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Country Blues => Country Blues Lyrics => Topic started by: Johnm on January 04, 2006, 03:44:18 PM

Title: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on January 04, 2006, 03:44:18 PM
[NOTE: This thread has been created by merging existing threads dealing with Wilkins lyrics - UB]

Hi all,
I had occasion to listen to "New Stockyard Blues" recently after a long lay-off and realized that I really like this song.  It is one of Robert Wilkins's later early recordings, done in 1935, with Little Son Joe on second guitar and "Kid Spoons" on spoons.  Lyrically, it amounts to a testimonial or advertisement, along the lines of Sleepy John Estes's "Brownsville Blues" or Smokey Babe's "Hottest Brand Goin'".  For whatever reason, I particularly like all of these songs where bluesmen are touting their friends or places of employment.  Wilkins' phrasing is inventive, as always; he squashes a tremendous number of words over the first four bars of the 12-bar form, and then splits the repetition of the line he's already sung between the two remaining four-bar phrases.  There are no instrumental fireworks here:  both guitars sound to be played out of A position in standard tuning in the "boom-chick" style, whether flat-picked or not.  That having been said, the very strong ''straight-up-and-down" sound of Wilkins's timing here is terrific, as is his vocal.  This song would make a great vocal duet, too.

https://youtu.be/ZrH7oQ62oI8

   Listen here, men, what I got to say, Monday 'nd Tuesday's auction day, said
   Listen here, men, what I got to say
   Monday and Tuesday's Mr. Owens' auction day

   Get your money in your hand and don't be long, can't buy from a better man than Mr. Owens
   Get your money in your hand and don't be long
   Can't buy from a better man than Mr. Owens

   He's the man that sells, he's the man that buys, I bet you my life he will treat you right
   He's the man that sells, and he's the man that buys
   I bet you my life that he will treat you right

   When you wake up Monday morning with the Stockyard Blues, come and talk to Mr. Owens about his good-looking mules
   When you wake up Monday morning with those Stockyard Blues
   Come and talk to Mr. Owens about his good-looking mules

   SPOKEN:  [Wilkins]  Come on, men.  C'mon, buy these mules!  Ah, bid on that mare, don't it look good?  [little Son Joe]  Yeah, I know it do!

   I know he's good, he's nice and kind, have a talk with him before you starts a-buyin'
   I know he's good, I know he's nice and kind
   Have a talk with him before you starts a-buyin'

   The Union Stockyard's a good place to go, not for so much talk but to spend your dough
   The Union Stockyard is a good place to go
   Not for so much talk, but to spend your dough

   I want you to understand every word I say, Monday and Tuesday's auction day
   I want you to understand every word I said
   That Monday and Tuesday's Mr. Owens' auction day

   I want all of you men to meet me there, speak to Mr. Kelly, he's the auctioneer
   I want all of you men to meet me there
   And speak to Mr. Kelly, he's the auctioneer.

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins' "New Stock Yard Blues"
Post by: Montgomery on January 19, 2006, 02:06:12 PM
This song may be underrated due to its exlusion from the Yazoo CD.  Like his other '35 recordings, the music is less idiosyncratic than usual for Wilkins, due probably to the band setting, but like you said, the vocal is very inventive.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins' "New Stock Yard Blues"
Post by: Bunker Hill on January 20, 2006, 11:54:40 AM
Lyrically, it amounts to a testimonial or advertisement, along the lines of Sleepy John Estes's "Brownsville Blues" or Smokey Babe's "Hottest Brand Goin'". 
Possibly a testimonial? He told Dick Spottswood that he worked for a period as a "stockyard clerk" (p. 5, Blues Unlimited 13, July 1964).
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins' "New Stock Yard Blues"
Post by: Johnm on January 21, 2006, 01:26:16 AM
Good on you, Bunker Hill!  I had wondered why Wilkins was touting this establishment.  It sounds like he was trying to drum up some business for his boss.  You've got to love any song that talks about "good-looking mules".
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins' "New Stock Yard Blues"
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 07, 2006, 11:38:30 AM
You've got to love any song that talks about "good-looking mules".
I've resurrected this because a week ago the subject of this song was raised on Mary Katherine Aldin's pre-war discussion forum and David Evans came up with this concerning the 'Owen' named by Wilkins which, in itself, makes clear the relevance of the reference to mules:

I checked the 1930 and 1935 Memphis City Directory.  In 1930 Owen Bros. Mule Co. was located at 1179 Stock Yards.  These were to the south of W. McLemore Ave., west of Kansas St. (thus near the Mississippi River).  Oren Owen was listed as general manager, residing in the Chisca Hotel (South Main and Linden) with wife Hortense.  In 1935 Oren and Hortense were living at 1371 Gaither Parkway, and he was the general manager of Owen Bros. Horse and Mule Commission Co. located at 1157 Stock Yards.  I couldn't find any brothers under the name Owen connected with this company.  (Maybe he or they had died or withdrawn before 1930.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins' "New Stock Yard Blues"
Post by: Johnm on February 08, 2006, 05:51:00 PM
Thanks Bunker Hill, for passing the info on the Owens Bros. establishment along.  It's great the way the context of the song is enriched by the harder information, sort of like seeing the Conoco station where Smokey Babe worked, that had the "hottest brand goin'".
All best,
Johnm
Title: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 26, 2008, 07:23:40 AM
JohnM's recent mention of Long Train Blues in another thread had me listening to that song recently and when I came back to WeenieCampbell to browse other Wilkins discussions, I realized we did not have a thread for Wilkins lyrics. Since Wilkins is a favourite among many of us, this seems like it needs rectification. There are a couple songs transcribed in individual threads, which I'll either copy or merge here.

