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Country Blues => Country Blues Lyrics => Topic started by: frankie on December 09, 2004, 08:45:52 PM

Title: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: frankie on December 09, 2004, 08:45:52 PM
I've heard the take that he plays with a bottleneck (fantastic!).  Isn't there a take where he plays it in G standard?  If so, has it been re-issued?  Anyone have it?

Mmmm - some scream high yellow!
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: Montgomery on December 09, 2004, 09:50:36 PM
This version's even better!  It's on Times Ain't Like They USed To Be v.8.  Both versions appear on the Document "Backwoods Blues"

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: Ignatznochops on December 09, 2004, 10:15:33 PM
I agree, this is great...but what the heck's he singing? Anybody know the lyrics to this one?
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: banjochris on December 09, 2004, 11:55:54 PM
This tune's in C -- it's "Devil and My Brown" that's in G, it's on Times Ain't Like... vol. 7 and the Backwoods Blues Document CD. Now if only someone would reissue "Some Scream High Yellow" without the annoying tape ghosting.

Here are the words:

Can't keep no brown, got ways like a child
Can't keep no brown, got ways like a child
She take the blues, don't care what train she ride.

I woke up this morning, blues rushing round my bed
Thinkin bout the kind words that my brown had said
Oh, said dear I'm goin' away, ain't comin' back here no more.

You can't keep no brown, got ways like a child
Keep no brownie, got ways like a child
Oh she take the blues, don't care what train she ride.

You can always tell, when she wants to throw you down
You can always tell, when surely want to throw you down
Always got business, on the other side of town.

Keep you worried, honey don't know what to do, honey babe
So lonesome, child, with the blues
Now I'm goin'? up the (Bee Line), honey where they don't 'low you.*

Run mama, sit down on my knee,
Run mama, sit down on my knee,
I want to tell, how you done mistreated poor me.

I don't know, mama but I expect I will,
I don't know, mama but I expect I will,
Catch a long jumping Henry, go back 'cross the hill.

I got a mother and a father, live close to the sea
I got a mother and a father, live close to the sea
Got a brother and a sister, wonder do they think of poor me.

*The bit in parentheses is almost unintelligible, but Bee Line seems a reasonable phonetic transcription, and was made more probable (Jackson was supposedly discovered in Birmingham) when I found this on the Net:
"After 1909 the AB&A (Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad) was nicknamed the Bee Line, emphasizing its direct route between Birmingham and the Atlantic coast. (The Atlanta-Brunswick route was somewhat less direct.) Also, the prominent " in the company logo may have inspired the name."
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: Ignatznochops on December 10, 2004, 12:42:48 AM
Thanks Chris!
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: frankie on December 10, 2004, 07:35:24 AM
Excellent - Backwoods Blues...? thanks!

Devil and My Brown

That's the one I was thinking of.? The "Can't Keep No Brown" in C is dynamite, though - thanks, Aaron!

Edited to add:? while Backwoods Blues would give me everything by Bo Weavil Jackson (who could complain about that!?!), looking at the track lists for Times Ain't Like They Used To Be V.7 & 8 makes we think those would be fantastic to have...? some overlap with what I already have, but man...? decisions, decisions!
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: a2tom on December 10, 2004, 08:40:42 AM
The "Can't keep no brown" is great.? It never ceases to amaze me just how much you can do with a basic 12-bar blues form in C!? A friend of mine says his biography should be titled "My Life, Blues in the Key of E".? But for me, I love C, ragtimey blues best I think.? This will be a great tune to work through verse by verse and nail down how he changes it up each time through.? And then try to do it...

Thanks!

tom
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson - You Can't Keep No Brown
Post by: frankie on December 10, 2004, 08:56:44 AM
I've got it in mind to something with Some Scream High Yellow.? Not until after the holidays, though - I'm having fun with a twelve string tuned down to A at the moment.? I've only heard Devil and My Brown Blues once, through Pat Conte's car window at Lake Genero.? I remember it as being excellent, but I need to hear it again before I decide which one I'm going to tackle.

There's something about blues in G that makes me crazy - Lemon's Rambler Blues, Deceitful Brownskin, et. al...? Fuller's Wires All Down (bunch of others in there), Ramblin' Thomas' Sawmill Moan, Ramblin' Mind Blues and Lock and Key Blues...? distinctive sounding stuff to me.? Fun to play around with.

Edited to add:? Ishmon Bracey's Leavin' Town Blues - there's another one...? tremendous...
Title: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: LoneWolf on November 29, 2007, 08:38:20 AM
Could you guys help me with this one? Thanks!
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: uncle bud on November 29, 2007, 08:38:56 AM
Could you start it?
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: LoneWolf on November 29, 2007, 09:02:41 AM
Well it's pretty obsecure... I couldn't understand much...




Heaven is my view
My journey...?????
But lord I never will turn back
Heaven is my view

When I was a sinner...
?????
????
?????

When I was a moaner
????
????

My mother and father left me...
??????????????? alone...
I have????
??????????? make my home...
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: dingwall on November 29, 2007, 12:20:08 PM
Here's my effort.

Sam Butler (Bo Weavil Jackson)  HEAVEN IS MY VIEW
               ----------------------------
Now, Heaven is my view.
My journey I'll pursue.
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
Because Heaven is my view.

Oh, when I was a sinner,
Loved my pleasures well.
When I come to find out,
I was on my way to Hell.

'Cause, Heaven is my view.
My journey I'll pursue.
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
'Cause Heaven is my view.

And when I was a moaner,
I moaned through sorrow and tears.
I promised my Lord I wouldn't turn back.
If I moaned a thousand years.

Good Lord, I never will turn back.
If I moaned a thousand years.
Good Lord, I promise to not turn back.
Because Heaven is my view.

My mother and father left me.
In this wide world alone.
I have no thought tomorrow.
I am strivin' to make my home.

'Cause, Heaven is my view.
My journey I'll pursue.
I never will turn back.
Because Heaven is my view.

When I was a moaner,
I moaned through sorrow and tears.
I promised my Lord, I would not turn back.
If I moaned a thousand years.

I'm on my journey home.
My journey I'll pursue.
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
'Cause Heaven is my view.

Edited 11/30/07 to pick up corrections from Andrew
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: uncle bud on November 29, 2007, 12:45:13 PM
Here's my effort.

Sam Butler (Bo Weavil Jackson)  HEAVEN IS MY VIEW
               ----------------------------
Now, Heaven is my view.
My journey I've got through.
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
Because Heaven is my view.

I'm wondering whether this was supposed to be Heaven in my view. Like the Carter Family song. It is hard to tell in places and in others it definitely sounds like he sings "is". Just throwing it out there. I'm also wondering about "I've got through". I don't quite hear that, but haven't a clue what I hear!

