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Ain't no heaven and there ain't no burning hell, where I'm going when I die can't nobody tell - Son House, My Black Mama part 1

Author Topic: Walter Smith Lyrics  (Read 1236 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Walter Smith Lyrics
« on: February 20, 2016, 08:50:20 PM »
Hi all,
Walter Smith was a fairly popular Old-Time recording artist from the late '20s into the mid-'30s who was a little unusual in that he, like Kelly Harrell, only sang on his recordings, and did not accompany himself.  He was really a nice singer, and shined on "The Cat's Got The Measles And the Dog's Got Whoopin' Cough", a sort of nutty blues that was also recorded by Papa Charlie Jackson a couple of years before Smith recorded it, on March 20, 1929 in Richmond, Indiana.  For the song, which was recorded at Smith's first recording session, he was accompanied by Norman Woodlieff on guitar and Posey Rorer on fiddle, both players who had earlier recorded with Charlie Poole.  They acquit themselves admirably here, and Woodlieff shows himself to be an absolute ace at playing out of F position in standard tuning.  Here is the song:



The cat's got the measles and the dog got the whoopin' cough, doggone
The cat's got the measles and the dog's got the whoopin' cough
Doggone a man, let a woman be his boss, doggone my time

Thought I heard a rockin', deep down in the ground, doggone
Thought I heard a rockin', deep down in the ground
It must have been the devil, a-chain my good gal down, doggone my time

FIDDLE SOLO

I ain't good-lookin' and my teeth don't shine like pearl, doggone
I ain't good-lookin' and my teeth don't shine like pearl
But I got what it takes to carry me through this dog-god world, doggone my time

The cat's got the measles and the dog got the whoopin' cough, doggone
The cat's got the measles and the dog's got the whoopin' cough
Doggone a man, let a woman be his boss, doggone my time

FIDDLE SOLO

I ain't no devil, just born in the lions' den, doggone
I ain't no devil, just born in the lions' den
And my chief occupation, takin' women from their monkey men, doggone my time

The men don't like me, just because I keep my side, doggone
The men don't like me, just because I keep my side
But the women cry, "Papa!", say they want to be my bride, doggone my time

FIDDLE SOLO

The cat's got the measles and the dog got the whoopin' cough, doggone
The cat's got the measles and the dog got the whoopin' cough
Doggone a man, let a woman be his boss, doggone my time

FIDDLE SOLO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 09:29:04 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 09:06:16 PM »
Hi all,
Walter Smith recorded "The Bald-Headed End Of A Broom" at the same session as "The Cat's Got The Measles And The Dog's Got The Whoopin' Cough", and had the same backing personnel, Norman Woodlieff on guitar and Posey Rorer on fiddle.  Norman Woodlieff worked out of D position in standard tuning for this song.  I don't know if the song was Smith's own composition, but it sure has some clever and funny lyrics.  Here it is:



FIDDLE INTRO

Oh, love is such a very funny thing, and it catches the young and old
It's just like a plate of boardin' house hash, and to many a man it's sold
It makes you feel like a freshwater eel, and it cause your head to swell
You'll lose your mind, for love is blind, and it empties your pocket as well

REFRAIN:  Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, and give them lots of room
For you'll find when you're wed, they'll bang you 'til you're dead with the bald-headed end of a broom

FIDDLE SOLO

When a man is going with a pretty little girl, he talks just gentle as a dove
He spends all his money, and he calls her honey, for to show her he's solid in love
When his money is gone and the clothes is hocked, you'll find the old saying is true
That a mole on the arm is worth two on the long, but what is he going to do?

REFRAIN:  Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, and give them lots of room
For you'll find when you're wed, they'll bang you 'til you're dead with the bald-headed end of a broom

FIDDLE SOLO

When married folks have lot of cash, their love is firm and strong
But when they have to feed on hash the love don't last so long
With a wife and seventeen half-starved kids, I'll tell you it's no fun
When the butcher comes around to collect his bill with a dog and double-barreled gun

REFRAIN:  Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, and give them lots of room
For you'll find when you're wed, they'll bang you 'til you're dead with the bald-headed end of a broom