Here's what I have for Long Train Blues, which I could have sworn we transcribed previously. The last line of the song in particular rings a bell from previous discussions, but try as I might, I cannot turn up anything in searches.

https://youtu.be/u-FvKRUTIq4


Long Train Blues - Robert Wilkins

C position

She walked down the yard, caught the longest train she seen
She walked down the yard, caught the longest train she seen
Said she'd ride, she'd ride till the blues way off her be

It's two bullyin' freight trains runnin' side by side
It's two bullyin' freight trains runnin' side by side
They done stole my rider and I guess they satisfied

They rode in the Delta, kept on easin' by
They rode in the Delta, kept on easin' by
Know I feel just like she has said her last goodbye

Friend, she won't write, she won't telephone
Friend, she won't write, she won't telephone
Makes me believe to my soul my rider calls that gone

But if I had wings, friend, like Noah's dove*
Well, if I had wings, friend, like Noah's dove
I would raise and fly, God knows, where my lover was

I lay down at night, I can't sleep at all
I lay down at night, I can't sleep at all
Awful lyin' there wondering if someone rollin' in her arms

Lays my head on my pillow, friend, it be's too high
Laid my head on my pillow, friend, and it be's too high
Take it down, lay me level, I'm gettin' sick and 'bout to die

* pronounced "Norah"

edited to pick up suggestions from dj
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 26, 2008, 07:39:09 AM
Wilkins recorded "Alabama Blues" c. 23 September 1929 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, as he did "Long Train Blues". It's one of his raggy numbers played in C position. I love the way the guitar part takes a weird turn with the dissonance he gets travelling up the neck towards the end of the form. As always, corrections welcome.

https://youtu.be/cdCkPTfN_jc

Alabama Blues - Robert Wilkins
C position

I'll tell you, girl, I'm gonna tell you now
If you don't want me, please don't dog me around
If you don't want me, don't dog me around

My home ain't here, it's in most any old town
My home ain't here, it's in most any old town
My home ain't here, it's most any old town

I'm goin' up on the mountain and look down on the sea
Saw a bullyin' alligator, she was doin' that shivaree
Saw a bullyin' alligator doin' the shivaree

Tell me, friend, ever since that bullyin' Stack been made
Kansas City, Missouri, has been her regular trade
Kansas City, Missouri, been her regular trade

The Kate's in the bend, the Stack is turnin' around and 'round
The stern wheel knockin', friend, I'm Alabama bound
The stern wheel knockin', I'm Alabama bound

My mama told me, an' old papa told me, too
Said, "Brownskin women, son, gonna be the death of you"
Said, "Brownskin women, gonna be the death of you"

I told mama last night, friends, and papa the night before
"If brownskin women kill me, mama, let me go"
"If brownskin women kill me, mama, let me go"

When I leave you that time, mama, I won't be back no more
When I leave you that time, mama, I won't be back no more
When I leave that time, mama, won't be back no more

I ain't comin' back here to worry you and papa so
I won't be back here to worry you and papa so
I won't be back here to worry you and papa so

I walked off and left my mother standing in the floor
She's cryin' to me, "Son, please son, don't you go"
She's cryin' to me, "Son, please don't you go"
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: dj on August 26, 2008, 08:00:16 AM
Uncle Bud,

I think the last line of the first verse of "Long Train Blues" is:

"Said she'd ride, she'd ride till the blues way off her be"

I think the last line of the fourth verse is correct as you have it.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: doctorpep on August 26, 2008, 12:09:24 PM
Isn't it "till the Blues wear off of me"?  That's what I hear. Uncle Bud, you're right about "Norah". Every Blues singer I've ever heard pronounces "Noah" that way.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 28, 2008, 08:18:18 AM
Wilkins recorded "I'll Go With Her Blues" 21 February, 1930. He played it out of D position. I remember after JohnM's Robert Wilkins instructional video came out, quite a few folks were plunking out the guitar part at Port Townsend, which is fun to play; don't recall anyone actually singing it though. Sure is some great singing from Wilkins. The 3rd verse is a problem. Help needed.

https://youtu.be/O4e2fnMN-i8

I'll Go With Her - Robert Wilkins

I'll go with her, I'll follow her, I will, to her buryin' place
I'll go with her, I'll follow her, I will, to her buryin' place

Hang my head and cry, friend, I will, mmmm as she passed away
Hang my head and cry, friend, I will, as she passed away

I cried yonder she go, friend, please run, try to call her back
I cried yonder she go, friend, please run, tried to call her back

'Cause that sure is one woman I did mmmm love and like
For that sure is one woman I did, I did love and like

I believe I'll go home, friend, and do this, dress myself in black
I believe I'll go home, friend, and do this, dress myself in black

Show to the world I wants her but I can't mmmmm get her back
Show to the world I wants her but I can't, I can't get her back

Every time I hear that lonesome mmmmm church bell ring
Every time I hear that lonesome church bell ring

Makes me think about that song my baby used to sing
Makes me think about that song my baby used to sing

Mmmmm, Lord have mercy on me


edited for corrections from banjochris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 28, 2008, 12:13:07 PM
Uncle Bud, that missing bit in the third verse is

I cried yonder she go, friend

Yonder's more like yon', tho.
Chris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 28, 2008, 12:42:50 PM
Thanks, Chris, that's great.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: frankie on August 28, 2008, 06:11:27 PM
'Cause that sure is one woman I did mmmm love and like
For that sure is one woman I did, I did love and like

I think this line is exactly the way it sounds:

'Cause that sure is one woman I did mmmm love and lack
For that sure is one woman I did, I did love and lack

The sense of the word here seems to mean "miss when she's gone."  Ramblin' Thomas uses it in the same sense in Sawmill Moan.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 28, 2008, 09:52:33 PM
Hi Frank,
I'm dubious of the "love and lack" interpretation.  I've never heard anyone say that they "lacked" another person--missed them, yes, or wanted them, but a person is not something that you lack.  In the context of the song, the woman in question is not one that was lacked in the past, in any event, but was the partner of the singer.  I think the line makes a nice distinction between someone you may love, but not like, or vice versa, and the deceased, whom the singer both loved and liked.
All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 28, 2008, 10:53:27 PM
For what it's worth, I agree with John on the "I'll Go With Her" verse. Meanwhile, here is

https://youtu.be/6wjFqxb6zNA

I Do Blues

Now woman I do, woman God knows I do,
Woman I do, woman God knows I do
I do [he says "doos"] all for you that any poor man can do

I done did everything, woman but die for you,
I done did everything, woman but die for you,
Want you to tell me what more woman, do you want me to do?

Woman I done done, all I know to do
Woman I done done, all I know to do
I done did everything woman, but lay down and die for you

Now if you don't want me, give me your right hand,
Now if you don't want me, give me your right hand,
I'll go to my woman, and you can go to your man.

You better come here woman, sit down on my knee,
You better come here woman, sit down on my knee,
Oh and talk all night tell poor Timmy what you please.

Want you to tell me something, give my mind some ease,
Want you tell me something, give my mind some ease,
I can't be satisfied, woman, and I can't be pleased.

'Cause I'd rather be dead, buried on my face,
'Cause I'd rather be dead, buried on my face,
And to love you woman, you treat me this a way.

But I don't want nobody, baby don't want me.
I don't want nobody, baby don't want me.
I'd rather be somewhere, friend, buried on my knee.

I got something to tell you, tell you 'fore I go,
I got something to tell you, tell you 'fore I go,
Meet me down at the station, and kiss me 'fore I go.

'Cause I'm going up the country, coming here no more,
'Cause I'm going up the country, coming here no more,
Oh I love you woman, but you always treat me so.

If today the day, that you walked away.
If today the day, that you walked away.
Oh you told me you was, going, you was going to stay.


11 verses and an intro in 3:39!
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 01, 2009, 08:40:37 AM
I was fooling around with Losin' Out Blues and couldn't find the lyrics, so here they are. Wilkins sure crams them in there. It's played out of C position pitched around D, and it uses that wonderful Ab chord at the beginning of the form.

https://youtu.be/Zo1rl7aM6Ok

As always, corrections and comments welcome.

Losin' Out Blues - Robert Wilkins

C position, pitched at D

I'll forget that day, baby you walked away
I'll forget that day, baby you walked away
I'll forget the day baby you walked away
Didn't I hear you tell your daddy, "Your mama's going to stay"
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Baby, you're losin' out

Was early one morning, she come draggin' home
Was early one morning, she come draggin' home
Was early one morning, she come draggin' home
You oughta heard her cryin' "Daddy, your mama treated you wrong"
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Baby, you losin' out

"I left you that time, but I ain't gonna leave you no more
I left you that time, but I ain't gonna leave you no more
I left you that time, I ain't gonna leave you no more
When I leave you again, they'll be haulin' me away from your door
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Daddy, you'll be losin' out"

Friend, gonna ask you to follow me far as you can go
Gonna ask you to follow me far as you can go
Friend, gonna ask you to follow me far as you can go
When I leave that time, I won't be back no more
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Daddy, you'll be losin' out

Oh shush

Friend, I followed my baby to her buryin' place
I followed my baby to her buryin' place
I followed my baby to her buryin' place
Till I hung my head and cried, the poor girl had passed away
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Partner, I'm losin' out

You oughta heard me cryin', "Partner, what a lonesome grave"
You oughta heard me cryin', "Partner, what a lonesome grave"
You oughta heard me cryin', "What a lonesome grave
I'll never get another woman I think can take her place"
That's the reason why I'm tellin' you
Partner, I'm losin' out

You take me baby, long as I was your child
You take me baby, long as I was your child
You take me baby, long as I was your child
Hold me in your right arm and rock me by and by
So I can tell my partner, "Partner, I ain't losin' out"


edited to add change from LeftyStrat
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: LeftyStrat on August 01, 2009, 08:51:41 PM
Excellent song UB. One of the best on the "Original Rollin' Stone" disc, IMO.

In the third verse, I've always heard:

"I left you that time, but I ain't gonna leave you no more
I left you that time, but I ain't gonna leave you no more
I left you that time, I ain't gonna leave you no more
When I leave you again, they'll be haulin'me away from your door

I've generally taken that to mean the next time she leaves, the hearse will be taking her away. Never claimed to have the best of ears when it comes to these lyrics though, so maybe I'm mistaken.

Lefty :)
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 02, 2009, 09:00:55 AM
Many thanks, Lefty. I think you're right, makes more sense too. I'll make the change above.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: tenderfoot84 on August 04, 2009, 05:05:52 AM
hi folks i've just been listening to 'black rat blues' from wilkins' last batch of (prewar) recordings.

https://youtu.be/mqgVEUHVhKY

there's a black rat up town, ...
there's a black rat up town, ...
if i catch him in my kitchen, boys he's gonna have me to kill

know if he's in my kitchen, man eat' up all of my bread
know if he's in my kitchen, man eat' up all of my bread
soon as daddy got his belly full, boys it started cuttin' up in my bed

i caught the wink of it's eye, [man it's] the keyhole in my door
i caught the wink of his eye, [man it's] the keyhole in my door
i'm gonna get my 44 out boy, I bet he won't come here no more

[break]

said that's the reason my baby, she don't speak well of me no more
that's the reason my baby, she don't speak well of me no more
i've got it so uneasy, partner i don't know where to go

cairo, cairo is my baby's home
cairo, cairo is my baby's home
now I'm go-r-in' home partner 'n' I swear it won't be long



i'm really crazy about this song but the i have no idea how he finishes the first two lines of verse one! i hope someone else can give it a crack.

robert wilkins' lyrics are always great but i think this is up there with the best of them. it bares no resemblance really to memphis minnie's 'black rat swing' musically but might share some more lyrics than the title - i haven't checked.

