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Country Blues => Country Blues Lyrics => Topic started by: Johnm on February 03, 2007, 12:01:56 AM

Title: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 03, 2007, 12:01:56 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "It's Hard To Be Lonesome" with an unknown bass player, in Chicago on May 10, 1940.  Tommy was backing himself out of G position in standard tuning, using an accompaniment outline he employed for many of his songs.  The performance has all of the excitement characteristic of Tommy's recordings; he certainly could never be accused of mailing a performance in!  There are plenty of spoken asides.  During his guitar solo, Tommy alternates between playing a line on his guitar and registering his approval, "Yeah!".  I really like his lyrics to this one, and the last two verses in particular.  Not knowing "gee" from "haw" amounts to not knowing right from left--they are commands given to a mule indicating the direction the person working the mule wants it to go.  It sounds like Tommy wants to call the shots.  Tommy pronounces the word "touch" in verse 1 "tetch".  His "whoo" in the final verse is a falsetto leap like those employed by Robert Johnson.

   Ain't it hard to be lonesome, when you're sleepin' all by yourself?
   Ain't it hard to be lonesome, when you're sleepin' all by yourself?
   Lord, and the woman that you're lovin' has got in touch with somebody else

   Now, I love my baby and I tell the world I do
   Lord, I love my baby and I tell the world I do
   Now, mama, some o' these days I hope she come to love me too

   SPOKEN, DURING GUITAR SOLO:  Play the box now.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah!

   I don't want none of these funny women if they don't know how to rob and steal
   I don't want none of these funny women if they don't know how to rob and steal
   SPOKEN:  What they gon' do?
   They work theirself to death in some poor farmer's field

   What you want with a woman, Lord, now, if she don't know "yes" from "no"?
   SPOKEN:  Yeah!
   What you want with a woman, whooo, she don't know "yes" from "no"?
   And what you want with one of them good-lookin' women if she don't know "gee" from "haw"?

   SPOKEN:  Yeah!

All best,
Johnm
  
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 21, 2011, 04:30:48 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "I'm A Guitar King" at a session in Chicago on September 15, 1941, backing himself out of D position in standard tuning.  This track appeared on one of the very first LP re-issues of Country Blues, the Samuel Charters-compiled "The Country Blues", on the RBF label.  
Tommy's performance is so strong as his performances generally were.  He was an incredibly exciting singer and a very strong, rough player.  He seems to have been a player whose peers spoke slightingly of his musical abilities.  By all accounts, he was a very heavy drinker, and it is possible this rendition was affected by that.  He returns to the IV7 chord for the taglines of the fourth and fifth verses, and in the second line of the last verse, he goes to a flatVII chord, C, instead of the IV7 chord and briefly stops playing altogether.  He kind of mangles some words, too.  In the tagline of verse two he combines "but don't" into "bon't", and in verse four he turns "last night" into "nast night".  And you know what?  It makes absolutely no difference at all in the quality of the performance, which is stellar.  I miss the era when a strong but flawed performance would be released on the basis of its feel and expressiveness.  The present-day era's emphasis on flawless performances in the studio can often result in the death of spontaneity and chance-taking.  That was something that never happened to Tommy McClennan.

   I'm a guitar king, sing the blues everywhere I go (Spoken: Lord have mercy now)
   I'm a guitar king, sing the blues everywhere I go
   I'm gon' sing these blues 'til I get back in territor'

   Now, my Mama told me, "Son, you're 'most too old."
   Now, my Mama told me, "Son, you're 'most too old.
   Ah, don't forget, you've got a soul."

   But that ain't none o' your business, keep it to yourself
   That ain't none o' your business, keep it to yourself
   Don't you tell your kidman, please don't tell nobody else

   Now, I went to my baby's house nast night, knocked up on her door
   Went to my baby's house, knocked up on her door (Spoken: What did she say?)
   She had the nerve to tell me that she didn't want me no more

   I said, "That's all right, babe, any way you do.
   That's all right, 'most any old way you do.
   If you mistreat poor Tommy, I swear it's comin' back home to you."

   It's a cryin' pity, low-down dirty shame
   It's a cryin' pity, cryin' low-down dirty shame
   Crazy about a married woman, 'fraid to call her name

All best,
Johnm
    

  
  
 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 24, 2011, 06:33:41 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Deep Blue Sea Blues" the same day he recorded "I'm A Guitar King". "Deep Blue Sea Blues" is his version of "Catfish Blues", despite there never being a mention of a catfish in the lyrics.  McClennan backed himself out of E position in standard tuning for the song, and it is a terrifically strong rendition.  Based on the the sound of the later recordings, "Deep Blue Sea Blues" would appear to have been the source of the recordings by Baby Tate and Pink Anderson of the same song in the '60s. Tommy McClennan's spoken intro is telling, and oddly enough, this was one of only two songs he ever recorded for which he accompanied himself out of E in standard tuning. When he gets into the repetitions of the final lines of his verses, he often lets the guitar finish the phrase, and that is indicated with a dash where it happened.

   SPOKEN: I wants to make this right now.  It's the best one I got.

   I'm gwine, babe, I'm gwine, and your cryin' won't make me stay
   'Cause the more you cry, now now, babe,
   Further you drive me away
   Further you drive me away
   I mean, drive me away
   Further you drive me away

   Now I wished I was a bullfrog swimmin' in the deep blue sea
   Lord, I would have all these good-lookin' women, now now now
   Fishin after me
   Fishin' after --
   I mean, after --
   Sho' 'nough, after me

   Now I went to my baby's house, and I sot down on her steps
   She said, "Walk on in, now now, Tommy,
   My husband just now left
   My husband just now ----
   I mean, just now ----
   Sho' 'nough, just now left
   Oh Lord, just now left
   Lord, just now left

   Now, ain't none of, none of my business, babe, but you know I know it ain't right
   Stay with your kidman all day long and
   Play sick on your husband at night
   On your husband at night
   I mean, your husband at night
   Sho' 'nough, your husband at night
   Oh Lord, your husband -- -----
   Oh Lord, your husband at -----
   Oh Lord, your husband at night

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Long time, man!)

   Now Lord, whoa, Lord, hear me blow the blues
   Now I ain't got no bottom, now now now
   In my last pair of shoes
   In my last pair of sh'
   In my last pair -- -----

All best,
Johnm
 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 24, 2011, 05:25:49 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "You Can Mistreat Me Here" at his first session, in Chicago on November 22, 1939.  He accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning, a position not utilized very much by players from the Mississippi delta up to that point.  The piece has a tiny tinge of Lemon Jefferson influence that can be in heard in the intro, and perhaps a bit more of a Sleepy John Estes influence, mostly by virtue of being a hard-driving, non-raggy blues in C, an area in which Sleepy John was a trail-blazer.  
Tommy McClennan was able to do a really stylish job playing on the tune by adopting an interesting strategy:  he never played the bottom of his F chord, and so had more freedom in the treble there, and also thumped on his open low E string under his C chord while free-handing runs in the treble.  His signature lick for the tune employs a triplet run on the first string that he snaps off impressively.
Tommy McClennan's vocal on the tune is spectacular, as per usual, and one has to remind oneself that this was his first recording session, for he is amazingly unself-conscious, and sounds like a studio veteran.  And while he may not have utilized different voices in the course of his spoken asides as did Charlie Patton, he is every bit in Patton's class for the spontaneity, humor and animal high spirits his spoken asides expressed.  The little scat sung afterward can be taken as indication of how loose Tommy McClennan was at his first session.

   INTRO

   Now you can mistreat me here, but you can't when I go home
   You can mistreat me here, but you can't when I go home
   'Cause I got someone there will really make you leave me alone

   Now I give you all my money, baby, what more can a poor man do?
   Give you all my money, baby, hoo-hoo, what more can a poor man do?
   You's a sweet little girl, baby, but you won't be true

   Now I done told you once, now baby, and I don't want to have to tell you no more
   (Spoken: Take your time, play it right before you go to Chicago.)
   I done told you once, whoo, I don't want to tell you no more (Spoken: Tell me what?)
   You can get all of my lovin' if you let that black man go

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Play the box, man!  Yes!  Yes!  Yeah!  Yeah!)
   Mmmmmmmmm  mmmmmmmm mmmmmm

   Now my Mama told me and my Papa sot and cried
   My Mama told me and my Papa, he sot and cried (Spoken: What he say?)
   Says, "Son, you're too young a man to have that many women your side."

   I looked at my Mama and Papa, now now, and I never cracked a smile
   (Spoken: Yes, yes, yes, yes)
   Looked at my Mama and Papa and I never cracked a smile (Spoken: What about it?)
   I said, "The little woman I got kill me, Mama, Lord, I don't mind dyin'
   Dee-dah, bee-bah, bah-bah-bah

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 25, 2011, 02:46:02 PM
Hi all,
"New Highway 51", recorded in Chicago on May 10, 1940, was one of the earliest of Tommy McClennan's cuts to be re-issued, on the "Rural Blues" 2-LP set that Samuel Charters compiled for the RBF label.  It is a tremendously exciting cut, and I remember feeling it was one of the high points of the set when I first heard it.  Tommy McClennan accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for the song, and he generally "went long" in the first four bars, worrying a bend on his first string behind his singing until he was satisfied he'd done it long enough.  Tommy's and Robert Petway's predilection for G position in standard tuning is somewhat mysterious--Charlie Patton, an enormously influential delta blues player of the generation prior to Tommy's, never recorded a single title on which he backed himself out of G position in standard tuning, and I can't think of any cuts Tommy Johnson recorded out of that position, either.  I think the primary influence for Tommy and Robert Petway for playing out of G position was probably Ishmon Bracey, who had several very strong cuts that he played out of G position, backed by Charlie McCoy on the mandolin.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Tommy McClennan's vocal on "New Highway 51" is superlative.  Tommy shared a gift that Lightnin' Hopkins had as well:  to sing pre-existing blues lyrics so convincingly that you feel in listening to the rendition that he just made up the verses in that instant, and is singing them to you, in particular.  How such an energetic, brazen sort of delivery could at the same time communicate a kind of confidential quality is something that will probably remain a mystery.  Perhaps the spoken asides had something to do with it.

   SOLO

   Highway 51 run right by my baby's door
   Highway 51 run right by my baby's door
   If I don't get the girl I'm lovin', ain't goin' down Higway 51 no more

   Now if I should die before my time should come
   I say, if I should die just before my time should come
   I want you to please bury my body out on Highway 51

   Now yond' come that Greyhound, with his tongue stickin' out on the side
   (Spoken: Yes, yes, yes)
   Yond' come that Greyhound, with his tongue stickin' out on the side
   If you buy your ticket, swear 'fore God, that man'll let you ride

   My baby didn't have one five dollars, now now, she spent it all on that V-8 Ford
   (Spoken: Yes, yes)
   My baby didn't have one five dollars, spent it all on me a V-8 Ford
   So I could meet that Greyhound bus on that Highway 51 road

   Now anytime you get lonesome and you wants to have some fun
   (Spoken: Yes, yes, man)
   Anytime you get lonesome and you wants to have some fun
   (Spoken: What I'm gonna go?)
   Come out to little Tommy's cabin, he lives on Highway 51

All best,
Johnm
   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on October 25, 2011, 05:12:02 PM
This isn't intended as a slight of McClennan's talent at all, but I don't think it hurts that for the most part his songs are passed down to us with amazing sound quality; not just a lack of surface noise but a real aural "depth" to the performances.

By the way, John, and I've mentioned this before, I love it when you start transcribing lyrics of someone I haven't listened to in a long time and I get to go back and hear them afresh. Thanks again!
Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 26, 2011, 06:44:43 AM
Thanks, Chris.  A lot of times when I start transcribing I realize just how much I've been relying on phonetic approximations of the words in my listening over the years.  It's good to finally feel like you know what they are at last.  It makes a huge difference to feel so back-stopped, too--I know I'll be helped if I get stuck or get something wrong.
I think you're right that the extent to which we're really able to hear Tommy McClennan's singing and playing in his recordings makes the connection to his music very immediate.  In many other instances, the deficiencies of the sound reproduction have the effect of distancing you from both the music and the sense of the music being made.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 26, 2011, 11:14:14 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Whiskey Head Woman" at his first session, in Chicago on November 22, 1939.  He backed himself out of G position in standard tuning on the song.  The song is somewhat unusual, but not unique, in adopting a censorious attitude toward the woman's drinking and seeing it as excessive.  Two other songs reflecting the same attitude are Herman E. Johnson's "She Had Been Drinking", at http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=2365.msg18125#msg18125, and Memphis Willie B.'s "Wine Drinking Woman", located at http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=6130.msg49190#msg49190.
Lyrically, Tommy McClennan book-ends the interior verses of the song, which are all phrased as chorus blues, with the first and last verses, which have conventional AAB phrasing.  His spoken aside after the first line of the last verse, while he is bending a note and "going long", may be taken as his justification for "playing it a long time" or thriving on a riff.  I believe this number may have been one of his bigger sellers.

   SOLO

   She's a whiskey-headed woman and she stays drunk all the time (Spoken: Yeah)
   She's a whiskey-headed woman and she stays drunk all the time (Spoken: Yeah)
   Baby, if you don't stop drinkin', I believe you gonna lose your mind (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now every time I see you, babe, you're at some whiskey joint
   Standin' 'round 'midst the crowd a-beggin' for one more half a pint
   'Cause you's a whiskey-headed woman and you stay drunk all the time
   Baby, if you don't stop drinkin', little woman, I believe you gonna lose your mind
   (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now didn't I told you, baby, when you fell down 'cross your bed
   You was drinkin' that moonshine whiskey and talkin' all out your head?
   'Cause you's a whiskey-headed woman and you stay drunk all the time
   Baby, and if you don't stop drinkin', I believe you gonna lose your mind (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now look-a-here, babe, I don't want to tell you no more
   You can get all my lovin' if you just let him go
   'Cause you's a whiskey-headed woman and you stay drunk all the time (Spoken: Yeah)
   And if you don't stop drinkin', baby, I believe, gonna lose your mind

   Now when you start a-drinkin', make me a pallet on your floor
   'Cause if you keep on drinkin', I ain't come to your house no more
   'Cause you're a whiskey-headed woman, baby, you stay drunk all the time
   (Spoken: Yeah, heh)
   Now if you don't stop drinkin', little woman, I belive you gonna lose your mind
   (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now you's a whiskey-headed woman and you stay drunk all the time
   (Spoken: Play it, man!  Play it long as your satisfaction!)
   Now you's a whiskey-headed woman, babe, and you stay drunk all the time
   And it's as sure if you don't stop drinkin', I swear you gonna lose your mind

All best,
Johnm
   
   

   
     
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 27, 2011, 09:02:40 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Blues Trip Me This Morning" on February 20, 1942, at what was to turn out to be his final recording session.  He is backed by Ransom Knowling on bass, almost inaudibly, on the cut, for which he (Tommy) accompanied himself out of D position in standard tuning, playing a part similar to what he had played on "I'm A Guitar King" the previous September. 
This a shocking performance, vocally.  Tommy sounds like he had been gargling with steel wool, really just as though it absolutely hurt to sing.  That having been said, expressively he was absolutely at the top of his game--his commitment to what he was singing and the spontaneity with which he delivered it could be taken as a lesson for anyone wanting to sing the blues.  This and the remainder of Tommy McClennan's recordings can be found on Document or on the JSP set, "Big Joe Williams and the Stars of the Mississippi Blues".

   SOLO

   Now the blues come up on me last Sunday mornin', they tripped me and throwed me down
   The blues grabbed my poor legs this mornin', a-tripped me and throwed me down
   Lord, I wouldn't hate it so bad but the news done got all over town

   Now look-a here, babe, yeah, where did you stay last night?
   Looky here, babe, where'd you stay last night?
   Oh well, when you come home, you know you wasn't smellin' just right

   Now I had the blues 'bout that baby, on one Sunday morn
   I had the blues 'bout that baby, on one Sunday morn
   You oughta hate to hear my baby, way at night when she groan

   Look-a here, mama, I ain't gonna fool wit' you no more
   (Spoken: Take your time.  Play the blues right.)
   Looky here, mama, fool wit' you no more
   For every time I fool wit' you, you got to make me love you more and more

   Now my baby got somethin', never told what it is
   My baby, she got somethin' I ain't never told what it is
   Every time that poor girl shakes the shimmy, Lord knows, I can't be still

All best,
Johnm

   
 
   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 28, 2011, 02:32:54 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Cross Cut Saw, Take 1" on September 15, 1941, backing himself out of G position in standard tuning.  He was joined by an unknown and only intermittently audible bass player for the session.  I don't believe Tommy was the first to record the song, but he has different lyrics from most people who have performed it.  He altogether loses the thread for an instant at the beginning of his solo, but rights himself instantly--perhaps the fluff was the reason he followed this performance with another take of the same song.  After the first verse, the song shifts into a chorus blues, much as "Whiskey Head Woman" did.

   Now I'm a cross-cut saw, drag me 'cross your log
   I'm a cross-cut saw, drag me 'cross your log
   I'll cut your wood so easy, can't help but say, "Hot dog!"

   They call me "Wood 'n' Cuttin' Slim", call me "Wood 'n' Cuttin' Dan",
   But the woman I did wood 'n' cuttin' for, she wants me back again
   'Cause I'm a cross-cut saw, babe, and drag me 'cross your log
   I'll cut your wood so easy, can't help but say, "Hot dog!"

   SOLO: (Spoken during solo: Yeah!  Now play it there one time. Yeah!)
  
   I'm a cross-cut saw, babe, and drag me 'cross your log
   Cut your wood so easy, can't help but say, "Hot dog!"

   Now I got a doub'-bladed axe and it sure cuts good
   Try my cross-cut saw, here, will ease on through the wood
   'Cause I'm a cross-cut saw, babe, and drag me 'cross your log
   I'll cut your wood so easy, can't help but say, "Hot dog!"

   Now I'll cut your wood in the mornin', cut your wood late at night
   I'll cut your wood 'bout the time I want thing called a fuss-and-fight
   'Cause I'm a cross-cut saw, babe, and drag me 'cross your log (Spoken: Yeah)
   I'll cut your wood so easy, can't help but say, "Hot dog!"

All best,
Johnm
 
  

Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on October 28, 2011, 06:36:30 PM
Quote
Tommy McClennan recorded "Cross Cut Saw, Take 1" on September 15, 1941...  I don't believe Tommy was the first to record the song, but he has different lyrics from most people who have performed it.

Tony Hollins recorded a version with similar lyrics, also for Bluebird, on June 3.  McClennan certainly didn't learn his version from Hollins' record, as the earlier version was unissued at the time.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on October 28, 2011, 10:53:59 PM
Tony Hollins recorded a version with similar lyrics, also for Bluebird, on June 3.  McClennan certainly didn't learn his version from Hollins' record, as the earlier version was unissued at the time.
Indeed so dj, it eventually saw release in on a Columbia CD in late 80s.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 29, 2011, 09:32:07 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "I'm Going Don't You Know" at his second session, on May 10, 1940, with an unknown and superfluous bass player.  Tommy accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning.  What a terrific dance number this is!  Tommy's playing in C here has some of the qualities of Mance Lipscomb's playing in C:  he phrases the melody throughout right underneath the singing and keeps a strong bass thumping going all the while; if chord tones are available in the bass in convenient places, so much the better, but if not, open strings suffice. Tommy's playing here reminds me a bit of Sam Collins' playing in C, too, so-called "primitive" hot guitar, wild and without the "every note in its place" sort of feel you can get with Blind Blake on occasion.  It must be said, too, that I have never heard this song covered, and it would make a wonderful ensemble piece.
The vocal plays to Tommy McClennan's strengths.  It's rhythmic, extroverted and sells good times about as well as they can be sold.  Plus Tommy must have been one of the finest scat singers in the Country Blues, along with Guitar Shorty.  If you haven't heard this performance, seek it out--it's a hell of a lot of fun.

   SOLO (Spoken during solo:  Yes, yes!)

   Yes, I'm goin', don't know where I'm goin' but I'm goin'
   Yes, I'm goin', don't know where I'm goin' but I'm goin'
   Yes, I'm goin', yes, I'm goin', baby, don't you want to go?

   Ah beep-bop-bop, well, all right
   Hee-hah-hah, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right
   Hear me talkin' to you, baby, don't you want to go?

   We gonna pitch a boogie-woog', well, all right
   We gonna pitch a boogie-woog', well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right
   Gonna pitch a boogie-woogie, baby, don't you want to go?

   Eee-dah, bih-tum, bah-tum, scoo-tum, dee
   Dee-dah, dah-tum bee-tum be-bop-bop, oh
   Oom, ah, eee, eee, eee-yah
   Oom, bee-tum, bee-tum, bop, oh
   Bah-tum, bah-tum, dee-dah, dee-dah, dah

   Now daddy's gettin' hot, well, all right (Spoken: Yeah!)
   Daddy's gettin' hot, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right
   Daddy's gettin' hot, baby, don't you want to go?

   Bee-um, bah-um, bah-um, bop, oh
   Bee-um, bah-um, bah-um, bop, oh
   Bah-um, bah-um, bah-um bop, oh
   Bee-um, bah-um, bah-um, bop, oh
   Bah-um, bah-um, dee-da-dee-da-dee-dats
   Eee-dats, eee-dats

   Now mama's gettin' cold, well, all right (spoken: Yeah, man!)
   Mama's gettin' cold, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right, well, all right
   Mama's gettin' cold, daddy don't want you no more (Spoken: Play the blues, man!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah!  Yeah!  Now!  Yes-yes-yes!  Yeah!  Yeah!)

   Oh, bee-um bah-um bah-um bop, oh
   Eee-tum, dee-tum, dee-tum, bop, oh
   Scoo-tum, dee-tum, dee-tum, bop, oh
   Oom, ah, ah, ah, ah,
   Ah, ah

All best,
Johnm  
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 30, 2011, 12:43:27 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Cotton Patch Blues" at his first session, backing himself out of G position in standard tuning.  Close listening to his various pieces in G makes clear that he was not just recycling the same accompaniment, over and over.  "Cotton Patch Blues" has some exciting and distinctive work in the bass, especially in the last verse, where he reefs on a G note on the sixth string with vibrato underneath his singing.  Tommy sounds so alive on his tracks, and so fully engaged by what he was doing.

   I left my babe in Mississippi, pickin' cotton down on her knee
   I left my babe in Mississippi, whoo, pickin' cotton down on her knee (Spoken: Yeah)
   She said, "Babe, if you get Chicago, please write me a letter, if you please." (Spoken: Yeah)

   I said, "Baby, that's all right, baby, that's all right for you."
   I said, "Baby, that's all righ-yigh-yigh', that's all right for you." (Spoken: She didn't say what she mean.)
   "You just keep a-pickin' cotton right there, oh babe, 'til I get through." (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now I'm gon' leave Mississippi, hopin' I might flag a ride (Spoken: What you say?)
   I say, I'm gonna leave Mississippi, baby, hopin' I might flag a ride
   And if I don't get nobody, oh babe, I'm gon' pass on by (Spoken: Play the box, man!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah! Yeah!)