Quote
Oh, when I was a sinner,
Loved my pleasures well.
When I come to find out,
I was on my way to Hell.

'Cause, Heaven is my view.
My journey I've got through.
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
'Cause Heaven is my view.

And when I was a moaner,
I moaned through sorrows here.
I promised my Lord I wouldn't turn back.
If I moaned a thousand years.

Again, just throwing this out there. Is it possibly "mourner/mourned" and not "moaner/moaned"?

Then for the second line of the verse above, I hear "I moaned through sorrow and tears".

Quote
Good Lord, I never will turn back.
If I moaned a thousand years.
Good Lord, I promise to not turn back.
Because Heaven is my view.

My mother and father left me.
In this wide world alone.
I have no father or mother.
I am strivin' to make my home.

In the third line of the above verse, I hear it end in "tomorrow" pronounced "tomorrah". "I have no ??? tomorrow".

Edited to add: This song is surely based on an existing church song of some kind, no? Does anyone know the source?
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: dingwall on November 30, 2007, 03:41:54 AM
Andrew, thanks for remarks.  I'm including each chorus as a verse in my numbering, for clarity. 
I always use 'Blues & Gospel Records' titles, and he does sing 'Heaven is my view' to my ears, with a doubtful 'is/in' in the the first line of the third verse.   I hear 'moaner', but you're right about 'sorrow and tears' and 'tomorrow', and also with your doubts about 'I've got through'.
 
1.2  My journey I'LL PURSUE.
3.2  My journey I'LL PURSUE.
4.2  I moaned through SORROW AND TEARS.
6.3  I have no THOUGHT TOMORROW.
7.2  My journey I'LL PURSUE.
8.2  I moaned through SORROW AND TEARS
9.2  My journey I'LL PURSUE.

As a footnote, I should have noticed the following, recorded one month later in 1926, which helped with 'pursue'.    I hear 'moaner' in this.

BIDDLEVILLE QUINTET   HEAVEN IS MY VIEW  Document DOCD 5361                   
                      ----------------------
Heaven in my view, oh, Lord,
And my journey I'll pursue, hallelujah.
Great Lord, and I'll never will turn back, you know,
I've got the Heaven in my view.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Because my journey I'll pursue, great God.
Good Lord, and I'll never will turn back, you know,
I've got the Heaven in my view.

Good Lord, when I was a sinner,
I loved my pleasures well.
But when it comes to findin' out,
I was on my way to Hell.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
'Cause my journey I'll pursue, great God.
Great God, and I never will turn back, thank God,
I've got the Heaven in my view, good Lord.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Because my journey I'll pursue, hallelujah, Lord.
Great God, and I never will turn back, hallellu,
I've got the Heaven in my view, good Lord.

When I was a moaner,
I moaned through trials until,
I promised my Lord I wouldn't turn back,
If I moaned one thousand years.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Because my journey I'll pursue, hallelujah, Lord.
Great God, I never will turn back, God knows,
I've got the Heaven in my view.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Because my journey I'll pursue, great God and Lord.
Good Lord, I never will turn back, you know,
I've got the Heaven in my view, good Lord.

Got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Good Lord, my journey I'll pursue, hallelujah, Lord.
Great God, and I'll never will turn back, God knows,
I've got the Heaven in my view.

Good Lord, mother and father left me,
All in this world alone.
I have no hope for tomorrow,
I've tried to hunt a home.

I've got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Because my journey I'll pursue, great God.
Great God, and I'll never will turn back, thank God,
I've got the Heaven in my view.

Got Heaven in my view, good Lordy,
Good Lord, my journey's done, I'll pursue, hallelujah, Lord.
Great God, and I never will turn back, God knows,
I've got the Heaven in my view, good Lord.



Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: Rivers on November 30, 2007, 04:44:08 AM
Hi Dingwall,

Thanks as always for your input. You should be able to edit your posts yourself. Look for a little 'Modify' icon at the top of the post in question, click it and it should bring up the usual posting window loaded with the original content.

If you don't see a 'Modify' icon please let us know.

Rivers.
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: LoneWolf on November 30, 2007, 04:56:07 AM
Thank you. The only versions I know are by Butler and by the Carter Family, but they're pretty different.
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: dingwall on November 30, 2007, 11:06:16 AM
Thanks, Rivers.   I managed to edit.
Title: Re: Heaven In My View (Bo Weavil Jackson)
Post by: Doug on December 01, 2007, 09:29:32 AM
There's another version of this song (with slightly different words/verses) on the Dust-to-Digital collection "Goodbye Babylon" by Louis Washington.
Title: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Giorgio on December 14, 2010, 10:53:12 AM
Hi everybody!

I'm new here. This is an amazing forum for bluesmen like us, I think. I'm soory for my very poor english, I'm Italian...

So, I was looking for Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler's "Devil And My Brown Blues" lyrics...
I tried to listen to the song and write what I was hearing but I couldn't get out comprehensible things.
I can't do this, I don't understand most of the words.

May anybody help me? Thanks..
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 14, 2010, 12:58:39 PM
Welcome to WC, Giorgio. Bo Weavil Jackson is certainly hard to understand. Here's what I have so far, but there are several spots that are very suspect. Square brackets indicate I am not sure or don't know what he's singing. Hopefully some other ears might help.


Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No gypsy woman, no gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me, lordy mama
No gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me
I ain't scared, I'm skittish she might poison me

'Cause I woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call a stingaree

A bo weevil's here, a bo weevil's there, itchin'? mama's everywhere, the preachers tell me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I dreamt a dream last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, said, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider now, crawlin' on the wall
Grinds it nat'ral but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was [thievin'/cheatin'?] with somebody's brown

Daddy was low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed, lordy mama
He low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "Buy no Ford machine", lordy mama
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline

edited to pick up changes from LD50 and banjochris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Giorgio on December 14, 2010, 01:11:18 PM
Thank you very much uncle bud.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: LD50 on December 14, 2010, 01:16:43 PM
Instead of 'Geechie', I think he's saying 'Gypsy'.

In the line "I'm scared [?? ??] she might poison me", I think the word 'skillet' is in the bracketed part. But I can't nail it down.

"The farmer woke up this morning" should really be "'Cause I woke up this morning".

I'm pretty sure this:

"Spider, spider, spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall"

Is really this:

"Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall"

I think this:

"The boll weevil and the devil was [keepin'?] with somebody's brown"

is actually:

"The boll weevil and the devil was thievin' somebody's brown"

I'm pretty sure this line:

"Cause he's gonna [make?] it so he can't buy no gasoline"

Is really:

"Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline"

'Cut for speed' looks a little odd, tho I think it is right.

Welcome to WC, Giorgio. Bo Weavil Jackson is certainly hard to understand. Here's what I have so far, but there are several spots that are very suspect. Square brackets indicate I am not sure or don't know what he's singing. Hopefully some other ears might help.


Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No [Geechie] woman, no [Geechie] woman can't grind no meat for me, lordy mama
No [Geechie] woman can't grind no meat for me
I'm scared [?? ??] she might poison me

The farmer woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call a stingaree

A bo weevil here, a bo weevil there, [itchin'?] mama's everywhere, can't you hear me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I [got to dream] last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, said, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Spider, spider, spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall
[?? ?? nat'ral?] but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was [keepin'?] with somebody's brown

Daddy was low and squatty, daddy was [cut for speed?], lordy mama
He low and squatty, daddy was [cut for speed?]
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "buy no Ford machine"
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna [make?] it so he can't buy no gasoline


Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 14, 2010, 02:18:58 PM
Instead of 'Geechie', I think he's saying 'Gypsy'.

In the line "I'm scared [?? ??] she might poison me", I think the word 'skillet' is in the bracketed part. But I can't nail it down.

"The farmer woke up this morning" should really be "'Cause I woke up this morning".

I'm pretty sure this:

"Spider, spider, spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Spider, spider, crawlin' on the wall"

Is really this:

"Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall"

I think this:

"The boll weevil and the devil was [keepin'?] with somebody's brown"

is actually:

"The boll weevil and the devil was thievin' somebody's brown"

I'm pretty sure this line:

"Cause he's gonna [make?] it so he can't buy no gasoline"

Is really:

"Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline"

'Cut for speed' looks a little odd, tho I think it is right.


Agreed on "gypsy", should have thought of that and was pretty sure I was wrong. 

Re. skillet. I thought I heard that at first though am not sure it's right. It's possibly "skittish"?

I also agree with "'Cause I woke up...", "Bitin' spider" and "fix it".

Where you have "thievin' somebody's brown" I am still hearing a "with" in there. Not sure we've nailed that but will listen some more.

Good ears! Will make the changes above.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 14, 2010, 10:03:18 PM
A few more suggestions:

1st verse
CAN FRY instead of can't grind in both line 1 and 2 (I hear gypsy as well)
I'm scared I'LL GET IT, she might poison me

3rd verse
bo weevil'S (both times)
itchin' is right
I hear the end of the first line as THE PREACHERS TELL ME THAT instead of can't you hear me that
perhaps A DREADFUL DREAM last night...?

5th verse line 2 and 3
Bitin' spider NOW, crawlin'...
GRINDS IT NATURAL, but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

6th verse I hear CHEATIN' WITH (could be thievin' with but I can definitely hear the "with")
cut for speed is right as in built for speed

last verse
missing LORDY MAMA at end of 1st line

Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Giorgio on December 15, 2010, 07:04:27 AM
Can I (or somebody) put these lyrics on Weeniepedia?
 :)
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Slack on December 15, 2010, 07:40:47 AM
Giorgio,

If you make one more post, you'll be a Wikipedia editor and can put the lyrics in yourself.  :)

So you could reply to this post
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: LD50 on December 15, 2010, 07:41:08 AM
A few more suggestions:

1st verse
CAN FRY instead of can't grind in both line 1 and 2 (I hear gypsy as well)
I'm scared I'LL GET IT, she might poison me

Good catch -- I agree on both changes.

Quote
3rd verse
bo weevil'S (both times)
itchin' is right
I hear the end of the first line as THE PREACHERS TELL ME THAT instead of can't you hear me that
perhaps A DREADFUL DREAM last night...?

It sure does sound like 'itchin'.
'Preachers tell me that' may be right.
But he's *not* saying 'dreadful dream'. I really hear 'I got to dream'.

Quote
5th verse line 2 and 3
Bitin' spider NOW, crawlin'...
GRINDS IT NATURAL, but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I've never heard that exact phrase before, but it does sound like that! Nice catch!

Quote
6th verse I hear CHEATIN' WITH (could be thievin' with but I can definitely hear the "with")

Hmmm. I listened really closely on headphones and I do not hear a 'with'. It can't be 'thievin' with somebody's brown' or 'cheatin with somebody's brown', since those both have one syllable too many for what Jackson actually sings. I still go with  'thievin' somebody's brown'

Quote
cut for speed is right as in built for speed
last verse
missing LORDY MAMA at end of 1st line
Chris

Agree.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Giorgio on December 15, 2010, 09:00:10 AM
Ok, thanks, I'll do it.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 16, 2010, 10:41:36 PM
By the way, does someone want to merge this thread with the current one?

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=761.0
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 17, 2010, 12:58:17 PM
A few more suggestions:

1st verse
CAN FRY instead of can't grind in both line 1 and 2 (I hear gypsy as well)
I'm scared I'LL GET IT, she might poison me

I agree on CAN FRY. However, for line 3, I am now hearing this pretty clearly:

I AIN'T SCARED, I'M SKITTISH she might poison me

For comparison, in "Royal Palm Special", Sloppy Henry sings "I don't want no northern gals fry no meat for me/I ain't scared but I'm skittish she might poison me".


Quote
3rd verse
bo weevil'S (both times)
itchin' is right
I hear the end of the first line as THE PREACHERS TELL ME THAT instead of can't you hear me that
perhaps A DREADFUL DREAM last night...?

Agreed on the 'S and I think you may be right on THE PREACHERS TELL ME THAT. But is it possibly singular PREACHER?

For the last line of this, I now hear "I DREAMT a dream last night" pretty clearly. Dreamt is sung a bit more like DRAMT.

Quote
5th verse line 2 and 3
Bitin' spider NOW, crawlin'...
GRINDS IT NATURAL, but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

Agreed.

Quote
6th verse I hear CHEATIN' WITH (could be thievin' with but I can definitely hear the "with")
cut for speed is right as in built for speed

I lean towards CHEATIN' WITH now as well. LD50, I definitely hear the WITH and the extra syllable that entails. the -IN' in CHEATIN' is very quick but audible.

Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on December 17, 2010, 08:27:43 PM
UB -- I agree with all of your suggestions. Hard to tell on the preacher/preachers, but I think it's more likely he'd be talking about one. Dreamt a dream is an excellent catch. I was pretty unsure on "dreadful".
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: doctorpep on January 15, 2011, 07:20:12 PM
I will attempt to do "Can't Keep No Brown" in the coming days. I just heard "gonna write me a letter, mail it in the air. so if the March wind blows..." This guy sang and played incredibly fast!
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on July 20, 2011, 12:17:33 PM
Hi all,
I've been working on the lyrics for the slide version of "You Can't Keep No Brown", and I think I have it with the exception of the lyric breaks that open the last two verses.  I'd appreciate any help.