FIDDLE SOLO

Young fellows, all take my advice, don't be in a hurry to wed
You'll think you're in clover 'til the honeymoon's over, and then you'll think you're dead
With a cross-eyed baby on each knee and wife with a plaster on her nose
You'll find true love don't run so smooth when you wear your second-hand clothes

REFRAIN:  Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, and give them lots of room
For you'll find when you're wed, they'll bang you 'til you're dead with the bald-headed end of a broom

FIDDLE SOLO

REFRAIN:  Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, and give them lots of room
For you'll find when you're wed, they'll bang you 'til you're dead with the bald-headed end of a broom

All best,
Johnm



 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 09:30:11 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 09:24:00 PM »
Hi all,
Also from Walter Smith's first recording session was "It Won't Be Long Till My Grave Is Made", for which Norman Woodlieff joins Smith with a backing vocal.  I have really loved this song, ever since I first heard it, years ago, on an old County Records anthology of Old-Time religious songs.  Woodlieff once again shines in his accompanist's role, and Posey Rorer's fiddling is just perfect throughout the whole session.  Here is the song:



FIDDLE INTRO

Oh the time will come, and it won't be long
When I leave this world, for the land of song
Then to shout and sing while the ages roll
And be sheltered there from the heat and cold

REFRAIN: In a lone graveyard, I'll soon be laid
It'll not be long 'til my grave is made
But in that sweet home, where my loved ones wait
Is a place for me, when I reach that gate

I will labor on, 'til the sun goes down
For awaiting me is a robe and crown
And a place there'll be, with the angel band
Where I'll take my seat at the Lord's right hand

REFRAIN: In a lone graveyard, I'll soon be laid
It'll not be long 'til my grave is made
But in that sweet home, where my loved ones wait
Is a place for me, when I reach that gate

It will not be long 'til the close of day
Soon my life will end, then I'll pass away
But I'll serve the Lord, and I'll do my best
'Til He calls me home, to my place of rest

REFRAIN: In a lone graveyard, I'll soon be laid
It'll not be long 'til my grave is made
But in that sweet home, where my loved ones wait
Is a place for me, when I reach that gate

REFRAIN: In a lone graveyard, I'll soon be laid
It'll not be long 'til my grave is made
But in that sweet home, where my loved ones wait
Is a place for me, when I reach that gate

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 10:55:26 PM by Johnm »

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 08:25:28 AM »
Some how, looks like "Dog's Got the Measles" got posted twice.




I grew up listening to the Grandpa Jones version of this.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 06:38:51 AM by Johnm »
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 08:44:07 AM »
Thanks for the catch, Ross.  I've fixed the link.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 07:30:24 PM »
Hi all,
Walter Smith recorded "Otto Wood the Bandit" in a group recorded as the Carolina Buddies, backed by Odell Smith and the very adroit Norman Woodlieff on guitar, playing out of C position in standard tuning.  Outside of casinos, there can't have been all that many one-armed bandits like Otto Wood.  I have loved this song ever since I first heard it covered by Doc Watson, who did a wonderful version of it with finger-picked guitar and harmonica on a rack.  What a great set of lyrics, too--you can't beat those last two lines of the sixth verse with a stick!  Here is the Carolina Buddies' rendition of the song:



FIDDLE INTRO

Step up, buddies, and listen to my song
I'll sing it to you right, but you might think it's wrong
It's all about a man named Otto Wood
I can't tell you all, but I wish I could

He walked in the pawn shop, a rainy day,
And with the clerk, he had a quarrel, they say
He pulled out his gun and he struck him a blow
And this is the way the story goes

The spread the news as fast they could
The sheriff served a warrant on Otto Wood
The jury said, "Murder in the second degree."
And the judge passed the sentence to the penitentiary

REFRAIN:  Otto, why didn't you run?
Otto's, done dead and gone
Otto Wood, why didn't you run,
When the sheriff pulled out his .44 gun?

FIDDLE SOLO

They put him in the pen, but it done no good
'Cause it wouldn't hold the man they called Otto Wood
It wasn't very long 'til he slipped outside
Drawed a gun and the guard and says, "Take me for a ride."

