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Author Topic: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics  (Read 7696 times)

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Offline resoplayer

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Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« on: April 27, 2006, 02:40:58 AM »
Hello,
I am quiet a new (french) member ,playing mostly on vintage "nationals".
Actually I am working on the Blackwell's stuff "trouble blues" &" D blues lyrics" (which are quiet the same material), and I need the lyrics...
If someone can help me...
Thanks,
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 04:12:56 PM by Johnm »
pascal

Offline Johnm

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Re: trouble blues & D blues lyrics by Scrapper Blackwell
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 11:30:51 PM »
Hi Pascal,
Welcome to Weenie Campbell!  Here are lyrics for "Trouble Blues, Part 1" and "Trouble Blues, Part 2".  Places in the lyrics that I am not sure of are enclosed in bent brackets

.

   "Trouble Blues, Part 1"
   When trouble started, it stopped at my front door
   I've had more troubles than ever in my life before
   CHORUS:  I wonder why trouble keeps on worryin' me
   I'd just soon have my body, baby, buried in the sea

   I had trouble this mornin', mailman didn't leave no mail
   I can't see my baby, she's all locked up in jail
   CHORUS

   SOLO  Play it Mr. Daddy.  Lord, I'm so blue!

   When trouble starts, it lasted so long
   Look like everything happen, and everything goes wrong
   CHORUS

   Tell me, baby, what trouble have done to me
   Come and got my regular, then took my used-to-be
   CHORUS

   SOLO

   "Trouble Blues, Part 2"



   I can get money, but trouble won't let it stay
   Trouble gets on me and my money gets away
   CHORUS

   Trouble in the morning, noon and night
   Seem like I'm treated every way but right
   CHORUS

   SOLO:  Play it Mr. Scrapper, that's too tight!  Why, you ought to quit it!

   When trouble gets on me it never ends
   I get out of one thing, and back into something else again
   CHORUS

   Nobody knows the trouble I do see
   Nobody knows but the good Lord and me
   CHORUS:

   SOLO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:53:19 AM by Johnm »

Offline resoplayer

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Re: trouble blues & D blues lyrics by Scrapper Blackwell
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2006, 01:04:34 AM »
Thanks a lot Johnm,
If I can do something for you next time...(Edith Piaf or  any Maurice Chevalier, tino Rossi lyrics???
XXXX
Pascal
pascal

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 04:33:33 PM »
Hi all,
I've been thinking about how relatively under-represented the work of Scrapper Blackwell is on the site, and thought to transcribe the lyrics to some of his songs and talk a bit about his music.  "Penal Farm Blues" was chosen to open the program of the old Yazoo album, "The Virtuoso Guitar of Scrapper Blackwell".  Scrapper played it out of E position in standard tuning, a playing position that in his years of recording with Leroy Carr he rarely used.  Despite that, he shows a mastery of the position, as well as an approach that I can't recall hearing earlier players use and a corresponding different sound.  Scrapper plays so richly behind his singing and had enough verses to sing that he chose not to play a solo.  He pronounces "penal" with a short "e" sound, to rhyme with fennel.  It should be noted, too, what a great singer he was--I can appreciate how difficult it must have been to be noticed as a singer when you hung out with Leroy, but Scrapper had a great vocal instrument and was a soulful singer, too.



Early one morning, on my way to the penal farm
Early one morning, on my way to the pental (sic) farm
Baby, all locked up, and ain't done nothin' wrong

Loaded in the dog wagon, and down the road we go
Loaded in the dog wagon, and down the road we go
Ah, baby, oh, baby, you don't know

Into the office and then to the bathhouse we go
Into the office and then to the bathhouse we go
Then with a light shower, baby, we change our clothes

All last night, baby, it seemed so long
All last night, oh baby, it seemed so long
All locked up, I ain't done nothin' wrong

I'll tell you people, the penal farm is a lonesome place
I'll tell you people, penal farm's a lonesome place
And no one's there, to smile up in your face

Oh, baby, baby, it won't be so long now
Oh, baby, baby, it won't be so long now
Before your daddy, he'll be coming home

Oh, baby, baby, won't you come after me?
Oh, baby, baby, won't you come after me?
My time is up and penal farm has set me free

