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A room without a woman is like a heart without a beat - Curtis Jones, Lonesome Bedroom Blues

Author Topic: Sara Martin Lyrics  (Read 3622 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Sara Martin Lyrics
« on: November 30, 2006, 11:50:36 PM »
Hi all,
Since I've transcribed all the lyrics for the songs that Sylvester Weaver recorded with his own vocals, I'll keep going with songs on which he acompanied other singers, and in particular those songs, which by virtue of their colorful lyrics, seem good candidates for having been written by Mr. Weaver.
One song that definitely falls into that category is "Orn'ry Blues", which Sylvester Weaver recorded on August 30, 1927, backing Sara Martin, who was recording under the name Sally Roberts.  Like a number of Weaver's songs, and the Classic Blues that spawned them, "Orn'ry Blues" opens with a verse or introduction that is not in a conventional blues form.  The intro makes the song a good candidate for the "Rag Blues and Circle of Fifths" thread over on the Main Forum.  The intro is exceptionally pretty, and really showcases the musicianship of Sylvester Weaver, who is playing out of A, in standard tuning.  He ventures into some harmonic territory here that most of his peers never visited.  Here is the song:

 

The progression of the intro is as so:

   |  A / D  |    A    |    A    |    A    |
   
   |A/A over G#|    F#    |    B    |    E7    |

   |    A     |    E7    |    C#    |    F#m     |

   |    B     | E / C#  |    F#    |     E7       |

Weaver then launches into a really nice 12-bar form, with some nifty touches:

   |    A    |    A    |    A    |    A7    |

   | D7 over F#|  F / E7  |    A/D7 over F#|    A    |
   
   |    E7    |    E7    |    A/D7 over F# |    A    |

As unusual as the accompaniment to "Orn'ry Blues" is, the lyrics are probably more unusual.  Any help with the bent bracketed portions of the lyrics would be appreciated.

   INTRO:
   Meaner than a rattlesnake, lower than a mole
   Couldn't be any [hateful], to save my orn'ry soul
   I feel like a house afire, doggone, I'm burning up
   Somebody's done me dirty, somebody's peed my cup

   VERSES:
   Going down to the gutter, wallow in the slime (2)
   Got a nasty feeling, getting orn'rier all the time

   Put me in the dungeon, with the sewer rats (2)
   Let me suffer, suffer, die among the swill and the bats

   When ill winds are blowing, they don't blow me no good
   When will (sic) winds are blowing, they don't blow me no good
   Made me wild and wicked, I ain't acting like I should

   Soak me up in liquor, from my head to my shoes (2)
   Cussin' like a sailor, 'cause I've got the orn'ry blues.

Edited 12/5 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:22:17 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sylvester Weaver Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 05:42:56 PM »
John --
I couldn't quite get my ears around the "hateful" in "Orn'ry Blues" -- I'll have to listen to it more later tonight. However, the other two bracketed words are:
orn'rier not [under]
and (I'm about 99% sure) soak instead of [Took]

somebody peed my cup is one of the most amazing blues lyrics I've ever heard. I've listened to these tracks many times as background music without paying that much attention to the lyrics, so thanks again for the transcriptions.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Re: Sylvester Weaver Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 07:35:26 PM »
Hi Chris,
Thanks very much for the help.  Your suggestions are excellent, as always.  I will get "ornerier", and "soak" in there.  I think I also heard "soak"--in one iteration of the line, it sounded like "took" and in the other, "soak", but I think "soak" makes more sense, so I will make the changes.  I think "hateful" in the intro presumes an omitted word, "more", as in "couldn't be any more hateful, to save my orn'ry soul".
You're certainly right about, "Somebody peed my cup".  That's a hell of a line, and Sara Martin sings it as plain as day.  It's great when you encounter those real surprises.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2006, 10:50:29 AM »
Hi all,
Sylvester Weaver and Sara Martin (recording as Sally Roberts) recorded "Gonna Ramble Blues" at a session in New York City on April 7, 1927.  Weaver plays his accompaniment out of C position in standard tuning, and it is a particularly nice bit of playing, both conceptually and in terms of execution.  Here is the duo's performance:



Sylvester Weaver employs stop-time in the first two bars of the form, anticipating the first and third beats of the measure, striking the sixth string with his thumb on the + of the previous beat and grabbing the chords on the second, third and fourth strings on the first and third beats.  He plays his form so, with the extra vertical slashes showing how many beats he holds chords in measures where he plays more than one chord.

