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A fiddle is like a dog -- it can sense fear - Mike Seeger, encouraging a beginning fiddler

Author Topic: Robert Peeples Lyrics  (Read 440 times)

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Offline Blues Vintage

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Robert Peeples Lyrics
« on: October 13, 2021, 05:37:45 AM »
Wicked Devil's Blues


The devil’s music right here. Please double check the hard parts.


Robert Peeples - Vocals
Henry Brown - Piano

Ca. November 1929
Grafton, Wisconsin

Piano in Eb





So jealous of my baby, I hate to see her go
I'm so jealous of my baby, I really hate to see her go
But if she's got another fellow, Lord, I'd rather see her down below

‘Cause I got ways like the devil, b’lieve I'm the devil's child
Lord, I got ways like the devil, b’lieve I'm a devil's child
I'm so dogged on that evil, I haven't got the heart to smile

I'm mean as a devil, when I begin to feel blue
I'm mean as a devil, when I begin to feel blue
And if I ever catch her flirting, baby, I'll make it hard for you

SOLO (Oh, play that thing, Mr. Brown, how you like that, ain't it great)

My gal made me a devil, just as cruel as I can be
Now, my gal made me a devil, just as cruel as I can be
But I let her run around, and then she made a chump of me

Going to pray to the devil, see why men don't let my baby alone
Gonna pray to the devil, see why men don't let my baby alone
And if the devil give me the power, I'll turn my baby into stone
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 12:26:58 PM by Blues Vintage »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 09:15:26 AM »
Thanks for posting that, Blues Vintage. In the tagline to the second verse, it sounds to me like he's singing:

   I'm so doggone MAD evil, I haven't got the heart to smile

"Doggone" is correct for sure, at first I thought "mad" was "bad" with the "b" swallowed, but I think "mad" is better.

"But I let her run around" in the next-to-last verse is right on the money, I think.

All best,
Johnm

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 11:15:50 AM »
Thanks, John. I find it hard to hear but I can live with "mad".

Offline banjochris

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 05:13:20 PM »
I think I hear "doggone and evil" there.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 05:57:18 PM »
Re-listening, I'm hearing
   I'm so, doggone, THAT evil, I haven't got the heart to smile
I don't think I hear the "n" that would be in there if it was "and". "That evil" is like saying "so evil" in this context. It's really hard to hear, though. 

Offline waxwing

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 07:25:43 PM »
I agree with you, Johnm, except that he doesn't really pronounce the 'th' sound, launching into the 'at' sound from the 'n' of 'doggone'. I would write it: "I'm so doggone 'at evil". Also I don't think 'doggone' is an aside, but a qualifier of 'at evil' and doesn't need to be set off with commas. But that's just parsing. I guess I like to keep lyrics as uncluttered with punctuation marks as possible, unless really necessary for meaning or meter.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline dj

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 06:35:17 AM »
I don't know.  I don't hear "doggone" at all.  Sounds to me more like "I'm so darned bad evil", though the "b" in "bad" gets swallowed.  I suppose "I'm so darned and evil" fits the sound better, though it doesn't make as much sense.

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 12:01:53 PM »
It does sound like it could be doggone, but you could replace it or argue that he's singing "I'm so stuck on that evil"

Dave

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2021, 12:20:28 PM »
I like your last suggestion the best of any so far, Dave. It eliminates all of the awkwardness of the various suggestions up to this point. Good hearing!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2021, 12:26:30 PM »
Could it be "I'm so dogged on that evil" ?

Robert Peeples was probably Wesley Wallace according to Document Records.
It seems weird that Wesley Wallace (who was a piano player) would be accompanied by another piano player.
To make it more confusing is also has been suggested that Wesley Wallace and Sylvester Palmer were the same person.
As explained here by dj,

Wesley Wallace/Sylvester Palmer Lyrics

https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=12319.msg109504#msg109504

Offline Stuart

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2021, 01:51:49 PM »
I just listened to the line several times and I agree with Wax. I have "The Paramount Masters" JSP set, so I have a AAC M4A file on my computer. I used VLC Media player to listen to the track. It has a playback function that allows the user to slow down the audio without changing the pitch. I went down in steps and all the way down to 50% speed it sounds like, "so doggone at evil" -- to my ears, anyway.

I listened for "so dogged on that evil," but just didn't hear it. I focused on "dogged" and "on" being run together and also "that" instead of "at." But that does not mean "so dogged on that evil" wasn't his intent. We've been through this before, so it might be another case of "what it sounds like" / "what he might have intended to sing," the latter making more sense.

And of course there are always variations in accents and pronunciations to consider.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2021, 03:02:21 PM »
I think the use of 'that' in this way is fairly common. One might say, "he was that big he couldn't get through the door," or, "she's that sweet her fingers melt when she washes her hands." Here he might have said, "I'm that evil, I haven't got the heart to smile," but he intensifies it with "I'm so doggone that evil," also signifying his chagrin.

I also noticed he doesn't really pronounce the 'o' in 'so' and I would amend my pseudo-phonetic version to:

I'm s' dog-gon'at evil

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline Stuart

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2021, 03:35:20 PM »
Hi Wax: At 75% I hear the "o" in "so," but faintly. He sang it at 100% and that's the playback speed it was intended to be listened to at, so only as an audible "s'" it's a case of the mind filling in what the ear doesn't necessarily hear. "Doggone" had its origin as a euphemism, so it, along with "that," could be used as an intensifier or for amplification of "evil."

As a performer, would you sing it as you hear it or would you re-work the line? If so, how so?  --Just curious.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2021, 04:11:01 PM »
Hi Stuart,

I would probably sing "I'm so doggone that evil" with similar melody and rhythm to the original, at least as a start. I would not attempt to make it difficult to understand, but would try to give the feel yet enunciate so that the audience would understand the words. Having had years of voice and vocal training as an actor, this is essentially my stock in trade. I'm sure Robert Peeples hoped his audience would understand his lyrics, and they probably could. I feel the same toward my audience, I want them to understand Peeples' lyrics, and the original lyrics and vernacular are so much more interesting than the tripe I might come up with. My patter is often about specific meanings of slang words, like 'blinds' or '11-29'. and audiences seem to enjoy it.

Wax
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 04:25:44 PM by waxwing »
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline dj

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Re: Robert Peeples Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 04:34:43 PM »
Quote
Robert Peeples was probably Wesley Wallace according to Document Records.
It seems weird that Wesley Wallace (who was a piano player) would be accompanied by another piano player.

It seems like several people, including Roosevelt Sykes, Robert Peeples, Sylvester Palmer, and Lane Hardin have been offered as the true identity of Wesley Wallace over the years.  We'll probably never know, though, according to Kevin Belford, there were many Wesley, Wes, and W. Wallaces in St. Louis city directories and cansuses, so Wesley Wallace may have been his real name.

As to a piano player being accompanied by another piano player, if and when it happened it was likely due to union rules.  Vocalists didn't have to be union members, but instrumentalists did, so if a non-union piano player wanted to record a vocal, and a union rep. was in the building, the vocalist may well have been accompanied by a union member on piano.

 


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