   Baby, when I get in Chicago, I do swear I'm gonna take a chance (Spoken: Take your time now and play it right, here, 'cause it's last a while.)
   When I get in Chicago, babe, I do swear I'm gon' take a chance (Spoken: Yeah)
   If I don't never get back to Mississippi, I'm sure gonna change your name

All best,
Johnm
 
   
   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 31, 2011, 04:26:56 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Baby, Please Don't Tell On Me" at his second session, on May 10, 1940 in Chicago.  Tommy was supposedly joined by an unknown bass player for the session, and if that was indeed the case, the bass is altogether inaudible on this track.  Tommy accompanies himself out of E position in standard tuning on the track, the only cut other than "Deep Blue Sea Blues" he ever recorded in that position.  It is a real shame he did not record more in E, for this is a superlative performance, full of ideas and LOOSE! 

Tommy outdoes himself with the spoken asides on "Baby, Please Don't Tell On Me", laying a strong claim to Charlie Patton's status as the foremost woofer in the blues.  Tommy sort of alternates between self-motivating asides with regard to his playing and queries as to where the narrative of the song is going.  My favorite line of Tommy's is, "You know, this what your wife likes!".  He must have been amazing to see in person, a 4'11'' guy with a big voice, a powerful guitar style, and the self-assurance to assume that you were hanging on his every word.  Seek this one out, it's a gas.

   SOLO: (Spoken during solo:  Listen now, get on this here one, it's last one you got now. When you play these blues you ain't got to play no more now, let's get on like you like it.  These're your own blues you're makin' now!  Yeah!  You know this what your wife likes!  Yes-yes-yes.  Yeah!  Yeah!

   Looky here, babe, don't wanta tell you no more (Spoken: You don't need to hurry now, let's take your time and play this one right, 'cause you ain't got to play nar' nothin' after this.)
   Looky here, babe, don't wanta have to tell you no more
   You can get all of my lovin' if you let that bla-ack man go

   Now my Mama told me and my Papa sot and cried
   Now my Mama told me, my Papa, he sot and cried
   Says, "Son, don't let none of these Chicago women, oh baby, take your life

   Now, I'm in my whiskey, Lord, and I got my work to do (Spoken: Yes, yes!  What you say?  Tell me again!)
   Now say, I'm in my whiskey, and I got my work to do
   Said, I'm a stranger here, babe, but please, ma'am, take me home wit' you (Spoken: Yeah, yeah!)

   Now you can get my little money, babe, and you can wear my clothes (Spoken: Play it right now, you know it's the last one!)
   You can get all my money, babe, and you can wear my clothes (Spoken: But what about it?)
   But I swear I don't wanta catch you, sweet mama, playin' 'round outdoors

All best,
Johnm
   

   

 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 02, 2011, 12:15:10 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan record "Classy Mae Blues", working with an unknown bassist, on September 15, 1941.  For the song, Tommy was working out of G position in standard tuning, and his accompaniment is particularly nuanced in his touch and execution.  On this song and many of his later recordings, he sort of spoke-sang the second half of the opening lines of many of his verses, and the effect adds to the confidential, "talking to you" feeling that his performance communicates.  This is a great set of lyrics, and I particularly like the way the first verse makes an impressive statement in its opening line, amends it in the second line, and pretty much backs down altogether in the tagline.  The fourth verse demonstrates Tommy's ability to brag with some style.  I don't know if "Classy" in this context is an adjective or a given name, but I prefer to think it was the latter.

   SOLO

   Classy Mae, my sweet woman, she sure don't do nothin' wrong
   Classy Mae is my sweet woman, I don't allow to do nothin' wrong
   And when she happen to do somethin' wrong, oh Lord, she makes it right home

   Now Classy Mae, you know you misused me, you misused me without a call
   Classy Mae, you know you misused me, oh Lord, you misused me without a call
   But some of these old days, I'm gon' get 'round the corner and get your ashes hauled

   Now you know you didn't want me, now-now, why didn't you tell me so?
   Classy Mae, you know you didn't want me, why in the world don't you tell me so?
   'Cause you know I can get me a pretty woman, 'most anywhere poor Tommy go

   Now if that's your man, (spoken) buy you a good lock and key (Spoken: Yes, Good God almighty, now!)
   If that's your man, Classy Mae, buy you a good lock and key
   'Cause that's the onliest way you can stay away from me

   Now all night last night, (spoken) I couldn't sleep for cryin'
   I say, all night last night, Classy Mae, you know I couldn't sleep for cryin'
   I was thinkin' about somebody, had to learn this line

All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 02, 2011, 03:12:05 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "She's Just Good Huggin' Size" in Chicago on May 10, 1940, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning and playing with an unknown bassist.  There can be very few Country Blues players who routinely played with as deep a backbeat as Tommy McClennan did--his second and fourth beats are so strong it's like being smacked upside the head.  He had a huge variety of things he was able to do in his favored keys, and his concluding solo here is especially strong, with no talking, just playing.  This is another stellar lyric number.

   SOLO

   Oh, my baby, just about good huggin' size
   Oh, my babe, just about good huggin' size
   Lord, if anybody was to take her, I b'lieve to my soul I'd die

   Lord, I try to give that little woman everything she tell me she need
   Try to give that little woman ev'ything that she tell me she need
   But she will hold a conversation with every low-down dirty man she meet

   That little woman, she won't wash, now-now, and she won't even (Spoken)iron my clothes (Spoken: Lord have mercy, now!)
   That little woman, she won't even wash now, she won't even iron me no clothes
   She won't do nothin' I tell her but keep them big feets in the road

   Now I ain't gonna tell you, babe, about the way you do (Spoken: Take your time.  Play it there right!)
   I ain't gonna tell you, mama, about the way you do
   But I swear the way you do it, it keeps on worryin' me

   Now I used to have a woman, now-now, used to go down in this (Spoken) white man's town
   I used to have a woman, just as go down in this town
   But I caught her two-timin' me, and I swear I turned her damper down (Spoken: Play it man, play it!)

   SOLO

All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 03, 2011, 08:54:32 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "New Sugar Mama" at his third session, on December 12, 1940, working solo, and accompanying himself out of C position in standard tuning.  His playing here abounds with nifty touches and ideas.  I don't know if this song was a cover or an original composition, but in either case, it's a great set of lyrics.  Tommy seems like he may have been in a comical mood--he chuckles after delivering many of the lines.  He also shows a propensity for enunciating a lot of syllables in a rapid-fire fashion, especially in the tagline to the third verse.  I've never heard this song covered, and it would be a great one to explore; indeed, performances of Tommy McClennan's material are virtually absent from the present-day blues scene.

   SOLO

   Sugar mama, sugar mam', won't you please come back to me?
   Sugar mama, sugar mam', won't you please come back to me?
   Bring me that gran'lated sugar, sugar mam', it'll ease my misery

   Like my coffee sweet in the mornin' and you know I'm crazy about that tea at night (Spoken: Yes, yes)
   Like my coffee sweet in the mornin' and I'm crazy about my tea at night
   Don't get my sugar three time a day, Great Lord, I don't feel right (Spoken: Ha)

   Now you been braggin' 'bout your whiskey, now-now, you been braggin' all over town (Spoken: Huh, huh)
   You been braggin' 'bout your whiskey, you been braggin', sweet mama, all over town
   The bootlegger won't sell enough sugar to make whiskey, don't even save but about four or five pounds

   Now sugar mama, sugar mama, won't you please come back to me?
   Sugar mama, sugar mama, please come on back to me
   Bring me that gran'lated sugar, that all it take to ease my misery

   Now sugar mama, sugar mama, you know you been gone all day
   Sugar mama, sugar mam', you know you been gone all day
   You been doin' somethin' with my sugar, ooo Lord, and I know it's was wrong

   Now sugar mama, sugar mama, now won't you please come on back to me
   Mmmmmmmmmm, please come on back to me
   You know I don't like nothin' but my sugar and that all it takes to ease my misery

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: blueshome on November 03, 2011, 09:37:47 AM
John,
Sonny Boy Williamson recorded Sugar Mama in May 1937 and it spawned quite a few covers over the years. I assume it is the source of the Tommy McClennan song.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 03, 2011, 10:14:01 AM
Thanks for that information, Phil.  I'm not nearly as well up on '30s blues recordings as I should be, and thought that might be the case.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 03, 2011, 11:11:38 AM
Tampa Red beat both of them to it, recording Sugar Mama Pts 1 & 2 in 1932.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on November 04, 2011, 04:39:25 AM
Peetie Wheatstraw also recorded a version for Decca on October 18, 1938, with Lonnie Johnson on a lightly amplified guitar.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 04, 2011, 03:27:45 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Blue As I Can Be" at his last session, on October 20, 1942, with Ransom Knowling providing backing on the bass.  Tommy accompanies himself out of C position in standard tuning here, and acquits himself admirably, as per usual.  I've come to feel that he and Sleepy John Estes were the two hardest groovers I've heard for C blues.  Tommy's voice was in scary condition for the session, and there's no way of knowing what to attribute the problem to--vocal nodes, hard living?  The song has none of the spoken asides that are hallmarks of his earlier recordings.  In the tagline of the first verse, Tommy pronounces "shore" to rhyme with go.

   SOLO

   Book me out, baby, you know I'm bound to go
   Book me out, baby, you know I'm bound to go
   And I hope to meet you on that other lifetime sho'

   Mmmmmmmm, I'm blue as I can be
   Mmmmmmmmmm, blue as I can be
   And I hope someday, baby, you will come to have the blues 'bout me

   Every night I lay down, I can't sleep for cryin'
   Every night I lay down, I can't sleep for cryin'
   Thinkin' about my baby, she 'most gonna put me down

   Ooooo, what can I do to change your mind?
   Mmmmm, babe, what can I do to change your mind?
   She said, "I could learn to love you, Tommy, if you would treat me nice and kind."

   Bye-bye, babe, see you some old rainy day
   Bye-bye, babe, see you some old rainy day
   I'm gonna see you 'bout the time your best man has gone away

All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 05, 2011, 09:35:44 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Brown Skin Girl" at his first session, and he was really in an ebullient mood when he did it.  He chuckles after the first three verses.  He accompanies himself out of D in standard tuning and exhorts himself to play it right.  At the end of the opening line of the last verse he pronounces "truth" "truhth".

   SOLO (Spoken while soloing:  Yes, yes, yeah, mmmmmmmmm)

   Now I got a brownskin girl with her front tooth crowned with gold (Spoken: Take your time, make this one right 'cause it's the best one you got.)
   Got a brownskin woman with her front tooth crowned with gold
   She got a lien on my body and a mortgage on my soul

   Now friend, don't never let your good girl fix you like this woman got me (Spoken: Yes, yes, yes, yes)
   Friend, don't never let your good girl fix you like this woman got me (Spoken: How's she got you then?)
   Got me stone crazy about her as a doggone fool can be

   Now I ain't gonna tell nobody, baby, 'bout the way you do (Spoken: Take your time now and play it right!)
   Ain't gonna tell nobody, baby, 'bout the way you do
   Say, you always tease some, some fatmouth followin' you (Spoken: Yeah, heh)

   Now I done told you once, now baby now, ain't gonna tell you no more mmmmm
   I done told you once, baby, ain't gonna tell you you no more (Spoken: Why?)
   Next time I have to tell you, I'm sure gonna let you go

   Now when you get one of them funny women (Spoken: take your time, now) she won't do the truth
   Get you a two-by-four and I swear you can strut your stuff, mmmm
   Babe, now that's all I want
   Just a little bit of lovin' and then you can be gone

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 06, 2011, 12:16:35 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "My Little Girl" on May 10, 1940, working out of D position in standard tuning with an inaudible and unnamed bass player.  He accelerates markedly over the course of the rendition (more than normal) and concludes the performance with a doubled up solo, that finishes up after the eighth bar of the second pass through the form, during which he went up the neck in a way I don't recall having heard him do on any of his other D tunes.  As he goes up the neck he exhorts himself to "Play that racket!".  He sounds to have been in a more serious sort of "taking care of business" mood on this track than on some of his takes--there's no chuckling, though he really gets into the solo.  He was so consistently strong.

