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When you go down in Deep Elem to have a little fun have your $15 ready when that police man comes - Prarie Ramblers, Deep Elem Blues

Author Topic: Luke Jordan Lyrics  (Read 38478 times)

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Offline Slack

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Luke Jordan Lyrics
« on: August 27, 2003, 08:38:31 PM »
The definitive lyrics I believe and maybe inspire Rivers to post the thread.

Church Bell Blues (take 1)
Luke Jordan

The Church Bells ringin'
Secretary singin'
The preachers preachin
Can't you hear the sisters shouting
Children in the pulpit
Mama's trying to learn my song
Now that low down dirty Deacon
Done stole my gal and gone

Yeah my older brother had 'em
My sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em
My mother died with them
Woke up this mornin'
The family had the worried blues
Poked my head over in the corner
Poor grand mammie had em too

I did more for you woman
Way last winter
Laid in the forty
You know I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you woman
The the good lord had ever done
Came downtown and bought you a good hair
The lord hadn't given you none

(Extra verse from Take 2)
You better stop your nappy-head woman
From eatin' my meat
Drinkin' my wine
Spending all my money
You better stop your gal
Bud from ticklin' under my chin
You're gonna run home some of these mornins
Partners where you can't get in

Hand me back that hat I bought you
That coat and waist
That shawl I bought you mama
Gotta bring shoes and all
If you don?t like your daddy
You got no right to care or stall
Hand me back that wig I bought you mama
Let you doggone head go bald

You know I can't be no bank boy
No superintendent
Can't clerk in no commissary
Ain't gonna work on no tipple
And I promised the good lord
Partner not to dig no coal
I'm gonna hang around the country
Try to find some jelly roll

Said my mammie got a hatchet
My papas got an axe
My sister's got a shepherd
My brothers got some hounds
Some men crazy 'bout yellow women
Some men like a teasin' brown
I'm a stranger in town mama
Believe I'm going the whole way down

She wouldn't  cook me no breakfeast
She wouldn't get me no dinner
She squalled and brought me supper
And she kicked me outdoors
She had the nerve to ask me woulda
A matchbox hold my clothes
Had a nerve to ask me woulda
Matchbox hold my clothes

« Last Edit: August 28, 2003, 07:53:31 AM by Slack »

Offline uncle bud

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Re:Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2003, 06:51:07 AM »
Not to deny the definitive version and start the whole debate again ;D, but I always thought that penultimate verse went:

Some men crazy 'bout yellow women
Some men like (or likes, or liked) a teasin' brown

uncle bud

Offline Slack

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Re:Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2003, 07:52:44 AM »
Not to deny the definitive version and start the whole debate again ;D, but I always thought that penultimate verse went:

What!?!  Yer Nuts!

Quote
Some men crazy 'bout yellow women
Some men like (or likes, or liked) a teasin' brown

Actually, this works better and makes more sense - even without listening to it again I'll change it.  ;D

cheers,

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2003, 11:40:52 AM »
I'm compiling the Church Bell Blues thread from '98 / '99. Can report it is pretty interesting.

The similarity we noted between a verse in CBB and Rube Lacey's Ham Hound Crave eventually spawned the intense 'origins of the blues?' discussion that got Lovesick Steve, Lindy, Bill, Slack, Frankie & I all riled up and diving into the history.

I will pull out both threads separately and post them since so much quality hot air should not be allowed to just dissipate. Also will find some time to compile the Geechie Wiley 'Last Kind Words' thread that likewise took in some rich scenic detours.

Talking of which I'm heading off on holiday to NZ's East Cape and Hawkes Bay shortly but hope to get it done today.