I woke up this mornin', mama, blues all 'round my bed
Soon this mornin', mama, blues all around my bed
Thinkin' 'bout the kind words that my mama had said

Now my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
Now my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
That's the reason I tried so hard to get along with you

Now, where there ain't no lovin', there ain't no gettin' along
Where there ain't no lovin', there ain't no gettin' along
'Cause you'll have more trouble, honey, now the days is long

So many days, I stoled away and cried
So many days, I stoled away and cried
Poor boy's been mistreated, I can't be satisfied

Now, I'm gonna write a letter, mail it in the air
I'm gonna write a letter, gonna mail it in the air
Because the March wind blows, blows news everywhere

'Cause I'm going up the country, won't be very long
Sweet gal, you can count the days I'm gone

Awful tender-hearted, don't have to fight,
The gal I get she's got to try to treat me right
I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues

Now you get way back, you ball the jack,
Begin to fight you get to snatch it back
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues

Edited 7/20 to pick up corrections from banjochris


All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on July 20, 2011, 07:08:45 PM
[ ?      ], don't have to fight [?]
I'm thinkin' 'bout my Jane, tell me what did I do?
'Cause I'm goin', got to sing Long Distance Blues

If I can get bareback[?], you ball the jack, gal, [?]
I want to see my Jane, tell me what did I do?
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues

John, I'm definitely going to have to listen to these verses some more because they're still perplexing me, but I have suggestions for the last two lines that I'm pretty sure of. In the first of these, I think it's:

I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues.

In the second:
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
and the last line same as you have

I'll listen some more later tonight.
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on July 20, 2011, 09:27:25 PM
OK, here's what I came up with.

Awful tender-hearted, don't have to fight,
The gal I get she's got to try to treat me right
I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues.


Now you get way back, you ball the jack,
Begin to fight you [gettin' to snatch it back]
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues.

Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on July 20, 2011, 10:21:07 PM
Well, that's really terrific, Chris!  He really spits those words out, doesn't he?  That is really great work.  It sounds like in the last verse he may say in that second line,

Begin to fight you get to snatch it back

Thanks for the help.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on July 21, 2011, 09:21:17 PM
I think you're right on the get vs. gettin' -- that was the hardest line to get. Jackson is just amazing, vocally and instrumentally. And really weird, too.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on July 22, 2011, 10:54:24 AM
Yes, I agree, Chris.  He always sounds like he could barely contain himself, but it's such controlled playing and singing despite that wound-up quality.

I have a couple of suggestions for "Devil And My Brown Blues", which my recent listening to Bo Weavil Jackson has led me back to.  I think most all of the heavy lifting has already been done by uncle bud, LD50 and banjochris.  Here goes--see what you think. Here is the transcription that has been arrived at thus far:

Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No gypsy woman, no gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me, lordy mama
No gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me
I ain't scared, I'm skittish she might poison me

'Cause I woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call a stingaree

A bo weevil's here, a bo weevil's there, itchin'? mama's everywhere, the preachers tell me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I dreamt a dream last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, said, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider now, crawlin' on the wall
Grinds it nat'ral but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was [thievin'/cheatin'?] with somebody's brown

Daddy was low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed, lordy mama
He low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "Buy no Ford machine", lordy mama
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline

Here are suggested changes:

2.3 Must've been a weevil, thing they call THE stingaree

3.1 A bo' weevil's here, a bo' weevil's there, EACH AND, mama's, everywhere, the preachers tell me that ("each and everywhere" turns up often in lyrics)

4.2 Farmer went to the merchant, SAYS, "I wants meat and meal."

6.3 The boll weevil and the devil was t'ievin' with somebody's brown (I think he meant to say "teasin'", but got the "v" from "thievin'" in there)

7.1 SAID HE was low and squatty, SAID HE was cut TO speed, lordy mama
7.2 HE'S low and squatty, SAID HE was cut TO speed

That's all I have.
All best,
Johnm

Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 15, 2011, 10:12:22 PM
Hi all,
Just wondering what you Bo Weavil Jackson fans thought about the suggested lyric changes in the last post.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on August 16, 2011, 06:25:43 AM
Hi John. I had a listen and I agree with all of your suggested changes. I was listening to the version found on Times Ain't Like They Used to Be - Volume 7 put out by Yazoo, which has a somewhat better transfer than the Document Backwoods Blues disc. I think you can hear your suggested changes even better on the Yazoo (which also adjusts the speed slightly downward).
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 16, 2011, 08:39:19 AM
Thanks for re-listening to "Devil and My Brown Blues", uncle bud.  Here are the lyrics with the suggested changes incorporated.

Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No gypsy woman, no gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me, lordy mama
No gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me
I ain't scared, I'm skittish she might poison me

'Cause I woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call the stingaree

A bo weevil's here, a bo weevil's there, each and, mama's everywhere, the preachers tell me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I dreamt a dream last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, says, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider now, crawlin' on the wall
Grinds it nat'ral but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was t'ievin' with somebody's brown

Said he was low and squatty, said he was cut to speed, lordy mama
He's low and squatty, said he was cut to speed
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "Buy no Ford machine", lordy mama
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 26, 2011, 08:34:15 AM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for "Some Scream High Yellow", and his accompaniment is perfectly amazing; the sheer quantity of invention, and the ferocity of his execution--whew--to say nothing of being able to play what he played while singing.  Moreover, he takes sounding like himself and no one else to a completely different level than other players, even the most original ones.  
I take the tagline to the third verse to mean that he's speaking of a gal who would say, "I ain't got no man.".  As usual, I'm missing some of these lyrics, or have them wrong.  I'd appreciate help.

   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   And they ain't shippin' no iron in this town today

   I think I will, travelin' on my mind
   Sometime, I b'lieve, travelin' on my mind
   I ain't got no right to leave, I ain't got no right to change my mind

   Now, did you dream lucky and wake up cold in hand?
   Now, did you dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?
   Then you'll want to see some good gal, ah, ain't got no man

   Now, sometime I think I will, again I think that I won't
   Sometime I think that I will, again I think that I won't
   Sometime I think that I do, Lord, then I think that I don't

   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   Sometime I think that I will, and then I think that I won't

   Some screamin' high yella, I screams black or brown
   Some scream high yella, I screams black or brown
   'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't turn you down

   Mama, I got a notion, honey, and I believe I will
   I got a notion, mama, and I believe that I will
   Catch a long jumpin' Judy and go on across the hill

   SOLO X 2

Edited 9/12 to pick up corrections from uncle bud

All best,
Johnm    
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: dj on August 26, 2011, 08:51:36 AM
Something like: I (CAN?/CAN'T?) SKIP IT, GOIN' in this town today?  I'm not sure that's it, but I think it's closer than what you've got.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: jpeters609 on August 26, 2011, 08:58:57 AM
This is only peripherally related to your lyric transcription, John, but it's something that's bugged me for a while. The lyric phrase "did you ever dream lucky, wake up cold in hand" (and its variants) turns up repeatedly in blues songs of the era, but -- for me, at least -- the meaning has been elusive. This may have been addressed in an earlier thread, and I believe I have heard those who say that "cold in hand" means to have nothing, whether it's money or love or what have you.  

