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Music will take you through times with no money better than money will take you through times with no music - Warren Argo, urging the concert audience to buy the performers' CDs

Author Topic: Robert Johnson lyrics  (Read 11638 times)

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Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2018, 12:51:46 PM »
 "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."

I believe it's:
"I'm booked and I got to go"
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2020, 10:27:17 AM »
Hi all,
I've been trying to figure out the lyrics of "From Four Until Late", for which Robert Johnson accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning, and there is one line I've never been able to decipher to my satisfaction that I would sure appreciate some help with; it is shown in bent brackets.  For that matter, the rest of the transcription is up for grabs too, if I have it wrong.  I've always loved his way with this song--it is one of his most relaxed vocals, which is all to the good, as far as I'm concerned.  Do you think it is possible he was singing "From four until eight . . ." and the record company stiffed the title?  Just wondering because it makes more sense and you can't really hear the "l" at the end of "until" and the "l" beginning "late" being enunciated separately.   Here is his performance:



INTRO

From four until late I was wringing my hands and cryin'
From four until late I was wringing my hands and cryin'
I believe to my soul that your daddy's Gulfport bound

From Memphis to Norfolk is a thirty-six hour drive
From Memphis to Norfolk is a thirty-six hour drive
A man is like a prisoner and he's never satisfied

A woman is like a dresser, some man always ramblin' through its drawers
A woman is like a dresser, some man's always ramblin' through its drawers
It's caused so many men, wearin' apron overhalls

From four until late, she get with a no-good bunch and clown
From four until late, she get with a no-good bunch and clown
Now she won't do nothin' but tear a good man reputation down

When I leave this town, I'm gon' bid you fair farewell
And when I leave this town, I'm gone bid you fair farewell
And when I return again, you'll have a great long story to tell

CODA

Edited 1/19 to incorporate corrections from Prof Scratchy, harriet and banjochris

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 02:20:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2020, 11:48:54 AM »
'she go with a no-good bunch and clown'?

Offline harriet

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2020, 01:16:03 PM »
I think that's a cleaned up audio -

Here's one thats supposed to be adjusted for speed but that line sounds like "she gets with a no good bunch and clowns" to me. And "four until eight" as well. 

I don't know if there's an original to cross reference posted - sometimes youtubers aren't accurate and can post the wrong version and it's been a long time since I listened to his music.
 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 01:20:18 PM by harriet »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2020, 01:41:20 PM »
I agree, "she get with a no-good bunch and clown" – and personally I lean toward "late" just because it sounds more poetic to me, and Johnson seemed to be striving for that. Phonetically you could make the case either way.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2020, 02:18:56 PM »
Thanks very much, Prof Scratchy, Harriet and Chris.  I think I'll go with "she get with a no-good bunch and clown".  I couldn't make sense out of "bunching" as an adjective here, but I was just having problems hearing it all the way around.  Thanks, and I will make the change.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2020, 04:39:53 PM »
Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)

Robert Johnson - Vocals, Guitar

November 27, 1936
San Antonio, Texas





INTRO

Mmmmmm, I's up this mornin’, ah, blues walkin' like a man
I's up this mornin', ah, blues walkin' like a man
Worried blues, give me your right hand

And the blues grabbed mama's child, tore me all upside down
Blues grabbed mama child, and it tore me all upside down
Travel on poor Bob, just can't turn you 'round

The blues, is a low-down shakin' chill (spoken: Yes, preach 'em now)
Mmmmmm, is a low-down shakin' chill
You ain't never had 'em I, hope you never will

Well, the blues, is a achin' old heart disease (spoken: Do it now, you gonna do it, tell me all about it)
The blues, is a low-down achin' heart disease
Like consumption, killing me by degree

I can study rain, oh-oh, drive, oh-oh, drive my blues
I been studyin' the rain an’, I'm gon’ drive my blues away
Goin' to the 'stil'ry, stay out there all day
« Last Edit: December 11, 2022, 10:56:29 AM by Blues Vintage »

