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We are told to our faces often that though our quartet is one of the best that has been heard up here, they would like us better if we would "play the Nigger" - their own words - more... every day we are made to understand that if there was less refinement about us and more fool, we would do better... When I have about three persons ask for the [spirituals] and about four score ask that we dance and sing songs which tell of Negroes stealing chickens, I make no pretensions to try to please - Tuskegee Quartet member Isaac Fisher, in a letter to Dr. Booker T. Washington, c. 1900

Recent Posts

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41
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 24, 2020, 05:54:22 AM »
Hi all,
Bo Carter recorded "Doubled Up In A Knot" on October 15, 1936 at that good-sounding room in the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, accompanying himself out of DGDGBE tuning. I suspect Bo could knock out songs like this in a matter of minutes. Here is "Doubled Up In A Knot":



INTRO

Oh, down the river there's something new, It ain't nothin' to it, it ain't hard to do
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you got

Now listen here, baby, this is comin' to a test, we gon' see who's doubled in a knot the best
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you got

Now listen here, baby, this ain't no fun, double in a knot right, you'll always get my mon'
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you got

Say, you double in a knot, is the way, you can't make no money layin' straight these days
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you've got

SOLO

You can double in a knot or you can let it be, you won't hold your man, you see
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you got

Now listen here, baby, bear this in mind, you double in a knot right, you'll always have a dime
REFRAIN: You've got to double in a knot, oh, you double in a knot
I mean you double in a knot, and you give your daddy, all you've got

Says, the womens these days is trying' to learn something new, see if they can take your man from you
REFRAIN: They are doublin' in a knot, oh, they're doubled in a knot
I mean they're doubled in a knot, and they'll give your daddy, all they got

CODA

All best,
Johnm

   
42
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Sonny Scott Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 23, 2020, 10:19:01 AM »
Hi all,
Sonny Scott recorded "Naked Man Blues" on the same day as he recorded all of his other solo titles, with the exception of "Red Cross, No. 2". He played "Naked Man Blues" out of E position in standard tuning, and it's probably his most exciting playing. Unfortunately, the only copy of the song up on youtube is seriously whupped, so you'll see a number of bent bracketed places in the transcription, all of which I would very much appreciate help in hearing. And as far as that goes, I may well have screwed up the places I think I'm sure of. This is in as bad a shape as a couple of those Ed Bell songs, like "Rosca Mama Blues". Anyway, here is "Naked Man Blues":



INTRO

I'm gonna get me a woman, I can call my own
I'm gonna get me a woman that I can call my own
I've been [driven ?       ], 'til I don't know right from wrong

Lord, [I read the news, baby], my woman's in this town
Lord, I heard the news, my, woman's in this town
But you never listen, baby, you do love to run around

SOLO

Babe, I ain't got no shoes, baby, I ain't got no clothes to wear
Lord, I ain't got no shoes, baby, I ain't got no clothes to wear
Gal, and if I did, I would follow you everywhere

Lord, she's long and tall, Lord, hips just like a snake
Lord, she's long and tall, and her, hips just like a snake
Lord, she's long and tall, ooo, hips just like a snake
That's the onliest girl I will love, that is, in this place

Pretty babe, I know you don't mean me no good
Yeah, babe, I know you don't mean me no good
'Cause every time I leave you, you're all over the neighborhood

CODA

All best,
Johnm 
43
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 23, 2020, 09:49:10 AM »
Thanks for the help, Dave, Prof and Chris. I agree, Dave, the sound on that New Orleans session is amazing--such a live room, but warm, too, not harsh. I heard "mess" in the first place, too, Prof. I reckon Chris got it--once I heard "let" rather than "live" I was just going down the wrong path, both in terms of sound and sense. Thanks, Chris, for the catch, and I have made the change.
All best,
Johnm
44
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by banjochris on November 23, 2020, 09:29:18 AM »
Bo's singing "Don't you want to live in this world here long."
Chris
45
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by Prof Scratchy on November 23, 2020, 09:22:19 AM »
I have terrible ears, even with mechanical assistance, but I hear ‘ mess win(d) you along’....
46
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by David Kaatz on November 23, 2020, 09:18:29 AM »
John,
I think Bo is singing 'ere long, meaning "before long". So, mind your business before it wears you down.

I must comment, the quality of those recordings from this session in New Orleans is amazing. You can really hear the resonance of the room where Bo is singing. A wonderful natural reverb.

Dave
47
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 23, 2020, 05:54:27 AM »
Hi all,
Bo Carter recorded "You Better Know Your Business" on February 20, 1936 in New Orleans, accompanying himself out of A position in standard tuning. I'd very much appreciate corroboration or correction on the ending of the last line of the refrain here. Despite the recording being very clear, I'm having a hard time hearing or getting the sense of Bo's meaning. First I thought he was saying "nest", which made no sense, and then decided he must be shortening "business" to "'ness", but then I'm unclear as to whether the word that follows it is "wear" or "worry". So help is much appreciated.  Here is "You Better Know Your Business":



INTRO

Say, you strayed from home, baby, 'fore you's grown, you's runnin' and ribbin', wouldn't let other women's men alone
REFRAIN: Baby, you better know your business, say, you better know your business
I mean you better know your business, don't you want to live in this world here long

Say, you get a good man, then you won't treat him right, you lay around with other women's men at night
REFRAIN: Baby, you better know your business, baby, please know your business
I mean you better know your business, don't you want to live in this world here long

Say, you always goin', baby, in and out, tryin' to show other women's men just what you've got
REFRAIN: Baby, why don't you know your business, baby, please know your business
I mean you better know your business, don't you want to live in this world here long

SOLO

Say, you're flyin' high now, some day you will fly low, you get dog-bit, it'll be by old Fido
REFRAIN: Baby, please know your business, baby, please know your business
I mean you better know your business, don't you want to live in this world here long

Say, you taken exposing from your head to  your knees, next thing you know you'll have a case of the old TBs
REFRAIN: Baby, please know your business, baby, please know your business
I mean you better know your business, don't you want to live in this world here long

CODA

Edited 11/23 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm   
48
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Sonny Scott Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 21, 2020, 05:28:50 PM »
Hi all,
I realized that I have heard the phrase "feet of clay" all my life without knowing it's origin. Google offered the following from a UK website called the phrase finder:
FEET OF CLAY - "The phrase comes from the Old Testament (Dan. 2:31-32). There the Hebrew captain Daniel interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar, founder of the new Babylonian Empire. ... Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the clay feet of the figure made it vulnerable, that it prophesized the breaking apart of his empire.Aug 26, 2002

Feet of clay - phrase meaning and origin - The Phrase Finder

All best,
Johnm
49
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Sonny Scott Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 21, 2020, 02:10:43 PM »
Hi all,
Sonny Scott recorded "Fire Wood Man" at his big solo session day in New York City on July 18, 1933. He played the song out of C position in standard tuning, and his accompaniment is very similar to the one that he played on "Black Horse Blues". Sonny Scott was quite the philosopher--I love that next-to-last verse, and I've not heard one like that before. Here is "Fire Wood Man":



INTRO

Lord, a fire will burn wood and coal and a man sit down to warm
Lord, a fire will burn wood and coal and a man will sit down to warm
And if his woman ain't right, she will do something wrong

Lord, a good girl can jump a rope, baby, and a duck can swim a pond
Lord, a good girl can jump a rope, baby, and a duck can swim a pond
I come home late last night and, she was out and gone

Oh babe, you don't mean your fire wood man no good
Oh babe, you don't mean your fire wood man no good
Well you treat me so mean, I had to leave my neighborhood

Lord, a man come in this world and he, have but a few minutes to stay
Lord, a man come in this world and he, have but a few minutes to stay
Lord, his head is full of nonsense and his feets all full of clay

I got cold last night, Lord, I got up to warm
I got cold last night and, I got up to warm
But you had your hairpins on, and I had to leave my home

SOLO

CODA

All best,
Johnm




50
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Sonny Scott Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on November 20, 2020, 12:50:16 PM »
Hi all,
Sonny Scott recorded "Red Rooster Blues" on the same day he recorded "Coal Mountain Blues", accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning and playing many of the same licks that he used on "Highway No. 2 Blues". Sonny Scott once again had some different lyrics in this one. He cuts his concluding solo short for his coda. Here is "Red Rooster Blues":



INTRO SOLO

I got a rooster in my back yard, been crowin' all day long
I got a rooster in my back yard, been crowin' all day long
I believe to my soul, and my, chicken wants some corn

I went out last night, try to, get myself two hens
Lord, I went out last night, I tried to, get myself two hens
Lord, to put with my rooster, 'cause I wants to hear him crow again

Lord, he crowed this mornin', crowed 'fore the break of day
Lord, he crowed this mornin', crowed 'fore the break of day
And it puts me on the wonder, when my rooster crows that way

I went out in my henhouse, I did not make a sound
Lord, I went out in my henhouse, did not make a sound
First time my rooster is crowin' and there weren't no hens around

If my rooster don't stop crowin', baby, I don't know what I'll do
If my rooster don't stop crowin', don't know what I'll do
Because he wants one hen, baby, b'lieve I wants one, too

SOLO

CODA

All best,
Johnm



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