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:54:17 AM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 04:51:50 PM »
Wow, that's a nice set of lyrics, John.  Recorded at the same June 1928 Vocalion session in Indianapolis as Leroy Carr's first recordings, it suggests that both Leroy and Scrapper were accomplished songwriters at the time of their first session. 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 07:02:41 AM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell accompanied himself out of A position in standard tuning for his version of "Blue Day Blues".  A and D were his favored playing positions, and "Blue Day Blues" is real instrumental tour de force, in which Scrapper allots roughly equal space to solos and vocals.  Listening to this rendition, it's not hard to see how much Robert Johnson was influenced by Scrapper's playing in A, though not enough, perhaps; Scrapper's playing out of A had so many more "ingredients" than did Robert's, and was much more varied and dynamic.  Scrapper was perhaps unique among Country Blues players in how hard he played while still playing with a perfectly clean and focused tone.  He might snap strings intentionally, but he was never buzzy or sloppy sounding.  His technique of striking sharply articulated brush strokes in the bass with his thumb has never been equalled, either.  What a player!  The vocal on "Blue Day Blues" is terrific, too.



INTRO

One day I sit thinkin', when the rain poured down outside
One day I sit thinkin', when the rain poured down outside
And the more I thought, the more I begin to cry

SOLO

Today has been a long old lonesome day
Today has been a long old lonesome day
And it looks like tomorrow's gonna be the same old way

SOLO

My day seems lonesome, and my nights, they are so long
My days seem lonesome, and my nights, they are so long
I'll be mighty glad when them old blue days are gone

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:55:02 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 10:47:41 AM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell backed himself out of A position in standard tuning for his recording of "Hard Time Blues".  He concentrates more on his lyrics than his soloing here, but as always, performs his accompaniment role so richly that the song in no way feels under-characterized instrumentally.  Scrapper had a really nifty tag that he played in the eleventh bar of a number of his blues in A position.  In the next to last measure, he would rock between an A chord:  0-0-2-2-2-X and an F/A chord:  X-0-3-2-1-X, before rocking back to A in the twelfth bar of the form.  This movement, which takes only an instant to happen, has an aural impact completely out of proportion with the economy of means required to play it. That movement to the flat VI chord happens in the very same way, but in the key of D, in Papa Charlie Jackson's solo for "Shake That Thing", where he rocks between D and B flat.
I don't mean to give Scrapper's vocals short shrift, either.  Here he has both strong lyrics and a really fine vocal.  Seek this one out if you're looking for a serious sort of blues to add to your repertoire.



INTRO

I'm goin' down to the river, just to see the water run
I'm goin' down to the river, just to see the water run
And to think about my troubles, and where all my money has gone

Times has got so hard that I can not find no job
Times has got so hard that I can not find no job
And every mornin', the rent man grabbin's on my doorknob

I'm gettin' so raggedy, I ain't got no decent clothes
I'm gettin' so raggedy, I ain't got no decent clothes
And I ain't got nobody, ain't got nowhere to go

Now I'm worried, and no tellin' what I'm going to do
Now I'm worried, and no tellin' what I'm going to do
My friends don't know me and I, can't get a dime or two

Soon as hard times struck me, my baby puts me off
Soon as hard times struck me, my baby puts me off
Now I guess you know, what these hard times is all about

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:55:47 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 07:03:36 AM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell recorded "Kokomo Blues" accompanying himself out of D position in standard tuning.  This was a very influential recording.  Probably the most striking aspect of Scrapper's sound on this song is the chord voicing he came up with to accompany the first two bars of the form, under his singing.  It was a D minor 7, but voiced with a flat V note in the bass like so:  4-0-0-5-6-5.  If you work up in that voicing, string by string, from the low E up to the high E, the strings voice as following in the chord: b5-5-Root-b7-b3-5.  The particular genius to this voicing was Scrapper's choice to voice the b5 and the 5 on adjacent strings, despite the fact that they are only a half-step apart from each other.  As Scrapper raked with his thumb across that fourth fret of the low E string against the open A string, he achieved a palpable "buzz" with that chord position, all the while raking the top three strings in the opposite direction.  It's one of those sounds that seems inevitable after the fact, but coming up with it in the first place is an altogether different proposition.  The melodic fills Scrapper plays in his response licks to his vocal are spectacular, too, and his vocal is mighty fine.
It's hard to say why Kokomo, Indiana should loom so large in blues lyrics, showing up in songs by Freddie Spruell and Fred McDowell in addition to Scrapper's number.  I suspect it is just because of the sound of the city's name, and the rhythm in the saying of it, rather than any particular quality of the city itself.



