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It's rather ironic that many excellent blues musicians want a sound that's almost diametrically opposed to what most luthiers spend their lives trying to achieve - George Gruhn, http://www.gruhn.com

Author Topic: Georgia Tom--Maybe It's The Blues  (Read 970 times)

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Offline Pan

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Georgia Tom--Maybe It's The Blues
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:59:23 PM »
Hi all

I'm trying to figure out the lyrics to Tom Dorsey's "Maybe It's The Blues", and would like some help. Especially the 3rd line is difficult for me, but any corrections are welcome, of course.

I also noticed in the B&G, that the guitar player in this one is supposedly not Tampa Red, who's image appears on the video, but rather Big Bill Broonzy. Dorsey apparently also recorded a version with Scrapper Blackwell a few months earlier, but to me this version sounds like the BBB one, which was originally unissued.  What do you think?
Edited to add: Banjochris thinks the guitarist is indeed Tampa Red, and I think I'll agree with him!



Maybe It's The Blues -Georgia Tom and Tampa Red (B&G gives Big Bill Broonzy or Scrapper Blackwell as the guitarist!) 1930.

Something pounding in my breast,
when I lay down to take my rest.
Oh, what a feeling that am.

Horrid nightmares, scary dreams,
then the blues steps on the scene.
Oh, what a wreck I am.

Oh maybe it's the blues
that keeps me worried all the time.
If I could lose
these weary blues that's on my mind.

Happiness it comes around
but never comes to stay.
If I only had someone
just to drive my tears away.

Now maybe it's love
that makes me sit around and cry.
I'll keep your picture
hanging around.

Oh, I want somebody just to hold my hand.
I'm breaking down.
Maybe it's the blues
that's on my mind.

Solos (whistling)

Oh maybe it's love
that makes me sit around and cry.
I'll keep your picture
hanging around.

Oh, I want somebody just to hold my hand.
I'm breaking down.
Maybe it's the blues
that's on my mind.



I took a stab at the chord changes on the "minor chords" thread, in case someone is interested.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=892.msg74519#msg74519

Cheers

Pan

Edited according the suggestions that lindy and Banjochris have made.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:24:06 PM by Johnm »

Offline lindy

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 02:28:02 PM »

Re: Oh, what a feeling [?].

I'll add the obvious next word -- "that", as in "Oh, what a feeling that _____." Big help, I know.

Grammatically, the next word would make sense if it were "is," but the word he sings sounds like it starts with an "a" sound. At times it sound like "ails" -- "Oh, what a feeling that ails," but I can't think of any other song that has that lyric.

Tempting to think that he just slipped up--"aaaaiiis," but its hard to imagine Tom Dorsey messing up on his pronunciation like that.

Offline Pan

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 02:32:59 PM »
Thank you for your help, lindy. I'll add "that" to the lyrics.

Cheers

Pan

Offline banjochris

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 02:39:15 PM »
"Oh, what a feeling that am."

And it's definitely Tampa Red to my ears.

Offline Pan

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 02:45:25 PM »
Thank you Banjochris, both for the lyrics and for the personnel. I'm confused, as it sounds like TR to me too, but B&G apparently has the personnel wrong.

I'll make the changes

Cheers

Pan

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 05:48:13 PM »
I'll second (or third) the motion that it's Tampa Red. I can see why some might think Broonzy, as it sounds a little like the Famous Hokum Boys, but Broonzy would be unable to put some of his signature playing in there, IMO, which is several degrees above the playing here. And Tampa Red does put some of his.

Offline dj

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 07:07:12 AM »
Quote
B&G gives Big Bill Broonzy or Scrapper Blackwell as the guitarist!

The fourth edition of B&GR lists Scrapper Blackwell as the guitar player, with the note "The presence of Scrapper Blackwell on this session is confirmed by an expenses payment noted in the Gennett files."  For what it's worth, looking at Georgia Tom's discography, it seems that Tampa Red accompanied him on almost all his recordings for Vocalion/Brunswck and related labels, but not for any of his Paramount or Gennett recordings. 

Offline banjochris

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 09:35:31 AM »
The fourth edition of B&GR lists Scrapper Blackwell as the guitar player, with the note "The presence of Scrapper Blackwell on this session is confirmed by an expenses payment noted in the Gennett files."  For what it's worth, looking at Georgia Tom's discography, it seems that Tampa Red accompanied him on almost all his recordings for Vocalion/Brunswck and related labels, but not for any of his Paramount or Gennett recordings. 

I was looking at this last night and listening to some of the snippets of music in iTunes. Just from aural evidence, Scrapper is definitely on the songs recorded before Maybe It's the Blues but to me it doesn't sound like him at all on this one or on the couple of tunes following it. "Maybe" is the most-Tampa Red-sounding tune to me. Will definitely have to listen more, but I think it's possible both Tampa Red and Scrapper were there in the studio. I believe there are some Leroy Carr sessions where guitar alternated between Scrapper and Josh White -- perhaps they just wanted some different sounds.

Offline dj

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Re: Maybe It's The Blues
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 02:09:03 PM »
Quote
I think it's possible both Tampa Red and Scrapper were there in the studio.

It's certainly possible that Tampa Red was in the studio but due to his contract with Brunswick/Vocalion didn't want his name to be involved in any way, even in the studio logs.

 


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