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The piece ended with one of the slide solos that only he could play - sure and skilled, sensitive and moving. If there wasn't to be more of Blind Willie Johnson's guitar and his voice, it would be difficult to think of a more fitting way for his music to fall silent - Blind Willie Johnson, last recording described by Sam Charters

Author Topic: Henry Spaulding Lyrics  (Read 6457 times)

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Offline Chezztone

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    • Steve Cheseborough 1920s-30s-style blues
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

 


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