   |  C over G/ F#dim7  |  C over G/ F#dim7  |       C over G     |    C7 over G   |
                                                                    |   |    |     |       |    |     |   |
   |              F             |            F               |   C        D7  G7  |  C  A over C#   |
                                                                                          |     |    |     |
   |  G7 over D/  G7      |           G7              |             C         | C   G7   C    G   |

The sound of the voicings Weaver uses in the first four bars is really nice.  They work out as follows:  C over G:   3-X-2-0-1-X   F#dim7:  2-X-1-2-1-X   C7 over G:  3-X-2-3-1-X
The A over C# that Weaver uses in the eighth bar is a pet move of his in his C blues, and it creates a nifty chromatic ascending line moving from the C note that begins the measure to the D note in the bass that opens the ninth measure.  Weaver fingers it:  X-4-X-X-2-0.  At the conclusion of the form, in the twelfth bar, Weaver hits a single G note on the fourth beat, rather than playing a chord.
Sara Martin is in fine form here and sounds like a seasoned professional.  I'm more accustomed to hearing verses like the second and third sung by male singers of the era, so it's interesting to hear her do them.

   I've got a mind to ramble, mind to leave this town (2)
   I've got to mind my good man, gone and turned me down

   Some women scream high yellow, but give me brown and black (2)
   'Cause that's the only color man that I really like

   Yellow men are evil, brownskin men are too
   Oh, yellow men are evil, brownskin men are too
   Gonna get me a black man to drive away the Blues

   Now the reason why so many men are wearing overhalls today
   Oh, the reason why so many men are wearing overhalls today
   They let women like me on Saturday night draw their pay

   But just as sure as the train rolls up in the yard
   Just as sure as the train rolls up in the yard
   I'm goin' so far it'll take two dollars to send me a postal card

All best,
Johnm


 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:31:18 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2006, 04:46:34 PM »
Hi all,
Sylvester Weaver backed Sara Martin (again recorded as Sally Roberts) on "Teasing Brown Blues", recorded immediately after "Gonna Ramble Blues" on April 7, 1927.  Weaver is working out of E position here, in standard tuning, and has a tremendous amount of variety in his accompaniment over the course of the song.  In the fourth bar he frequently goes to a really nice-sounding and seldom-encountered E9 down at the base of the neck:  0-X-X-1-3-2.  For some of his sixth bars he goes to C, the flat VI chord that Ghostrider has remarked upon in other contexts.  Occasionally, in the seventh and eighth bars he strings together some pretty flashy bass runs.  Really, his playing is exciting and inventive throughout the song, despite working at a very sedate tempo.
Sara Martin sings well, but the over-all effect is less than it might have been, due to some hackneyed verses.  If there is a duller verse in the Blues than her first one and its variants, I have yet to encounter it; that it should have achieved such wide currency is a real mystery.  One interesting aspect of the lyrics:  her fourth verse was used, pretty much intact but with the sexes reversed, by Texas Alexander for his "Deceitful Blues", recorded seven years later.  Hearing Alexander's use of the verse before Sara Martin's, I remember thinking the phrase "safety first" sounded odd coming out of Alexander.  Sara Martin achieves a neat effect with the subtle alteration of the repetition of the opening line in her third verse.  Here is the song:



   Now, some people say that the worried blues, they ain't bad
   Oh, some people say that the worried blues, they ain't bad
   But it's the worst old feeling that I ever had

   Said, I woke up this morning, blues all around my bed
   I woke up this morning, blues all around my bed
   I didn't tell no daddy to hold my nappy head

   Now, the man I love, he wants a teasing brown
   Oh, the man I love, he is a teasing brown
   Strictly tailor-made and he ain't no hand-me-down

   'Cause brownskin men are deceitful and yellow men are worse
   Oh, brownskin men are deceitful and yellow men are worse
   Gonna get me a black man, I'm play' safety first

   Oh, girls, it's awfully hard, love another woman's man
   Oh, girls, it's awfully hard to love another woman's man
   You can't get him when you want him, got to catch him when you can

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:32:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 12:27:48 PM »
Hi all,
Sara Martin, recording as Sally Roberts, recorded "Black Hearse Blues" in New York City on August 30, 1927, immediately prior to "Ornery Blues", with backing by Sylvester Weaver.  Weaver backs her out of C in standard tuning and is full of great ideas, at several points using an ascending chromatic bass run that Leadbelly often used when playing in F, but moved one string lower on the guitar. 
This song has some terrific and novel lyrics, and Sara Martin delivers it in fine style.