   SOLO

   I say, my little girl, just as sweet as she can be
   I say, my little girl, just as sweet as she can be
   And every time she kisses me, cold chill run all over me

   Now babe, don't you worry just because I'm out of the town, mmmmm
   Baby, don't you worry just because I'm out of town
   All my love I have for you, darlin', swear it can't be turned around (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now, you hurt my feelin', babe, but I wouldn't let on
   Now, you hurt my feelin', but I swear I wouldn't let on (Spoken: Why you wouldn't let on?)
   I b'lieve it's some day deacon is done been here and gone (Spoken: Yeah)

   Now I love you, baby, don't care what you do
   I say, I love, babe, don't care what you do
   But the way you're doin', I swear it's comin' back home to you (Spoken: Play it now, man!)

   SOLO X 2 (Spoken during solo: Yes-yes, yeah, yeah-yeah!  Play that racket! Let it racket!)

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 07, 2011, 12:42:19 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Down to Skin And Bones Blues" on December 12, 1940, backing himself out of D position in standard tuning.  The condition of his voice on the song sounds pretty dire, and brings to mind the expression, "His voice is writing checks his body can't cash.".  Expressively, all is well, but it hurts to hear some of the ways his voice breaks.  His opening solo is right rough, but the one that concludes the song shows a bit more finesse.  He barely remains in control of his lyrics in a couple of places.  Despite the rough patches, this feels so true, so engaged and un-Show Bizzy.

   SOLO

   I say, my little woman got me down to skin and bone
   I say, my little woman got me down to skin and bone
   She done got me to the place, I hate to see my baby leave home

   Now, she leave me every mornin', she don't come home 'til night (Spoken: Yeah)
   She leave me every mornin', don't come home 'til night
   She know I know she doin' something, whoa, Lord, but she know it ain't right

   Mmmmm think because I love you, I'm gonna be your dog
   Don't think because I love you, I'm gon' be your dog
   I'll drink muddy water and I'll roost in a hollow log

   Mmmmm, ain't know what I should
   Mmmmm, don't know wheth' I should
   'Cause you go with every man, anywhere in the neighborhood (Spoken: Play it right, now!)

   SOLO: (Spoken during solo: Yeah)

All best,
Johnm

   

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 08, 2011, 09:56:10 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Mozelle Blues", at his last session, on February 20, 1942, backed by bassist Ransom Knowling, a particularly simpatico playing partner who added a lot to the music.  Tommy gives Ransom the fill after the opening line of the third verse as a solo spot, and chuckles in response to what he plays.  Tommy backed himself out of G position in standard tuning, capoed up, for the song.  His playing is rough, but very strong.  Vocally, he is pushing himself to the limit.  There's certainly a danger in assuming that blues lyrics are autobiographical, for more often the singer is singing to the audience members' sense of their own lives, but in this song, what Tommy McClennan sings seems very close to the bone, venturing into the scary territory of self-knowledge.

   SOLO

   Mozelle, why we can't get along?
   Mozelle, why we can't get along?
   'Cause you know you always doin' somethin', baby, when you know it's wrong

   Babe, Mozelle, you know you been ramblin', you been ramblin' all night long
   Mozelle, you know you been ramblin', you been ramblin' all night long
   Yeah, I know you been doin' somethin', yeah, Mozelle, when you know it's wrong

   Mozelle, you know you likes your whiskey, don't forget I likes mine, too (Spoken: Yeah, heh)
   Mozelle, you know you love your whiskey, but don't forget I love mine, too
   But I will get in my whiskey so strong, I forget about you

   Oh Lord, 'ey, I love you for myself
   Mozelle, I love you for myself
   Any time there's somebody thinkin' 'bout you, I'm gonna beat you and I'll beat anyone else (Spoken: Get out one time on it, Tommy!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: That's what I'm talkin'!  Long time in the heat, Bud.  Yeah, stop that!)

All best,
Johnm   

Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 09, 2011, 05:29:05 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded the oddly titled "Des'e My Blues" on September 15, 1941, backing himself out of G position in standard tuning.  I'd love to see the original record label to see if the title was written out in the fashion indicated above.  It's a pretty good approximation of what Tommy sings in the first verse.  His vocal here is loose, and he sounds to have been in a comical mood.  His guitar-playing is as strong as ever, though perhaps without a lot of new twists.

   SOLO

   I say, these is my blues, sing 'em ev'ywhere I go
   I say, these is my blue, babe, and I sing 'em ev'ywhere I go
   They'll be blue, they all right, when they in yon territor'

   Now the girl that I love got nice long black curly hair
   Now the girl that I love got nice black curly hair
   She got a nice disposition, carry that woman 'most any-old-where

   Now look here, mama, you know I ain't nobody's fool (Spoken: Play the band, man!)
   Oh, look-a here, ma-a-a-am, Lord, I ain't nobody's fool
   Now, that way you got doin' me, sure Lord, Lord, it's out of school (Spoken: Huh)

   Now my Mama told me when I wasn't but two days old
   I say, my baby told me, Lord, when I wasn't but two days old (Spoken: Baby sister!)
   Say, "That man, oh Lord, he's gonna be the death of your soul." (Spoken: Yeah!)

   Now I'm gwine out East, out 'mongst the whippoorwill
   Yes, I'm gwine out East, babe, I'm gon' get 'mongst the whippoorwill
   Yeah, now that fool is tryin' to quit me, Lord, but I love her still

   Now it ain't none of my business, but tell me where you stay last night (Spoken: Yes, yes)
   It ain't none of my business, baby, but tell me where you stay last night (Spoken: Yeah)
   Got your hair all rumpled up and your clothes ain't just fittin' you right

All best,
Johnm



  
 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 11, 2011, 12:33:18 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Elsie Blues" on December 12, 1940, backing himself out of D position in standard tuning.  This is one of Tommy's most up-tempo takes, and he really sounds wound up, manic, in fact.  He takes the song at a terrific clip, and for several of his fills goes into tasty stop-time bends or chordal fills, cracking himself up as he does so.  His chuckle at the end of the first line of the next-to-last verse is positively evil.
Vocally and lyrically, the song has some interesting features:  Tommy pronounces "Elsie" as though the name were initials, L. C., with the emphasis on the second syllable, not a way I've ever heard "Elsie" pronounced before.  The song makes no narrative sense--the second verse in particular doesn't gibe with the rest of the song.  As has been noted elsewhere on this site, I think the need of the present-day listener for narrative sense in blues lyrics is unrealistic, on occasion; sometimes a song is just a damn song.

   SOLO

   Elsie, the sweetest girl I know
   Elsie, sweetest girl I know
   If you didn't love me, Elsie, why didn't you tell me so?

   Now I followed Elsie right to the jumpin'-off ground
   I followed Elsie right to the jumpin'-off ground
   But I never felt sorry 'til they let my baby down

   Now I followed my baby long, long days then long nights
   I followed my baby long, long days then long nights
   I followed my baby 'til I see she wasn't gonna treat me right

   You can misuse me here, now-now, but you can't when I go home (Spoken: Yeah, heh)
   You can mistreat me here, but-but, you can't when I go home
   Elsie, I got somebody there who really make you leave me alone

   Now I give all my lovin', Elsie, what more can a poor man do? (Spoken: Yeah-heh, yeah-heh, yeah-heh)
   I give you all my lovin', Elsie, what more can a poor man do?
   You the sweet little girl, Elsie, but I swear you won't be true

   Now you can't have me, Elsie, now-now, and my partner, too (Spoken: Take your time!)
   You can't have me, Elsie, and my partner, too
   'Cause you know good and well, babe, oh baby, that won't do

   Now I followed you some days, now, and you juke-juke all the time (Spoken: Huh-heh-heh)
   I followed you two o' them days, today, to juke-juke all the time
   You juke-juke so that I wouldn't pay you no mind

   Now if you don't quit jukin', baby, that's gon' be all right (Spoken: Yeah, heh-heh)
   If you don't quit jukin' baby, that's gon' be all right
   If your good man don't see you, I'll try to see you tomorrow night

Edited 11/11, to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 11, 2011, 05:42:50 PM
John -- just listened to "Elsie" (I need to go back and listen to some more Tommy!) and I would suggest a couple of changes:

1.3 why DIDN'T you tell me so?

2.1 & 2.2 the JUMPIN' OFF ground

Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 11, 2011, 05:59:26 PM
Thanks very much for the catches, Chris.  I feel like I've been hearing Tommy pretty well, but how I could get "terminal" out of what is clearly "jumpin'-off" . . . tsk-tsk, shame on me!  Listening to Tommy McClennan this much has really made me appreciate how consistently strong his performances were, and he was a hell of a guitarist.  I think he was also one of the country Blues' most exciting singers, and very influential.  Think about it:  no Tommy McClennan and you've got no Dan Pickett, at least vocally, as I was saying to Bunker Hill. And I think Tommy really excelled at putting a lyric across.  Right now he is standing as one of my favorites in the style.
All best,
Johnm   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on November 12, 2011, 07:12:39 AM
Quote
I think he was also one of the country Blues' most exciting singers, and very influential.

I think you're right on the money there, John, but you didn't go far enough.  I my view, the major vocal influences of Chicago blues in the 1930s were Leroy Carr and, a bit later, Peetie Wheatstraw.  McClennan was one of a group of best-selling singers (with Sonny Boy Williamson and Sleepy John Estes) who started to break away from Carr's and Wheatstraw's influence for a more down-home style.  I think if the war hadn't intervened to halt recording activity, there would be a pretty clear line of vocal influence from McClennan to people like Elmore James, Muddy Waters, and other Chicago singers from the late 40s and early 50s. 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 16, 2011, 08:14:02 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "My Baby's Doggin' Me" on May 10, 1940 with the unknown inaudible bass player he used for that session.  Tommy accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning, and while some of his runs are reminiscent of Lemon Jefferson, he sounds the most (unsurprisingly) like himself.  The song as he performed it has an unusual form.  For the verses that start with humming that book-end the rendition, he starts each of the hummed lines on the IV chord, so that those verses end up being like the last twelve bars of a 16-bar blues.  The other verses he accompanies with a stop-time treatment over the first four bars, before going into a loose refrain.  This would make a good ensemble number.