But an alternate interpretation seems more likely, to my mind. If I were to have "dreamed lucky," I would probably be dreaming about getting lucky, if you know what I mean, with some special rider. But when I wake up, I discover it was all a dream, and any pleasure that I had derived came from the fact that I had "coal in hand" -- that is to say, a good ol' chunk of black coal (in other words, my privates) in my hand.

I dreamt I was having sex, but I woke up and realized I was only pleasuring myself. As far as blues lyrics go, this just makes more sense. I mean, what in the heck does "cold in hand" really mean???
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 26, 2011, 09:00:32 AM
Thanks for the help, dj, I will re-listen.  It's hard to see how that tagline pertains to the opening line, isn't it?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on August 26, 2011, 09:03:27 AM
You make a good point, Jeff.  I've always just assumed I knew what that line meant, but it could certainly mean something else altogether.  I know my brother interpreted it the way you just did.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: dj on August 26, 2011, 10:15:06 AM
Quote
what in the heck does "cold in hand" really mean???

When I was 20 years old, I worked for a while at a VA hospital just outside of Peekskill, NY.  After a few months on the job, I wrecked my car.  With no way to make the long drive to my work place, I rented a room in a spare hospital building until I had the money for another car.  Most of the other guys working there were young African-Americans.  To pass the time, they would often play craps.  I never did - I'm not now and never have been a gambler - but I'd drink, talk, and watch the other guys play.  Common expressions after a few bad rolls were things like "Man, these dice are COLD!" or "My hand is just cold".  So to me, the line has always been pretty obvious - the singer dreamed he was lucky, but the reality is the dice are just not rolling his way. 

(Just an aside - there was one middle-aged white guy working at the hospital and rooming there.  He was a classically trained percussionist.  I guess classical percussion is not one of the world's higher-paying careers!)
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on September 07, 2011, 07:45:25 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler recorded "Poor Boy Blues" backing himself with a slide in Spanish tuning.  Like most of his slide blues, it is pretty frenetic and exciting.  The more you listen to him, though, the more you realize just how controlled his playing actually was.  He has some nice variations on common verses here.

   I woke up this mornin', blues all 'round my bed
   I woke up this morning, mama, blues all around my bed
   Thinkin' about the words that my brown had said

   'Cause I'm poor boy here, long ways from home
   Poor boy here, long ways from my home
   Ain't got nowhere, Lord, to lay my head

   Cold frosty ground was my bed last night
   Cold frosty ground was my bed last night
   Thinkin' 'bout the kind words that my Mama had said

   What my Mama told me, honey, done come to pass
   Mama told me, it's done come to pass
   Whiskey and women, poor boy, be your ruin at last

   Now, my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
   My Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
   Reason I tried so hard, honey, get along with you

   So many days, I stoled away and cried
   So many days, I stoled away and cried
   Poor boy's been mistreated, can't be satisfied

   Gonna write a letter, mail it in the air
   Gonna write a letter, gonna mail it in the air
   When that wind blows, blow news everywhere

   SOLO

   Lord, Lord, ain't gonna moan no more
   Lord, Lord (guitar finishes line)

All best,
Johnm

   
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on September 12, 2011, 09:50:12 AM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for "Some Scream High Yellow", and his accompaniment is perfectly amazing; the sheer quantity of invention, and the ferocity of his execution--whew--to say nothing of being able to play what he played while singing.  Moreover, he takes sounding like himself and no one else to a completely different level than other players, even the most original ones.  
I take the tagline to the third verse to mean that he's speaking of a gal who would say, "I ain't got no man.".  As usual, I'm missing some of these lyrics, or have them wrong.  I'd appreciate help.

   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   I can't [ship none, goin'] in this town today

For the third line, I hear:

AND (or possibly LORD) THEY AIN'T SHIPPIN' NO IRON in this town today.

Compare with Peg Leg Howell's Rolling Mill Blues: The rolling mill, baby, done broke down/They're shipping no iron to town.

Quote
  I think I will, travelin' on my mind
   Sometime, I b'lieve, travelin' on my mind
   I ain't got no right to leave, I ain't got no right to change my mind

   Now, did you dream lucky and wake up cold in hand?
   Now, did you dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?
   Then you want to see some good gal, "I ain't got no man."

Is that third line possibly:

Then YOU'LL want to see some good gal, AH, ain't got man

Quote
  Some screamin' high yella, I screams black or brown
   Some scream high yella, I screams black or brown
   'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't tear you down

'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't TURN you down

Not a bad tune.  :D
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on September 12, 2011, 10:00:47 AM
Thanks so much, for the help, uncle bud, I think those are all dead on the money.  That "And they ain't shippin' no iron in this town today" seems perfectly clear now, as so often seems to be the case after someone figures out the correct lyric.  I like that "ah" rather than "I" in the other verse's tagline--it makes a hell of a lot more sense.  I will make the changes.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on September 12, 2011, 01:23:27 PM
Oooh, that is a good one -- that "iron" line had me stumped too.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on September 22, 2011, 04:40:51 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson backed himself out of C position in standard tuning for "I'm on My Way to the Kingdom Land".  His accompaniment is probably one of his simplest, and he gets an exciting rhythmic popping effect, starting in the third verse.  He accelerates markedly over the course of the rendition.  I could use some correction/corroboration at one place in the lyrics, and would appreciate help.

   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   'Cause I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way to that Judgement Day
   I'm on my way to Judgement Day
   I'm on my way to that Judgement Day
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I'm on my way, thank God, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way, Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

All best,
Johnm

  

  
  

  
  
 
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on September 22, 2011, 07:17:23 PM
I hear "bar" too, John. On that "shippin' iron" line, Peg Leg Howell sings pretty much the same thing in "Rolling Mill Blues," which I only realized a couple of days ago, but it's another point in favor of it.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on September 22, 2011, 10:35:01 PM
Thanks for listening, Chris.  I'll consider bar to be correct then.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 07, 2011, 10:01:05 PM
Hi all,
"Pistol Blues" was the first song recorded by Bo Weavil Jackson, I believe.  It starts out as an 8-bar blues in E position, standard tuning, and after the fifth verse switches to a 16-bar form for the remaining three verses.  I think, but am not sure, that this is the earliest recorded version of Crow Jane.  As was his wont, Bo Weavil Jackson accelerated markedly over the course of the rendition, and by the time he got to the end of the song he was really tearing along.  
Lyrically, the song is all over the map, and gives every appearance of getting its verses from a variety of different sources.  This is such a strong performance by Jackson, as were all his recorded renditions.  I find his lyrics on this song particularly difficult to hear, and would really appreciate some help with a few of the troublesome spots.