Edit: thread posted below. There's a lot of redundancy in it but some interesting facts nonetheless. Plus it's always interesting to see how these collaborative transcription things develop.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2003, 12:53:34 PM by Rivers »

Offline Rivers

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The old CBB thread
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2003, 12:31:56 PM »
Here's part 1 of the old Church Bell Blues thread:

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 00:23:00 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Church Bell Blues Lyrics

It's taken me awhile to get to this!? Thanks for your patience Frank, I've
also lost your web address in all this mess - so I hope CBB is still on your
weenie scratch pad (I should just link to it).? Anyway, this song for some
reason, fascinates me.? I'd sure like to fill more of some gaping holes in the
lyrics.? Two takes of this song, the first with fewer verses is of course,
clear in sound and ennunciation.? The second version is scratchy, speeded up
(1/2 tone higher than take 1, which is at concert pitch, key of E), poor
enunciation and what sounds like some very interesting verses.? :)? Take 2 is
on the East Coast Blues comp and a document CD, dunno if it appears anywhere
else.? Frank, maybe you could make it available to download as opposed to
listening over the net as it will take alot of "rewinding".? Thanks for any
help.

Church Bell Blues (take 1)

Ah, the Church Bells ringin'
Secretary singin'
The preachers preachin
Can't you hear the sisters shouting
Children in the pulpit
Mama's trying to learn my song
And that low down dirty Deacon
Done stole my gal and gone

Yeah my older brother had 'em
My sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em
My mother died with them
Woke up this mornin'
The family had the worried blues
Poked my head over in the corner
Poor grand mammie had em too

I did more for you woman
way last winter
laid in the forty
you know I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you woman
The good lord had ever done
carried you to town and bought you a good ham
the lord hadn't given you none

You better stop your nappy-head woman
from eatin' my meat
drinkin my wine
spending all my money
You better stop your gal
Bud from ticklin' under my chin
You're gonna run home some of these mornins
Partners where you can't get in

Church Bell Blues (take 2)

1st three verses are same as take #1

(I have some very large gaps here, I understand almost none of verse 4, except
the following snippits)

If you don;t like you Daddy
you got no right to .......... can a stall?

...... mama, let you doggone head go bald(?)

verse 5
I can't be no bank boss
no superintident
-------------------??
....work on no skiffle
And I promised the good lord
partner not to be beat no coal(?)
I'm gonna hang around the country
Try to find some jelly roll

said my mammie got a hatchet
my papas got an axe
my sister's got a shepard
my brothers got some hounds
some men crave a yellow women
some men like to tease in brown ?
I'm a stranger in town mama
{...........} going the whole way down (?)

She was cookin our breakfeast
she was skippin' our dinner
.......... bought me supper
she kicked me outdoors
she had the nerve to ask me
would a matchbox hold my clothes
had a nerve to ask me
would a matchbox hold my clothes


Cheers,
JohnD




--------------------? 21? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 00:24:28 +1300
From: Rivers
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

I have to confess, in danger of completely blowing the last tiny shattered
remnants of my credibility, I've never heard it. But the lyrics rang a bell
(excuse the pun). Four questions before I go web searching:

1) Lyrically, did you notice the resemblance to Rube Lacey's 'Ham Hound Crave'? Or
at least the middle-16 bars thereof, almost identical, except Rube ends it up by
resolving to go get his hambone boiled.
2) How are the songs and / or Luke Jordan & Rube Lacey related, if known? Where
was Luke Jordan from?
3) Which was recorded first? My copy of Dixon & Godrich is still in the post so I
can't look it up yet. 'Ham Hound' is dated March 1928. I always think it's a
tragedy only one other Lacey recording has been discovered, Rube was totally
awesome. David Edwards mentions in 'Big Road Blues' there might be another
unreleased recording out there.
4) What CD are CCB 1 & 2 on actually?

Mark.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:53:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2003, 12:38:01 PM »
Part 2:
--------------------  23  --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 14:26:07 -0000
From: Frankie
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

JohnD writes:

>Frank, maybe you could make it available to download
>as opposed to listening over the net as it will take
>alot of "rewinding".  Thanks for any help.

As it is, you can choose a streaming option or a
download option.  You can rewind (or fast forward) to
any section of a streaming file by moving the little
cursor on the RealPlayer.  I found that out by
accident!

The url:

http://home.earthlink.net/~zeppa/weenie.htm

>carried you to town and bought you a good ham
>the lord hadn't given you none

I hear the first part of this couplet as:

Downtown and bought you good hair

One assumes he 'went'.  I've heard this kind of thing
before, Charley Jordan comes to mind...  something like
"you got good hair but you bought it from the Jew". 
"Good" hair in this context means "straight".