i think wilkins' is playing straight up and down possibly with a flatpick out of C standard capoed up one fret (i'm not sure here either). he could be playing out of d but i think the bass notes are easier to play in C.

i can fudge both guitar parts reasonably well but i think little son joe (from memory i think he's the second guitarist but i might be getting mixed up with the memphis minnie recording). the interplay between them is really really neat though and obviously impossible to reproduce - for me - solo.

the spoons help a fair bit too.

do others think that robert wilkins played in this style only in a group setting or that he changed his style in the years between his first recording and this one new stockyard and the other one i can't remember just now :( i think willie reed may have done this but i'd expect that given rev. wilkins' 60s recording that the first of my two suggestions is closer to the truth.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on August 04, 2009, 10:40:57 AM
hi folks i've just been listening to 'black rat swing' from wilkins' last batch of (prewar) recordings.

there's a black rat up town, ...
there's a black rat up town, ...
Sounds to me like:

There's a black rat in town, man, it's most(?) to evil to kill (x2)

But that's from vinyl, rather than digital, source.

The song is entitled Black Rat Blues, are you confusing it with the Little Son Joe/Memphis Minnie title Black Rat Swing?
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 04, 2009, 02:26:09 PM
It's "most too evil to live". I hear some other differences, too, ("44 out of pawn" for instance) but I'm at work and can't turn my volume up at the moment, so I'll post again later.
Chris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: tenderfoot84 on August 05, 2009, 12:37:05 AM
you're absolutely right about "i'm gonna get my 44 out of pawn" - great catch banjochris

bunker hill i also now hear "it's most too evil to kill" i definately hear the k sound in the second line.

thanks very much guys - almost there.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 05, 2009, 12:49:49 AM
Here's what I have -- I definitely don't hear "kill" in the first two lines of the first verse -- they're mostly minor differences to what you had.

There's a black rat up town, man he's most too evil to live,
It's a black rat up town, man he's most too evil to live,
If I catch him in my kitchen, boys he's gonna have me to kill.

Know he sneaks in my kitchen, man eat up all of my bread,
Know he sneaks in my kitchen, man eat up all of my bread,
Soon as he got his belly full, boys he started cuttin' up in my bed.

I caught the wink of his eye, man through the keyhole in my door,
I caught the wink of his eye, man through the keyhole in my door,
I'm going to get my 44 out of pawn, I bet he won't cut here no more.

(break)

And that's the reason my baby, she don't speak well of me no more,
That's the reason my baby, she don't speak well of me no more,
It's got me so uneasy, partner I don't know where to go.

Cairo, Cairo is my baby's home
Cairo, Cairo is my baby's home
I'm goin' home, partner and I swear it won't be long.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: tenderfoot84 on August 06, 2009, 07:41:00 AM
phenomenal stuff!

yeah i agree with all of your changes but i still keep hearing 'kill' at the end of that second line. i must be imagining it! thanks very much for nailing the other bits i got half way on! i love this song.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: frankie on April 09, 2011, 09:47:20 AM
Been thinking about this song lately - both in E, pitched in the basement, about C:

https://youtu.be/LzStG_7CmoY

Rolling Stone - Part 1

Don't care how long she gone, don't care how long she stay (2x)

She's a rolling stone, she'll roll back home someday (2x)

Friend, it's train time now and I thought I heard it blow (2x)

Come, run, bring my suitcase, please, and let me go (2x)

'cause the train rolled up, stopped and made two lonesome blows (2x)

Hon' come kiss me goodbye, my time done come to go (2x)

Friend, as the train rolled off, she waved her hands at me (2x)

I looked out the window, friend, as far as I could see
I looked out the window, friend, far as I could see

Rolling Stone - Part 2

https://youtu.be/zoxE9DCSIDM

Oh, the last time I seen her standing on the station crying
Oh, the last time I seen her, she's standing on the station crying

Believe she told her friend, "Yon' go that man of mine" (2x)

I don't mind him going, he's gone and leave me here (2x)

Got to go back home, sleep all night by myself
Got to go back home, sleep, friend, all night by myself

Man, don't your house feel lonesome when your biscuit roller gone?
Man, don't your house feel lonesome when your biscuit roller's gone?

You stand in your back door and cry by yourself, alone
You stand in your back door, crying by yourself, alone

Crying, ain't it enough to make a poor man wish't he's dead and gone? (2x)

'cause that woman he loved, she's gone and left him 'lone (2x)

Oh, looks like I ain't seen her since six long months, today (2x)

Ain't it enough make a poor man, great God, walk away? (2x)
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: frankie on April 09, 2011, 09:51:24 AM
and this one....  one of my favorites...

https://youtu.be/DSD5aGJiQS0

Nashville Stonewall - cross-note tuning, pitched at about F

I stayed in jail, it was for thirty long days
I stayed in jail, it was for thirty long days
And that woman said she loved me, I could not see her face

I looked out the window, saw the long chain man
I looked out the window, saw the long chain man
Oh, he's coming to call us boys name by name

He's going to take me from here to Nashville, Tennessee
He's going to take me from here to Nashville, Tennessee
He's going to take me right back, boys, where I used to be

I got a letter from home, reckon how it read
I got a letter from home, reckon how it read
It read "Son, come home to your mama, she's sick and nearly dead."

I set down and cried, and I screamed and squalled
I set down and cried, and I screamed and squalled
Said, "How can I come home, mama, I'm behind these walls."

