WeenieCampbell.com

Country Blues => Country Blues Lyrics => Topic started by: Johnm on February 21, 2015, 11:31:24 AM

Title: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 21, 2015, 11:31:24 AM
Hi all,
Robert Petway accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for his recording of "Sleepy Woman Blues".  He had such a strong driving sound working out of that position.  I've not heard his usage "sleep me" used elsewhere.  Here is his performance:

https://youtu.be/J7Hal1B1Hhc

SOLO

Well, she sleeps me in the mornin', baby, well, she sleeps me late at night
Well, she sleeps me in the mornin', baby, well, she sleeps me late at night
She sleep me so long now, little woman, I b'lieve to my soul you ain't treatin' me right

Sleeps me so long now, little daddy, she b'lieve to my soul I'm dead (Spoken: Yes, yes!)
Sleep me so long now, baby, she b'lieve to her soul I'm dead
Way you treat me now, baby, I b'lieve it done gone to my head

Don't sleep me so long, baby, 'til I can't teach you right from wrong
Don't sleep me so long, baby, I can not teach you right from wrong
Reason I love you now, little woman, 'cause you done been here but now you're gone

(Spoken:  Yes, yes!  Play it now for 'em there, partner!)
SOLO

Keep on sleepin' me now, baby, oh well, you sure ain't gonna call it right
Keep on sleepin' now, baby, oh well, you ain't gonna call it right
Catch you sleepin' now, little woman, I said, wit' your kidman at night

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 21, 2015, 11:43:04 AM
Hi all,
Robert Petway backed himself out of E position in standard tuning for his recording of "Catfish Blues", certainly one of the strongest performances ever recorded in the genre.  It's impossible for me to imagine how his rendition could be any better.  The way his vocal and the guitar interact and respond to each other is masterful and so exciting.  He pronounces "any" "anna" in his final verse.  Like all of Petway's recorded repertoire, it concludes with a fade-out.  Here is his performance:

Robert Petway - Catfish Blues (1941) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9z7eCCRAtY#)

Well, I laid down, down last night
Well, I tried to take my rest
Notion struck me last night, babe, I'll b'lieve I
Take your stroll out West, take your stroll out West
Take your stroll out West
Take a stroll out West, take a stroll out West

What if I were a catfish, mama,
I says, swimmin' deep down in, deep blue sea
I b'lieve the gals, now sweet mama, settin' out
Settin' out hooks for poor me, settin' out hooks for 'oor me,
Settin' out hooks for poor me
Settin' out hook for me, settin' out hook for me
Settin' out hook for me

Well, I went down, (spoken: yes!), down to the churchhouse, (spoken: yes!)
Well, I [sic] called on me to pray
Fell on my knees now, mama, I didn't know a darn
Not a word to say, not a word to say
Not a word to --, not a word to --
Not a word to say, not a word to say
Not a word to say

(Spoken: Play 'em, man, play 'em a long time!)
LONG TIME

I'm gwonna write, write me a letter, baby,
I'm gonna write it, just to see
See if my babe, my baby, do she think any
Little old thing of poor me, little old thing of poor me
Little old thing of poor me
Little old thing of me, little old thing of me
Ho, little thing of me

Edited 2/22 to pick up corrections from Waxwing and Johnm

All best,
Johnm

Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on February 21, 2015, 01:30:28 PM
Catfish Blues is a song I've spent some time with. A few suggestions:

2.2 WHAT if I WERE a catfish, mama

2.3 HAVE THESE GALS, now sweet mama, settin' out
Pronounced "hava these gals." Either way I don't hear a "the" between the long E syllable ("b'lieve" or "these") and "gals".

2.6 Pretty sure that's a typo where you have "knook" (also maybe an extra "for" in 2.4)

3.2 Well I called on me to pray
    Hard to discern really.

3.5 Repeats "Not a word to --" another time. (One of the places he violates the "threes".)

4.3 See (no "if") my babe, my baby, do she THINKIN' OF

4.4-7 Throughout here I think he sings "think" not "thing", and it might be "think on" instead of "think of". I see different meanings here, perhaps. Either he is wondering if she thinks about him, or he is writing to be sure she thinks about him. One is a more passive stance, the other proactive.

It's really hard to hear many of his consonants throughout the song, and colloquial locutions can be pretty confusing too. I think coming up with a definitive transcription on this one is pretty tough.

Wax

   
Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 22, 2015, 09:27:22 AM
Thanks very much for the lyric fix suggestions, Wax.  I took the 2.1 suggestion, it matched the sound better than what I had.  For 2.3, I'm hearin' "b'lieve" very clearly in the front end of the line, but agree it is "gals" rather than "gal".  You were right about the typos, and I fixed them. In 3.2, I agree that the sound at the front end of the line is more like "I" than "they", though it makes no sense, and everyone else who has sung the verse sings "they" in the corresponding place.  I put "I" as you had it, both for the sound, and because Robert Petway has some pronoun confusion in his other lyrics, too.  I added the additional "not a word to --" to verse three, as well.  I kept the back end of verse four as I had it.  I do hear an elided "if" in between "see" and "my", sort of "seei'".  I like the idea of "think" in the last part of the verse, but don't hear that sound at all. I think the transition into that as you suggest "do she thinkin' of" is very awkward, especially the "do she thinkin'" portion. 
These suggestions were all so closely heard.  Thanks for your close listening and catching my typos.  I certainly work too fast on occasion.  I incorporated all of your suggested changes as indicated above and caught a couple of things that I had missed on the first go-round, too.  Thanks.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: Chezztone on July 31, 2016, 02:31:55 PM
I think verse 2 is "Well if I..", same as other verses, rather than "What if I."
And in verse 3, "I crawled on knee to pray" rather than "I called on me..."
Thanks! Cheers, Chezz
Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 20, 2020, 11:14:57 AM
Hi all,
Robert Petway recorded "Bertha Lee Blues" at his second session for Bluebird, in Chicago on February 20, 1942, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning and backed by Alfred Elkins on imitation bass, who really adds a lot to the track. It's always a shock hearing this song, whether hearing it for the first time or returning to it after not having heard it for a while--Petway's tempo and playing--Good God! It's unfathomable how Petway could do spoken asides throughout this performance--whew! Here is "Bertha Lee Blues":

https://youtu.be/tL76x6gxlBM

INTRO SOLO

Bertha Lee, you sure have been good to me
Bertha Lee, you sure have been good to me
You been good, Bertha Lee, that you was intend to be (Spoken: You sure is, baby!)

Bertha Lee, honey, please don't you stray from home (Spoken: I'm talkin' 'bout you, Bertha Lee)
Bertha Lee, please don't you stray from home
If you do, Bertha Lee, something sure is goin' on wrong (Spoken: Yes, yes! Talk about Bertha Lee some now)

SOLO (Spoken: Well, all right!)

Bertha Lee, why'n't you come back home to me?
Bertha Lee, why'n't you come back home to me?
If you don't, Bertha Lee, ho babe, I sure can't see

Look-a here now, Bertha Lee, I don't want you even run around
Oh, Bertha Lee, I want you to leave with that runnin' around
If you do, Bertha Lee, please lay my money down (Spoken: Yes, yes, play it 'bout Bertha Lee now a little while, partner!)

SOLO (Spoken: Oh Lord!)

All best,
Johnm





 
Title: Re: Robert Petway Lyrics
Post by: eric on October 20, 2020, 11:46:57 AM
Wow.  That's intense on every level.  What a voice.
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal