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The blues come to Texas lopin' like a mule, you take a high-brown woman, man she's hard to rule - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Got The Blues

Author Topic: Robert Johnson lyrics  (Read 11639 times)

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Offline unezrider

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Re: A verse of Robert Johnson's
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2013, 08:59:22 AM »
hello friend,
that also gives a much more pg meaning to blind boy fuller's 'trucking my blues away'? 

or maybe i just have a dirty mind?  :P
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline uncle bud

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Re: A verse of Robert Johnson's
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2013, 08:37:37 PM »
Also new meaning to the Harlem Hamfats' Lets Get Drunk and Trunk. Thanks for that detail.

Offline jostber

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Re: A verse of Robert Johnson's
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2013, 03:47:39 AM »
If one look at the whole lyrics, Mr.Johnson conjures up quite a darkly themed setting here. For me "three legs to truck home" would then appear the most likely to me:

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~music/blues/simp.html


Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: A verse of Robert Johnson's
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2013, 07:05:05 PM »
Here are the lyrics I hear RJ singing. Remember you have to look back at the earlier verses to get his real meaning. He sang earlier "I got a woman that I'm loving/but she don't mean a thing' Then he sang a verse:
 "Now You're trying to take my life and all my lovin' too,"
   Then he adds the verse about trucking away.
  "I got three legs to truck on/boys please don't block my road (2)
  I can see  in the shape of my rider/ Babe, it's good times/I gotta go."
 What does he mean?  The shape of his rider (the woman he has been screwing) is either happy and he left her with "good times' or he is happy to one more time escape from one of those sand feet (evil hearted) women he sang about that might have taken his life as he sang earlier in the song. So that's good times for him also that he can use his THREE LEGS to truck on to make his escape. Remember he sang his enemies had overtaken him at last/ and they had stones all  in his path.
    So that is is my interpretation for you to consider. Your ears are as good as mine. I believe this makes sense. RJ always uses a lot of slang as Elizabeth and Willie Moore told me and they knew him personally in Robinsonville.
  I do not hear the word ashamed at all. The one word I cannot capture or figure out is when he sings:
"When you hear me howlin' in your (pearazero)?/open the door and let me in." in a previous verse. Anyone hear what that word is. It is some type slang but I have never encountered it. Remember your deciphering of his lyrics can be just as good as mine. I hold no special charm in hearing his lyrics. gayle dean wardlow

Offline dj

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Re: A verse of Robert Johnson's
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2013, 03:44:20 AM »
For the line just mentioned I hear: When you hear me howlin' in MY PASSWAY ROAD, PLEASE open the door and let me in.

Offline Mike_B

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Re: Robert Johnson - "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" Fifth verse
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2014, 02:17:25 PM »
I hear it as "let's count A, B and C".

Offline chickenlegs

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Re: Robert Johnson - "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" Fifth verse
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2014, 09:42:02 PM »
Hello all. This is my first post, so I hope it works. dj has it close to what I always heard as "that gal indeed can sing".

Offline Chezztone

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Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2016, 09:37:25 AM »
Is there not already a Robert Johnson lyrics thread? Sorry if there is and I didn't find it.
So...what about this verse of one of the takes of "Stop Breakin' Down"?



Now, that fiddle player, now, use rosin on his bow.
That don?t make you fill a crowd, baby, you know, it don't go.

That's the best I can come up with. Since the "breakdown" was a dance and a music style, maybe he's referring to a fiddle player trying to fill a hall with a crowd? Makes more sense than "feel a crowd" but still not sure that's what he's saying. Any other ideas?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 01:58:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline LeftyStrat

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2016, 04:38:21 PM »
I've always heard the line (under influence of the transcription with the Columbia box set) as:

Now, that fiddle player, now, use rosin on his bow.
If that don?t make the fiddle cry, you know, it don't go

But, as I've said before, I know better than to take what I hear as Gospel.  Some of these tunes I've listened to for a long time and only just recently come to realize (sometimes with the help of the nice folks here, who have much better ears than mine) what the  lyrics really are :)

Stop by and give a listen! :)

http://www.facebook.com/leftystratblues

Offline frankie

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2016, 04:01:12 AM »
Sounds like:

If that don?t make YOUR fiddle cry, BABY, you know it don't go

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2016, 09:01:12 AM »
Hi all,
I merged an older topic on the lyrics to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" with the new Robert Johnson Lyrics thread.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2016, 11:42:28 AM »
Thanks! I agree on "your fiddle cry, baby, you know it don't go."
And listening to this song just reinforces my awe of Robert Johnson's songwriting and singing. He creates a psychosexual nightmare of being unable to walk down the street without women "breaking down" on him. And when he tries to deal with one of them by giving her the "99 degree " (a dance step? sex? an interrogation? a beating?) she responds by pulling a gun on him. And all he's trying to do is "consolate" his mind. Marvelous stuff, And what about keeping the slide on his pinky through the whole piece, both takes, just so he can do that one slide at the end?!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2018, 09:48:10 AM »
Hi all,
I'm returning to an issue first brought up at the very beginning of this thread, i.e., the lyrics to the fifth verse of "Last Fair Deal Gone Down".  As it happens, there is a particularly clean version of the song on the JSP set, "I've Got The Blues, But I'm Too Damn Mean To Cry".  Listening to that version, the lyrics to verse five come out pretty clearly as:

   The Camp A, B, and C
   Camp A, B, and C
   There's Camp A, B, and C, good Lord,
   On that Gulfport Island road

I remember reading that at Parchman Farm, different sections of the institution were designated by different letter names, with the letter names signifying differing degrees of security in operation.  I think in the Robert Johnson lyric, what is being referred to is work camps, which I've similarly read of elsewhere (sorry I can't remember where) as having letter name designations.  Incidentally, in both verses where Robert Johnson sings the title phrase, it sounds like he is singing
   It's the last fair deal goin' down
rather than
   It's the last fair deal gone down

All best,
Johnm

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2018, 06:04:52 AM »
I had a quick glance at Max Haymes' Railroadin' Some to see what he says about the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad, and he mentions that initially the construction work was carried out by convict labour, so it may be that the work camps just kept their alphabetical designations when they changed over to free labour.

Offline jphauser

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2018, 10:53:31 AM »
Here is a link to an essay that Max Haymes wrote back in 1998 about the song in which he hears the word "gal" (instead of "camp") in the verse.  Earlier in this thread some posts suggest the word is "gal."  Haymes makes no mention of this verse in the essay he wrote for the JSP set, so it's not clear whether his position has changed.  I'm with you John; I hear the word "camp." 

http://www.earlyblues.com/Essay%20-%20Gulfport%20Island%20Road%20Blues.htm

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