The jury's still out on verse 4.  Sheesh!  What the
hell is he talking about?

>verse 5
>I can't be no bank boss
>no superintident
>-------------------??

I hear the word "commissary" here but I can't make the
rest of the line out at all....

>Try to find some jelly roll

Sounds to me like he's planning to:

Try to stuff some jelly roll

Pretty graphic, huh? <g>

>said my mammie got a hatchet
>my papas got an axe
>my sister's got a shepard
>my brothers got some hounds
>some men crave a yellow women

I'm not sure about "shepard"... but I can't hear
anything more likely.

>some men like to tease in brown ?

I hear:

Some men like their teasin' brown

>I'm a stranger in town mama
>{...........} going the whole way down (?)

I hear the second part of this couplet as:

B'lieve I'm going the whole world 'round.

It sorta fits in with his "Travelin' Coon" aesthetic.

>She was cookin our breakfeast
>she was skippin' our dinner
>......... bought me supper
>she kicked me outdoors

I hear this as:

She wouldn't cook me no breakfast
She wouldn't get me no dinner
Papa (?) bought me supper
And she kicked me outdoors

f


--------------------  24  --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 14:40:26 -0000
From: Frankie
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

MarkH writes:

>1) Lyrically, did you notice the resemblance to Rube
>Lacey's 'Ham Hound Crave'?

Yeah...  being a confirmed blues nerd, I live for this
kind of thing!

>2) How are the songs and / or Luke Jordan & Rube Lacey
>related, if known? Where was Luke Jordan from?

LJ is from Virginia.  There's a short blurb about him
in Bruce Bastin's _Red River Blues_, which is _THE_
definitive book on East Coast blues.  Has some
fantastic chapters on Blind Boy Fuller and Reverend
Gary Davis.  There's also an entire article devoted to
him in an early volume of 78 Quarterly, which I have
been unable to find (rrrrrrats!).

I don't have my copy of RRB on me right now but if I
have time tonight, I'll post a paragraph or two of the
short section on LJ.

>3) Which was recorded first? My copy of Dixon &
>Godrich is still in the post so I can't look it up
>yet. 'Ham Hound' is dated March 1928.

CCB was recorded in 1927.  Exact date escapes me at the
moment.  Can check later.

>I always think it's a tragedy only one other Lacey
>recording has been discovered, Rube was totally
>awesome.

I know what you mean.  I am consoled only by the fact
that Ishmon Bracey was pretty well documented! <g>

>4) What CD are CCB 1 & 2 on actually?

The Songster Tradition, Document DOCD-5045

Yum yum!

f

--------------------  25  --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 15:49:40 -0000
From: Frankie
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Frank blurted:

>There's also an entire article devoted to
>him in an early volume of 78 Quarterly,

The "him" being Luke Jordan...

duh!

f

--------------------  26  --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:32:07 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Mark writes:

> I have to confess, in danger of completely blowing the last tiny shattered
>  remnants of my credibility, I've never heard it. But the lyrics rang a bell
>  (excuse the pun). Four questions before I go web searching:

Don't fret(sic), I think Luke Jordan is pretty obscure.  For me it was one of
those delighful discoveries on the 'East Coast BLues' compilation.  (however,
if you want to become a 'completist'!<g>)

>  1) Lyrically, did you notice the resemblance to Rube Lacey's 'Ham Hound
> Crave'? Or at least the middle-16 bars thereof, almost identical, except
Rube >ends it up by resolving to go get his hambone boiled.

You know, somone mentioned this to me before,,, was it you? maybe Frank?
I'll have to go listen to Ham Hound again as I cannot remember the words.

>  2) How are the songs and / or Luke Jordan & Rube Lacey related, if known?
> Where was Luke Jordan from?

I don;t know the relation of songs or artists.  Luke Jordan was born Jan.
28th, 1892 in Appomattox, VA

>  3) Which was recorded first? My copy of Dixon & Godrich is still in the
post
> so I can't look it up yet. 'Ham Hound' is dated March 1928. I always think
it's a

Church Bell Blues was recorded August 16, 1927 in Charlotte, N.C.

