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Author Topic: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back  (Read 867 times)

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Offline Pan

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SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« on: October 31, 2017, 07:01:35 PM »
Hi all,

For this month?s song of the moment I chose the old ragtime tune "Take Me Back, Babe/Beggin? Back?. The song was originally composed by T. Barrett McMahon in 1898. A sheet music version with lyrics can be seen here. The chorus melody resembles the one played by cb musicians, but the lyrics (thankfully) differ quite a bit.

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=0ahUKEwjovNrSk5zXAhVlJpoKHRlTD84QFghHMAk&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.library.umaine.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D5051%26context%3Dmmb-vp&usg=AOvVaw38xPcA9OKY-bDmKl4rKedf


The first recorded version of the tune that I?m aware of was done by Blind Lemon Jefferson in August 1926, as ?Beggin? Back?. Lemon?s lyrics are quite different, and he adds long spoken narratives. The lyrics can be seen at this Weeniepedia page:

http://weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Beggin%27_Back



In 1927 Henry Thomas recorded ?Bob McKinney?, a song which incorporates several  well known tunes like ?The Bully of the Town? and ?Make Me a Pallet on the Floor?, along with ?Take Me Back?.

The lyrics can be seen here:

 http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=1232.0



In June 1928 Thomas recorded ?Bulldoze Blues?, where he again cited ?Take me Back?.



In August 1928 Frank Stokes recorded ?Take Me Back? with Dan Sane on 2nd guitar. Stokes plays out of C position, pitched at around D, and what is striking, is his occasional habit of playing the IV or F chord leaving the 2nd string open, a sound you don?t hear often.



We must wait until 1969, to hear Mance Lipscomb doing the song live, reckoning that the song is ?about 60 years old?.



Lightnin? Hopkins did the song several times, here are two solo versions, and one with a rhythm section.







Here?s a version by Corey Harris from his 1997 album ?Fish Ain't Biting?:



You can hear Frankie Basile?s version from 2004 here:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=401.msg2636#msg2636

Johnson, Miller & Dermody did a great trio version in 2007. 



And finally here?s a young man I recently had the pleasure to share the stage with in Berlin.  Carl ?Buffalo? Nichols mostly does his own folk/jazz/singer-songwriter  stuff,  along with his partner Johanna Rose, but I?m pleased to see him with some more traditional material as well.



There are some fairly big gaps in this song's recorded history, so if you have additional information or versions, please let us know!

Cheers

Pan


Edited to add: I've made a YouTube playlist of the tunes in this thread. You'll find it here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNEJV1lNKyyWwis80VtST1kY-48zO3zHn&disable_polymer=true

« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 11:35:10 AM by Pan »

Offline harriet

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 04:34:28 AM »
Great topic Pan, I will enjoy surfing through the various versions you've posted that I haven't heard...as an aside I saw Mance Lipscomb in Oklahoma wearing that shirt so that clip always brings back some memories.

Best,
Harriet


Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 06:36:51 AM »
Thanks for your choice of songs, Pan, and the work you did tracking down all of those versions.  It's interesting that Henry Thomas sometimes had a tendency to interpolate different songs into his renditions as they went along.  I'll have to check to see if he did that on any songs other than "Bob McKinney" and "Bull Doze Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Online Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 01:54:41 AM »
Great choice, Pan. Hadn't realised that it turned up as a 'guest song' in other songs!

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Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 06:22:45 AM »
 
Quote from: Johnm
It's interesting that Henry Thomas sometimes had a tendency to interpolate different songs into his renditions as they went along. 
Tony Russell in Blacks, Whites and Blues sees a similarity between this and the earlier medley records by Uncle Dave Macon ? saying "it's hard to dismiss the suspicion" that Brunswick Records put him up to copying what had been a successful formula for the Whiite market.

Unsurprisingly, Leadbelly recorded a version:
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 06:25:59 AM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 11:37:18 AM »
Thanks for the additional information, and the Leadbelly version, David!

I added his version to my YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNEJV1lNKyyWwis80VtST1kY-48zO3zHn&disable_polymer=true

Keep 'em coming, folks!

