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You know, I want to write a book about my life... I don't want to tell you too much until I've got a chance to have it printed. Apart from my music, my main interests are fishing and making bicycle rides - Tampa Red's excuse to Jacques Demetre and Marcel Chauvard for not wanting to talk to them in any great detail, October 1959

Author Topic: Jaydee Short Lyrics  (Read 3701 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Jaydee Short Lyrics
« on: December 10, 2010, 08:00:22 PM »
Hi all,
Jaydee Short (the first name apparently was not initials) recorded "Barefoot Blues" at a session in New York City on March 14, 1932, working under the nom de disc Jelly Jaw Short.  He played the song out of Spanish tuning set pretty high, slightly sharp of B, and his bright open sound on his guitar matched his big bright voice.  There was a tremendous excitement to Short's sound, and his ability to fit a lot of syllables into a blues line rivaled that of Leroy Carr or Louis "Jellybelly" Hayes.  Like many or most Country Blues players, he accelerated markedly over the course of his rendition.  His opening verse is a beaut, and in general, I'd save he gives as good as he gets in the course of these lyrics.



   SPOKEN:  Now, Mama, let's get stone barefoot and get drunk and run.  'Cause I'm a hard-workin' man, you think I'm gonna be your slave for you all my life.  And you know I can read and you don't know how to treat a good man right.

   Now, let's get stone barefooted, mama, and get drunk and run
   Let's get stone barefooted, mama, and get drunk and run
   I don't feel like botherin' with you, mama, but I just feel like havin' my fun

   Yes, you're a long-ways traveller, long ways from your home
   You're a long-ways traveller, long ways from your home
   Spendin' all my money for whiskey and gettin' drunk, mama, you don't know how you carry on

   I work hard, daily, daily, mama, tryin' to make a good home for you
   I work hard daily, daily, tryin' to make a good old home for you
   Now, why'd you do things to your good man, ma'am, why'd you make him feel so blue?

   In a few more days now, mama, your good man's gonna be goin' away
   In a few more days now, mama, your good man's gonna be goin' away
   You gon' miss that hard-workin' man, you gonna need his help someday

   I work hard daily and daily, bring you home my pay
   I work hard now daily, woman, bring you home my pay
   I can't see how you have the nerve, mama, treat a good man this-a-way

   Now, I b'lieve I go, mama, don't feel welcome here
   Honey, Lord, I b'lieve I go, mama, Lord, I don't feel welcome here
   You a no-good woman, you don't feel in no hard-workin' man's care

All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:28:15 PM by Johnm »

Offline LD50

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 09:30:52 AM »
That looks perfect first time around -- congrats!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 01:03:46 PM »
Thanks, LD50, I've been listening to Jaydee pretty much non-stop.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 01:21:36 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 01:21:01 PM »
Hi all,
Jaydee recorded "Snake Doctor Blues" at the same session as he recorded "Barefoot Blues", and it shares its tuning, Spanish, and accompaniment, with "Barefoot Blues", apart from minor differences.  A lot of Jaydee's lyrics centered on hoodoo and superstition.  He pronounces "darned" in verse four dar-ned.  The last word in the next-to-last word may be "fake", but it sounds like "fag" and fag rhymes.   This is another terrific track.



   SPOKEN:  I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name.  I fly by easy, but I fly low long distant land.

   I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name
   I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name
   And when I fly by easy, mama, I'm gonna fly low long distant land

   I am a snake doctor, gang of womens everywhere I go
   I am a snake doctor man, gots a gang of womens everywhere I go
   And when I get to flyin' sometime, I can see a gang of womens standin' out in the door

   I'm gon' fly by easy, man, and you know I ain't gon' fly very low
   I'm gon' fly by easy, man, and you know I ain't gon' fly very low
   What I got in these sacks in my pack, man, you don't nobody know

   I got many crooks in my bag as a darned snake can crawl
   I got many crooks in my bag as a dyin' snake can crawl
   I puts up a solid foundation, mens, and you know it don't never fall

   The rain and snow might blow and the midnight wind might rise
   The evenin' storm might rise and the midnight storm might roar
   And when I put up a solid foundation, I don't have to look for that woman no more

   I am the snake doctor man, got my medicine, I say, in my bag
   I am the snake doctor man, got my medicine, I say, in my bag
   I mean to be a real snake doctor man, you know I don't mean to be no fag