   Mmmmmm, my baby's doggin' me
   Mmmmmm, my baby's doggin' me
   I'm gettin' sick and tired of the way my baby's doggin' me

   Now she dogged me every mornin', she dogged me late at night
   She keep on a-doggin' me, tell me gonna make everything all right
   Look-a here, mama, gettin' tired of the way, the way you do
   I'm gettin' tired, baby, the way you keep on doggin' me

   Now look-a here, mama, tell me where you stay at night
   She said, "It ain't none of your business, you know you don't treat me right."
   Cryin', oh, babe, you know I don't like the way you do
   Yeah, mama, you know you're really doggin' me

   Now I done told you once, pretty mama, ain't gon' tell you no more
   You can get all my lovin' if you just let him go
   I said, look-a here, babe, I'm gettin' tired of the way you're doggin' me
   'Cause I love you, pretty mama, better than any woman that I ever seen (Spoken: Play that, man, play it!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah! yes-yes)

   Mmmmmm, my baby's doggin' me
   Mmmmmm, my baby's doggin' me
   I love that little old woman, better' n any woman I ever seen
   Ahm, be-bop, dee-dah, dee-dee dah dah

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 16, 2011, 09:06:54 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "She's A Good Looking Mama" on May 10, 1940, backing himself out of G position.  It's a superlatively strong track, and one of Tommy's vocal asides may provide a clue to the mysterious support he was ostensibly getting from a bass player.  After the opening line of verse three, Tommy says, "Play that, play that can, man, play it!", and you can hear the thumping articulation of someone playing a washtub bass, but it is altogether devoid of pitch or tone, at least to my ears.  So it is that this may be the oft-described "imitation bass" on a number of his sides.  Many or most of the verses Tommy used here were ones he had either used previously or would use again in the future, but in his singing of them, they sound no less fresh for that.

   SOLO

   She's a good-lookin' woman, teeth don't even shine like pearl
   She's a good-lookin' woman, whoo, teeth don't even shine like pearl
   But that old good disposition that woman got, I do swear that carry all through the world

   Now friend, don't never let your good girl fix you like this here woman got me (Spoken: Yes, yes, yes)
   Friend, don't never let your good girl, whoo, fix you like this here woman got me (Spoken: How's she got you?)
   She got me stone crazy 'bout her, as a good-lookin' woman can be

   Now you know that I love you, baby, and that's why we can't get along (Spoken: Play that, play that can, man, play it!)
   Now you know that I love you, babe, whoo, and that's why we can't get along
   But some day you're gon' be sorry that you ever did your daddy wrong

   Now some day you're gon' want me back, baby, now-now, and you gonna acknowledge you did wrong (Spoken: Great God Almighty, now!)
   Some day you're gonna want me back, babe, and acknowledge you did wrong
   But it's gon' be too late, pretty mama, your daddy will be gone

   Lord, Lord, Lord, Lordy-Lord
   Lord, Lord, Lord, Lordy-Lord
   Sugar, I love you, sweet mama, but I sure ain't gonna be your dog

All best,
Johnm

  
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 17, 2011, 10:47:33 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Mr. So And So Blues" at his last session, on February 20, 1942, backed by Ransom Knowling on bass.  Tommy accompanies himself out of D position in standard tuning on the song, and his vocal is pushed to the limit.  For his solo after the third verse, he plays over the first eight bars of the form, doing a modified "Big Road Blues" walk-up in the first four bars, and then repeats the tagline from the previous verse, a move much favored by Texas Alexander.  I can't seem to suss out the first half of the opening lines to verse two and would sure appreciate some help.

Babe, I feel so worried, yes, and I feel so low
Babe, I feel so worried, yes, and I feel so low
'Cause I b'lieve you've been out with Mr. So-And-So

Now baby, all right you got a chance, please get outta my face
Now, I guess you're right you got a chance, please get outta my face
'Cause I got myself a brand new woman, yeah, goin' to take yo' place

Ooooo babe, you know that sure ain't right
Ooooo babe, you know that sure ain't right
Stay off half of the day, you don't come home at all at night (Spoken: Play that some!)

SOLO (Spoken: Yeah, heh!)
Stay, you're gone part of the day and you know you don't come home at all at night (Spoken: Play it a little bit!)

SOLO (Spoken: Yeah!  Ah!)

Edited 2/8/14 to pick up correction from Professor Scratchy

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 17, 2011, 11:56:24 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "New 'Shake 'Em On Down' " at his first session, on November 22, 1939, backing himself out of D in standard position.  For a novice in the studio, he was happily un-selfconscious, and was obviously well prepared to lay down some good takes.  This came to be a much-recorded number, but I don't know if the energy Tommy brought to his rendition has ever been surpassed.  He plays a double solo. Whew!

   SOLO

   Little old mama, teasin' brown, done quit hollerin', got to shake 'em on down, now,
   REFRAIN: Must I holler, or must I shake 'em on down?
   I done quit hollerin', babe, I believe I'll shake 'em on down

   Look here, mama, don't you see, shakin' that thing is 'bout to kill poor me, now,
   REFRAIN: Must I holler, or must I shake 'em on down?
   I done quit hollerin', babe, I believe I'll shake 'em on down

   Get my nightshirt, get your gown, let's get together and try to shake 'em on down, ow,
   REFRAIN: Must I holler, (Spoken: Yes, yes), or must I shake 'em on down?
   I done quit hollerin', babe, I believe I'll shake 'em on down (Spoken: Shake 'em on down now, a little while)

   SOLO: (Spoken:  Yes, yes.  Yes, yes.  Yes, man.  Yes, yes, yeah.  Play 'em a long time!)
   SOLO: (Spoken: Get on over there and play 'em right, get that right, now!  Yeah!  Yes, yes. Yeah.  Yeah. ) Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

   Mama goin' to town, papa don't care, juke-juke children, you know it's here, ah,
   REFRAIN: Must I holler, or must I shake 'em on down?
   I done quit hollerin', babe, I got to shake 'em on down

   My Mama told me, Papa sot and cried, "Son, too young a man to have them women your side", ah,
   REFRAIN: Must I holler, or must I shake 'em on down?
   I done quit hollerin', babe, I believe I'll shake 'em on down

Edited 11/22 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 18, 2011, 08:42:33 AM
Hi all,
"Katy Mae Blues" finds Tommy McClennan working out of G position in standard tuning at a quicker tempo than was usual for him.  He sounds to have been in an ebullient mood, and amuses himself by reefing on a single G note at the third fret of the sixth string after the opening line of several of his verses, commenting on it as he does so.  It's great the way he does it, because it's as though he chooses to suspend musical time until he's played the lick to his satisfaction, a textbook case of "thriving on a riff".  Tommy's way of preceding observations about a partner's behavior with "you know" is a sort of sly negotiating ploy.

   SOLO

   Katy Mae, I love you for my own, Katy Mae
   Katy Mae, I love you for my own, Katy Mae
   Katy Mae, I love you, baby, don't care what you do

   Now if you make any money, Katy Mae
   If you make any money, Katy Mae
   If you make any money, Katy Mae, bring it home to me

   Katy Mae is a good-lookin' woman, now, but she stays out all night long
   Katy Mae is a good-lookin' woman, but she stays out all night long
   Katy Mae be doin' somethin', Lord, Lord, when you know it's wrong

   You know I love you, Katy Mae, and that's why we can't get along (Spoken: Take your time. You don't need to hurry, you got all day to do this.)
   You all know I love you, Katy Mae, and that's why we can't get along
   Someday you, you gon' be sorry that you ever done poor Tommy wrong

   I give you all my lovin', Katy Mae, what more can a poor man do? (Spoken: Take your time)
   Give you all my lovin', Katy Mae, what more can a poor man do?
   You's a sweet little girl, but I swear you won't be true

   Now, how can I do right, now babe, and you won't do right yourself? (Spoken: Teh-heh. Moan it, then!)
   How can I do right now, Katy Mae, you won't do right yourself?
   Before you love me, baby, you wants to love somebody else

   Now Katy Mae, she won't wash, now, and she won't starch my clothes (Spoken: Yes, yes-yes-yes-yes)
   Katy Mae, she won't wash now, she won't starch and iron my clothes (Spoken: What she do?)
   Katy Mae won't do nothin', oh oh, but walk the road

Edited 11/22 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 20, 2011, 10:03:37 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Bottle It Up And Go" at his first session, on November 22, 1939.  He backs himself out of C position in standard tuning for the song, and it is a hilariously entertaining performance.  Tommy is enjoying himself so much, really cracking himself up, and the interplay between the sung vocal lines, the guitar finishing lines and spoken interjections is on a par with Charlie Patton's much-lauded version of "Spoonful".  In performance, I suspect he got the audience or bystanders to sing "bottle it up and go".  The song initially has the appearance of a 12-bar chorus blues, but is, in fact, considerably more complex than that, and I'll discuss it in the "Vocal Phrasing:  The Long and the Short of It" thread.  I suspect this was the song that Tommy sang against the advice of Bill Broonzy (because it included the word "nigger" in the lyrics), that got the two of them chased out of a house party in Chicago, according to Samuel Charters in "The Country Blues". 
In the transcription, places where the guitar is used to play what would normally be sung lines are indicated by dashes.

   -----------------(Spoken: Yes!  Yeah)------------------------
   Got to bottle it up and go,
   Got to bottle it up and go,
   Now them high-powered women -------------------------(Spoken: Yeah)

   Now, she may be old, ninety year
   She ain't too old for to shift them gears
   She got t'-------------------(Spoken: Got to do what?  Tell me again)
   -------------------------------(Spoken: Got to bottle up and go)
   Now them high-powered women -------------------------(Spoken: Yeah!)

   Now I told my girl, the week before last
   The gage she's trimmin' just a little too fast
   She had to bottle it up and go
   She had to bottle it up and go
   Them high-powered women ------------------------------(Spoken: Yes, yes)

   Now the nigger and the white man playin' Seven-Up
   Nigger beat the white man, was scared to pick it up
   He had to (Spoken: Bottle up and do what?)
   ----------------------------------- (Spoken: Had to bottle up and go)
   Now them high-powered women ---------------------------(Spoken: Yeah-heh)

   "Now look here, baby, 'd'you stay last night?"
   "Ain't none o' your business, you don't do me right!"
   She got to ---------(Spoken: Got to do what?  Tell me again, I didn't understand you.)
   I got to bottle up and go (Spoken: I ain't gonna bottle it up)
   Now them high-powered women ----------------------(Spoken: Yeah-heh)

   Now, nickel is a nickel, a dime is a dime
   Don't need no girl if she won't whine
   She has to --------------------------(Spoken: Had to do what?)
   ----------------------------------------(Spoken: Had to bottle up and go)
   Now them high-powered women ----------------------(Spoken: Yeah-heh)

   Now my mama killed a chicken, she thought it was a duck
   She put him on the table with his legs stickin' up
   He had to ------------------------(Spoken: Had to do what?)
   He had to bottle up and go
   Now them high-powered women sure got to bottle up and go (Spoken: Yeah, play it man, now!)

   Bee-dop, beepum, bopum, bopum, bop, oh
   Deetum, beepum, bop, bop, bow
   Bopum, bopum, bopum, bop, beedop
   Beedum, bopum , bopum, bop, bow
   Beepum, bopum, bopbah, beebah
   Skeedah, skeedah, deedah, dah, dah

   -------------------------------------------(Spoken: Yeah-uh, huh)
   Got to bottle it up and go
   Got to bottle up and go
   Now you high-powered women sure got to bottle up and go

Edited 12/5 to pick up correction from Johnm

All best,
Johnm
   

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 21, 2011, 09:35:47 PM
John -- going back through a few of these. That line in "Mr. So and So" has me stumped too, I'll try again tomorrow. I have a couple minor suggestions:

New Shake
5.1 YOUNG instead of little


Katy Mae

5.2 has an aside of "What'd she do" at the end


Bottle It Up

3.2 Sounds like it might be "The gait she carryin' just a little to fast" although I can hear an "m" sound in there too.

Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 22, 2011, 10:11:14 AM
Thanks for the help, Chris.  I made the changes you suggested in "New'Shake 'Em On Down' and "Katy Mae".  For "Bottle It Up And Go", I agree that the front end of 3.2 does sound like "gait" (or gate), but the tail end of that section sounds to be a verb with an "m".  I'll hold off on that change until I can hear something in which the sound makes some sense, too.
I'm currently hearing the lines in question in "Mr. So And So Blues" as
   Now baby, I'll write you that check, please get out of my face
   Now I got you, I'll write you a, God, check, please get out of my face
I think part of the problem is that he garbled the lines himself.  The second line, especially, I can't imagine that he sang what he intended to sing.  I'll be interested to see what you come up with.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 22, 2011, 10:48:43 AM
Not that this makes much sense, but could it be: The gate she came in just a little too fast?