   Crow Jane, Crow Jane, what makes you hold your head so high?
   Oughta just remember, you got to live so long and die

   I need not write me no letter, don't send me no word
   Cut your head, woman, 'bout the word I heard

   I heard you had a man on the wheeler, had a man on the plow
   Had a big man, swingin' on the Johnson Bayou

   I'm going to carry that woman to the weeping willow tree
   Oughta hear her cryin', "Honey, don't murder me!"

   I'm going to black her face, going to black that woman's eyes
   Going to kill her when she begins to cry

   She said, "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long"
   "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long"
   Said, "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long,
   Like the way you rollin', but you ain't gonna roll so long."

   Ain't but two women, the world can spend my change
   Not but two women, world can spend my change
   Ain't but two women, mama, can spend my change
   That represent Stella and that brown, my Jane

   SOLO

   Lord, Lord, look what my brown said to me
   Lord, Lord, look what she said to me
   Said, Lord, Lord, look what she said to me
   Said, "When I leave this town, gonna carry you back with me."

   SOLO

Edited 10/8 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
  
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on October 08, 2011, 04:58:50 PM
A few suggestions John:

1.2 you gotta live so long and die

3 in the Patton book, this verse is transcribed with "plow" at the end of the first line and "Bayou" at the end of the second, at least in Patton's singing of it. I think I hear "plow" here, but that southern pronunciation of bayou leaves it up in the air I think.

5.1 black her face (typo)
5.2 she begin to cry:

6 -- I think it might be "Roll on, Jack, Daddy, do roll long" each time

7.4 That represent Stella and that brown, my Jane

Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 08, 2011, 08:01:53 PM
Thanks very much for the help, Chris.  This is a song which I think I would have assumed at one point would never have a lyric transcription, and I think with your corrections it is pretty much there.  I really appreciate it, and get a kick out of getting difficult lyrics transcribed.  I'd be stumped in a lot of places, or just wrong, if I had to do it all myself, and the way people help out here is great.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 11, 2011, 06:06:27 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler backed himself with a slide out of Vestapol tuning for "Heaven Is My View".  For a discussion of his approach to playing slide in Vestapol on his hymns, go to http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=7891.0.  It would be fair to say that his accompaniment is very de-emphasized here in comparison to the extent which his accompaniments to his secular numbers are featured.  
These lyrics were worked through early in this thread, but never exactly finished up.  This is what I am hearing now.  If any of you are hearing things differently, I would be interested to find out what you're hearing.

   INTRO

   REFRAIN: Now, Heaven is my view, my journey I'll pursue
   Good Lord, I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   When I was a sinner, loved my pleasures well
   When I come to find out I was on my way to Hell

   REFRAIN: 'Cause Heaven is my view, my journey I pursue
   Good Lord, I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   And when I was a mourner, I mourned through sorrow and tears
   I promised my Lord I would not turn back if I mourned a thousand years

   Good Lord, I never will turn back, if I mourned a thousand years
   Because I promised to not turn back, because Heaven is my view

   My Mother and Father left me in this wide world alone
   I have no home for tomorrow, I am striving to make my home

   REFRAIN: 'Cause Heaven's in my view, my journey I pursue
   I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   When I was a mourner, I mourned through sorrow and tears
   I promised my Lord I would not turn back, if I mourned a thousand years

   I'm on my journey home, my journey I pursue
   'Cause, Lord, I never will turn back, 'cause Heaven is my view

   OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 15, 2011, 04:16:48 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler accompanied himself out of Vestapol, playing slide lap-style, for "When The Saints Come Marching Home".  He sings the melody most often associated with "When The Saints Go Marching In" and has a few different verses than are commonly heard today.  The opening makes me wonder if he was ever a preacher; he certainly delivers the spoken introduction in a fine style, and very convincingly.
EDITED TO ADD: Incidentally, I stated in a post in the Washington Phillips thread last week that we were no longer able to post mp3 versions of songs that were being transcribed for all to listen to and contribute to the discussions because the site was running out of memory for such attachments.  I've since found out I was mistaken, so if people working on a lyric transcription want to post an mp3 version to encourage participation in the process of figuring out the lyrics, feel free to do so subject to the limitations on fidelity posted on the site elsewhere.

   SPOKEN: Now I wants all you church members to get right!  I want you all to be just like the saints, when you all come marching home.

   REFRAIN: When the saints go marching home
   Oh, when the saints go marching home
   Good Lord, I wants to be in that number
   Oh, when the saints go marching home

   I had a loving mother
   Now she's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet her
   That's when the saints go marching home

   And when the sun refuse to shine
   And when the sun refuse to shine
   Oh Lord, I wants to be in that number
   Oh, when the sun refuse to shine

   And when the moon drips away in blood
   And when the moon drips away in blood
   Oh Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the moon drips away in blood

   I had a loving father
   Now he's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet him
   That's when the saints go marching home

   REFRAIN: And when the saints go marching home
   When the saints go marching home
   Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the saints go marching home

   Good Lord, I had a loving brother
   Now he's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet him
   That's when the saints go marching home

   REFRAIN: And when the saints go marching home
   When the saints go marching home
   Good Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the saints go marching home

   Gonna meet my mother at the judgement bar
   Gonna meet my mother at the judgement bar
   'Cause I'm gonna be all in that number
   That's when the saints go marching home

All best,
Johnm

  
 

    
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 16, 2011, 10:56:07 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler recorded "Why Do You Moan?" backing himself out of C position in standard tuning.  Taken in the context of his entire recorded repertoire, the song is certainly an oddity.  It sounds like it might have origins in the Classic Blues tradition or simply Tin Pan Alley.  It does not have one of Jackson's wilder accompaniments, but he nonetheless manages to work up an impressive head of steam as the song goes along.  I feel pretty good about these lyrics, but I generally screw up somewhere, so I would appreciate corroboration/correction for any of the bent bracketed passages.

   I feel bad, always sad, troubles, troubles drivin' me mad
   Good old days of long ago, long ago, to come no more
   That's the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   Mmmmmm, mmmmmmmm, Lawd Lawdy
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   My Mama's dead, my Daddy, too,
   That's the reason why, got these weepin', moanin' blues
   So many days, stoled away and cried, I have been mistreated, I can't be satisfied
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   I ain't got no friends, I ain't got no home
   And there's no place, mama, I can call my home
   Good old days, long ago, long ago to come no more
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues

   Mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues

   Mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm. mmmmmmm
   How my heart aches, soon it'll break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues
   I mean the blues

Edited 11/22 to pick up corrections from banjochris and uncle bud

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 21, 2011, 09:05:43 PM
John -- catching up after a few days sick. I think "Why Do You Moan" is right except for these suggestions (I think "times" is right in 1.1).