Every morning about four, boys might be half past
Every morning about four, boys might be half past
You ought to see me down the foundry, trying to do my task

Oh, the judge he sentenced me, boys, from five to ten
'cause the judge he sentenced me, boys, from five to ten
I get out, I'm going to kill that woman, I'll be right back again
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on April 09, 2011, 12:34:53 PM
Thanks for posting those, Frank.  One of the things I especially admire about Robert Wilkins' renditions of these songs is the extent to which he trusts and utilizes his basic musical ideas.  These songs don't have that "I'm going to play every lick that I know on this song" quality.  Instead, they have . . . repetition.  You can't beat repetition when you start out with ideas as strong as those Robert Wilkins was building his songs around. 
All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on April 05, 2012, 07:38:16 PM
Hi all,
I was listening to Robert Wilkins' "Black Rat Blues" today, and it sounded like he sang "kill" at the end of the first line of the first verse, and changed it to "live" at the end of the second line of the first verse.  If anyone cares to give it a listen, I'd be interested to hear how you're hearing it.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Rivers on April 05, 2012, 07:43:18 PM
I don't have that one unfortunately John. What collection is it on?
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on April 05, 2012, 07:56:39 PM
It's on the "Masters of Memphis Blues" set on JSP, Mark, and also on the Wilkins on Document, DOCD-5014.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Rivers on April 05, 2012, 08:01:16 PM
Thanks, I will seek it out.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on April 05, 2012, 09:14:41 PM
Hi all,
I was listening to Robert Wilkins' "Black Rat Blues" today, and it sounded like he sang "kill" at the end of the first line of the first verse, and changed it to "live" at the end of the second line of the first verse.  If anyone cares to give it a listen, I'd be interested to hear how you're hearing it.

I'm still hearing "live" clearly at the end of the first two lines.
Chris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on April 05, 2012, 09:18:10 PM
Thought I would post one we didn't have, the great "Falling Down Blues." It's one of my favorites, played out of D position and somewhat similar to "I'll Go With Her," at least the guitar part is. Some weird emotions going on in this one, plus some very peculiar divisions of the vocal line. The commas indicate who he's addressing, not necessarily where he's pausing.

https://youtu.be/hhAL383cq8o

Falling Down Blues

I'm tired of standing on the long lonesome road
I'm tired of standing on the long lonesome road
Thinkin' 'bout my baby and got nowhere to go.

It's fer down the road, friend, as I can see
It's fer down the road, friend, as I can see,
See the woman I love standing, waving after me.

I run to her, friend, fell down at her knee,
I run to her, friend, fell down at her knee,
Crying take me back baby, God knows if you please.

If you don't believe, girl, I'll treat you right,
If you don't believe, girl, I'll treat you right,
Come and walk with me down to my loving shack tonight.

I'll certainly treat you just like you was white,
I'll certainly treat you just like you was white,
That don't satisfy you, girl, I'll take your life.

I love you, girl, I will tell the world I do,
I love you, girl, I will tell the world I do,
And that's the reason you treat me like you do.

But go 'head, girl, that will be all right for you,
But go 'head, girl, that will be all right for you,
I will meet you someday when you down in hard luck too.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 06, 2012, 10:57:59 AM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "Jail House Blues" on September 8, 1928 in Memphis, the same day he recorded "I Do Blues".  I believe he played both songs out of the EAEGBE tuning, though pitched at D.  He opens with a beautiful solo in which the guitar sounds like it is weeping.  Once he starts singing, his time-keeping is so perfect and "simple"; simple to hear and respond to, yes, but simple to emulate, not so much.  His lyrics are so striking, especially taken in conjunction with his vocal delivery, that he has the effect, for me, of making most other people sound like they're just fooling around.

https://youtu.be/LHAkB0gz1o8

Ah, look like I can see trouble in the air
Ah, look like I can see trouble in the air
But ain't only here, friend, it's trouble everywhere

Now I wished I'd listened at what my Mother said
Now I wished I'd listened at what my Mother said
I wouldn't have been bound down in this trouble today

Now, I'm lying in jail with my face turned to the wall
Now I'm lying in jail with my face turned to the wall
And that woman I love, friend, she was the cause of it all

Now, the judge gonna sentence me and the clerk's gon' write it down
Now, the judge gonna sentence me and the clerk's gon' write it down
Tell me they 'cused me of stealin', now I'm fixin' to leave your town

I got something to tell you just before I go
I got something to tell you just before I go
Gettin' out of trouble this time, woman, I won't do wrong no more

Ah, the judge gon' give me six months on the road
Ah, the judge gon' give me six months on the road
Woman, I can't stand it, God in Heaven do know it

But I don't mind goin', I'm goin' and leave you here
But I don't mind goin', I'm goin' and leave you here
These men gon' mistreat you, God knows they don't care

I'm gonna tell you this, just before I go
I'm gonna tell you this, just before I go
When I come back here, woman, you gon' have me some more

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 06, 2012, 01:24:10 PM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "Get Away Blues" at a session in Memphis on February 21, 1930, accompanying himself out of A position in standard tuning.  The song is one that very much has the "Hernando A" sound discussed in the following thread:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3474.0 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3474.0) .  Robert Wilkins' propensity for coming up with original phrasing and composition models for his blues has been noted before.  For "Get Away Blues" he came up with a form that looks like a straight 12-bar blues if you simply read the lyrics, but in the hearing of it, he comes up with a one-off with regard to his phrasing, which works like this.  Assume four beats per measure, unless otherwise noted.

   |    A    |    A    |    A    |    A    |    A (6 beats) |

   |A(6 beats)|    A    |    A    |    A    |
                 | | |     |
   |   D7   |  D7     A|   A (6 beats)  |
Perhaps surprisingly, Robert Wilkins does end up with a 12-bar form, but one in which:
   * The three phrases are progressively five measures, four measures, and three measures long, with a 6-beat measure at the tail end of the first and third phrase and at the beginning of the second phrase.
   * There is no V chord at all
   * The IV7 chord resolves back to I on the fourth beat of the second measure of the third phrase.
   * He phrases to break his lines up after a pronoun in the middle of the line, rather than before the pronoun.
For two of Robert Wilkins' last verses, he goes long in the first phrase, ending up with six measures, each of four beats.  In those instances, he perseverates on a lick, "thriving on a riff".
Wilkins' lyrics are masterful, as usual, and the way he switches from recounting what happened to just saying what he said to his partner is especially effective.  Look for this one if you haven't heard it, or haven't heard it in a while.

https://youtu.be/Kfzmr4IcYjs

I walked down to the station, fold my troubled arms
I walked down to the station, fold my troubled arms
Walked and asked that agent, "Has that train done gone?"