I'll listen to Mr So and So again tonight.
Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 22, 2011, 03:43:43 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Love With A Feeling" on December 12, 1940, backing himself out of C position in standard tuning.  The song had previously been recorded by Sonny Jones in 1939 and Blind Boy Fuller prior to that.  I don't know if Fuller's version was the first recorded version. 
In any event, Tommy McClennan delivers his version with his characteristic gusto.  I particularly like the way he changed refrains for the different verses on his chorus blues; it makes everything feel so much more in the moment than doing every refrain the same way does.  His C blues had so much more oomph than C blues often do.  His last solo opens featuring bass runs and is set up by his prefatory comment.

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah! Yeah-heh)

   If you're gonna love a woman, love her with a thrill
   And if you don't love her, some other man will
   REFRAIN: Y' got to love her with a feelin' (Spoken: Yeah-heh)
   You got to love her with a feelin'
   Y' got to love her with a feelin', or don't you love at all

   Now, no woman don't want that old half-way stuff
   'Cause when you turn her loose, be sure she got enough
   REFRAIN: 'N' just love her with a feelin'
   And just love her with a feelin'
   Just love 'em with a feelin', or don't you love at all (Spoken: Play the box now!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah, that's yes, yeah!)

   Now, you know, baby, you ain't doin' me right
   And when you come home will cause a fuss and fight
   REFRAIN: 'Cause I want you love me with a feelin'
   I want you to love me with a feelin'
   I want you to love me with a feelin', or don't love at all

   Mmmm, Mama told me, Papa sot and cried
   "That way you got doin', babe, gon' take your life."
   REFRAIN: She got to love me with a feelin' (Spoken: Yeah!)
   Ya got to love me with a feelin'
   You got to love me with a feelin', or don't love at all (Spoken: Break on basses some!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah! Yeah! Yes yes)

   Mmmmm, just love me with a feelin'
   Mmmmm, just love me with a feelin'
   Mmmmm, and just love me with a feelin'
   Mmmmm, and just love me with a feelin'
   She don't love me with a feelin', don't want you to love at all

All best,
Johnm

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: JohnLeePimp on November 23, 2011, 09:38:53 AM
... I'm pretty sure the Bassist in the McClennan recording sessions was a dude called Alfred Elkins -http://www.discogs.com/artist/Alfred+Elkins

and that Love With a Feeling's a song by Tampa Red - it certainly sounds like the type of stuff he did
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 23, 2011, 10:53:23 AM
Thanks for that information, John Lee.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 23, 2011, 04:47:19 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Baby Don't You Want To Go" at his second session, in Chicago on May 10, 1940.  He accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning for the song, a cover of Robert Johnson's version of "Sweet Home Chicago".  Tommy's version of the song is considerably less reined-in than was Robert's, and it's the most exciting version of this fairly boring song that I've heard.  Tommy was in a pretty loquacious mood for the take, and it abounds in spoken asides.

   Mmmmmmmm, baby, don't you want to go (Spoken: Take your time, now, make this one right!)
   Mmmmmmmm, baby, don't you want to go?  (Spoken: Go where?)
   To that ol' land of California, sweet old Chicago (Spoken: Yeah!)

   Now did you get that letter, dropped in your back yard?
   I wants to come to see you, your best man got me barred, cry
   Oh, oh (Spoken: What is it?) baby, don't you want to go?
   To that ol' land of Californ', sweet old Chicago

   Now I don't drink because I'm dry, I drink because I'm blue
   The reason I drink, pretty mama, now, I can't get along wit' you
   Mmmmmmmmmm, baby, don't you want to go? (Spoken: Yeah!)
   To that ol' land of Californ', sweet old Chicago

   Now look-a here, baby, don't have to tell you no more
   You can get my lovin' if you just let him go, cry
   Oooohh, (Spoken: Play it man, long time!) baby, don't you want to go?
   To that ol' land of Californ', sweet old Chicago (Spoken: Play it now, man!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yes, yes! Yeah! Yes, yes! Yeah! Get 'er now, man!)

   Mmmmmmmm, baby, don't you want to go? (Spoken: Yeah-heh)
   Mmmmmmmm, baby, don't you want to go? (Spoken: Go where?)
   To that ol' land of Californ', sweet old Chicago (Spoken: Yeah!)

   Now my, my Mama told me, my Papa sot and cried
   "Son, you're too young a man to have them women your side."
   She cried, "Look-a here, babe, I know you wants to go.
   To that ol' land of California, sweet old Chicago
   Oh, beep, beep beebop, deedah, dah, dah

All best,
Johnm
   
 

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 25, 2011, 11:15:49 AM
Hi Chris,
That 3.2 line in "Bottle It Up And Go" sounds the most like this, phonetically, to me.  (Not that it makes any sense!)
   The gait she's chairman just a little too fast
"Chairman" also sounds like it could be "trimmin'".  I'm still some distance away from it making any sense.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 25, 2011, 01:08:18 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded his version of "Drop Down Mama" on December 12, 1940.  It is so different from Sleepy John's that it barely qualifies as a cover.  Tommy played his version in G position in standard tuning, and it is one of his very strongest numbers instrumentally.  He opens with a solo two times through the form and cements his standing as one of the very best Country Blues players in the key of G.  His lyrics are terrific.  I defy any of the Tin Pan Alley writers or "Blues poets" to come up with anything as strong as the opening of the second verse--that is country and STRONG.  His reference to a "minor" in the tagline to the refrain is the first I've heard in blues lyrics.  For his final verse, Tommy reverts to a conventional AAB lyric format, and the tail end of his tagline is really hard to hear.

   SOLO X 2

   Drop down mama, let daddy see
   You've got somethin' really worryin' me
   REFRAIN: Now my Mama, she don't 'low me, stay out a whole night long
   "'Cause you may be a minor, and you may be treated wrong."

   Now my baby, she got ways soon in the mornin', do like a squirrel
   Get up in the mornin' 'nd grab a limb, cock it on the world
   REFRAIN: My Mama, she don't allow me to stay out all night long
   Say, "You may be a minor, son, and you may be treated wrong." (Spoken: Yeah-heh)

   Now when you get you a woman and she act funny in every way
   Just DB, all right, she be home someday
   REFRAIN: 'Cause my Mama don't allow me, stay out all night long (Spoken: Yeah-heh-heh)
   Yes, "She may be a minor and she may be treated wrong."

   I'm gon' write you a letter soon 'n the mornin', gon' mail it in the air
   You can tell by that, babe, I got a woman somwhere
   REFRAIN: 'Cause my Mama don't allow me to stay out all night long
   And, "You may be a minor and you may be treated wrong."

   Now if you get you a woman, now-now, treat her nice in every way (Spoken: Yes, yeah, uh-huh)
   Oh, if you get you a woman treat her nice in every way
   'Cause when you get in Chicago, these women walkin' 'round here, there'n they're BDs (Spoken: Huh, don't want to say it loud)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah, heh-heh, yeah, yes, yeah)

All best,
Johnm 

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 26, 2011, 01:43:26 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Black Minnie" at the same session at which he recorded "Drop Down Mama", and like that song, it was played out of G position in standard tuning.  Lyrically, "Black Minnie" bears some similarity to Sleepy John Estes' "Black Mattie", but it is altogether different, musically.  "Black Minnie" is a rarity in Tommy McClennan's recorded repertoire in that it is an 8-bar blues, and a very loosely structured one at that.  Tommy doesn't appear to have had a hard-and-fast notion of how the song should be backed chordally, for he varies his accompaniment quite a lot as the song goes along.  He was in a very high-spirited mood for the take, and is just cracking himself up as he goes along, particularly towards the tail end of the rendition.  The threats of violence in the first and last verse are notably rare in Tommy McClennan's recorded repertoire as a whole.  For his solos, Tommy chose to re-enter with the tagline of a verse to finish up.  His singing on this take is very exciting, pushed to the limit.

   SOLO

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you ain't doin' me right
   But the day you quit me, Black Minnie, I swear, that's the day you die

   Black Minnie, you know I love you, and I love you for myself
   And I'd rather be with you, Black Minnie, than to be with anyone else

   I give you my money, Black Minnie, and everything that you told me you need
   And one time you done come and called me, "Baby, where my BVDs?"

   Now Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I'm gonna give you one more time
   And if you don't suit me I'm gon' try to play the line

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, what in the world is you tryin' to do?
   I b'lieve tryin' to love me, Black Minnie, and my partner, too (Spoken: Uh-huh-huh-huh. Play it now!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-heh!)
   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, what you tryin' to do?

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you don't mean me no good
   'Cause you gwine with the man that lives right above my neighborhood (Spoken: Play that box some!)

   SOLO: (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah-ha-ah!)
   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I swear I'm gettin' through wit' you

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you stays in the dark
   And you know good 'n' well, I ain't gonna never give you my last dollar (Spoken: Yeah-ha-ha!)

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I'm gon' try you one more time
   And if you don't do I'm gon' break your neck a-tryin'

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 27, 2011, 09:39:24 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "It's A Crying Pity" on September 15, 1941, accompanying himself out of D position in standard tuning.  His delivery has a more serious tone than it did on many of his songs.  Instrumentally, he was working a lot of the same territory as "I'm A Guitar King", but he always had a few new bits to offer. 

   SOLO

   It's a cryin' pity, low-down dirty shame
   It's a cryin' pity, low-down dirty shame
   Crazy 'bout a no-good woman, 'fraid to call her name

   Now where were you, babe, when I knocked up on your door? (Spoken: That was late last night.)
   Where was you, babe, when I knocked up on your door
   You had the nerve to tell poor Tommy that you couldn't use me no more

   But that's all right, babe, got to reap what you sow
   That's all right, babe, got to reap just what you sow
   But don't forget that night I knocked up on your door

   Now I done some last winter, don't expect to do it no more
   Mmmmmm, done some last winter, never expect to do it no more
   Quit the best woman I had, and I drove her from my door

   But forgive me, baby, won't do wrong no more
   Forgive me, baby, swear I won't do wrong no more
   You can get all of my lovin', but you got to let that black man go

   Now I love you, baby, I don't see why as I should
   Now I love you, baby, don't see why as I should
   'Cause you gwine with the man that live right in my neighborhood

All best,
Johnm

   
     
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 28, 2011, 11:09:33 AM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Roll Me Baby" at his last session, on February 20, 1942, for which he was joined by Ransom Knowling on bass.  Tommy accompanies himself out of G position in standard tuning, and this is one of his most energetic numbers in that position.  It is also modern-sounding, a harbinger of things to come in the emerging Chicago electric ensemble sound.  Ransom Knowling really played well with Tommy, and Tommy certainly enjoyed Ransom's contribution, but it is darn hard to hear.  There are a couple of places in the lyrics, indicated by bent brackets, that I would appreciate some correction or corroboration.  Tommy's lyric break that opens his final verse is about as explicit as I've heard lyrics get, certainly not bothering to operate in the realm of double entendre.