INTRO

Mmmm, baby, don't you want to go?
Mmmm, baby, don't you want to go?
Pack your little suitcase, papa's going to Kokomo

Mmmm, baby, where you been so long?
Mmmm, baby, where you been so long?
I can tell, mama, there's somethin' going on wrong

Mmmm, baby, you don't know, you don't know
Mmmm, baby, you don't know, you don't know
Papa's all ready, going back to Kokomo

And me and my baby had a falling out last night
And me and my baby had a falling out last night
Somehow and other, my babe won't treat me right

Mmmm, baby, what's the matter now?
Mmmm, baby, what's the matter now?
Trying to quit your daddy, baby, but you don't know how

And I'll sing this verse, baby, I can't sing no more
I'll sing this verse, baby, I can't sing no more
My train is ready and I'm going to Kokomo

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:56:36 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 12:33:37 PM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell accompanied himself out of A position in standard tuning for "Down South Blues", and it is very close, musically, to his "Blue Day Blues".  Like Papa Charlie Jackson, Scrapper liked to go to a Idim7 chord in the sixth bar of his blues played out of the A position.  Scrapper, in his solo work, at least, is proving to be a member of the "swung eighth note" camp.  Every one of the songs that have been transcribed thus far has an under-lying triple feel; no straight eighth notes from Scrapper!  His vocal here is soulful, as always.



INTRO

I'm just sittin' here, thinkin' of dear old sunny Tennessee
I'm just sittin' here thinkin', of dear old sunny Tennessee
And wondering if my baby is waiting there for me

SOLO

I'm going where the Monon crosses the L & N
I'm going where the Monon crosses the L & N
And catch me a freight train, and go back home again

SOLO

I'm going back South, where it's warm the whole year 'round
I'm going back South, where it's warm the whole year 'round
I'll be so glad when my train pulls up in town

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:57:27 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 12:02:02 PM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell accompanied himself out of D position in standard tuning for "Back Door Blues".  The song is a particular beauty, for which Scrapper employed an extended circle-of-fifths progression, and was first discussed on this site by Waxwing in the "Rag Blues and Circle of Fifths" thread, at http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=712.0 .  The progression of the song works out like so:

   |    D    |    D    |    D   |    D    |

   |   G7    |   G7  | D  F#7  |    B7   |

   |    E7   |    A7  |    D       |   D     |

I am not at all sure of the bent bracketed phrase in the tagline to the final verse, and would appreciate corroboration/correction.



I left my baby, standin' in the back door, crying
I left my baby, standin' in the back door, crying
Begging and pleading, "Don't you leave this time."

Aw, the sun's gonna shine in my back door someday
Aw, the sun's gonna shine in my back door someday
I wish I had somebody to drive my blues away

Blues and trouble both running hand in hand
Blues and trouble both running hand in hand
And if you ain't never had the blues, you just can't understand

SOLO

You can always tell when your woman's got another man
You can always tell when your woman's got another man
She will take your bad treatment, and do the best she can

OUTRO

Edited to pick up correction from Front Page

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:58:25 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bill Roggensack

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Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 12:58:22 PM »
John:
I believe the phrase is:
She will take your bad treatment and do the best she can..

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 01:13:01 PM »
Thanks for the help, Bill.  I received the same fix off-line from another friend, and have made the fix.  Merry Christmas!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 12:32:53 PM »
Hi all,
Scrapper Blackwell did a session in 1932 in which he accompanied a singer who went by the name Black Bottom McPhail.  I know nothing else about Black Bottom, biographically.  For "My Dream Blues", Scrapper accompanied Black Bottom out of E position in standard tuning.  His accompaniment is very rich, harmonically, working a lot of territory that Scrapper had to himself in the evolutionary stage the Blues were in at that point in history.  Indeed, despite the fact that Scrapper doesn't take a solo, one comes away from the recording feeling satisfied just by the imagination he brings to his accompaniment role.
Black Bottom McPhail was not a notably gifted singer, but he had some nice turns of phrase in his lyrics, and several of the songs he and Scrapper did together are worth resurrecting

.

