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I never did consider myself no fancy guitar player - Tampa Red, quoted in the liner notes to Don't Jive Me

Author Topic: Ed Bell Lyrics  (Read 25356 times)

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Offline frankie

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Ed Bell Lyrics
« on: February 07, 2004, 08:15:01 AM »
I love the last verse, but parts of the first are a mystery to me...? any takers?? Hear the tune at:



http://www.donegone.net/sounds/snigglin_blues.mp3

The guitar part is interesting to me, if almost entirely non-linear.? My wife described it as African-sounding, which I thought was a pretty perceptive observation.

Snigglin' Blues
Barefoot Bill

I done everything a [poor good] man could do
I done everything a [poor good] man could do
Well, mama can see ain't no [] on you

You may play mama, honey you can dance
I say you can play mama, honey you can dance
Well, papa done caught you, you have had your last chance

You gonna miss me, baby when I'm gone
I say you gwine miss me, baby when I'm gone
Won't be no need to sing this lonesome song

I give you all my money, I was coat in hand
I give you all my money, I was coat in hand
And you spent all my money on your other man

When you're in my presence, mama you sniggle(s) and laugh
I said mmmm, in my presence, mama you sniggled and laugh(ed)
And tell me "So many suckers that a cow don't need no calf"
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 06:33:28 AM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2004, 09:02:23 AM »
Cool tune, I've never heard of Barefoot Bill - what CD is this on?

Quote
Well, mama can see ain't no [] on you

Wow, this is a tough one to hear!? But I hear something close to:
Well, Mama a good thing ain't gon' pass on you

gon' being a clipped "gonna"

Quote
I give you all my money, I was coat in hand
?
I think this might be "caught" instead of coat.

On a related topic:
For folks who want to post a tune for listening, but don't have personal web space to link to like Frank, you can upload an MP3 to the forum as long as it is smaller than 800K.? (I'll try to come up with some guidelines and post a sticky to this section).

cheers,
slack
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:31:25 AM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2004, 09:45:41 AM »
Quote
Cool tune, I've never heard of Barefoot Bill - what CD is this on?

It's off of Alabama Blues on Yazoo - I think it's OOP, but a fun CD.? Barefoot Bill is Ed Bell.? Incognito, of course.? Top secret.

Quote
Well, Mama a good thing ain't gon' pass on you

I thinking about this - it's just tough to hear.? Any thoughts on the first line?

Quote
I think this might be "caught" instead of coat.
?
I dunno - doesn't this line often get garbled and appear in other tunes as "cold in hand"?? Can't think of any distinct examples off the top of my head at the moment, but something is making me think of guys from around Jackson, MS.

I hear "coat in hand" as kind of an image of a guy who's not welcome in his own home, so she takes his money, gives him the cold shoulder (turns him out) and spends his money on another guy.

Typical blues relationship...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:32:22 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2004, 09:51:50 AM »
Hi all,
This is sure a great song.  First verse sounds to me like
  I done everything, poor sweet man could do
  I done everything, a poor sweet man could do
  Well, mama, don't seem, take no pass on you
Fourth verse sounds to me like
  I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
  I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
  And you spent all my money on your other man

I am pretty sure about first two lines of the first verse, less sure of the last line.  Fourth verse, I don't know.
I remember you posting a while ago about being interested in non-Delta Spanish songs, Frank.  You certainly have a winner here. 
All best,
John

Offline frankie

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2004, 10:12:10 AM »
Quote
? I done everything, poor sweet man could do
? I done everything, a poor sweet man could do
? Well, mama, don't seem, take no pass on you

I am pretty sure about first two lines of the first verse, less sure of the last line.

I agree - at least you & Slack seem to agree on "pass"!

Quote
Fourth verse sounds to me like
? I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
? I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
? And you spent all my money on your other man

I think you're right about "cold in hand" - I had it backwards.? The term "cold in hand" seems to mean "having no money"...? I guess that should come as no surprise!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:33:36 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2004, 11:15:02 AM »
Hi Frank,
I just thought of another use of "cold in hand", from Tommy Johnson's "Lonesome Home"--
  Did you ever dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?
All best,
John

Offline frankie

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2004, 11:25:08 AM »
Quote
I just thought of another use of "cold in hand", from Tommy Johnson's "Lonesome Home"--
? Did you ever dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?

Aha!? So Jackson, MS it is...? here's another:? Kid Bailey's "Rowdy Blues":

Did you ever dream lucky, woke up cold in hand?
I would call that man nothing but a monkey man
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:34:13 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Ed Bell Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2004, 03:03:28 PM »
Hi all,
All the recent work on lyric transcribing that has been going on here has been kind of inspiring, so I though I might go back and try to get lyrics for the songs I've done on-line lessons on.  Some, like Buddy Moss's "New Lovin", have already been worked through.  Here is a shot at Ed Bell's "Mean Conductor".



   That same train, same engineer
   That same train, same engineer
   Took my woman away, Lord, left me standing here

   My stroller caught a passenger, I caught the mamlish blind
   My stroller caught a passenger, I caught the mamlish blind
   "Hey, you can't quit me, ain't no need of tryin'".

   "Hey Mr. Conductor, let a broke man ride your blind?"
   "Hey, Mr. Conductor, let a broke man ride your bind?"
   "You better buy your ticket, know this train ain't mine."