   Old dead wagon, don't you dare stop at my door (2)
   You took my first three daddies, but you can't have number four

   Small pox got my first man, booze killed number two (2)
   I wore out the last one but with this one, I ain't through

   Roll on, old black hearse, don't you dare to stop (2)
   My man ain't fit to die, he's a special liquor cop

   Low-down bone orchard, call your corpse cart back (2)
   My daddy's engine still running on my double track

   Black hearse, there ain't no use, you sure can't have my man
   Black hearse, ain't no use, you sure can't have my man
   I'm just using him up on the old installment plan

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:35:09 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 08:55:47 PM »
Hi all,
Sara Martin, once again recording as Sally Roberts, recorded "Useless Blues" earlier in the same session in which she and Sylvester Weaver recorded "Black Hearse Blues" and Orn'ry Blues".  Weaver accompanies "Useless Blues" out of G position in standard tuning, and, as usual, is full of neat ideas.  It's interesting, when you listen to Weaver's playing, to think about how early he was on the scene, and how few of his ideas were picked up by the Country Blues players that followed him.
The lyrics Sara Martin sings on this song, follow an unusual arc.  She starts out on the defensive, with her man leaving her, but by the time she gets to the final verse she is dictating terms.  Her randy persona is one that was encountered frequently in the Classic Blues singers.



   Oh, hey, what's that I heard you say?
   Hey, what's that I heard you say?
   You are going away and leave me today

   If you go away, and leave me today
   Ah, if you go away and leave me today
   Says, you can't come back, so you had better stay

   Uh, here's a little lesson I want you to learn
   Now, here's a little lesson I want you to learn
   That if you play with fire you are sure to get burned

   Now, you know you used to love me just like a sheik
   Ah, you know you used to love me just like a sheik
   But now all you can do is to pat my cheek

   So if you want to come back, papa, you've got to get some monkey glands
   If you want to come back, you got to get some monkey glands
   'Cause I don't want no cripple man hanging on my hands

All best,
Johnm
   
 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:36:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2006, 03:45:39 PM »
Hi all,
Sally Roberts (Sara Martin) and Sylvester Weaver recorded "Loving Is What I Crave" on August 30, 1927, the first song in the session that also ended up yielding "Useless Blues", "Black Hearse Blues" and "Orn'ry Blues".  Sylvester Weaver is playing out of E position in standard tuning and sounds like he may be using a lighter gauge string than what his guitar would most prefer.  His accompaniment shows a lot of variety, and he gets a particularly nice sound by alternating his bass up to the third string for his upbeats, much as Lemon did on "One Dime Blues".  When it comes time to play his solo, Weaver is foxed for an instant--he thinks the song is over and stops, but then (probably after a visual cue from the engineer), starts up again and plays a great solo.
Sara Martin's singing is fine, but perhaps lacks a bit of the attitude she brought to the later numbers recorded at this session.  The tagline of the first verse is something of a stretch.



   My heart's just like a lonesome road
   Uh, my heart's just like a lonesome road
   Just like a sailor that's jumped overboard

   Now, what I need is loving that can't be beat
   Oh, what I need is loving that can't be beat
   The kind of loving that knocks you off your feet

   Oh, what I want is a daddy, the loving kind
   Uh, what I want is a daddy of the loving kind
   A real sweet daddy to ease my troubled mind

    SOLO

   A man's real loving is just what I crave
   Oh, a man's real loving is just what I crave
   And if his loving kills me, take me to my grave

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:37:18 PM by Johnm »

Offline Cleoma

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Sara Martin "Forget Me Not Blues"
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 07:17:19 PM »
There's one line in this song that I just cannot get!  Middle of the last verse.  Here's what I've got, and I've attached the song itself.  I always love Sara Martin's singing and the setting for this is kinda goofy, with piano, clarinet and Robert Cooksey on harmonica. Any suggestions would be appreciated!



Forget Me Not Blues - Sara Martin

You?ve got to forget me
I?m gonna stop loving you
You know you mistreated me
That will never do
Now haven?t I always been true, man I?mma say to  you

Man you ain?t no good, cause you walked away
Some things are bound to change, some sweet day
Now I done all I could, to get along with you
We Can?t get along so,  now I?m through
Man I?m leaving you
Cause I?ve got the forget me not blues

I said now man, you, ain?t no good, cause you walked away
Some things are bound to change, some sweet day
Went down today and bought me  a knife
To ?????  (Something about a pistol??)
Man I?m leaving you
Cause I got the forget me not blues


[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:38:57 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sara Martin "Forget Me Not Blues"
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 07:37:46 PM »
>> To Huh??  (Something about a pistol??)