>  tragedy only one other Lacey recording has been discovered, Rube was
totally
>  awesome. David Edwards mentions in 'Big Road Blues' there might be another
>  unreleased recording out there.

I agree.  Hope Edwards is right.

>  4) What CD are CCB 1 & 2 on actually?

Document 5045, "The Songster Tradition 1927-1935".  Document accidently came
up with a great compilation CD - highly recommended.

Cheers,
JohnD

--------------------  27  --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:32:09 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Frank writes:

>  As it is, you can choose a streaming option or a
>  download option.  You can rewind (or fast forward) to
>  any section of a streaming file by moving the little
>  cursor on the RealPlayer.  I found that out by
>  accident!

Great, thanks.
 
>  The url:
http://home.earthlink.net/~zeppa/weenie.htm

I've got it bookmarked!

>  Downtown and bought you good hair

>  One assumes he 'went'.  I've heard this kind of thing
>  before, Charley Jordan comes to mind...  something like
>  "you got good hair but you bought it from the Jew". 
>  "Good" hair in this context means "straight".

Yes, I like hair better than "ham" .. hehe.
 
>  The jury's still out on verse 4.  Sheesh!  What the
>  hell is he talking about?
 
I don't know but he is talkin' fast!  Unfortunate that most of the song is
understood but one whole verse!

>  >Try to find some jelly roll
>  Sounds to me like he's planning to:
>  Try to stuff some jelly roll
>  Pretty graphic, huh?

Hehe, yeah, I like that too!

Thanks for the help! I think we may have to completely forget about verse 4.

Cheers,
JohnD

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2003, 12:40:35 PM »
Part 3:


--------------------? 28? --------------------
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 16:07:08 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Mark writes:

> 1) Lyrically, did you notice the resemblance to Rube Lacey's 'Ham Hound
>Crave'?

Yes, 1st verse of CBB and 5th of HHC are very similar.? Lacy was born in
Pelahatchie, MS (long way from Virginia) and HHC was recorded in Itta Bena,
MS. Liner notes on Mississippi Moaners CD says: "The fifth verse sideswipe at
philandering ministers must have brought a smirk to Itta Benins, who long
remembered Lacy for running off with a minister's wife."

JohnD





--------------------? 29? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 12:50:56 +1300
From: Rivers
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

John D writes:

> You know, somone mentioned this to me before,,, was it you? maybe Frank?
> I'll have to go listen to Ham Hound again as I cannot remember the words.

I enjoy scratching around with this stuff as it invariably throws up interesting
little threads. 'Twas not me who mentioned the similarity. Ham Hound's break verse
hangs on the IV-chord in the preferred weenie manner 'til you just can't stand the
suspense anymore then goes I- V- I- on the end, lyrics are:

I don't want no hoghead,
No eat no chitlin,
Don't want no spareribs,
Don't eat no backbone,
Mama gotta hambone,
I wonder can I get it boiled.
Ah the Chicago women, now,
'bout to let my hambone spoil.

Church's bell is ringing,
The preacher preachin',
Secretary writing,
The members shouting,
The dirty deacon
Has taken ma gal and gone.
And all his children now,
Papa tryin' to sing my song.

> >? 2) How are the songs and / or Luke Jordan & Rube Lacey related, if known?
> > Where was Luke Jordan from?
>
> I don;t know the relation of songs or artists.? Luke Jordan was born Jan.
> 28th, 1892 in Appomattox, VA

I'd bet Rube heard Church Bell Blues on a record and copped the verse from there.
Rube was from Pellahatchie nr. Jackson MS and was hanging out at Dockery's in
1927/28 according to Evans. My Document notes on Ham Hound says it was recorded in
Chicago at Lamar Life Insurance Building, not Itta Bena where he was then living
(just saw your latest post fly by mentioning that ambiguous liner note ref. on
Miss. Moaners).

Wheels within wheels, interesting little sidebar: Check out the notorious Ralph
Lembo speaking some weird b/v's on Ham Hound after verse 2. Lembo was an Itta Bena
talent scout of Scicilian extraction, tried to sign Patton and Lemon for peanuts,
was involved with the Miss. Sheiks big hit record and reputedly ripped-off Lacey
for the record's royalties. I would surmise this might have contributed to Rube's
decision to quit the blues. See the Wardlow/Calt Patton book for the goss.