2.2 (and all other equivalent lines) How my heart aches, SOON IT WILL BREAK

5.2 AND THERE'S NO PLACE mama, I can call my home

After last sung line he says: I mean the blues
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on November 22, 2011, 04:25:00 AM
While I'm not certain, in that first line I am sort of hearing:

1.1  I feel bad, always sad, TROUBLE, trouble drivin' me mad

Agree with Chris on SOON it will break.

I hadn't paid any attention to this Bo Weavil Jackson song. I really like it. I agree John, it sounds like it's coming from one of the classic blues singers or Tin Pan Alley. Can't place it myself.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 22, 2011, 09:57:41 AM
Thanks very much, Chris and uncle bud for the help.  I missed that "soon it will break" all the way through.  After re-listening a number of times, I think that 1.1 place in question is TROUBLES, TROUBLES.  I've incorporated all the other changes. 
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 28, 2011, 06:41:15 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler accompanied himself out of Vestapol with a slide in the standard playing position for "Jefferson County Blues".  The speed, accuracy and ferocity with which he plays the tune are simply amazing.  He accelerates markedly over the course of the rendition, and by the time he gets to the end, he's just tearing along.
I have found his lyrics here terribly difficult to hear.  The combination of poor sound quality and quietness makes them really hard to pick up.  I'm as close as I can get it by myself, I think and would sure appreciate some help.

   If you want your man, keep him out of Birmingham
   If you want your brown, keep her out of Birmingham
   'Cause they're red hot mamas, down in dear old Alabam'

   I don't say there, but I b'lieves it at home
   Letter said she's been there, honey, I dreams it at home
   'Cause the gals in Alabama, don't learn to right from wrong

   If you want your brown, pin her to your side
   If you want your brown, pin her to your side
   I pin her on that place, keep her off of my mind

   My road seem rocky, so the people do say
   My road seem rocky, so these people do say
   But I'm a careful driver, likely to find my way

   I been worried, blues all on my mind
   I been so worried, blues all on my mind
   Gonna leave this town, now, ain't comin' back no -----(guitar finishes line)

   Lord, mama, sit down on my knee
   Now pretty mama, sit down on my knee
   I just a-want to stop and tell you, how you done doin' poor me

   SOLO

   [ ?                      ] of any place I know
   I'd rather be Alabama, any place I know
   'Cause I'm goin' up the country, mama, where I'm better known

Edited 11/30 to pick up corrections from banjochris
Edited 12/14 to pick up corrections from banjo chris and Johnm

All best,
Johnm

 
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 29, 2011, 09:43:17 AM
I'll take a listen tonight, John. From memory, 1.3 ends "down in dear old Alabam'."
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 29, 2011, 10:17:01 AM
Thanks, Chris.  I welcome the help.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on November 29, 2011, 01:34:52 PM
John, the alternate take has some lyrical repetition, though not a lot. Verse 2 of the take you've transcribed appears as a later verse and is easier to hear, IMO.

Letter reads she's there but I say/swear that girl's at home
Letter said she's been there, swear that gal's at home
'Cause them gals in Alabama don't know how to tell right from wrong

He runs that last line together so it comes out almost like "don't know tell".

In the take you transcribed, I can't make out the start of 2.1 but think it ends "but I b'lieve she's at home". Then

2.2 Letter said she's been there but I b'lieve she's at home

Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 29, 2011, 03:08:13 PM
Thanks for the help, uncle bud.  Obviously, I need to do some more listening.  The take I have of this song is so quiet, it's quite hard to hear.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on November 29, 2011, 08:04:17 PM
Here's that alt take. The vocal is more up front on this one. But to be honest the challenge for me in Bo Weavil Jackson is his delivery.

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 29, 2011, 09:13:27 PM
Wow, that alt take is terrific, and significantly easier to hear than the take I had.  It seems like an instance where both takes are worth transcribing.  Instrumentally, they're quite different, too, far more different than alternate takes of the same tune generally are.  Thanks so much for posting that, uncle bud, that's great!
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 29, 2011, 10:12:35 PM
I went ahead and transcribed both without looking at yours again, John, just to see what I came up with -- we mostly agree. Uncle Bud -- thanks for that one verse, although it's pretty garbled in the first take. I'm pretty sure also that the first line of the last verse of the first take just starts with gibberish, he corrects himself in the second line.

In the alternate take, especially if you listen with headphones, you can hear him struggling not to cough and clearing his throat after the first "Letter says she's there" line, which is why he stops singing for a bit.

I still have bits I couldn't get, either.


take 1

SOLO

If you want your man, keep him out of Birmingham
If you want your brown, keep her out of Birmingham
'Cause they're red hot mamas, down in dear old Alabam'

I don't say there, but I believes it at home
Letter says she's been there, but I [dreams?] at home,
Off from dear old Alabama, gonna [call her?] right from wrong.

If you want your brown, pin her to your side,
If you want your brown, pin her to your side,
I get on that train, keep her off of my mind

My road seem rocky, so the people do say,
My road seem rocky, so these people do say,
But I'm a careful driver, likely to find my way.

I been worried, blues all on my mind
I been so worried, blues all on my mind,
Gonna leave the town, I ain't comin' back no (guitar completes line).

Now mama, sit down on my knee
Now pretty mama, sit down on my knee
I just want to stop and tell you, how you done done poor me.

SOLO

[????] gal, mama any place I know
I'd rather be Alabama any place I know
'Cause I'm goin' up the country, mama where I'm better known.





take 2

SOLO

If you want your brown, keep him out of Birmingham,
If you want your brown, keep her out of Birmingham,
'Cause they're red hot mamas, down in dear old Alabam'.

Let me tell you, what those womens will do,
Just let me tell you, what those women will do,
They'll take your man from you, [laugh???] at you.

SOLO

See my brown, tippin' where she should not be,
If you spy my brown, tippin' where she should not be,
Catch a ride on her shoulder, send her right on home to me.

My road is rocky, so those people do say,
My roads is rocky, so those people do say,
I'm a careful driver, I'm like to find my way.

I'll sing this verse, ain't gonna sing no more,
I'm gonna sing this verse, ain't gonna sing no more,
Got a gal in the 'Bama, I guess that you oughta know.

Letter says she's there, but I believe that she's at home
(guitar plays two lines as he stifles coughing fit)

Letter reads she's there but I say that girl's at home
Letter says she's been there, say that gal's at home,
Off from dear old Alabama, [gonna tell her] right from wrong.

SOLO

Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on November 30, 2011, 08:58:19 AM
Thanks very much for that help, Chris, that cleared up a number of the problem areas.  I think I have a couple of the places in the second take figured:

   2.3 They'll take your man from you, THEY BOW DOWN at you

   3.3 TOUCH HER RIGHT on her shoulder, send her right on home to me

He pronounces "touch" like "tetch" in that last bit.