The second time they caught him was a-way out West
In the hold-up game, he got shot through the breast
They brought him back, and when he got well
They locked him down in a dungeon cell

He was a man that they could not run
He always carried a .44 gun
He loved the women and he hated the law
And he just wouldn't take nobody's jaw

REFRAIN:  Otto, why didn't you run?
Otto's, done dead and gone
Otto Wood, why didn't you run,
When the sheriff pulled out his .44 gun?

FIDDLE SOLO

He rambled out West, and he rambled all around
He met two sheriffs in a Southern town
And the sheriff says, "Otto, step to the way,
'Cause I've been expecting you every day."

He pulled out his gun, and then he said,
"If you make a crooked move, you both fall dead.
Crank up your car and take me out of town."
And a few minutes later he was graveyard bound

REFRAIN:  Otto, why didn't you run?
Otto's, done dead and gone
Otto Wood, why didn't you run,
When the sheriff pulled out his .44 gun?

FIDDLE SOLO

All best,
Johnm




« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 09:31:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 01:06:34 AM »
"Otto Wood" is such a great song. Norman and Nancy Blake do a great version:


Offline frailer24

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 01:38:27 AM »
John, in regards to "Bald Headed End of the Broom", it is a seldom recorded, but old mountain piece. I recall seeing it in an abridged version of Vance Randolph's Ozark collection.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 08:46:20 AM »
Hi Larry,
Thanks for the information about "Bald-Headed End Of A Broom" appearing in Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs collection.  The original publication date on that book was 1946, so Randolph's informant may well have gotten the song from the much earlier commercial recording.  The lyrics seem much more the work of a professional songwriter than something evolving out of a folk tradition, to me at least.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 11:44:58 AM »
Charlie Poole recorded "Broom" also, as "Look Before You Leap." In the Poole bio by Kinney Rorrer there is this -- no indication of the source; it's described as a "song sheet," but it was among Poole's music materials, so it probably predates both Smith and Poole. I agree with you John, that it's probably the work of a professional, many of the tunes Poole recorded were.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 11:48:16 AM by banjochris »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2016, 12:54:07 PM »
Harvey Reid covered "Otto Wood" on "Steel Drivin' Man."



Also ran across this on YT about bringing Otto Wood's story to the stage in North Wilkesboro, NC:



There are more than a few covers on YT.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 09:40:20 AM »
Hi all,
Walter Smith recorded "Mistreated Blues" as part of the Carolina Buddies with the same personnel as on "Otto Wood The Bandit", featuring Odell Smith on fiddle and Norman Woodlieff on guitar, once again working out of C position in standard tuning.  Norman Woodlieff really was a zippy guitar player, and something about his touch in the right hand reminds me a bit of Ari Eisinger.  The phrasing on the song is not "normal", but the whole band is on the same page with it, so there's no problem.  Here is the song:



FIDDLE SOLO

I woke up this morning, the day was dawning, I'm broken-hearted, feeling sad and blue
I've been mistreated, don't know what to do
The train was leavin', I had those down home blues

Don't be a-grievin', because I'm leavin', I'm broken-hearted, feeling sad and blue
I've been mistreated, got no time to lose
What a feeling, to have them down home blues

FIDDLE SOLO

I got up this mornin', packed my grip, goin' down to the railroad, take a farewell trip
I'm a-lookin' for a mama to drive away these blues
Oh, what a feeling, to have them down home blues

I got up this mornin', put my shoes on wrong, I'm a short time here and a long time gone
I'm a-lookin' for a mama to drive away these blues
My train was leaving, I had them down home blues

FIDDLE INTERLUDE

If that train don't run, I've got a mule to ride, I don't have to catch him 'cause he's already tied
I want me a mama to drive away these blues
My train is leavin', I got them down home blues

My sweet mama's got lovin', it makes me shout, I wish she'd come back before it all gives out
I've been mistreated, got no time to lose
The train is leavin', I got them down home blues

All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 09:33:19 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 05:54:39 PM »
Hi all,
Simply on the basis of the title, I expected "My Evolution Girl" to be a novelty number, but upon listening found it to be a sweet and kind of a sad song.  It's pretty clear that things aren't going to work out for the couple.  It re-sets the melody of "East Virginia Blues", and it's hard to go too wrong with that melody, it's such a beauty, but Walter Smith also just does a beautiful vocal on the song, singing it perfectly straight.  Odell Smith and Norman Woodlieff acquit themselves admirably, as we've come to expect.  Here is the Carolina Buddies' performance of "My Evolution Girl":



FIDDLE INTRO

Once I met a fair young lady
And I learned to love her well
She believed there is no Savior
And she says, "There is no Hell."