Offline jake_fantom

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2020, 06:34:20 AM »
I always heard it as "three legs to truck home." A third leg traditionally refers to a penis, and I have always assumed Mr. Johnson was making some kind of sexual reference here, either proclaiming his horniness or his potency.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2020, 10:44:50 AM »
Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)

Robert Johnson - Vocals, Guitar

June 20, 1937
Dallas, Texas





Mmmmmm got up this mornin’ ah blues walkin' like a man
Got up this mornin' ah blues walkin' like a man
Worried blues give me your right hand

And the blues fell mama's child tore me all upside down
Blues fell mama child and it tore me all upside down
Travel on poor Bob just can't turn you 'round

The blues is a lowdown shakin' chill “yes preach 'em now”
Mmmmmmm is a lowdown shakin' chill
You ain't never had 'em I hope you never will

Well the blues is a achin' old heart disease “Do it now you gon' do it tell me all about it”
The blues is a lowdown achin' heart disease
Like consumption killing me by degree

I can study rain oh oh drive oh oh drive my blues
I been study the rain an’ I'm gon’ drive my blues away
Goin' to the 'stil'ry stay out there all day


Harry –

I'd suggest "grabbed" instead of "fell" in 2.1 and 2.2
I think there's a quick "Well" at the start of 4.2
And I'd transcribe "study" as "studyin'" (he swallows it but I can hear it) in 5.2.

Chris

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2020, 03:42:06 PM »
Thanks Chris.

I'll go with "grabbed". I don't hear the "well" in 4.2.

Verse 5 never ceases to amaze me. Robert about to tear down the Gunter Hotel.
Since all sources also wrote "studyin'' I'll make that change but I'm not convinced.

I think Stefan Wirz has the wrong date/location of this song on his site (June 20, 1937, Dallas, Texas) or something must have come to light recently.


« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 03:58:42 PM by harry »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2020, 06:23:40 PM »
Thanks Chris.

I'll go with "grabbed". I don't hear the "well" in 4.2.

Verse 5 never ceases to amaze me. Robert about to tear down the Gunter Hotel.
Since all sources also wrote "studyin'' I'll make that change but I'm not convinced.

I think Stefan Wirz has the wrong date/location of this song on his site (June 20, 1937, Dallas, Texas) or something must have come to light recently.




There's definitely something before "the" at the beginning of 4.2 – and yeah, that last verse is a killer; wish this performance could have been longer!

Offline dj

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2020, 04:54:39 AM »
Quote
I think Stefan Wirz has the wrong date/location of this song on his site (June 20, 1937, Dallas, Texas)

It must be a typo on Stefan's part, or he was copying info from a record jacket that was incorrect.  The ARC master number for Preachin' Blues is SA-2632-1.  The SA indicates that the song was recorded in San Antonio.  Recordings made in Dallas had a DAL prefix.  The correct date/place is November 27 1936/San Antonio.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2020, 11:24:10 AM »
Hi Harry,
I'm hearing a couple of things differently in "Preaching Blues"
   In 1.1 and 1.2 I'm hearing "I WAS" up this morning, rather than "got up this morning"
   IN 1.3, I'm hearing "WELL, THE blues, give me your right hand
   In 4.2, I'm hearing "BUT the blues

All best,
Johnm

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2020, 11:30:10 AM »
Hi Harry,
I'm hearing a couple of things differently in "Preaching Blues"
   In 1.1 and 1.2 I'm hearing "I WAS" up this morning, rather than "got up this morning"
I agree John, but might be better written as "I's up this morning", easier to sing as one syllable.

Dave

Offline CF

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Re: Robert Johnson lyrics
« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2020, 11:32:58 AM »
Some transcribe that as "stuttering" or "stuttering and" with a kind of stutter right after: "Oh-oh drive, Oh oh drive my blues". 
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