To take my sister's, and his life

...or probably closer, but less logical:

To take my sister's haunted life

Could be a punch line, he ran off with her sister? Pretty sure it's "to take my sister's (something)..." but I'm not sure about the the end of the line but would go for "haunted life" (though "life" sounds more like "lie") at this point.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 07:52:05 PM by Rivers »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sara Martin "Forget Me Not Blues"
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2010, 08:06:32 PM »
I believe she's going to commit suicide:
"To take my disappointed life"

Chris

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sara Martin "Forget Me Not Blues"
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 04:16:25 AM »
Yes, I do believe you are absolutely correct Chris.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 09:33:16 AM »
Hi all,
For "I Am Happy in Jesus", Sylvester Weaver accompanied Sara Martin and Hayes B. Withers out of C position in standard tuning, and joined in on the singing.  Sara Martin lined the song out on the first and third lines of each verse, with Hayes and Sylvester joining in on the second and fourth lines.  Sara Martin really does sound happy singing the song, which has unusually flowery lyrics.



I have found what I wanted, what I sought for so long
I am happy in Jesus every day
He has given contentment, He has filled me with song
I am happy in Jesus every day

REFRAIN: I am daily enraptured and my cup runneth o'er
I am happy in Jesus every day, every day
Since I found my loving that I knew not before
I am happy in Jesus every day

Since I first found the pardon for the sins of my soul
I've been happy in Jesus every day
For He took me and cleansed me, and he then made me whole
I am happy in Jesus every day

REFRAIN: I am daily enraptured and my cup runneth o'er
I am happy in Jesus every day, every day
He has crowned me with blessings that I knew not before
And I'm happy in Jesus every day

REFRAIN: Yes, I'm happy in Jesus and my cup runneth o'er
I am happy in Jesus every day, every day
He has crowned me with blessings and I knew not before
And I'm happy in Jesus every day

Oh what pleasures he gives me, oh the joys I have known
I am happy in Jesus every day
Oh, what visions of raptures unto me He has shown
I am happy in Jesus every day

REFRAIN: I am daily enraptured and my cup runneth o'er
And I'm happy in Jesus every day, every day
For he's crowned me with blessings that I knew not before
And I'm happy in Jesus every day

REFRAIN: Yes, I'm happy in Jesus and my cup runneth o'er
And I'm happy in Jesus every day, every day
'Cause he's crowned me with blessings that I knew not before
And I'm happy in Jesus every day

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:39:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2013, 07:42:48 PM »
Hi all,
Sylvester Weaver backed Sara Martin out of E position in standard tuning for "Where Shall I Be?", on which they were also joined by Hayes B. Withers and an identified female vocalist.  The chorus of the song, at least, is pretty much the same as Blind Lemon Jefferson sang it.  The verses are different from anything Lemon sang.  I'd appreciate help with the second lead line in verse one.  The feel and delivery on this performance is a bit stodgy compared to most religious material performed by blues singers of that era (mid-20s).  Sara Martin lines the verses out and is responded to by the other singers on the title phrase.



When Judgement Day is drawing nigh
Where shall I be?
When God's, the works of men shall try
Where shall I be?
When a-East and West the fire shall roll
Where shall I be?
How will it be with my pure soul
Where shall I be?

REFRAIN: Oh, where shall I be when the first trumpet sounds
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds so loud
When it sounds so loud, as to wake up the dead
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds

When wicked men his wrath shall see
Where shall I be?
And to the rocks and mountains flee
Where shall I be?
When hills and mountains roll away
Where shall I be?
When all the works of men decay
Where shall I be, Hallelujah

REFRAIN: Where shall I be when the first trumpet sounds
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds so loud
When it sounds so loud as to wake up the dead
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds

When Heaven and Earth, as some great scroll
Where shall I be?
Shall from God's angry presence roll
Where shall I be?
When all the saints redeemed shall stand
Where shall I be?
Evermore the Blessed, from God's right hand
Where shall I be?

REFRAIN: Oh, where shall I be when the first trumpet sounds
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds so loud
When it sounds so loud as to wake up the dead
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds, yes,
Where shall I be when the first trumpet sounds
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds so loud
When it sounds so loud as to wake up the dead
Oh, where shall I be when it sounds

Edited 1/14 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:40:47 PM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Sara Martin Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 10:42:38 AM »
I think the second line of Where Shall I Be is "When God's THE WORKS of men shall try"

 


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