   Now, there are more many of you mens wonderin' what the snake doctor man done have
   I know many of you mens are wonderin' what the snake doctor man's got in his hand
   He got roots and herbs, steal a woman, man, everywhere he land

Edited 12/11 to pick up corrections from LD50

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:29:09 PM by Johnm »

Offline LD50

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 06:42:08 PM »
Two corrections:

"but I fly low long distant land" --> "but I fly low low distant land"
"And when I put up the bag's foundation" --> "And when I put up a solid foundation"

I agree this line is really odd:

"I mean to be a real snake doctor man, you know I don't mean to be no fag"

'Fake' would make more semantic sense, but as you point out, he says it like 'fag', which would fit the rhyme better. Weird.

The problem is he has a tendency to mumble the final words in the lines in this song. Kind of reminds me of Joe Stone.  ;)

Which Short songs are left? 'Grand Daddy Blues' and 'Telephone Arguin Blues'? I don't think anyone's ever reissued 'Let Me Mash That Thing'.

Hi all,
Jaydee recorded "Snake Doctor Blues" at the same session as he recorded "Barefoot Blues", and it shares its tuning, Spanish, and accompaniment, with "Barefoot Blues", apart from minor differences.  A lot of Jaydee's lyrics centered on hoodoo and superstition.  He pronounces "darned" in verse four dar-ned.  The last word in the next-to-last word may be "fake", but it sounds like "fag" and fag rhymes.   This is another terrific track.

   SPOKEN:  I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name.  I fly by easy, but I fly low long distant land.

   I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name
   I'm the snake doctor man, everybody tryin' to find out my name
   And when I fly by easy, mama, I'm gonna fly low long distant land

   I am a snake doctor, gang of womens everywhere I go
   I am a snake doctor man, gots a gang of womens everywhere I go
   And when I get to flyin' sometime, I can see a gang of womens standin' out in the door

   I'm gon' fly by easy, man, and you know I ain't gon' fly very low
   I'm gon' fly by easy, man, and you know I ain't gon' fly very low
   What I got in these sacks in my pack, man, you don't nobody know

   I got many crooks in my bag as a darned snake can crawl
   I got many crooks in my bag as a dyin' snake can crawl
   I put somethin' in the sack's foundation, mens, and you know it don't never fall

   The rain and snow might blow and the midnight wind might rise
   The evenin' storm might rise and the midnight storm might roar
   And when I put up the bag's foundation, I don't have to look for that woman no more

   I am the snake doctor man, got my medicine, I say, in my bag
   I am the snake doctor man, got my medicine, I say, in my bag
   I mean to be a real snake doctor man, you know I don't mean to be no fag

   Now, there are more many of you mens wonderin' what the snake doctor man done have
   I know many of you mens are wonderin' what the snake doctor man's got in his hand
   He got roots and herbs, steal a woman, man, everywhere he land

All best,
Johnm  
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 06:59:34 PM by LD50 »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 07:39:09 PM »
Thanks for the "solid foundation" correction, LD50.  I have made those two changes.  I am satisfied that "low long distant land" is right.  No change on that one.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2010, 01:40:03 PM »
Hi all,
Jaydee Short recorded "Telephone Arguin' Blues" at a session in Grafton, Wisconsin on June 1, 1930.  He played the song out of E position in standard tuning, with a very big sound, and lots of global hammers, where he hammers an entire E chord he's brushed, for example.  In the intro he hits an unusual sonority--the E6/moved up B7, X-4-x-4-0-4, was a commonly used position by St. Louis guitarists of the era.  Short left the third string open, winding up with this position, X-4-X-0-0-4, which gave a notably rasty clash between his open G string and the G# he was fretting at the fourth fret of the first string. Jaydee Short had a huge sound, both vocally and instrumentally, really moving a lot of air.  Aspects of these lyrics sound semi-improvised.  I'm not sure about the taglines of the last two verses.  I think in the next-to-last verse, he's saying that if things turn out right, he'll leave on the light in anticipation of his mama's arrival.  Assistance with the lyrics is welcomed.