I'm goin' to tell all you people, my dream I had one week ago
I'm goin' to tell all you people, my dream I had one week ago
I dreamed my baby was leavin' me, and I was beggin' her, "Please don't go."

But whensoever you have a dream, always take your dream the other way
Whensomenever you have a dream, always take your dream the other way
For now I've been mistreated, and I'm leavin' town this very day

I'd rather be up on a mountain, or down in the deep blue sea
I would rather be up on a mountain, or down in the deep blue sea
Than to be right here, baby, treated like you treat poor me

Lord, I cried last night, and I cried the night before
I say, I cried last night, cried the night before
But that is one thing I hope, I won't have to cry no more

Now if you don't want me, baby, why don't you tell me so?
I say, if you don't want me, baby, why don't you tell me so?
Then I can sleep at night and won't have to dream no more

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:59:25 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 03:11:23 PM »
Hi all,
Another song for which Scrapper Blackwell backed up Black Bottom McPhail is "Down In Black Bottom", which Scrapper accompanied out of A position in standard tuning.  As with "My Dream Blues", Scrapper's accompaniment is wonderfully varied and he has some of the terrific bends up the the neck that were admired and imitated by Robert Johnson.  The more I listen to Scrapper, the more impressed I am with how spot-on the pitches of his bends were; really, they couldn't be improved upon, and he was a marvel of consistency, sort of like Buddy Moss in that regard.
In the thematic sense, "Down In Black Bottom" is working the same side of the street as "Deep Elum Blues", talking about a dangerous place where you could also have some fun.  The phrasing on this song is pretty complicated, and Black Bottom McPhail pulls it off beautifully.  I think the sense of the second line of the fourth verse is, (If you) don't, etc.  I'd appreciate some corroboration/correction of the second line of the last verse.



Now, down in Black Bottom, that is, so they say
They drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day
REFRAIN: I'm crazy about Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

Yes, I went down in black Bottom, I didn't go to stay down there long
Police brought me out by my right arm
REFRAIN: I'm going back down in Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

Now, you go down in black Bottom, and you don't know the rule,
Black Bottom women will try to make a fool of you
REFRAIN: I'm crazy about Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

If you go down in Black Bottom, put your money in your shoes,
Don't, them Black Bottom Women will give your pockets the blues
REFRAIN: I'm crazy about Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

Now, you go down in Black Bottom, put your money down in your britches
For them women's going to rob you, now, you dirty hmmm
REFRAIN: Crazy about Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

Now, if anybody aks you who composed this song,
Tell 'em 'twas 'lack Bottom, buddy, 's done been here and gone
REFRAIN: He down in Black Bottom, hmmm, so they say
That's where they drink good moonshine and stay drunk all day

Edited 12/28 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm


 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 08:00:11 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Scrapper Blackwell Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 06:55:24 PM »
Hi all,
Yet another Black Bottom McPhail recording that used Scrapper Blackwell in an accompaniment capacity is "Whiskey Man Blues", which Scrapper played out of D position in standard tuning.  The song has strong lyrics, and the third verse is especially fine, and Scrapper is operating in a setting in which he's completely comfortable and able to use his huge bag of licks in D.



Well, I drink so much whiskey, 'til they call me Whiskey Man
I say, I drink so much whiskey, they call me Whiskey Man
Lord, I gets up every morning with the whiskey bottle in my hand

Lord, my baby treats me mean, she keeps me worried all the time
I say, my baby, she do treats me mean, she keep me worried all the time
And if I didn't drink my whiskey, I believe I would lose my mind

When I drink my whiskey, I don't mistreat my friends
When I drink my whiskey, I don't mistreat my friends
I am sober now, but I'm going and get drunk again

Lord, whiskey, whiskey, it don't mean me no good
I say, whiskey, whiskey, it don't mean me no good
And I would stop drinkin' whiskey, baby, if I only could

Lord, Lord, whiskey is killin' me
Lord, Lord, whiskey is killin' me
And why I can't stop drinkin' whiskey, Lord, Lord, I just can't see

My baby put me out, I'm just goin' from hand to hand
I said, my baby's put me out, I'm just goin' from hand to hand
And I drink so much whiskey 'til they call me Whiskey Man

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 08:00:56 AM by Johnm »

 


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