Maybe Lacey and Jordan knew each other. Did Jordan get around much? Evans doesn't
mention him or CBB, neither do Wardlow & Calt in the Patton book. Maybe it's an
old blues gag they both picked up on independently but not really likely, they're
too similar in meter and lyric.

> >? awesome. David Edwards mentions in 'Big Road Blues' there might be another
> >? unreleased recording out there.
>
> I agree.? Hope Edwards is right.

It's a very long shot. Title was 'Long Lonesome Blues', Lemon's tune I guess? I
think I read it was recorded on the same session but I can't find the reference
(and Columbia can't find the master...).

> Document 5045, "The Songster Tradition 1927-1935".? Document accidently came
> up with a great compilation CD - highly recommended.

OK, thanks, I'll order it up.

Frank writes:

> There's a short blurb about him
> in Bruce Bastin's _Red River Blues_, which is _THE_
> definitive book on East Coast blues.

OK, thanks for the rec Frank, I'll see if I can order that one as well.
Single-handedly propping up their inflated share price, Amazon.com here I come...
though they do send me complimentary fridge magnets and fawning thank-you letters
with my books.

Mark.


--------------------? 30? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 01:45:37 -0000
From: Frankie
Subject: Luke Jordan blurb from Red River Blues

---
The Home Page:
? http://home.earthlink.net/~zeppa/index.htm

The Weenie Scratch Pad:
? http://home.earthlink.net/~zeppa/weenie.htm




-----== Sent via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/? Easy access to 50,000+ discussion forums


--------------------? 32? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 02:05:59 -0000
From: Frankie
Subject: Luke Jordan blurb from Red River Blues

From Red River Blues by Bruce Bastin, pp. 296-297.?
Reprinted without permission under the the fair use
yadda yadda yadda...

"Charles Rey, Okeh's Richmond distributor, had scouted
for Blues Birdhead, and quite possibly a local dealer
located perhaps the best known and most respected of
Virginia bluesmen, Luke Jordan from Lynchburg.? He
recorded the first of his ten sides for Victor in
Charlotte on August 16, 1927.? They sold well, and
"Church Bells Blues" from his second coupling remains
his best remembered song.? In November 1929 Victor
brought him to New York, where he cut six more sides,
of which two remain unissued while one coupling has
yet to be found.? Jordan was born in either Appomattox
or Campbell County about 1890 and lived in Lynchburg
from his late teens until his death in the early-mid
1940s.? Without peer there as a singer and guitarist,
he appears to have been a professional performer and
was never known to have held a regular job.? Using his
Gibson guitar, Jordan taught many other guitarists of
his and the following generation."

Paraphrasing some bits related further on, LJ was part
of a vibrant musical scene that went, save him,
unrecorded.? LJ learned Church Bells Blues from
another guitarist, Brown Pollard, who was unable to
recall a specific source for the tune.? While it seems
possible to me that Rube Lacy and LJ could have met
*or* that Lacy could have copped the the verse from
LJ's record, it's equally possible that Lacy could
have gotten the verse from an obscure, unrecorded
source.

If the examples of Brown Pollard and Luke Jordan, Ike
Zinneman and Robert Johnson serve to tell us anything
about influences, it's that the recorded legacy is
anything but a complete (or even accurate) document.

f

--------------------? 33? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 17:48:13 +1300
From: Rivers
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Thanks Frank for the Church Bell Blues audio. I might have a couple of pieces of
the jigsaw puzzle.

> Poked my head over in the corner
> Poor grand mammie had em too

I hear "Had a peep over in the corner" (hardly an earth shattering difference that
one...)

> I did more for you woman
> way last winter
> laid in the forty

I hear "Laid (or 'late') in the Fall", he's singing about the seasons there.

> you know I scuffled through the summer
> I did more for you woman
> The good lord had ever done
> carried you to town and bought you a good ham

I hear "I came and brought you good ham", clearer on take 2.

> Church Bell Blues (take 2)

> If you don;t like you Daddy
> you got no right to .......... can a stall?

