"
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 10:32:28 PM »
For those of you not familiar with Lottie Kimbrough, she is also known as Lottie Beaman (alt. spelling: Beamon) and Lottie Kimbrough-Beaman (alt. spelling: Beamon).

And as the Kansas City Butter Ball!


 


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