I looked down the track I, seed it in the bend
I looked down the track I, seed it in the bend
Walked and bought me a ticket, all for me and my friend

Told her, "Come on, woman, let us board this train."
Told her, "Come on, woman, let us board this train.
Right here while we get away from your man."

"Woman, you just tell me:  Do you want to go?
Woman, you just tell me:  Do you want to go?
I take you somewhere you, never been before."

"Then I'll give you silver, give you paper and gold.
Then I'll give you silver, give you paper and gold.
I'll give you anything will satisfy your weary soul."

"Woman, if I don't love you, I don't love myself.
Woman, if I don't love you, I don't love myself.
You did something to me I, ain't gon' tell nobody else."

Edited 12/7 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm     
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 06, 2012, 05:58:04 PM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "That's No Way To Get Along" at a session in Memphis on September 23, 1929, accompanying himself out of Vestapol tuning.  If you've heard this song, you don't need me to tell you how strong it is--it's time capsule stuff, really as good as anything the style has to offer.  Robert Wilkins re-worked the song as Reverend Robert Wilkins, and recorded it more than once as "The Prodigal Son", from the biblical tale, and keeping the same refrain.  His live version from the Newport Folk Festival, with a long spoken intro, is truly epic.

https://youtu.be/ki_Jcxv2nRg

I'm goin' home, friend, set down
And tell my, ah, Mama
Friend, set down, tell my Ma
I'm goin' home, set down and tell my Ma
I'm goin' home, set down and tell my Ma
That that's no way to get along

These low-down, women, Mama
They treated your, ow, poor son wrong
Mama, treated me wrong
These low-down women, Mama, treated your poor son wrong
These low-down women, Mama, treated your poor son wrong
And that's no way for him to get along

They treated me, like my poor heart
Was made of, a rock of stone
Mama, made of a rock of stone
Treated me like my poor heart was made of a rock of stone
Treated me like my poor heart was made of a rock of stone
And that's no way for me to get along

You know that, was enough, Mama
To make your son, wished he's dead and gone
Mama, wished I's dead and gone
That is enough make your son, Mama, wished he's dead and gone
That is enough make your son, Mama, wished he's dead and gone
'Cause that's no way for him to get along

I stood on, the roadside
I cried alone, all by myself
I cried alone, by myself
I stood on the roadside and cried alone by myself
I stood on the roadside and cried alone by myself
Cryin', "That's no way for me to get along."

I's wantin' some, train to come along
And take me, away from here
Friend, take me away from here
Some train come along and take me away from here
Some train come along and take me away from here
And that be new way for me to get along

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 07, 2012, 09:47:21 AM
Couple of small suggestions on "Get Away," John --

3.3 I think is "Right here WHILE we..."
and
5.3 I think is "I'll give you ANYTHING WILL satisfy..."


A few years ago I sat down and really learned this tune, which is not terribly difficult to play except for that middle line -- it took me a lot of concentration to be able to sing and play that part together. Unfortunately I let it slip out of my "rotation" so I need to go back and learn it again.

One of the greatest things about Wilkins I think is that he takes ideas and licks that sound like they should be simple (and often are when played instrumentally) and then combines them with his vocals in quirky ways. "I'll Go With Her" is not super difficult to execute instrumentally, but add the vocal and you're talking about a very different proposition. This tune, "Rolling Stone" and "I Do" I think all have that going on.

Another unusual thing about this song, I think, is that it's one of the few blues songs with a real dramatic climax. Here it's at the end of the third verse and that riff he plays after "get away from your man" again is simple in concept but not the easiest thing to do and have it sound clean and consistent. What a great performer and songwriter.

Chris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 07, 2012, 10:31:08 AM
Thanks very much for the catches, Chris--they were right on the money when I re-listened and scrutinized a bit more carefully.  I very much share your admiration for the way Wilkins worked with his compositional materials and integrated his vocal and guitar parts.  I see what you mean about the second line in "Get Away Blues"; he has that little "dwell" in the guitar part where it almost stops for an instant.  I think making that kind of hesitation a part of an arrangement shows a great deal of confidence on Wilkins' part in his own sense of time.  If you can feel where things stand with regard to the pulse in the midst of hesitations and pauses, there's no need to have some aspect of the accompaniment hammering away at the pulse all the time.  It's there whether you play it or not.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: frankie on December 07, 2012, 02:25:26 PM
"I'll Go With Her" is not super difficult to execute instrumentally, but add the vocal and you're talking about a very different proposition. This tune, "Rolling Stone" and "I Do" I think all have that going on.

That's for sure. I've taken cracks at all three...  I think "I'll Go With Her" was most intimidating to me in that respect. The instrumentation, I'm pretty sure, can be described as a 12-bar blues (although not quite a standard one - John must have described this better somewhere), but man, is the vocal ever NOT! wow!

Another unusual thing about this song, I think, is that it's one of the few blues songs with a real dramatic climax. Here it's at the end of the third verse and that riff he plays after "get away from your man" again is simple in concept but not the easiest thing to do and have it sound clean and consistent. What a great performer and songwriter.