   INTRO

   There's so many people arguin' on the telegram
   It's so many people arguin' on the telegram
   It start to run through my head just like a stone in sand

   Early this mornin', tried to get a news through
   Early this mornin' tried to get a news over the line
   Lord, I just want to talk to that teasin' faro of mine

   "Hello, central, please give me five-oh-nine
   Hello, central, please give me five-oh-nine
   I just want to talk to that old-time gal of mine"
   
   They arguin', arguin' everywhere
   And they arguin', arguin' everywhere
   I can't get no message over the phone nowhere I go

   Mmm, baby, when can I speak with you?
   Mmm, baby, when can I speak with you?
   If you don't talk to me soon, baby, I don't know what I'm gonna do

   I picked up the receiver, I could not hear a word
   I picked up the receiver, I could not get no word
   I want to talk to my home, from this sad news I heard

   I'm gonna ask you a question, mama, answerin' you very soon
   I'm askin' you a question, answerin' you very soon
   And if all things true, man, I'm gonna leave on the light of the moon

   Ain't seen my baby in six long months today
   I ain't seen my baby, six long months today
   Told the woman-love I used to have, Lord, see my babe someday

Edited 12/13 to pick up corrections from uncle bud, Johnm
Edited 12/13 to pick up correction from LD50
Edited 12/13 to pick up correction from LD50

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:30:14 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 10:48:02 AM »
Hi John -

What a great song. For the last line of the 7th verse I hear something like

7.3 And THE [FIRST?] TRAIN SUIT ME, I'm gonna leave on the LIGHT OF THE MOON

Not sure about much of it to be honest. If he sings FIRST, he pronounces it more like FOURST.

In the last verse, I think the last line begins "TOLD the woman I LOVE..." but he really jams the words together.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 11:21:10 AM »
Thanks so much for the help, uncle bud.  You're right, it is a great song.  Your changes made a big difference in those last two taglines.  They make more sense now, for one thing, which is always nice.  I've incorporated the changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline LD50

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2010, 11:23:21 AM »
Great work, this is making me appreciate Jaydee Short even more!

I hear the last line as follows, tho it's tough:

"Some woman love I used to have gon' see my baby today" --> "Told the woman love I used to have, gon' see my baby today"

That 4th line from the end is a bear, but I think Uncle Bud has brought us a lot closer. The best I can do is the following:

"And the [false] train suit me, and I'm gonna leave on the light of the moon"

Hi all,
Jaydee Short recorded "Telephone Arguin' Blues" at a session in Grafton, Wisconsin on June 1, 1930.  He played the song out of E position in standard tuning, with a very big sound, and lots of global hammers, where he hammers an entire E chord he's brushed, for example.  In the intro he hits an unusual sonority--the E6/moved up B7, X-4-x-4-0-4, was a commonly used position by St. Louis guitarists of the era.  Short left the third string open, winding up with this position, X-4-X-0-0-4, which gave a notably rasty clash between his open G string and the G# he was fretting at the fourth fret of the first string. Jaydee Short had a huge sound, both vocally and instrumentally, really moving a lot of air.  Aspects of these lyrics sound semi-improvised.  I'm not sure about the taglines of the last two verses.  I think in the next-to-last verse, he's saying that if things turn out right, he'll leave on the light in anticipation of his mama's arrival.  Assistance with the lyrics is welcomed.

   INTRO

   There's so many people arguin' on the telegram
   It's so many people arguin' on the telegram
   It start to run through my head just like a stone in sand

   Early this mornin', tried to get a news through
   Early this mornin' tried to get a news over the line
   Lord, I just want to talk to that teasin' faro of mine

   "Hello, central, please give me five-oh-nine
   Hello, central, please give me five-oh-nine
   I just want to talk to that old-time gal of mine"
  
   They arguin', arguin' everywhere
   And they arguin', arguin' everywhere
   I can't get no message over the phone nowhere I go

   Mmm, baby, when can I speak with you?
   Mmm, baby, when can I speak with you?
   If you don't talk to me soon, baby, I don't know what I'm gonna do

   I picked up the receiver, I could not hear a word
   I picked up the receiver, I could not get no word
   I want to talk to my home, from this sad news I heard

   I'm gonna ask you a question, mama, askin' you very slow
   I'm askin' you a question, askin' you very slow
   And if all springs through, man, I'm gonna leave on the light, I know

   Ain't seen my baby in six long months today
   I ain't seen my baby, six long months today
   Some woman love I used to have gon' see my baby today

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2010, 12:58:09 PM »
Hi LD50,
Thanks for the help, and I think you're right about "some woman-love".  I noticed the very end of that line is "someday", not "today", as I had it.  The tagline line of the next-to-last verse now sounds like, "And if all strings through, man, I'm gonna leave on the light of the moon" to me.  From "through" to the end of the line sounds really clear to me--the front end is still mysterious, but we're getting closer, I think.
All best,
Johnm

Offline LD50

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2010, 02:15:57 PM »
Hmmm. Well, I now think that last line kinda sounds like: "Told the woman love I used to have, lord, see my baby some day"

Note that 'lord' there -- I just noticed it, but I think it's pretty secure.

