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I asked him how 'bout it and he said, "all right." I asked him how long, and he said, "all night!" - Mattie Delaney, Big Road Blues

Author Topic: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics  (Read 1596 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:49:47 AM »
Hi all,
Caldwell "Mississippi" Bracey had one day in the studio, I believe, December 17, 1930 in Jackson, Mississippi, and recorded four titles.  On three of the titles he was joined, it is believed, by his wife, Virginia, who seconded him on guitar.  All four tracks can be found on the JSP set "Mississippi Blues".  I've been particularly enjoying their songs lately; they had a beautifully worked out duo sound, and Caldwell Bracey was a terrific singer.
The duo did an interesting version of "Cherry Ball" which, apart from the title, is altogether different from Skip James' song of the same title.  For the song, the main time-keeping guitarist plays out of E position in standard tuning.  The lead guitarist, who focuses on the treble, may either be playing out of C position, capoed up, or working out of E position in standard tuning, too.  Bracey has some nice lyrics, and I particularly like the opening line of the last verse.  Here is "Cherry Ball":



Won't give my baby no more cherry ball
I won't give my baby no more cherry ball
Lord, she may get drunk, Lord, and show her Santa Claus

She used to be mine but, look who got her now
She used to be mine but look who got her now
Well, they sure can keep her, she don't mean no good nohow

When she see me comin', now, put your man outdoors
When you see me comin', now, put your man outdoors
You know I ain't no stranger, baby, I been here before

Sun rose this mornin', I was layin' out on my floor
Sun rose this mornin', I was layin' out on my floor
No sweet woman to love me, I didn't have no place to go

'Cause the sun goin' down now, black dark caught me here
Sun's goin' down now, black dark caught me here
I ain't got nobody to love me, nobody for to feel my care

SOLO

Edited 12/14 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:12:01 PM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 09:04:43 AM »
Hi John,

Just a minor typo in the 4th verse, Bracy sings "I was layin' out on MY floor" in both of the first two lines.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 12:04:56 PM »
Thanks, dj, once again, I'm paraphrasing my own transcription when I enter it--grrr.  I'll make the fix.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 12:27:55 PM »
Hi all,
Another very strong number from Caldwell and Virginia Bracey is "You Scolded Me and Drove Me", which featured both of them playing out of Dropped-D tuning in D.  Their guitar parts are right on top of each other in a way that is tremendously effective--so much for the benefits of leaving space!  Caldwell's vocal strikes an aggrieved note that suits his lyrics perfectly.  He had an interesting phrasing mannerism of sticking "now" in the middle of his lines, much as Sleepy John Estes liked to begin lines with "now".  Anyone looking for a terrific song that hasn't been done to death need look no further.  Here is "You Scolded Me And Drove Me":



You scolded me, faro, and then drove me all, from your door
You scolded me, faro, Lord, drove me all, from your door
Well, the Good Book say you've got to reap just what you sow

There was ice and snow, now, layin' outside of your door
There was ice and snow, now, layin' outside of your door
Your good old man rolled for you at times when he was not able to go

I can't sleep for dreamin', now, can't stay woke for cryin'
Can't sleep for dreamin', now, can't stay woke for cryin'
I was thinkin' about that little old brown of mine

I'm, I'm worried now, but I won't be worried long
I'm worried now, but I won't be worried long
It takes a worried woman, now, sing the worried song

Uh, you got a bad husband, now, baby, that'll be all right
You got a bad husband, now, baby, that'll be all right
Said, I'll dog your husband like a rabbit dogs your dog at night

Be so glad when my buddy dead and gone
I'll be so glad when my buddy dead and gone
Lord, my buddy got somethin', now, Lord, I'd like to own

All best,
Johnm


« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:12:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 08:44:59 PM »
Hi all,
The only Mississippi Bracey tune that was done with one guitar was the oddly-titled "Stered Gal".  Bracey is clearly singing, "stir it, gal", but I guess that eluded the record company.  Bracey accompanies himself out of E position in standard tuning, and the song has very much a children's song feel (despite the subject matter), much as did Bo Carter's "Twist It Babe".  As was the norm for him, Bracey's singing is excellent.  There's one place I'm not certain of the lyrics, and would appreciate correction/corroboration.  Here is "Stered Gal":



That's my gal, stirrin' it now
That's my gal, stirrin' it now

She wouldn't and she couldn't and she wouldn't do it a 'tall
Found another man, went and crossed the hall
Stir it, stir it, gal