Cheers,

Pan

Offline Fotusky

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 03:48:15 PM »
As requested Pan. Hope you enjoy it. - Frank

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Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 06:29:00 PM »
I'd count the recording titled Buttermilk by Miles and Bob Patcher as a version of Take Me Back.

Nobody has uploaded it to YouTube, but you can access it from the Alan Lomax archive at the Cultural Equity site:

http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-detailed-recording.do?recordingId=4227
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 07:34:00 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 06:51:30 AM »
Thanks for posting your version, Frank! What a nice surprise to come across it right after posting this thread!

Maybe it's just me, David, but I hear "Buttermilk" as a different tune, although the lyrics do resemble Take Me Back. A great song, nevertheless!

There's another great cb tune called "Try Me One More Time", which is sometimes titled as "Take Me Back", but the melody is quite different.

Cheers

Pan


Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 09:28:06 AM »
Hi all,
I agree with Pan that "Buttermilk" is a different tune and song than the "Take Me Back/Beggin' Back" Song of the Month.  The melody of "Buttermilk" is altogether different than that of "Take Me Back", as is its chord progression.  "Take Me Back" starts on a IV chord and has this basic chordal format:

           |    IV    |    IV    |    I    |    I    |

           |    V     |     V    |    I    |    I    |

"Buttermilk" is essentially a I-chord number that hangs on the I chord with momentary V chords at phrase endings.  Sometimes a back-up player will rock to a VI minor chord occasionally.  The melody of "Buttermilk" is the same as that of "Cackling Hen And Rooster Too", a fiddle tune commonly played in the Old-Time tradition.  Really the only similarity that "Buttermilk" has with the Song of the Month "Take Me Back" is in the use of its title phrase in its lyrics.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 11:34:59 AM »
Thanks for the analysis, Johnm!

Cheers,

Pan

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 06:48:08 PM »
John, Pan

Yes, I hear what you hear. But I also hear that the phrasing of the words take me back is different from all those other songs with the words.

Over four bars:

1    |2      |3    |4     ||1       |2     |3    |4     ||1    |2      |3     |4      ||1       |2    |3     |4   ||
?   |Take|?  |me   ||back |?   |?    |?    ||?   |take |?   |me    ||back |?   |?    |?  ||
[/size]

I also hear (I think) the words you don't like.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 07:16:37 PM by DavidCrosbie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2017, 12:08:51 PM »
Hi David,
I believe the lyrics to the Pratchers' version of "Buttermilk" are:

   Take me back, take me back, now, that's all right
   Girl, I had you, you wouldn't do, got me another, don't want you

All best,
Johnm

Offline DavidCrosbie

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 03:42:46 AM »
Thanks for this, John. I'd rather despaired of deciphering other lyrics, but I'll go back to it.

My trouble is that the phrase ? the three words repeated and syncopated over sort-of four bars ? is (and I thinks long has been) an ear worm. While listening to the  versions on this thread, that phrases kept repeating in my brain. I didn't remember which Pratcher brothers recording it came from, but I knew it was one of theirs.

Perhaps we should look on it as a free-standing unit which can skip from one song to another. Of course Buttermilk isn't a blues, but the process does recall Jeff Taft's idea of composition though blues formulas. In blues songs, the equivalent might be ? in part ? Take me back Baby (+ e.g. try me one more time). In this formulaic unit there's no syncopation: Take me sits on the first beat and back sits on the second.

Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 12:18:19 PM »
Hi all,

Upon hearing Algia Mae Hinton's "Going Down This Road (Lord I'm Feeling Bad)", I was thinking it's a remake of "Take me back". On closer listening, she does the latter part of the vocal chorus slightly differently, but the guitar melody, and the song form are very similar to "Take Me back", so maybe she was influenced with "Take Me Back"?  What do you think?



Cheers,

Pan


Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM November 2017: Take Me Back (Babe)/Beggin' Back
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 12:22:36 PM »
Hi Pan,
That is a good find!  I agree with you that the chord progression and the melody Algia Mae played on the guitar are identical to those of "Take Me Back", though her sung melody differed slightly.  It seems unlikely that her song was not influenced by memories of "Take Me Back".
All best,
Johnm

 


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