   "I just want to blind it fur (sic) as Hagerstown
   Say, "I just want to blind it fur as Hagerstown
   When she blows for the crossing, I'm gwon' ease it down."

   I pray to the Lord that Southern train would wreck
   I pray to the Lord that Southern train would wreck
   Pray they kill that fireman, break that engineer's neck.

   I was standin' here looking up at the rising sun
   I was standin' here looking up at the rising sun
   The train don't run, gwon' be some walkin' done.

I think this is pretty accurate, though I'm not sure about the beginning of the tagline on verse 3.  Like Furry Lewis, Ed Bell pronounced "far" as "fur".  I checked to see if there was a Hagerstown in Alabama, where Ed Bell lived.  I couldn't find any, and the only one I know of is in North Central Maryland, south of Gettysburg, which is quite a hike from Alabama.  That's a long way to blind it. . . .

Edited, 1/7/07 to pick up correction from dingwall
Edited 11/9 to pick up corrections from dingwall
Edited 11/12 to pick up correction from dingwall
All best,
John
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 06:35:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ed Bell's Mean Conductor
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2004, 02:08:22 PM »
Hi all,
It has been brought to my attention in a nice way (so nice that it took me a while to get it) that the lyrics I posted yesterday for "Mean Conductor" had, in fact,  been arrived at via the Weenie collaborative method, with different people making suggestions and consensus finally being arrived at, on the old Weenie Page, when the lesson on "Hambone" and Mean Conductor" was first posted.  I had completely forgotten this, but it sure explains why it was so easy to figure out the lyrics when I listened to the song the day before yesterday.  I'm a believer in the collaborative process--over and over it has yielded lyrics which I know to be correct and have been stumped by for over thirty years.  I am not interested in taking credit for other people's work or acting as though work which was performed collaboratively was done by me alone.  I apologize to everyone involved in the earlier transcription of "Mean Conductor's" lyrics, and offer thanks, in an ongoing way, for everyone's contributions to the lyric-transcribing that goes on on this page. 
All best,
John 

Offline Slack

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Re: Ed Bell's Mean Conductor
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2004, 05:13:58 PM »
Hey John,

No need to apologize, I forgot about it too!... but thanks for the note as I was going to hunt up Mean Conductor this weekend (hopefully I contributed to the effort, but cannot recall that either!) - I even scanned the old weenie list and couldn't find the old effort... do you know where it is?

Anyway, I'm afraid we are going to have to get used to these memory lapses (and hopefully it will be awhile before we need to talk to Peter about wheel chair ramps at PT  :) ).

One thing I have noticed (Alex take note too)... if you can post an mp3 of the tune - your chances of lyric help increases dramatically - as folks only need to click and listen.  (At least I know I keep meaning to get my CD collection organized.)

cheers,
slack

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ed Bell's Mean Conductor
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2004, 07:07:29 PM »
Hi John D.
Thanks for the good words.  It now appears that the Weenie page did not work through the lyrics collectively, but rather, I included them in the lesson itself.  So I guess I fall into the category of not being able to remember either what did happen or what didn't happen!  I don't know what is left, but you are right, seems like we better get used to forgetting stuff.
Bloody but unbowed,
John

Offline Slack

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Re: Ed Bell's Mean Conductor
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2004, 08:40:33 PM »
Haha! ...love it.  Reminds me of a joke, which is better told in person... if I can remember next time I see you.

cheers,
slack

Offline frankie

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2004, 07:45:25 PM »
The revised lyrics:

Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill

I done everything, poor sweet man could do
I done everything a poor sweet man could do
Well, none o' them seem to take no effect on you

You may play, mama, honey you can dance
I said, you can play, mama, honey you can dance
Well, papa done caught you, you have had your last chance

You gonna miss me, baby when I'm gone
I said, you gwine miss me, baby when I'm gone
Won't be no need to sing this lonesome song

I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
I give you all my money, I went cold in hand
And you spent all my money on your other man

When you're in my presence, mama you sniggles and laughs
I said, when you're in my presence, mama you sniggled and laugh(ed)
And tell me, it's so many suckers, that a cow don't need no calf
--

The last part of the first verse is still kind of mysterious to me.

Incidentally, I find this a very challenging song to sing.  The guitar line itself is strange enough, but coupled with the timing of the vocal, it makes me feel like I'm hallucinating when I try and put it together.  If I can get it, it'll be a miracle!

NOTE:  Edited 11/20 to pick up corrections from dingwall
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 05:39:15 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2004, 07:54:22 PM »
Hi Frank,
I thought we were opting for "cold in hand" over "coat in hand" in verse 4.  I can definitely believe it is hard to sing and play at the same time--just playing would be tough enough with that weird semi-bend at the second fret of the first string.  It's awful taut there, hard to do much with it!
All best,
John

Offline frankie

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Re: Snigglin' Blues - Barefoot Bill
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2004, 08:18:50 PM »
Doh - that's right!  Must have a word with my proofreader...

I think I have a hook into the guitar line - maybe I'll post a clip of that just to show where I'm at with it...  the second fret bend on the first string is hard to get to sound just right.  Having it capoed high helps to some degree, especially if the capo is tight.  It seems to feel best under my fingers when the capo is inadvisedly tight (meaning that most people with any real sense would tell you that the capo is waaaay too tight).

 


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