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Bedbug's big as a jackass, he will bite you and stand and grin. Drink up all the bedbug poison, come back and bite you again - Furry Lewis, Mean Old Bedbug Blues

Author Topic: Kansas Joe McCoy Lyrics  (Read 10407 times)

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Offline frankie

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Kansas Joe McCoy Lyrics
« on: December 05, 2003, 05:51:08 PM »
You know the drill:

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



--
Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy

Now the police coming
With his ball and chain
Mmmm mmmm
Police coming
With his ball and chain
And they accusing me of murder
Never harmed a man

Now some got six months
Some got a solid year
Mmmm mmmm
Some got six months
Some got one solid year
Now me and my buddy
Got a lifetime here

Now the judge he pleaded
Clerk, he wrote it down
Mmmm mmmm
Judge he pleaded
Clerk, he wrote it down
That if I miss jail sentence now
Must be Joliet Bound

Now cook my supper
Let me go to bed
Mmmm mmmm
Cook my supper now
Let me go to bed
I've been drinking white lightning
And it's gone to my head

Now they quit me baby
What they want to do
Mmmm mmmm
Quit me baby
What they want to do
Some day you gonna want me
Cinch and I won't want you

Now the police shifted a
Pistol in my side
Mmmm mmmm
Police shifted a
Pistol in my side
That if you run big boy, now
Must be born to die

When they had my trial
You could not be found
Mmmm mmmm
Had my trial
You could not be found
Now and I got all messed up
And I'm Joliet Bound
--

Third verse seems like a garbling of the common "Judge he wrote it / Clerk he wrote it down" couplet.  I've been arguing with my wife about the resolution.  Opinions?

Fifth verse:  Huh?  Interpretations?

Sixth verse:  Not sure I'm hearing that quite right...
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 02:51:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline waxwing

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2003, 11:41:57 PM »
Hey Frankie,
Fifth verse sounds to me like:

Now don't quit me, baby,
First thing you wanna do.
Quit me, Baby,
First thing you wanna do.
Some day you gonna want me,
Cinch that I won't want you.


Last couplet of Sixth verse sounds like:

Said, "If you run big boy, now,
Must be born to die."


That seems to make better sense of both, I think. The "shifted a pistol in my side" line gives me the image of the cop scraping his (Joe's) ribs with the barrel of his revolver, followed by the threat.
Great song/arrangement. Spanish, eh? Hmmm. Second guitar adding bass runs? I'll look it up on Document. Thanks.
All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2003, 11:45:38 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 frankie

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2003, 08:37:51 AM »
Listening to it now (with much less intra-family interference) I hear what you're hearing on the fifth verse - much better.

Sounds to me like Kansas Joe's guitar is in Spanish tuning, up about a half step or so.  Can't say about the second guitar...

f

Offline waxwing

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2003, 10:00:59 PM »
Hey Frankie,
So, in fact, Memphis Minnie was backing Joe, Feb. 3, '32, in New York City. While I was looking that up in Bob McLeod's lyric volumes, I checked his transcription and found a few things that sounded good. For the last couplet of the third verse he gives:

Writin' my next jail sentence now,
Must be Joliet Bound.


I like it. I can hear it, and it makes more sense, too. For the Sixth verse he gives:

Now the old police shook his old
Pistol in my side.
Mmmm mmmm
Police shook his old
Pistol in my side.
Man, if you run big boy, now,
Must be born to die.


I like this pretty well, too. He uses "the old" (or perhap's it should be th'ol') in the first line of the first verse and the first line of the third verse, too, to describe the judge. That's sorta there. "shook his old"(or ol') does sound good. Man, or Said, or That? Could be any of those to me. For what it's worth, for the fifth verse he gives:

Now I'm goin', quit me baby,
Do anything you want to do.
Mmmm mmmm
Quit me baby
Do anything you want to do.
Some day you gonna want me,
Cinch and I won't want you.


I still hear "Now don't quit me, baby. First thing you wanna do". what do you think?
All for now.
John C.
"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 frankie

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2003, 09:40:55 AM »
Writin' my next jail sentence now,
Must be Joliet Bound.


I dunno about this - I agree that it "makes sense" but it's not what I hear at all.

I think that Now the old police shook his old in the sixth verse has some possibilities.  Can't say that I hear him use "old" in the first or third verses, but it sounds like a possibility here.  Need to listen a few more times.  The last line of the verse sounds like it begins with That to me...  not saying that it "makes sense", but that's what I hear.

Sounds to me like he's got the first parts of the fifth verse wrong.  I'm pretty sure at this point that he's singing Now don't quit me, baby. First thing you wanna do as well.  I do hear Cinch and rather than Cinch that at the beginning of the last line...  I concede that it probably makes less sense, however.

Offline Johnm

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2003, 08:41:55 PM »
Hi Frank and John C.,
Sounds to me like the one verse says,
Now the police shoved (pronounced shivved) his ol' pistol in my side
MmmmMmmmm
Police shivved his ol' pistol in my side,
Says, "If you run big boy,
Must be born to die"

The other verse sounds to me like,
Quit me babe, do anything you wanta do
MmmmMmmm
You can quit me baby, do anything you wanta do
Well, some day you're gonna want me,
and I won't want you.

This is a tough one to hear.  Neat the way it stays in the I chord where most blues go to the IV chord.
Take care.
John

Offline Deacon

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2003, 08:27:21 AM »
Oh Boy! A lyric fest!