Dunno, might be. But I'm pretty sure the next line starts: "Hand me back that wig
(above you??)...??" which fits (sort of) with:

> ..... mama, let you doggone head go bald(?)
>
> verse 5
> I can't be no bank boss
> no superintident
> -------------------??

"Can't clerk in no commisary".

> I'm a stranger in town mama
> {...........} going the whole way down (?)

"Thinkin' of"

> She was cookin our breakfeast
> she was skippin' our dinner
> ......... bought me supper

"The squabber". What the hell's a squabber? Some vernacular term?

Mark.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:58:53 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2003, 12:42:44 PM »
Part 4:
--------------------? 34? --------------------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 11:32:33 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Good work Mark!? Between you and Frank, I've got enough to flesh out a couple
more verses.? I'll add em in and repost in case anyone is interested in this
song.? It is fun and easy to play... and makes you appreciate what immpeccable
timing and an expressive voice can do for a simple song!? May have to work on
Ham Hound Crave too, J. Miller taught it in one of his classes... so I used to
know the main E lick.

Frank, re: the LJ blurb, very interesting, I'll have to order the book too. I
notice that '95 J-45 is back at Elderly's - sorry it was not a good one. You
gonna buy the '98 that you liked?

Thank you all for your generosity, Happy New Year and Happy Picking!
JohnD

--------------------? 38? --------------------
Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1999 14:42:50 +1300
From: Rivers
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues Lyrics

Re. reconstructing the fourth verse about the wig, came to me in a flash after I
nailed the penultimate line; it's all about fashion repossession:

Hand me back that hat I bought you,
That coat and waist, (short for waistcoat?),
That (?style?) I bought you mama,
Got a (?brain suitin' on?), (work in progress...)
You don't like your daddy,
You got no right to (?can a stall?) (w.i.p.)
Hand me back that wig I bought you mama,
Let your doggone head grow bald

Fifth verse I think the whole thing is this:

You know I can't be no bank boy, (not 'boss')
No superintendent,
Can't clerk in no commissary,
Ain't gonna work on no ship, boy.
And I promised the good Lord,
Pardner, not to dig no coal.
I'm gonna hang 'round the country,
To try to stuff some jelly roll.

"Shepherd" is certainly correct in the axe / dog verse, as in "German shepherd"

Correction to the polarity of the last verse where he's complaining about the
catering:
First line is not "was", it's "wasn't", as in
"She wasn't cookin' our breakfast"

The missing phrase in the third line is I think 'She squalled and...', as in
'complained':
"She squalled and brought me supper"

Cool song, eh? Thanks!

Mark.
--------------------? xx? --------------------
Related snippet from the 'blues origin' thread:

Lovesick: > >? I'd guess Rube heard and copied the record, same as we do now.

Rivers: Ah but we don't know that for sure, and Rube doesn't say how long he'd been playing
it in Evans's book. It's very polished for a song he would have had to put together
in less than a year if it came from Jordan's record. I think they both came from
someplace else, a much older song.

--------------------? 45? --------------------
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 23:21:06 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Church Bell Blues (Final?)

OK Frank, here you go.? This is really alot closer than I expected... so good
work.? Mark, your work on verse 4 was particularly impressive!? ...and from a
lousy .RA file!? (I believe I nailed a few more words in the verse e.g.
'shawl' and 'shoes and all' - so check it out)

Someone refresh my memory: a dock worker on the mississippi was called what?
a Skiffle?? I'm trying to place where 'scuffled through the summer' comes
from.? Also in the 5th verse 'I ain't gonna work on no 'tiffer' (is what I
hear) is there a river boat name close to this word?

Thanks fellars, great tune!

