Country Blues > Country Blues Lyrics

Blind Willie McTell lyrics

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frankie:
I love the way he articulates the 'r' at the end of the word 'door', but not 'floor'!

waxwing:
Yeah, I think there are other places he uses that hard 'R' sound but he's definitely not consistent.

So I was a little sleepy when I posted that Buddy Moss uses that verse in both his versions. Actually its only in both takes of Broke Down Engine No 2, which are both on Vol. 2 of his Document collection. Sure would like to hear if he says "level" more clearly.

All for now.
John C.

Rivers:
>:D?OK sportsfans I'm gonna take a crazy stab here. I think he's talking about a hoodoo love potion. >:D

'Snake' - snake root. Hoodoo ingredient.

'Lemon' - oil and grated rind. Also a hoodoo ingredient.

'Sassafras' - I still think he's trying to say sassafras. I hear him stumble on the word, not surprising given the syllable count (17 in 4 bars) of the line. Sassafras is also, guess what, a herb used in hoodoo potions. Hey, 17 syllables, that's a haiku.

I dunno if this is a recipe for the famous 'snake oil' but the context is clear, my baby won't let me in, but: "if I take out snake, lemon and sassafras could I tip light across your floor?"

You can search cat yronwode's lucky mojo site for these three ingredients, www.luckymojo.com. Another tenuous but telling clue on cat's site, Johnny Shines sings 'I'm going surprise my baby, and I tipped up to her door' in Hoodoo Snake Doctor Blues, though the good doctor's snake in question is not vegetable or reptilian, if you get my drift.

Also, check out the last line of Broke Down engine:
"If you're a real hot mama, come take away daddy's weeping spell"

So I wonder "Spell as in magic?" I can't find a direct reference but it rings a very distant bell, as in casting a 'weeping spell' on someone. Maybe not though.

If you accept this theory it's a good bet McTell is making an old gag about the Hoodoo Doctors' power over other men's women. I suggest he's singing about (and for) a particular gal who's into magic, it sounds like a private joke between them. Maybe she's more impressed by magic than 12 string guitars. So what do we know about Willie's lady friends?? 8)

Richard:
Not that we are voodoo experts over here, but this makes sense to me.

Prof Scratchy:
 >:D
For my very first posting on this wonderful forum....something that's going to no doubt crack you all right up!! What I've been hearing and singing for the past forty years has been: "Get out, get out, Blake, Lemon and tap it -flyin' two-ply cross your floor"!! In other words I thought it was an invocation of the spirits of McTell's recently deceased fellow blind musicians (in which case we're getting close to voodoo again....). I know - I must've been drinking too much snake oil and smoking too much sassafras......! Hey ho....back to the drawing board....

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