Don't believe in false teachings
For the truth to you I've told
Don't believe in evolution
Or the devil will get your soul

Cheeks were red, her eyes did sparkle
And her hair was chestnut brown
She believes in evolution
And she lives in New York town

FIDDLE INTERLUDE

And she said we came from monkeys
Many, many years gone by
But I know she'll need a Savior
When her time shall come to die

Will you change your way of living?
Won't you be a better girl,
And prepare to meet the Savior
In a bright and better world?

You must walk that lonesome valley
You must cross that troubled tide
Don't you want to meet your Mother,
Over on that other side?

Don't believe in false teachings
For the truth to you I've told
Don't believe in evolution
Or the devil will get your soul

FIDDLE TAG

All best,
Johnm


« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 09:34:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2020, 12:13:52 PM »
Hi all,
The Carolina Buddies recorded "The Story That The Crow Told Me" at their first session, in New York on March 25, 1930.  The band's personnel for that session had Walter Smith handling the vocal, Posey Rorer the fiddle, Buster Carter the banjo, Lewis McDaniels the guitar, and "unknown" the crow special effect.  Here is the song:



FIDDLE SOLO

Now if you will listen, I'll sing you a song
It's awful funny but it won't last long
All about a crow in a hickory tree
One little story that a crow told me

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO

My gal taken sick, well, the other day
The doctor said she's gonna pass away
I got her a corset at the dry goods store
She's better shape now than she was before

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO

I bought myself a suit of union underwear
To keep me from the cold and chilly air
I wore it six months without a change of ration
And I couldn't get it off 'cause I lost the combination

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO

I had a cow that I dressed in silk
She fell down and sprained her milk
My wife went to milk, for she thought it was a cinch
To milk that cow with a monkey wrench

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO

On a cold winter night, well, I thought I'd breeze
The old white cow, she froze her knee
Sneezed so hard that she caught the croup
Her tail got stiff and she couldn't stoop

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO

Throw back and hook, and give back a line
The fish won't bite in the wintertime
Stood on the ice 'til my feet got cold
Watching the crawfish dig him a hole

REFRAIN:  Caw, caw, One little story that a crow told me
Caw, caw, in a hickory tree

FIDDLE SOLO X 2

All best,
Johnm







Offline Johnm

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Re: Walter Smith Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 11:29:04 AM »
Hi all,
The Carolina Buddies recorded "Work Don't Bother Me" at their second session, in New York City on February 24, 1931.  Personnel for the session was Odell Smith on the fiddle, Norman Woodlief on guitar and vocal on the chorus, and Walter Smith, the only returning member from the first session, handling the lead vocals.  Norman Woodlief once again shows himself to be an absolute ace at playing in F position in standard tuning, and really out-does himself backing up the second fiddle solo.  Here is the Carolina Buddies' performance of "Work Don't Bother Me":



INTRO SOLO

CHORUS: I don't bother work, work don't bother me
I'm just as happy as a bumble bee
Eat when I can get it, sleep 'most all the time
I don't give a doggone if the sun don't ever shine
Go 'most everywhere, I don't pay no fare
I can ride a freight train 'most everywhere
Seem mighty strange, strange to me
Work, work, work don't bother me

Old Bill Cupper, worked down in a holler
He wanted to know the difference between a woman and a dollar
There ain't no difference in one and all,
A woman is small and a dollar is small
Look here, you, try to explain
Make me understand
A dollar will go from hand to hand
A woman goes through working men, talk about it,
A woman goes through working men

CHORUS: I don't bother work, work don't bother me
I'm just as happy as a bumble bee
Eat when I can get it, sleep 'most all the time
I don't give a doggone if the sun don't ever shine
Go 'most everywhere, I don't pay no fare
I can ride a freight train 'most everywhere
Seem mighty strange, strange to me
Work, work, work don't bother me

FIDDLE SOLO

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 06:40:38 AM by Johnm »

 


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