Church Bell Blues (take 1)

Ah, the Church Bells ringin'
Secretary singin'
The preachers preachin
Can't you hear the sisters shouting
Children in the pulpit
Mama's trying to learn my song
Now that low down dirty Deacon
Done stole my gal and gone

Yeah my older brother had 'em
My sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em
My mother died with them
Woke up this mornin'
The family had the worried blues
Poked my head over in the corner (or had a peep over in the corner, depending
on take)
Poor grand mammie had em too

I did more for you woman
Way last winter
Laid in the forty
You know I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you woman
The good lord had ever done
Downtown and bought you a good ham (hair)
The lord hadn't given you none

You better stop your nappy-head woman
From eatin' my meat
Drinkin' my wine
Spending all my money
You better stop your gal
Bud from ticklin' under my chin
You're gonna run home some of these mornins
Partners where you can't get in

Church Bell Blues (take 2)

(1st three verses are same as take #1)

Hand me back that hat I bought you
That coat and waist
That shawl I bought you mama
Got a (?brain?) shoes and all
If you don't like your daddy
You got no right to (?can or stall?)
Hand me back that wig I bought you mama
Let you doggoned head go bald

You know I can't be no bank boy
No superintendent
Can't clerk in no commissary
Ain't gonna work on no (?Tiffer?)
And I promised the good lord
Partner not to dig no coal
I'm gonna hang around the country
Try to find(stuff) some jelly roll

Said my mammie got a hatchet
My papas got an axe
My sister's got a shepherd
My brothers got some hounds
Some men crave a yellow women
Some men like to tease in brown
I'm a stranger in town mama
Believe I'm going the whole way down

She wasn't?cookin our breakfeast
She wouldn't get me no dinner
She squalled and brought me supper
And she kicked me outdoors
She had the nerve to ask me woulda
Matchbox hold my clothes
Had a nerve to ask me woulda
Matchbox hold my clothes


Cheers,
JohnD
--------------------? 21? --------------------
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 11:12:07 +1300
From: Rivers
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues (Final?)

Got another word for the song:

> Got a (?brain?) shoes and all

Gotta bring y'shoes and all

> You got no right to (?can or stall?)

I have decided to quit my job and devote the rest of my life to deciphering
lyrics. Aaaargh! What is that line? I hear 'can *and* stall'. Is 'can' an old verb for
complain or something?

Tiffer/Tipfer: Bill, anything in your slang dictionery?

Mark.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 10:02:25 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2003, 12:43:40 PM »
Part 5 (final):
--------------------? 28? --------------------
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 00:59:46 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues (Final?)

Mark writes:
> Got another word for the song:
>? > Got a (?brain?) shoes and all
>? Gotta bring y'shoes and all

Yeah, I think that works well!? (Although I hear no "y'")? My other thought
was a contracted brand new as in 'Got brand new shoes and all'? - but I think
bring works better in context.... as in you gotta bring ME shoes and all.

>? > You got no right to (?can or stall?)
>?
>? I have decided to quit my job and devote the rest of my life to deciphering
>? lyrics. Aaaargh! What is that line? I hear 'can *and* stall'. Is 'can' an
> old verb for complain or something?

You could devote your life to this ONE lyric! ? My only thought is a
contraction for 'carry on' or 'carrying on'.

>? Tiffer/Tipfer: Bill, anything in your slang dictionery?

I think this word is "tipple".? Refering to my Websters Third New
International:? tipple n. 1) an apparatus by which loaded cars are emptied by
tipping sometime including an elevated runway or framework upon which the cars
are run for tipping.? 2) The place where tipping is done : tip; specifically:
a coal screening plant.

How 'bout them apples!?!? (...like solving a muder mystery, too much fun!)

OK, here are the lyrics again, with the additions, some refinements (and my
preferences :) ).

Church Bell Blues (take 1)

The Church Bells ringin'
Secretary singin'
The preachers preachin'
Can't you hear the sisters shouting
Children in the pulpit
Mama's trying to learn my song
Now that low down dirty Deacon
Done stole my gal and gone

Yeah my older brother had 'em
My sister had 'em
My auntie had 'em
My mother died with them
Woke up this mornin'
The family had the worried blues
Poked my head over in the corner
Poor grand mammie had em too

I did more for you woman
Way last winter
Laid in the forty
You know I scuffled through the summer
I did more for you woman
Then the good lord had ever done
Came downtown and bought you a good ham
The lord hadn't given you none

You better stop your nappy-head woman
From eatin' my meat
Drinkin' my wine
Spending all my money
You better stop your gal
Bud from ticklin' under my chin
You're gonna run home some of these mornins
Partners where you can't get in