As for 7.3, the first half sure does sound like "And if all strings through, man", tho there is the slight problem that that, uh, makes no sense.  >:(

Incidentally, the old OJL LP "Mississippi Blues, Volume 2" has this song (that's where I got it), and in the transcription of it there, Dave Evans and Bill Givens transcribe 7.3 as:

"And if all things (true), man, I'm gonna leave on the (...)"

And, they transcribe the last line as:

"Some woman (...) I used to have done seen my babe some day"

So they couldn't hear it any better than we can!

Anyway, I think that's all *I* can discover about that song.

Hi LD50,
Thanks for the help, and I think you're right about "some woman-love".  I noticed the very end of that line is "someday", not "today", as I had it.  The tagline line of the next-to-last verse now sounds like, "And if all strings through, man, I'm gonna leave on the light of the moon" to me.  From "through" to the end of the line sounds really clear to me--the front end is still mysterious, but we're getting closer, I think.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2010, 03:31:35 PM »
Hi LD50,
I do think the final verse's tagline begins with "told" as uncle bud had it.  I think your most recent suggestion is right.  I also think the next-to-last verse's tagline begins "And if all things true".  I think the verb in the second half of each of the first lines in the next-to-last verse is "answerin'". I think he's saying,
   I'm gonna ask you a question, mama, answerin' you very soon
   I'm askin' you a question, answerin' you very soon
   And if all things true, man, I'm gonna leave on the light of the moon
Whew!
All best,
Johnm
 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2010, 05:42:02 PM »
Hi all,
Jaydee Short recorded "Grand Daddy Blues" at the same session in New York City in 1932 at which he recorded "Barefoot Blues" and "Snake Doctor Blues".  Unlike those two songs, both of which were played in Spanish tuning, 'Grand Daddy Blues" was accompanied by Jaydee in E position in standard tuning.  He starts the song with a full solo, bending a little diad I've never heard bent before:  0-X-X-X-5-4.  Those two notes on the first two strings, the root of the E chord and its major third would appear to be odd candidates for bends, but the way Jaydee shakes them really gives them an eerie quality. 
Lyrically, Jaydee continues with his superstitious themes, attributing the ability to bring bad luck to a granddaddy spider, or what we used to call a daddy longlegs.  I'd appreciate help with the bent bracketed passages in the next-to-last verse.  They've pretty well got me stymied at this point.



   SOLO

   Now please, Mr. Grand Daddy, don't crawl up and down my wall
   Now please, Mr. Grand Daddy, don't crawl up and down my wall
   You will soon put me in bad luck and I won't have no woman at all

   And early this mornin', I was lyin' down on my floor
   It was early this mornin', people, I was lyin' down on my floor
   I was keepin' daily watch on my wall, so that grand daddy won't crawl in my house no more

   If that grand daddy crawls, boy, you'll soon be in my shape some old day
   If that grand daddy crawls, boy, you'll soon be in my shape some old day
   You won't have no true lovin' woman for to pass your troubles away

   SOLO

   When you got bad luck in your home, it's a mule free men know how they feel
   When you got bad luck in your home, it's a few men know just how it feels
   It takes a real good woman for to satisfy you, is how they feel

   I get weak and lonesome sometime, in a dark room by myself
   I get weak and lonesome sometime, in a dark room, I mean, by myself
   The reason I feel that way, mama, I ain't got nobody to feel my care

Edited 12/20 to pick up correction from Johnm

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:31:15 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Jaydee Short Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2010, 06:23:27 PM »
John -- I'm not sure we can ever fill in those brackets, because I think Jaydee is plain messing up. In the first line of that verse, I'm fairly certain he stumbles, meaning to sing the second line, but sings something like "it's a new few men know" instead. I think in the last line he could possibly be saying "satisfy his troubled [?]" but really I think he's pulling a Charlie Poole and mumbling where he screwed up.
Chris

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