For what it's worth (usually very little) here's what I heard a while ago when I sussed the lyrics:

V5 ? Now quit me baby, anything you want to do. ?(2X). ?Someday you gonna want me and then I won't want you.
 
V6 ? Now the police shut the door, pistol in my side. ?(2X). ?That if you run big boy now, must be going to die.

Hope you're all doing well and are getting ready for a good relaxing holiday,

Deacon
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 01:33:04 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2003, 03:31:24 PM »
Something to think about:

Merriam Webster online (http://www.m-w.com) gives the definition of 'shiv' as slang for knife, dating from 1674.  I've seen 'shivved' used as a synonym for stabbed - can a guy be 'shivved' with anything but a knife, though?  Is 'shiv' (the noun & verb) anachronistic for 1932?  Hmmm...

Offline Slack

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2003, 10:29:36 PM »
And a cerebral lyric fest at that!

I don't think it makes sense to shiv someone with a gun.  Shiv is prison slang though - usually for a fabricated knife that one hides. I also hear two syllables, as in shift-ted and I can see using the phrase 'shifted a pistol' meaning 'stuck a pistol'.
... so I like 'shifted a pistol'.

Coupla differences I hear:

V2
Now me and my buddy -> Now I mean my buddy

V5
Now don't quit me, baby,
First thing you wanna do.
Quit me, Baby,
First thing you wanna do.
Some day you gonna want me,
Cinch that I won't want you.

I like this except for the last line, which I hear as-> 'Imagine I won't want you'.  

If she won't wait for him to get out, they are through.

Cheers,
JohnD

Offline Johnm

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Re:Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2003, 08:06:29 AM »
Hi all,
I agree that the verb "shivved" doesn't make sense except when used with a knife--I think it's just a regional vowel-sound pronunciation of "shoved".  And actually the vowel sound is more like "shevved".  I think Joe was a Central Mississippi guy, like Bo Carter, and Bo had a lot of vowel sounds that were different than I would pronounce them in the same words.  The sense of the lyric is pretty much the same whether it is "shifted", "shoved", "shivved", or "shevved".
All best,
John

Offline frankie

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Re: Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2004, 08:18:15 PM »
Was messing around with this song a little tonight and decide to update the lyrics:

Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy

Now the police coming
With his ball and chain
Mmmm mmmm
Police coming
With his ball and chain
And they accusing me of murder
Never harmed a man

Now some got six months
Some got a solid year
Mmmm mmmm
Some got six months
Some got one solid year
Now I mean my buddy
Got a lifetime here

Now the judge he pleaded
Clerk, he wrote it down
Mmmm mmmm
Judge he pleaded
Clerk, he wrote it down
That if I miss jail sentence now
Must be Joliet Bound

Now cook my supper
Let me go to bed
Mmmm mmmm
Cook my supper now
Let me go to bed
I've been drinking white lightning
And it's gone to my head

Now quit me baby
Do anything you want to do
Mmmm mmmm
Quit me baby
Do anything you want to do
Some day you gonna want me
Cinch and I won't want you

Now the police shoved (shivved) his old
Pistol in my side
Mmmm mmmm
Police shoved his old
Pistol in my side
Says, if you run big boy, now
Must be born to die

When they had my trial
You could not be found
Mmmm mmmm
Had my trial
You could not be found
Now and I got all messed up
And I'm Joliet Bound

Offline Richard

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Re: Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2004, 03:28:53 PM »
Out of interest I'm pretty sure that (without excavating the 78 itself) the second verse was used verbatum by Jesse James in his 1935-6 Lonesome Day Blues.
Well now, that's a pretty useful nugget of info one could drop into a flagging dinner party conversation....!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline frankie

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Re: Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2004, 03:56:14 PM »
And as Rivers pointed out, about half the tune is lyrically identical to Viola Lee Blues (Cannon's Jug Stompers).  So economical....

Offline frankie

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Re: Joliet Bound - Kansas Joe McCoy
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2004, 09:03:16 AM »
Quote
Some day you gonna want me
Cinch and I won't want you

Was listening to Barbecue Bob this morning and ran across this line in Barbecue Blues:

I'm gonna tell you now gal, like gypsy told the jew
If you don't want me, it's a cinch I don't want you

Some lines get around!

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Kansas Joe McCoy Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 12:26:45 PM »
I might have mentioned before that I'm a big fan of Kansas Joe McCoy, I'm having trouble deciphering one of my favourite songs of his and would appreciate some diligent help on your part



Something gonna to happen to you:

I'm going to ask my own buddy now, how come he shall
Going to fool around every ?
# Crying something bad now, sure goinna to happen to you
# That's when I done everything, a poor boy could do
I'm have bought me a pistol, shotgun and some shells
Start some stuff  to show them raise some hell
##
Yes you talked about me all through the neighbourhood
Told everybody that I was no good
Yes you called on the law and he brought his ball and chain
Accused me of murder I haven?t harmed a man
##
Yes my mother she told me, my daddy sat down and he cried
Some day son you got to lay down and die
##
There'll be, one of these mornings you gonna to jump and shout
Open the jailhouse door, you come walking out
##
I used to have so many women I didn't know who I loved
Used to gather round me like the ants on a bug
##





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« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 02:54:00 PM by Johnm »
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