Agreed on all points, for sure.  Good on you for working it out, Chris. Would love to hear you do it! Would love to do it myself, too!  One of these days...  just crazy about this one.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 07, 2012, 03:55:52 PM
You're certainly right about "I'll Go With Her", Frank--a 12-bar blues in two 6-bar phrases, you don't see that every day!
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 07, 2012, 04:09:25 PM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "Police Sergeant Blues" in Memphis on or around February 21, 1930, accompanying himself out of C position in standard tuning.  This song, along with "Alabama Blues" and "Long Train Blues" comprises the dancey portion of Robert Wilkins' early solo recorded repertoire.  "Police Sergeant Blues" has always struck me as sounding like a children's song, both in its sing-songy melody and it's taunting, "I ain't a-skeered of you" refrain.  Like Mance Lipscomb and Bo Carter, on occasion, Robert Wilkins wasn't strict about hitting chord tones in the bass as he played this song;  he goes for the melody in the treble and keeps the bass sounding with whatever comes easily to hand.

https://youtu.be/YuYR6PKnPzk

I'm gon' tell you, baby tell you now
If you don't want me you don't have to dog me around, because
REFRAIN: That old girl's mad with me, friend, but I don't care
'Cause that old girl's mad with me, friend, but I don't care

Oh, look ov' yonder, baby, what I see
A police and a sergeant, baby is comin' after me, because
REFRAIN: That old girl's mad with me, friend, but I don't care

I'm gon' tell you that s'poseded to take the ride
When you see me goin', baby, hang your head and cry, because
REFRAIN: That old girl is mad with me, friend, but I don't care

I'm gon' tell the judge I know that I done wrong
You gon and get some lawyer to come and go my bond, because
REFRAIN: That old girl is mad with me, friend, but I don't care

I know the judge is going to give me thirty long days
I made it up in my mind, babe, to go and stay, because
REFRAIN: That old girl is mad with me, friend, but I don't care

SOLO

I'm goin' out said, work out my time
Because the girl I love, she's not got a dime, oh
REFRAIN: That old girl is mad with me, friend, but I don't care

SOLO

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 08, 2012, 10:22:57 AM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "Old Jim Canaan's" at a session in Jackson, Mississippi on October 12, 1935, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning, and was joined on the session by Son Joe on second guitar, also playing out of G position, and "Kid Spoons" on spoons.  I believe the historical character whose establishment is referenced in the song was named Jim Kinane.  Son Joe provides really propulsive flat-picked boom-chang accompaniment. 
The song is unusual in it chorus/verse set-up.  The full chorus goes like so:

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |    V7    |    I    |

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |    V7    |    I    |

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |    V7    |    I    |

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |    V7    |    I    |

The verse rocks back and forth between V7 and I.  Each of the two solos is preceded by the first two lines of the chorus which then move into a transition from IV7 to a long vamp on V7 before resolving to I:

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |    V7    |    V7    |

   |    V7     |     V7     |    V7    |    V7    |

   |    V7     |     V7     |    V7     |   V7    |

   |    V7     |     V7     |      I     |     I      |

The song has a great cut-time, two-step dance feel, and could almost certainly be converted into a rocking Zydeco number.  It is an action-packed 2:54 of music, and Robert Wilkins fits in a lot of lyrics.

https://youtu.be/c56n4NwLIig

CHORUS: I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's
I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's

I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd stand on the corner and wave my hand
Then if you don't b'lieve that I'm a drinkin' man
Just, baby, stop by here with your beer can, because

CHORUS: I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's

SOLO

CHORUS: I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's
I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's

I'm going uptown, buy me Coke and beer
Comin' back then, tell you how these women is
They drink their whiskey, drink their Coke and gin
When you don't play the dozens, they will ease you in, still

CHORUS: I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's

SOLO

CHORUS: I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's
I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's
I'd take my babe back to old Jim Canaan's

These men and women runnin' hand in hand
Going to and fro, to old Jim Canaan's
Drinking their whiskey, sniffin' cocaine
That's the reason why I wished I's back at old Jim Canaan's

I wished I was back at old Jim Canaan's

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 08, 2012, 10:42:05 PM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded "Dirty Deal Blues" in Jackson, Mississippi on October 10, 1935, and was joined by Son Joe on second guitar and "Kid Spoons" on spoons for the song.  This song is a real vocal showpiece, and Robert Wilkins comes through with one of his most impassioned vocals.  The trio had beautiful straight-up-and-down time, and it sounds like both guitarists were working out of G position in standard tuning, though Son Joe may have been playing out of A position.  I would very much appreciate help with the first half of the tagline to the last verse.  I've never understood what Robert Wilkins was saying there.

https://youtu.be/yX_wQ_C9c2c

Early one morning, baby, something was all on my mind
Early one morning, baby, something was all on my mind
Oh, I was thinkin' about my welfare, and I just couldn't keep from cryin'

Oh, cried one time, mama, your daddy ain't gonna cry no more
Oh, cried one time, mama, your daddy ain't gonna cry no more
Lord, I made up in my mind, pretty mama, honey, it's, Great God, let you go

Good-bye, pretty mama, oh baby, fare thee well
Good-bye, pretty mama, oh baby, fare thee well
Lord, I'm afraid to meet you in that other world somewhere

Oh baby, I'm so glad that this whole round world do know
Oh baby, I'm so glad that this whole round world do know
That every living creature, mmm, reap just what they sow

SOLO

That's the reason why you hear me cryin', "Lord, please have mercy on me."
That's the reason why you hear me cryin', "Lord, please have mercy on me."
Because I don't want my woman, mmmm, reap no bad seed

That's the reason why I keep on tellin' her, papa tell her 'bout her dirty deeds
That's the reason why I keep on tellin' her, papa tell her 'bout her dirty deeds
Because, since you're glad of who you are, babe, man, my woman'll reap rotten seed

Edited 12/11 to pick up correction from dj

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: dj on December 09, 2012, 10:50:22 AM
Hi, John,

I think the last line of Dirty Deal Blues is "Because SINCE YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE, BABE , maybe my woman will reap rotten seeds"
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 10, 2012, 11:58:30 AM
Hi dj,
Thanks for your suggestion for "Dirty Deal Blues", and I'm sorry to be slow responding.  It all sounds right to me, except I'm hearing another word that begins with a "b" sound falling here in the line:
   Because since you [b-------] who you are, babe,
Are you hearing that "b" sound there?  It almost sounds like it could be "bought", which doesn't really make sense.  What do you think?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 10, 2012, 12:13:09 PM
That last line is sure tricky, he runs it together so fast. A not-at-all-certain guess based more on sound than sense:

Because SINCE SHE BROUGHT 'EM IN THE YARD, MAN, my woman'll reap rotten seeds.

Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Old Man Ned on December 10, 2012, 01:27:17 PM
Hi All
This is my first post but since I've got loads of info from you guys I thought I'd give this a shot and try to give something back.  I'm definately hearing "WHO YOU ARE BABE"  at the end.  The word before sounds like it might be "ABOUT".  My best shot at the moment is something like "BECAUSE SINCE THINK ABOUT WHO YOU ARE BABE", but I'm not sure about the 'SINCE' or the 'THINK'!
All the best,
Ned
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on December 10, 2012, 03:22:06 PM
Anyone try slowing this one down? He runs the words together so fast that I'm tempted to think that it may be a flub and correction on the fly--and not necessarily a clear correction. Although I don't hear it clearly, "no matter" might fit between "since" and "who you are." And I hear "make" for "maybe," but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Rivers on December 10, 2012, 05:19:14 PM
Welcome to the forum Ned, you'll fit right in if you're into helping decipher lyrics.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: dj on December 11, 2012, 04:00:42 AM
Quote
Anyone try slowing this one down?

Yes, as a matter of fact.  Slowing it down to 75% of recorded speed let me hear clearly how many syllables there are in the phrase in question, and got the phrase slow enough that I could sing along to try to match the sounds.  Doing this for a while makes me think that the last line of Dirty Deal Blues is

"Because SINCE YOU'RE GLAD OF WHO YOU ARE BABE , MAN, my woman 'LL reap rotten SEED"

This not only fits the sounds coming out of Wilkins' mouth but makes sense in the context of the song.  And speeding the phrase back up to recorded speed, it still sounds right to me.
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on December 11, 2012, 08:30:55 AM
Thanks, dj. That's a mouthful, as the old saying goes--to say the least. Those "sped up" RJ 78s have nothing on Robert Wilkins' played at normal speed!  :P
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 11, 2012, 09:09:35 AM
Thanks for working that out, dj.  Boy, as Stuart noted, Robert Wilkins really spat that line out.  I will make the change.  Incidentally, with that line, we have transcribed all of Robert Wilkins' pre-60s recorded lyrics.  Thanks to everybody who helped in that endeavor.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 12, 2012, 11:57:18 AM
Incidentally, with that line, we have transcribed all of Robert Wilkins' pre-60s recorded lyrics.  Thanks to everybody who helped in that endeavor.
All best,
Johnm

Good work, guys and gals. 
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on March 28, 2013, 08:26:04 AM
Hi all,
Robert Wilkins recorded a striking version of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" on his Piedmont LP, his first recordings after his re-discovery.  Melodically and chordally, his version is nothing like the New Orleans, Trad Jazz treatment that is most often played.  Rev. Wilkins' version has a strong mixolydian modal sound with its first change.  His progression is as follows:

    |    G    |    G   |    F    |    F    |

    |    D    |    D    |    G   |    G   |

    |    C    |    C    |    C    |    C    |

    |    G    |    G    |    G    |    G    |

I don't know the lyrics of the New Orleans version of the song well enough to know how different Rev. Wilkins' lyrics were (or if they are different).

https://youtu.be/9P4Qq7Cf9s4

REFRAIN: Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, if you please
Daily walking, close with Thee
Oh, let it be, Dear Lord, let it be

I am weak but thou art strong
Jesus keeps me from all wrong
I'll be satisfied and long
As I walk, let me walk close with Thee

Through this world of toils and snares
If I fall, the Lord who cares
Who with me and my burden shares
None but Thee, Dear Lord, none but Thee

REFRAIN:  Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, if you please
Daily walking close with me
Oh, let it be, Dear Lord, let it be

When my feeble life is over
Time for me won't be no more
Guide me gently safely over
To Thou kingdom shore, to thou shore

REFRAIN:  Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, if you please
Daily walking close with Thee
Oh, let it be, Dear Lord, let it be

REFRAIN:  Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, if you please
Daily walking close with Thee
Oh, let it be, Dear Lord, let it be

All best,
Johnm
 
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on March 28, 2013, 09:27:57 AM
John, that bit with the question mark in the usual lyrics (which I think are pretty much what Wilkins sings) should be "as long" -- been a while since I've listened to this version, maybe he stumbles a bit.
Chris
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on March 28, 2013, 10:14:36 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Chris.  He does sing "satisfied and long", but now I see how it got there.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: lindy on February 03, 2018, 09:38:34 AM
I have a question about "Old Jim Canan's," which I'm messin' with this week: where is Robert Wilkins pitched on his original?

The answer doesn't matter, I'm using a capo to match my voice, I'm just curious.

Also, in case you haven't found it already, there's a "remastered" version of the recording on YouTube that's very clean:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlScicJIkds

Thanks all,
Lindy

Added on Feb 6 -- Thanks, Stuart, I re-listened more carefully, and yep, he's pitched at A.

Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on February 03, 2018, 01:24:55 PM
It's been years since I played this one, but on the recording the guitar(s) sound close to A440. As John wrote, it's played out of the G position, but the high note on the 1st string sounds like A, so my guess is there's a capo on the 2nd fret. --Maybe
Title: Re: Robert Wilkins Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on July 07, 2020, 09:48:07 AM
Hi all,
I just added links to all of the recorded performances of Robert Wilkins transcribed in this thread, which contains all of his pre-War recordings and a couple from his rediscovery period.  Enjoy.
All best,
Johnm
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