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I got myself a mamma, she's always got me feeling blue. She acts just like the weather, I don't know what she's going to do - Lonnie Johnson, "Fickle Mamma Blues" (1927)

Author Topic: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics  (Read 14205 times)

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kalihiwai

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Fool's Blues -J.T."Funny Papa" Smith
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2006, 09:44:12 PM »
Thanks Pyrochlore
Great thread that got me out of lurk mode. I have to add one more song to a list of great  JT Smith songs. Fool's Blues, the licks he plays at the end of each verse are too cool. Ultimate cool Texas blues in E standard.
Any insight on these variations would be geatly appreciated .
Also what are LT's?
Thank you John Miller for your J.T. Smith lesson here on Weenie.

Fool's Blues
J.T."Funny Papa" Smith

Spoken:
You know I'm a single handed fool.
And gettin old too...
Well they say god takes care of old folks and fools.
So I guess he will...here I am....

Sung:

1)
Some people tell me god takes care of old folks and fools
Some people tell me that god takes care of old folks and fools
But since I been born they must 'ta have changed his rules.

2)
I used to ask a question then answer that question myself
I used to ask a question then answer that question myself
?Bout when I was born wonder was there any more mercy left

3)
Look like here of late I been cryin both day and night
Look like here of late I been cryin both day and night
Everybody talks about me and nobody don?t treat me right

4)
You know until six months ago I hadn?t prayed a prayer since god knows when
Until six months ago people hadn?t prayed a prayer since god knows when
Now I?m asking god every day to please forgive me for my sin

5)
You know this must be the devil I?m servin I  know it can?t be Jesus Christ
It must be the devil I?m servin I know it can?t be Jesus Christ
All I ask him to save me and look like he?s tryin to take my life

6)
Now I?ve got TB, I?ve got LT?s, I?ve got third degrees in both disease
My health is gone now, left me with the sickness blues
People that don?t seem like to me that god takes care of old folks and fools

Edited to reflect corrections by Pyrochlore and JohnM
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 01:59:46 PM by kalihiwai »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2006, 12:30:40 PM »
Hey K:

That's the spirit. Thanks for the transcription of Fool's Blues, from 1931.

Another six verse tune. FPS sure had a thing with sixes. And again he does a "list" verse (this time verse 6) like "Good Coffee Blues"

Thanks again,
Alex
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006, 12:32:25 PM by Pyrochlore »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2006, 09:54:19 AM »
Hi:

The liner notes from the J.T. "Funny Paper" Smith collected works Document CD transcribes the 6th verse of Fool's Blues as:

I got TB's, ill teeth, I got third degrees and Boll's disease.
My health is gone now, left me with the sickness blues.
People it don't seem like to me that God takes care of ol' folks and fools.

Alex

Offline Johnm

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2006, 11:26:05 AM »
Hi all,
I think Kalihiwai's understanding of that sixth verse of "Fool's Blues" is right on the money.  "Ill teeth"!  They've got to be kidding!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2006, 11:34:09 AM »
The liner notes from the J.T. "Funny Paper" Smith collected works Document CD transcribes the 6th verse of Fool's Blues as:

I got TB's, ill teeth, I got third degrees and Boll's disease.
My health is gone now, left me with the sickness blues.
People it don't seem like to me that God takes care of ol' folks and fools.
Ah ha. I don't have time to research/listen to this now but back in 1969, when this was first reissued on a Buddy Boy Hawkins LP (!), there was a review which mentioned "boll's disease" and went on to explain that it was something contracted from cotton bolls infected by the dreaded weevil. Can't recall LTs or ill teeth but seem to hear in my head "ill at ease" pronounced "ellatease". But this may just be garbage dredged from an addled brain ;D

Offline GhostRider

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Mama's Quittin' and Leavin' - Part 2
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2006, 09:53:39 AM »
How' it goin', eh:

Here's the second part of "Mama's Quittin' and Leavin". This is a continuation of part 1, listen to the continuity of the lyrics as the "relationship" (mercy, I'm so PC) evolved over the two parts. At the beginning of Part 1 he's going to do her with a pistol, at the end of Part 2 he's beggin' her to take him back. This guy had talent.

Magnolia Harris sings verses 1, 3 and 5.