That's my gal, stirrin' it now
That's my gal, stirrin' it now

Grab my gal around the waist
Sweet soul, you'd better make haste
Stir it, stir it, gal

Run 'round the house and I peeped through the crack
Seen my baby at a dirty act
Stir it, stir it, gal
Stir it, stir it, gal

Just as well as make it up in your mind
Ain't much business, but stir it in the house
Stir it, stir it, gal

SOLO

That's my gal, stirrin' it now
That's my gal, stirrin' it now

Grab my gal around the waist
Told me, "Better hurry, you better make haste."
Stir it, stir it, gal

Run around the house and I peeped through the crack
Seed my baby at a dirty act
Stir it, stir it, gal

That's my gal, stirrin' it now
That's my gal, stirrin' it now

SOLO

That's my gal, stirrin' it now
That's my gal, stirrin' it now

Edited 12/17 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:13:40 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 08:53:59 PM »
Quote
Grab my gal around the waist
[Pete told us], "Better make haste."

Yes he does go slightly off the mic at that point but it could be:

She told me, "Better make haste."

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 08:54:42 PM »
Hi all,
The final number that Caldwell "Mississippi" Bracey and his wife Virginia recorded was "I'll Overcome Someday".  For that song, one of the duo played slide in Vestapol while the other played in E position in standard tuning.  The song is an 8-bar chorus blues, in some ways the last the least distinctive of their songs, but still really a nice rendition.  Here is "I'll Overcome Someday":



Worked all the Summer, and all the Fall
Now I gotta take Christmas, now, in my overhalls
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

Goin' up the country, won't be back 'til Fall
Times get no better I won't be back at all
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

You treat me like, didn't know my name
You mistreat me, now, for another man
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

My baby quit me, didn't say a word
'Twas on account of something that she heard
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

When I had money, I had a friend
Ain't got no money, ain't, ain't got no friend
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

Take one more drink, make me tell it all
Somebody stole my little all-in-all
REFRAIN: But bye and bye, I'll overcome some sweet day

SOLO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:14:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 09:00:59 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, Mark.  He was off microphone a bit at that point, as you noted.  Of the three words he says there, I'm only sure of "told".  Sure sounds like the last word was "us".  The first word is the toughest to hear.  His guitar sounds fantastic on this tune, doesn't it?  Beautiful tone.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 09:02:09 PM »
Quote
Worked all the Summer, and all the Fall
Now I gotta take Christmas, now, in my overhalls

Interesting, that's pretty much what Leadbelly sings in You Don't Know My Mind, discussed here: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=4318.msg43690#msg43690

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 09:05:11 PM »
Yeah he has such a great brushing technique and singing voice. I agree, the guitar sounds particularly sweet, sounds like my Tonk, was my immediate thought. Nice clear recording too. I need to get out the headphones on this song.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 09:14:48 PM by Rivers »

Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 08:50:13 AM »
Immediately after recording the 4 songs that John has just transcribed, Caldwell and Virginia Bracey recorded 4 religious vocal duets as "Caldwell Bracey and Wife".  Unfortunately, all 4 songs were unissued at the time and the masters were probably discarded a long time ago.  Still, one can hope...

The 4 songs were:
   God Is Getting Us Ready For The Great Day
   Lord, Lord You Sure Is Good To Me
   They Crucified My Savior, Hallelujah!
   I'll Be Glad When I Get Home

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 01:08:15 PM »
Thanks for that information, dj.  The thought of Caldwell and Virginia Bracey doing religious material makes a lot of sense.  I hope those masters do turn up sometime.
All best,
Johnm

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2012, 01:33:51 PM »
Hi all,
The only Mississippi Bracey tune that was done with one guitar was the oddly-titled "Stered Gal".  Bracey is clearly singing, "stir it, gal", but I guess that eluded the record company.  Bracey accompanies himself out of E position in standard tuning, and the song has very much a children's song feel (despite the subject matter), much as did Bo Carter's "Twist It Babe". 
http://youtu.be/GpeF7f-_xww?t=22s
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

Offline dj

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2012, 12:41:11 PM »
Hi, John,

For Stered Gal, I think the lyric you were missing is

Grab my gal around the waist
SWEET GAL YOU'D better make haste.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Bracey Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2012, 03:55:23 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, dj.  I foolishly left my recording of the song in Seattle at my teaching space, but I will re-listen to it when I'm down there on Wednesday and Thursday.
All best,
Johnm

 


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