I've incorporated a number of your changes in take 1, and am going to keep listening a bit before I consider it finalized.  I think what I had at the front end of 3.3 is right.  It's pretty close now.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on November 30, 2011, 09:40:23 AM
I'll give another listen tonight, esp. to 3.3 -- the usual last line to that is something like "if she flag my train, I'm gonna let her ride," which is one reason I went with the train in there. In 3.3 on the alt. take, I was vacillating between "Catch her right" and "catch a ride" -- "Touch her right" makes more sense.
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: uncle bud on December 07, 2011, 07:29:34 AM
Quote
what in the heck does "cold in hand" really mean???

When I was 20 years old, I worked for a while at a VA hospital just outside of Peekskill, NY.  After a few months on the job, I wrecked my car.  With no way to make the long drive to my work place, I rented a room in a spare hospital building until I had the money for another car.  Most of the other guys working there were young African-Americans.  To pass the time, they would often play craps.  I never did - I'm not now and never have been a gambler - but I'd drink, talk, and watch the other guys play.  Common expressions after a few bad rolls were things like "Man, these dice are COLD!" or "My hand is just cold".  So to me, the line has always been pretty obvious - the singer dreamed he was lucky, but the reality is the dice are just not rolling his way. 

Browsing through Calt's Barrelhouse Words reminded me of this explanation. Calt's definition is as follows:

Aw did you ever dream lucky, an' wake up cold in hand?

Penniless; a stock 1920s blues expression probably derived from the synonymous British term to have a bad cold, which was "said of one who keeps his door closed against all corners for fear of duns" (Farmer and Henley, Slang and Its Analogues, 1891). In blues song cold in hand is invariably coupled with the idea of  "dreaming lucky," a connection that likely arose from the popularity of "lucky dream books" among black policy players.

Frankly, I prefer dj's gambling explanation to the British origin cited above.
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on June 23, 2012, 09:44:51 AM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler played "Christians Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long" with a slide, lap-style, in Vestapol tuning.  The song opens with its chorus, which repeats throughout his rendition with minor variations.  I could sure use some help in a number of places.  If he is indeed saying "Mt. Sinai" in verse two, he pronounces "Sinai" "Senn-ay".  He plays the last refrain on his guitar.  Thanks for any help.

REFRAIN: Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
You know your time ain't long

Done been down, I been told
I've been to church and I've been baptized
Stepped at the water, the water was cold
It chilled my body but it never chilled my soul

REFRAIN: Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Mourner, your time ain't long

When my misery ended, here below
Climb up Mt. Sinai, just to Heaven I'll go
I'll try on my robes, [try to 'scape the world we seen]
The elders is cryin' them in

REFRAIN: You've got to fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
You know your time ain't long

Then I done been down, I done been tried
I been to the church and I been baptized
I stepped at the water, the water was cold
It chilled my body, but it never chilled my soul

REFRAIN: Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Fight on, your time ain't long
Oh, you know your time ain't long

When my work is ended, here below
When my war is ended, up to Heaven I'll go
I'll try on my robes, try to [          that will be seen]
The elders is cryin' them in

INSTRUMENTAL REFRAIN

All best,
Johnm




 
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on June 23, 2012, 11:38:55 AM
John, that's a tough one and I'll need to listen more to it -- for the last line of the verses that have it though, I'd suggest: The elders is cryin' "Amen"
Chris
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on March 11, 2017, 07:37:53 PM
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackon's "Heaven Is My View" may have been posted in this thread before, but it was so long ago I thought I'd give a shot at re-transcribing it.  He played it in Vestapol, almost certainly played lap-style, with his personal quirk of always resolving to the I note at the fifth fret of the second string, and carrying along the fifth fret of the third string with his slide, sounding like he's resolving to a IV chord.  I'd very much appreciate help with the bent bracketed passage.  Here is the song:

https://youtu.be/kH-VYlVltM8

INTRO SOLO

REFRAIN: Now Heaven is my view
My journey, I pursue
Good Lord, I never will turn back
Because Heaven is my view

Oh when I was a sinner
Loved my precious wealth
But now I come to find out,
I was on my way to hell

REFRAIN:  'Cause Heaven is my view
My journey I pursue
Good Lord, I never will turn back
'Cause Heaven is my view

And when I was a moaner
I moaned through sorrow and tears
I promised my Lord I wouldn't turn back
If I moaned a thousand years

Good Lord, I never will turn back
If I moaned a thousand years
Good Lord, I promised to not turn back
Because Heaven is my view

My Mother and Father left me
In this wide world alone
I have no home for tomorrow
I am striving to make my home

REFRAIN:  'Cause Heaven is my view
My journey I pursue
I never will turn back
Because Heaven is my view

When I was a moaner
I moaned through sorrow and tears
I promised my Lord I would not turn back
If I moaned a thousand years

I'm on my journey home
My journey I pursue
Good Lord, I never will turn back
'Cause Heaven is my view

Edited 3/12 to pick up corrections from alyoung and Johnm

All best,
Johnm


 
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: alyoung on March 12, 2017, 01:54:20 AM
I can't get the missing phrase ("nobody to ???" is as good as I can do ... but I do wonder if the mourner/mourn/mourned references aren't in fact moaner/moan/moaned? It's not an uncommon term in rural black American religion; and to these ol' ears it sounds as tho Jackson is singing a more open "mo" sound, rather than the "maw" of mourner. Not that it makes much difference -- it is synonymous in meaning with "mourner" etc, defining someone who is seeking conversion, is wrestling to keep their religious conviction, or is just having a hard time. 
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on March 12, 2017, 08:29:22 AM
Thanks for your suggestion, Al.  I agree that Bo Weavil Jackson pronounces it as you noted--no trace of an "r", even in its elision.  I will make the changes.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Aitch P on January 25, 2019, 04:34:15 PM
Hi guys!
I know this is a really old thread, but maybe there's a chance someone is still reading... I'm impressed and thankful by al the efforts in transcribe Sam Buttlers lyrics. But does anyone understand what the lyrics is really about (The Devil and my Brown)? I don't get it - Is it simply about a weevil, or him self (Bo-Weavil), or maybe a sexual disease? And what about the Ford machine in the end?
Can anyone help me out?
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on January 25, 2019, 06:41:49 PM
Hi Aitch P,
Others might have a different take on this, but I've always considered "Devil And My Brown Blues" just a version of "Boll Weevil" in which the first and fifth verses are apropos of nothing, they're just sort of interpolated in there.  Many versions of "Boll Weevil" have the Ford machine verse.  If you go to Weeniepedia, in the Song Family section, you can find many, many versions of "Boll Weevil".
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
Post by: Aitch P on February 02, 2019, 05:37:56 PM
Thanks Johnm!
After singing it for a while I get the same impression as you. But it is allways good to get a second opinion.
I'll do some more research on Boll Weevil-theme.
/Aitch