   SOLO (Spoken: It's not right!)

   Now I said, roll me, roll me, babe, roll me, roll me slow
   Roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I won't want no more, I say
   Roll me over, babe, 'ey, roll me slow
   I want you to roll me, roll me, babe, your daddy won't even want no more

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, she roll a wagon wheel
   The way you roll me, baby, don't know how it make me feel, I say,
   Roll me over, babe, please roll me easy and slow
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, your daddy won't even want no more

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, like you roll a cross-cut saw
   Roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I say, "That's all, that's all."
   Now roll me, roll me, baby, like you roll a cross-cut saw
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I say, "That's all, that's all."

   You know I like my roll in the mornin', I likes my roll at night (Spoken: Tay, I told you to take your time!)
   You know I likes my rollin', baby, you know I likes it late at night
   You know I'd bury 'bout the time we can make every little thing all right

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, takes you all night long (Spoken: Yeah, man!)
   Roll me, roll me, baby, if it takes you all night long
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, shimmy everybody begin to leave home

   Now look-a here, baby, you know I got to go
   'Cause he ain't been bendin', woman, I love you, yes, it's full
   But roll me over, baby, roll me easy and slow
   I done tol' you to roll me, baby, 'til your daddy won't want no more

Edited 12/5 to pick up corrections from Johnm

All best,
Johnm

     
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 29, 2011, 03:28:04 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "I Love My Baby" at his last session.  Ransom Knowling played bass on everything from that session, and Tommy accompanied himself out of G in standard tuning, capoed up, for this number.  He has a different feel on this song than on virtually everything else in his recorded repertoire.  For "I Love My Baby", he's employing a cut time feel, with two "boom-changs" per measure, almost a Western Swing sort of groove.  It's very lively, and Tommy and Ransom speed up noticeably (and together) as the song goes along.  Tommy's vocal is wonderfully expressive, but he really sounds like he's harming himself from time to time.

   Now I love my baby, love her well
   Love my baby, love the way she smell
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   Yes, somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found

   Now I love my baby, way she walk
   Love my baby, love the way she talk
   Ain't seen my baby since the evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that woman can't be found (Spoken: Play the blues, man!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-huh!)
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that woman can't be found (Spoken: Do this one a long time!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-huh!, I'm tryin' talk about  Yeah, man! Be rough!)

   Now a long time ago, had a talk
   This just because couldn't hear her walk
   Ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that little woman can't be found (Spoken: Long time now!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah, man!)

   Now look-a here, baby, you know you ain't right
   You been out jukin' for the whole night
   I ain't seen my baby, evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found (Spoken: Long time again!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-ha)

All best,
Johnm

   

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 30, 2011, 01:57:28 AM
   Now I love my baby, love her well
   Love my baby, love the way she smell
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   Yes, somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found
In about 1939 or so Washboard Sam recorded a jaunty song of this title and melody which was based solely around the repetition of the refrain below.:

Now I love my baby, love her for myself
Don't want my baby for no one else
I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
Something gonna happen, if my baby can't be found

I'm not at home but what I can hear in my head is something along these lines being mainly a showcase for (I think) Herb Morand's trumpet solos.

Perhaps TMcC reworked that. Anybody in a position to give it give a listen?
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on November 30, 2011, 03:59:30 AM
Quote
In about 1939 or so Washboard Sam recorded a jaunty song of this title and melody

Right you are.  Recorded in Chicago on May 15, 1939 for Bluebird.  The lyrics were a bit more fleshed out than McClennan's, and the solos were by Buster Bennett on alto sax.

Sam's version was a cover of a version the previous year by Mattie Hardy with Joe Williams & His Chicago Swingers.  I apparently didn't enter discographical information on that track into iTunes, so I can't supply anything further right now, other than to verify that it's the same song.

Bob MacLeod's composer list gives the label composer credit on McClennan's version to Tommy McClennan and on Washboard Sam's version to Robert Brown.  It doesn't contain a listing for the Hardy/Williams version.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 30, 2011, 06:40:36 AM
Thanks for that information, Bunker Hill and dj.  It's always good to get the background on the songs, and there is a lot of Blues from the '30s that I've not heard.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 30, 2011, 06:58:52 AM
Sam's version was a cover of a version the previous year by Mattie Hardy with Joe Williams & His Chicago Swingers. 
I only have the Mattie Hardy on a 1990 RST compilation (Swingin' The Blues) which has a note stating "C-2378-2 I Love My Baby not traced". I guess from what you say DJ it now has, presumably post publication of B&GR (1997) which show it as unissued.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on November 30, 2011, 07:06:42 AM
Quote
I only have the Mattie Hardy on a 1990 RST compilation (Swingin' The Blues) which has a note stating "C-2378-2 I Love My Baby not traced". I guess from what you say DJ it now has

Yes, and apparently fairly recently, as it showed up on Document's Too Late, Too Late Volume 13.  I'm away from my CD collection right now, so can't comment on whether the notes mention when/where/how it was discovered.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on November 30, 2011, 07:51:21 AM
Yes, and apparently fairly recently, as it showed up on Document's Too Late, Too Late Volume 13.   
Ah I gave up with the series at volume 7!
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 30, 2011, 09:41:33 AM
BTW, John -- just wanted to mention that I'm still completely stumped on those lines from "Mr So and So" and "Bottle It Up and Go" -- I haven't forgotten about it!
Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 30, 2011, 12:19:05 PM
Yup, I'm still stymied, too, Chris.  One of these days . . . .
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 01, 2011, 03:23:10 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Shake It Up And Go" at his last session.  It is essentially a cover of "Bottle It Up And Go", which he recorded at his first session, and like that song is backed out of C position in standard tuning.  Tommy is not quite in the irrepressible high spirits that he was in for his take of "Bottle It Up And Go", but "Shake It Up And Go" is still quite a strong take, and he introduces more variety in his lyrics than might normally be expected in a cover recording.  His singing and playing are still top-notch, and when he takes his first solo, he goes long in the solo in exactly the same way that the vocal does prior to the refrain, flying in the face of the more common practice of straightening out a crooked form for solos.  His final solo goes into stop time, and it is a treat.  He lowers his voice noticeably for the singing of "whip it up and go".

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-heh!)
   Got to shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Aw, you low-grade women sure got to shake it up and go

   Now my mama bought a chicken, swapped it for a hen
   When she started lovin', was "too bad, Jim"
   Got to sh- up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   All you high-grade women, sure got to shake it up and go

   I done told you oncet, tell you no more
   Next time I tell, I'm gonna have to let you go
   You got to shake it up and go, oh, whip it up and go
   Aw, you low-grade women, sure got to shake it up and go

   Now my Mama told me, Papa sot and cried,
   "Son, you're too young a man to have them women your side."
   You got to shake it up and go, ah, step it up and go
   Now you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   I done told you oncet, tell you no more
   You can get my lovin' if you let him go
   You got to shake it up and go, I mean, shake it up and go
   Aw, you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go (Spoken: Shake it up some, then!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah! Play it a long time!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Long time!)
   I'm shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Now you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   Now look-a here, baby, don't mean no harm
   Mockin' my family 'bout me carryin' on
   Like me to shake it up and go, like me to shake it up and go
   Awwwwwwww, been better, had before (Spoken: Yeah!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Long time)
   Got to shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Aw, you high-grade mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   SOLO: (Spoken: Yeah! Yes-yeah!)

All best,
Johnm
       
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: GhostRider on December 02, 2011, 10:25:46 AM
Hi:

Would it be possible to post .MP3s of the contencious lyrics. I'd love to give them a try, but I don't have any TMcC tunes in my library.

Alex
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 05, 2011, 03:44:53 PM
Hi all,
I will try to post the tunes that have unsolved places in the lyrics, Alex.  Also, I think I figured out the missing place in "Bottle It Up And Go"
   I told my girl, the week before last
   The GAGE/GAUGE she's trimmin', just a little too fast
"Gage" was the preferred term for marijuana for Louis Armstrong and many other musicians.  I am satisfied that Tommy is saying "gage", and will make the change.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 05, 2011, 04:23:29 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Whiskey Head Man" on December 12, 1940, backing himself out of G position in standard tuning.  The song is essentially a cover of his earlier hit, "Whiskey Head Woman", but has a different cast to it; perhaps Tommy wanted to cover all the bases.  Boy, could he sing!  He opens with an unusual spoken intro, which he delivers very smoothly.  As was common for him at this point in his career, he has a lot of spoken asides in the course of the rendition.

   SPOKEN:  This is Tom McClennan, the one that put out the "Whiskey-Headed Woman Blues".  Instead of puttin' out the "Whiskey-Headed Woman Blues", I'm gon' put out "He's A Whiskey-Headed Man", just like myself and all the rest of you whiskey-headed men.

   SOLO

   Now he's a whiskey-headed man and he stays drunk all the time
   He's a whiskey-headed man and he stays drunk all the time
   Just as sure if he don't stop drinkin', I believe he goin' to lose his mind

   Now ev'y time I see this man, he at some whiskey joint
   Tryin' to catch a big bet so he can get him one more half a pint
   'Cause he's a whiskey-headed man and he stay drunk all the time (Spoken: That's like the old two-bits the rest of us.)
   And if he don't stop drinkin', I believe he goin' to lose his mind

   Now ev'y time I see this man, he's standin' down the streets
   Laughin', grinnin', talkin' with 'most every man he meet
   'Cause he's a whiskey-headed man and he stays drunk all the time
   Just as sure if he don't stop drinkin', I believe he goin' to lose his mind

   Now ev'y time I see this man, he at some whiskey joint
   Slippin' 'round the back door, "Baby, one more half a pint."
   He's a whiskey-headed man and he stays drunk all the time
   Just as sure if he don't stop drinkin', I believe he goin' to lose his mind (Spoken: Yeah, man, let's get it!)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Just like myself.  I likes my whiskey and I likes my gin.  Sure as you born.
Yeah, heh.  Play it a long time!)

   He's a whiskey-headed man, now-now, and he stays drunk all the time (Spoken: Take your time, play it right.)
   He's a whiskey-headed man and he stays drunk all the time
   Just as sure if he don't stop drinkin', I believe he goin' to lose his mind

All best,
Johnm
 

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Rivers on December 05, 2011, 05:38:09 PM
   The GAGE/GAUGE she's trimmin', just a little too fast
"Gage" was the preferred term for marijuana for Louis Armstrong and many other musicians.  I am satisfied that Tommy is saying "gage", and will make the change.

In corroboration Paul Garon's Blues & The Poetic Spirit has a short section on drugs, mentions a Yack Taylor song Knocking Myself Out, "I started blowin' my gage, and I was having my fun", and mentions reefer elsewhere. I haven't heard the recording, or if I had I didn't inhale. Great lyrics though.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 05, 2011, 06:06:41 PM
Yes, Mark, and Gabriel Brown used "gage" in his song "Baby Boy Baby", too.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Rivers on December 05, 2011, 07:08:10 PM
Interesting. I've added the "slang" tag to this topic.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 06, 2011, 11:50:00 AM
Hi all,
I will try to post the tunes that have unsolved places in the lyrics, Alex.  Also, I think I figured out the missing place in "Bottle It Up And Go"
   I told my girl, the week before last
   The GAGE/GAUGE she's trimmin', just a little too fast
"Gage" was the preferred term for marijuana for Louis Armstrong and many other musicians.  I am satisfied that Tommy is saying "gage", and will make the change.