Church Bell Blues (take 2)

(1st three verses are same as take #1)

Hand me back that hat I bought you
That coat and waist
That shawl I bought you mama
Gotta bring shoes and all
If you don't like your daddy
You got no right to (?can or stall?)
Hand me back that wig I bought you mama
Let you doggoned head go bald

You know I can't be no bank boy
No superintendent
Can't clerk in no commissary
Ain't gonna work on no tipple
And I promised the good lord
Partner not to dig no coal
I'm gonna hang around the country
Try to find some jelly roll

Said my mammie got a hatchet
My papas got an axe
My sister's got a shepherd
My brothers got some hounds
Some men crave a yellow women
Some men like to tease in brown
I'm a stranger in town mama
Believe I'm going the whole way down

She wouldn't?cook me no breakfeast
She wouldn't get me no dinner
She squalled and brought me supper
And she kicked me outdoors
She had the nerve to ask me woulda
A matchbox hold my clothes
Had a nerve to ask me woulda
Matchbox hold my clothes


Cheers,
JohnD
--------------------? 22? --------------------
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 15:43:24 EST
From: Slack
Subject: Re: [BWC] Church Bell Blues (Final?) Final :)

> >? > You got no right to (?can or stall?)

Just in case, someone's still interested. :)

I think this is? "carin' (as in caring) and stall".? It's very close aurally
and works contextually (If you don;t like your daddy, you got not right to
care or to hesitate about bringing back those things I bought you).

I'm done!

JohnD
« Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 10:05:24 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2003, 12:50:16 PM »
And don't forget JohnM recorded an excellent version of it yonks ago in his Blue Goose days...

Offline Slack

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2004, 09:48:03 AM »
Thanks for posting this Mark, always a fun little trip to the past - hard to beleive 5 years have passed!

cheers,

Offline Johnm

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2004, 10:26:20 AM »
Hi all,
Great to see the reconstruction of the blow-by-blow communal transcription of the lyrics to "Church Bell", Mark, thanks for posting that.  It was really interesting to see what came quick and what came hard.  I didn't remember verses I had simply ignored when I recorded my version on Blue Goose, and you guys really got at some of the difficult phonetic stuff.
One thing strikes me about trying to figure out lyrics from these songs--all knowledge is helpful, and that includes archaic turns of phrase, geography, occupational jargon, etc.  I remember I just lucked into "tipple" because Mike Seeger did an album on Folkways of Old-Time songs relating to the industrialization of the South, called "Tipple, Loom and Rail", on which he does a stellar job on Frank Hutchison's "Miner Blues", the first line of which is,
   Ain't gonna work on no tipple, ain't gonna lay no track.
As for the line, "I done give you good hair, baby, the good Lord never gave you none", I had read where Son House described Charley Patton as having "good" hair. 
The word which had always baffled me in the lyrics (among others) was "shepherd", but you guys definitely got it, and it makes sense.  What a nutty verse.  Good to see what you all were up to in the early days of Weeniedom.
All best,
John

Offline Rivers

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2004, 10:41:42 AM »
>> Frank Hutchison's "Miner Blues", the first line of which is,
   Ain't gonna work on no tipple, ain't gonna lay no track.

Cool, will check it out, we never made that connection. Frank Hutchison was from Luke's neck of the woods, eh?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2004, 12:49:02 PM »
Hi Mark,
According to Kerry Blech's notes to the newly released County Anthology "Old-Time Mountain Blues", Frank Hutchison was from Logan County, West Virginia, as was Dick Justice, whose "Brown Skin Blues" copped lyrics and guitar licks from "Church Bell", and whose version of "Cocaine" is a dead steal of Luke Jordan's version (or vice versa).  Seems like they were close to the same neck of the woods since Luke was a Virginia guy.
All best,
John

Offline Slack

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Re: Church Bell Blues - Luke Jordan
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2004, 01:13:48 PM »
Hey JohnM,

I remembering listening to your blue goose CD for the first time just waiting for the tipple line to roll around - wondering if you had gotten it as I considered it a real coup!   I was very impressed!

I think there may have been a few other diferences in lyrics - but cannot recall them.

cheers,
JohnD

 


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