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Author Topic: Dave Van Ronk's lyrics  (Read 5255 times)

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jeandavidblanc

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Dave Van Ronk's lyrics
« on: May 15, 2007, 01:06:43 PM »
Hi everybody...  I need your help once again... I've been trying figuring out the lyrics of Van Ronk's "St. James infirmary blues" (... and the tin pan bended, and the story ended, SFW CD 40156)... I've got the entire song except one verse...     Here's what I've got :)




St-James Infirmary Blues

It was down at Old Joe's bar room
On the corner of the square
They were serving drinks as usual
and the usual crowd was there

On my left stood Big Joe McKennedy
His eyes were bloodshot red
Turned to the crowd around him
these are the very words he said

I went down to that St-James Infirmary
I saw my baby there
stretched out on a long white table
so sweet, so cold, so fair

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
wherever she may be
She may search this wide world over
never find a sweet man like me

When I die please bury me
in my high-top Stetson hat
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch-chain
let God know I died standing pat

I want six crapshooters for pallbearers
A chorus girl to sing me a song
Put a jazz band on my hearse wagon
To raise hell as I stroll along

....................................
....................................
Twelve men going to the graveyard
Ain't no living comin' back

Now that I've told my story
I'll take an other shot of booze
And if anybody happens to ask you
I've got those gamblers blues

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
wherever she may be
She may search this wide world over
never find a sweet man like me

Doo dooo....
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:25:55 PM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Dave Van Ronk's lyrics
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 02:02:39 PM »
Wikipedia is your friend.  :D

I don't have this version, but I'll bet this is close:

    Get sixteen coal black horses, to pull that rubber tired hack
    Twelve men going to the graveyard, but only eleven coming back

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._James_Infirmary_Blues


Offline Rivers

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Re: Dave Van Ronk's lyrics
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 03:36:00 PM »
I have the album. The two lines are:

Roll out your rubber tired carriage
Roll out your rubber tired hack

All else seems correct except a small thing, first verse, second line:

On the a corner of the square

Van Ronk turns it into an incestuous Frankenstein monster of a blues. The lyrics are a combination of St James Infirmary Blues, Dying Crapshooter's Blues and Jimmie Rodgers' Those Gambler's Blues & Gambling Bar Room Blues, which in turn were steals of St James Infirmary. Rodgers' lyric sheets for Those Gambler's Blues even had some of the original SJI lyrics crossed out apparently.

I like the DVR record a lot actually, I find it quite sad. Dave gabs a lot on it but that was Dave I guess.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 03:45:07 PM by Rivers »

Offline lindy

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Long John - Dave Van Ronk version
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 08:23:53 AM »
A vinyl album I've had since Moses has this song on it, and I've never been able to figure out the meaning of one word, in the last verse:



I?m Long John
I?m a long time gone
Like a turkey through the corn
With my long clothes on.

Now if I had?a listened
To what my good gal said,
You know I?d be sleeping
In my good gal?s bed.
But I didn?t listen,
I just rambled about.
Now I?m working on a chain gang,
With my teeth poked out.

I?m Long John . . .

I got a heel in front,
I got a heel behind.
Well you can?t quite tell
I?m a running or a-flying.
I?m way out a-yonder,
You know ahead of them hounds.
Ain?t a hound in town,
That can run me down.

I?m Long John . . .

I?m standing on a corner
With a dollar in my hand.
You know I?m waiting for the col? things,
That the white folks send.
Sendin? old cold tater?s,
And a chitlin?s too.
They send an old hawkeye,
And a cold ta__/top too

I?m Long John . . .

To my ears the word has the short "a" sound like you hear in "tap" "taft" and "tack." Someone who did a YouTube cover makes it sound more like "ah" as in "top" "cop" "mop".

Probably something obvious, but I've never been able to figure it out. It's a great one-chorder.

Lindy



« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:26:50 PM by Johnm »

Offline eric

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Re: Long John - Dave Van Ronk version
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 08:38:52 AM »
I hear hogeye, not hawkeye, but that last one eludes me as well.
--
Eric

Tags: Dave Van Ronk 
 


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