Cool! I don't think I'd heard of that one before. Thanks for finding that, John.
Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 06, 2011, 09:17:33 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Travelin' Highway Man" on Sepetember 15, 1941.  It is essentially a cover of his "New Highway 51 Blues", recorded the previous year, and like that song was accompanied out of G position in standard tuning.  Lyrically, the song has an impromptu, thrown-together quality, as though Tommy was asked to record a number like "New Highway 51 Blues" but different, and assented to doing so without giving it much thought in advance.  In several places the lyrics make little sense, as in the tagline to the first verse, or no sense at all, as in the opening line to the fourth verse.  Indeed, in the fourth verse, it's apparent that Tommy was conscious of the first line making no sense, for he essays an awkward explanation of what he meant to say in the re-singing of the line.  He also has some very pregnant pauses between "highway" and "one", where it sounds as though he stopped himself at the last instant from saying "fifty-one".  Despite these apparent shortcomings, Tommy McClennan's playing on this take is excellent, and he takes one of his very best solos, funky in the extreme.  It's hard to hold Tommy's occasional extreme looseness against him, because he was always so present and engaged with what he was doing.

   SOLO

   I'm a highway man, travel that highway all the way down
   I'm a highway man, travel that highway all the way down
   I travel that road 'til my baby couldn't be found

   Now yond' come that Greyhound, with his tongue stickin' out on the side (Spoken: Yes, Good God Almighty, now!)
   Yond' come that Greyhound, with his tongue stickin' out on the side
   And if you buy your ticket, swear 'fore god that man will let you ride

   My babe didn't have but one five dollars, spent it on, uh, must-a T Ford
   My baby didn't have but one five dollars, spent on me, on a V-8 Ford
   So I can meet that Greyhound bus, go up and down that highway road (Spoken: Yeah)

   Any time you gets funny now, then you don't want to have no fun
   Any time your woman gets funny now, which and I mean, she don't want you to have a bit of fun
   Get down to Little Tommy little boat, stay on that Highway One (Spoken: Yeah, play on, now!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yes!)

   I got a little cabin on Highway One
   I got a little cabin, it's on that highway road
   Any time you get your woman, that's all the further you can go

All best,
Johnm

   

   
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 12, 2011, 07:17:18 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "You Can't Read My Mind" on September 15, 1941, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning.  The basic accompaniment is one he used for many of his songs.  The biggest challenge in terms of transcribing his lyrics is determining the name of the woman the song is addressed to; by the end of the song, it's pretty clear he is saying "Ernestine", but at the front end of the rendition, the name sounds more like Erna Deem, barely the hint of an "s" in the second syllable, and an "m" rather than an "n" in the final syllable.  He sings wonderfully well here, phrasing so freely, and his concluding solo has rocking time.

   Ernestime a good-lookin' woman, holler she lives up on that hill (Spoken: Talkin' 'bout [    ?          ]
   Ernestime a good-lookin' woman, holler she lives up on that hill
   She been tryin' to quit poor Tommy, whoa, Lord, but I love her still

   She walks the street late at night, she won't treat nobody right
   She walk the streets ev'y night, she sure ain't gonna treat nobody right
   Oh, she drinks that moonshine whiskey, but me an' her'll make ev'ything all right

   Ernestime, if you quit Mr. Butler, we will make everything all right
   Ernestime, if you quit Mr. Butler, we'll make everything all right
   If I can't see you today, we may get together tomorrow night

   Now you can read my letter, oh, but you can't read my mind
   Ernestine, you can read my letter, now-now, but I swear you can't read my mind
   Sometime you think I'm crazy 'bout you, I'm liable to be quittin' you all the time

   Now that's all right, baby, what you did last Sunday night
   I say that's all right, Ernestine, what you did one Sunday night
   If I had've been in my whiskey too, it liable to cause a fuss and a fight (Spoken: Play the box now, son!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah!)

All best,
Johnm
 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on December 13, 2011, 11:29:56 AM
The biggest challenge in terms of transcribing his lyrics is determining the name of the woman the song is addressed to; by the end of the song, it's pretty clear he is saying "Ernestine", but at the front end of the rendition, the name sounds more like Erna Deem, barely the hint of an "s" in the second syllable, and an "m" rather than an "n" in the final syllable.
The first microgroove release of "You Can't Read My Mind" was on a 1968 Roots compilation, the source of which was a w-e-l-l played 78. The name of the women had me beat (Erma Dean was my guess back then). When the 1997 RCA CD set was released with its pristine sound  I was sort of sure in hearing Ernestime throughout.  I shall find time to listen again with greater attention.

Keep up the good work with the Tommy McC transcriptions.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 14, 2011, 10:36:14 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, Alan, and happy birthday, by the way!  It's reassuring to know that other people get as crazy about this stuff as I do.
all best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 14, 2011, 03:19:50 PM
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Bluebird Blues" at his last session, on February 20, 1942, with Ransom Knowling backing him on bass.  Tommy was playing out of G position in standard tuning, capoed up a ways.  His vocal is so impassioned he sounds almost over-mastered.  Interestingly, his alternate take is almost identical, so he must have been more controlled than he sounded.  The lyrics are hard for me to hear in a number of places.  The street name in the first verse sounds like "Shandon" the first time he sings it, and "Shannon" when he repeats it.  The middle of the tagline in the second verse is very tough.  I'd appreciate help, correction or corroboration.

   SOLO

   Bluebird, 'en you get into Jackson, please fly down on Shannon Street
   Bluebird, 'en you get into Jackson, please fly down on Shannon Street
   I dont want you to quit flyin' 'til you find Miss Daisy Belle for me

   Daisybelle, she maybe not be at home, please knock up on her door
   Well, she may be at home, please knock up on her door
   Now she might be in [Minnie's, at] next door neighbor, bluebird, you don't know

   Look-a here, oh, look-a here, look-a here
   Look-a here, babe, I mean, look-a here, look-a here
   I love little Lacey Belle, she doesn't know why I can't tell?

   Bluebird, bluebird, where in the world you been so long?
   Bluebird, bluebird, where in the world you been so long?
   You must've been out in Texas, if you had your habits on

   Gon' sing this time, ain't gon' sing no more (Spoken: Long time, and a heap of it, last a while)
   I'm gonna sing this time, ain't gonna sing them no more
   Next time I sing 'em, be right where I wants to go

Edited, 12/14, to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 14, 2011, 05:24:27 PM
There must be another take of this, because the version here has different lyrics:

Tommy McClennan - Bluebird Blues - rare 78rpm blues record (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqANX7JnRM0#)

It's definitely "Shannon Street" in the original, Sonny Boy Williamson's version. Williamson sings something like "She may be right across the street, visitin' her next door neighbor you know."
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 14, 2011, 05:33:48 PM
I will change it to "Shannon Street" for both times--thanks for the help, Chris.  The JSP set where I got this, has two takes and they are very close.  I currently can't play videos on my computer, but I take it the one you've found is different.  That's strange, because the JSP titles were touted as being complete, I thought.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 14, 2011, 08:57:59 PM
Going back and listening, I think what's labeled Take 2 on the JSP set is just a different copy of Take 1 - its sounds absolutely identical to me. I think that last line of verse 2 is Tommy stumbling over his delivery. Take 2 (or B, as it is on the record in the video) has completely different lyrics. It was a bit difficult to make out, considering the video is someone recording a speaker with a microphone, but you'll get the idea:

Take B

SOLO

Bluebird, bluebird, please fly down south for me,
Bluebird, bluebird, please fly down south for me,
You don't find it nowhere on that M&O, you find it somewhere on that Santa Fe.

Bluebird, when you get to Jackson, don't tell nobody that I'm home,
Bluebird, when you get to Jackson, please don't tell nobody I'm home,
Tell 'em I'm going back to [Kansas?] City, that's where poor Tommy belong.

Oh babe, you is on my mind,
Oh babe, you is on my mind,
I hope to see you some of these days, you know I sure ain't lyin'.

Now bluebird, you get to Jackson, fly down on Shannon Street
(Take your time, now play the [blues])
Bluebird, when you get to Jackson please fly down on Shannon Street
Tell em' Tommy's soon there, ooh well, [?? make a dude about weep].

Oh babe, [see your] Tommy be all right,
Oh babe, in a little bit your Tommy'll be all right,
I can't see you today, 'twill be all right tomorrow night.


PS the "Take 2" on the JSP set is also listed as Take 2 on Document's Too Late Vol. 8. Wonder what happened?
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 14, 2011, 09:03:11 PM
John, a few suggestions for the take you transcribed:

3.3 I love little LACEY BELLE, she doesn't know WHY I CAN'T TELL

4.3 You must've been out in Texas, if you had your HABITS ON

5.1 spoken part: Long time and a HEAP OF IT

In 3.3 it sounds like he reverts to Lacey Belle, which is the name in Sonny Boy's original.
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 14, 2011, 10:24:06 PM
Thanks for the help, Chris.  I've made the changes.  I originally though the end of that one line was "If you had your hairpiece on", which was really a puzzler.  What do you think had your "habits on" means in this context, Western clothes?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Bunker Hill on December 14, 2011, 11:24:28 PM
What do you think had your "habits on" means in this context, Western clothes?
All best,
Johnm
Could it perhaps be a reference to a religious habit as worn by Franciscan monks or an item similar?
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: dj on December 15, 2011, 03:52:53 AM
Quote
   Bluebird, bluebird, where in the world you been so long?
   You must've been out in Texas, if you had your habits on

I think the phrase just means "If you were acting as you normally do".  In this case, "having one's habits on" would be acting habitually.
 
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 15, 2011, 07:34:27 AM
What you say makes good sense, dj, thanks for that.  I still sort of like the idea of a bluebird having his hairpiece on, though.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 15, 2011, 11:06:10 AM
In this context and every other song I've heard the expression in, I think it means being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
Chris
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 07, 2014, 09:20:28 PM
Hi all,
I have never been able to figure out the first half of the first two lines of verse two of Tommy McClennan's "Mr. So And So".  I'm attaching an .mp3 of the song and would sure appreciate any help.

   Babe, I feel so worried, yes, and I feel so low
   Babe, I feel so worried, yes, and I feel so low
   'Cause I b'lieve you've been out with Mr. So-And-So

   Now baby, I'll write you left [change], please get out of my face
   Now I got you, I'll write you a, God, [change], please get out of my face
   'Cause I got myself a brand new woman, yeah, is going to take your place

   Ooooo babe, you know that sure ain't right
   Ooooo babe, you know that sure ain't right
   Stay off half of the day, you don't come home at all at night (Spoken: Play that some!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah, heh!)
   Stay, you're gone part of the day and you know you don't come home at all at night (Spoken: Play it a little bit!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah!  ah!)

All best,
Johnm

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Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Prof Scratchy on February 08, 2014, 03:01:47 AM
Pretty impenetrable! But what I hear is either:
Now baby, all right you got a chance
Please get outta my face
Now, I guess you're right you got a chance
Please get outta my face
'Cause I got myself a brand new woman
Yeah, goin' to take yo' place

Or:
Now baby, all right you got change
Please get outta my face
Now, I guess you're right you got change
Please get outta my face
'Cause I got myself a brand new woman
Yeah, goin' to take yo' place
Title: Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on February 08, 2014, 09:57:50 AM
Thanks so much, Allan, I think your first suggestion is spot on.  Boy, I was miles away on that one.  I will make the correction.  That line has been like a pebble in my shoe for a couple of years.  I will make the correction in the original post of the song's lyrics, at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3070.msg65380#msg65380 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3070.msg65380#msg65380)
All best,
Johnm