In verse 4 FPS makes use (for the first time so far) of a "stock" blues verse, but expresses it in a nice, novel way.

This tune has all the now standard FPS traits, six verses and a "list" verse rather than the usual first stanza repeated twice. In this one both Magnolia and FPS get one (verses 5 and 6).

Verse 5 make no sense to me, I suspect I've got some (all?) of it wrong. Any ideas? .mp3 attached.

Mama's Quittin' and Leavin' - Part 2
1930
Standard tuning, Key of A
Capo II (B)

Instrumental introduction

1) I'm tired of bein' scolded when I know I'm doin' the best I can (x2)
To keep from bein' your dog daddy, I'm goin' to get me a brand new man.

2) When your drinkin' you talk too much mama, forgive me if you please (x2)
Ilove you and always will mama, I'm down on my bended knee.

3) No use of gettin' in your knees ('cus, baby) I can't use you no more. (x2)
I've been your dog long enough, so this mornin' I'll have to go.

4) I know the reason I can't keep you mama, I taken you from my bosum friend (x2)
I can feel that rascal's gettin' lucky, I know you gonna take him back again.

5) You know all this time, thinkin' you was all mine and I come to find you was worse all the time.
And I didn't save one penny 'till six months after you left.
I'll give you one more chance to make a man out of yourself.

6) Baby please don't, baby please don't I mean please don't go, here's one thing that you don't know.
Baby come on and sit down and talk to me and give me one more try.
And you can do just as you please and I'll act like some mother's child.

Coda

A terrifically composed blues!!

Alex

Note: edited to reflect Unkie Buds comments on page 5

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 05:47:45 PM by GhostRider »

Offline GhostRider

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Re:Fool's Blues -J.T."Funny Papa" Smith
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2006, 10:09:21 AM »
I had a listen to "Fool's Blues" and offer the following revisions.

Verse 1, third line: But since I been born they must 'ta have changed His rules.

Verse 5, third line: All I ask him to save me and look like He?s tryin to take my life.

I agree with Kalihiwai's transcription of Verse 6 ex. that I would pluralize "degree".

Alex

Offline GhostRider

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Howling Wolf Blues - No. 3
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2006, 11:27:19 AM »
Hi:

This tune was recorded in early January of 1931, the first of  15 tunes FPS would record that year between Jan. and mid-July.

Definately more "wolfy" than the first two versions. Again includes one "list" verse and six verses overall.

More than usual stuff that I can't make out, hope Weenies can help.

Howling Wolf Blues - No. 3
1931
Standard tuning, Key of A
Capo I (Bb)

Instrumental introduction

1) I know you heard me howl before (and) you see it was not my last time. (x2)
I'm howling to keep the other wolves away from this here she-wolf of mine.

2) I know my she-wolf loves me (and) I swear to God I love her too. (x2)
And when my she-wolf starts prowlin' what in the world would a he-wolf do.

3) When I prowl at night, I want meat and that's all my crave (x2)
And if you watchin' me two in the mornin', you'll see me makin' it back to my cave.

4) They trappin' me in Texas, also St. Angelo, Columbus, New Mexico and Toledo, Ohio.
Followin' me from Kansas City, caught me in the city of Chicago.
But the she-wolf has got me now I'm sayin', ain't goin' let me prowl no more.

5) I take time when I'm prowlin' and wipe my tracks out with my tail (x2)
 It often get blue and start howlin' and the hellhound gets on my trail.

6) I'm that wolf that digs a hole and stick my nose down in the ground (x2)
Howl right by you and you will swear that I was a whole other side of town.

Note: edited to reflect Kalihiwai's corrections below. And Unkie Bud's.
Alex

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 03:00:27 PM by GhostRider »

Offline Johnm

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2006, 02:36:05 PM »
Hi all,
I realized that "Fool's Blues" was listed as an A tune, and J. T. played it in E, standard tuning.  I'm glad you enjoyed the "Tell It To The Judge" lesson, Kalihiwai, thanks!
All best,
Johnm

kalihiwai

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2006, 02:45:04 PM »
Pyrochlore,
Thanks for Fool's Blues edits, I made the changes

JohnM  Thanks for the heads up about the Fools Blues key. Maybe tha's why I've made no headway in getting those licks right . I think JT Smith calls out for your in depth lesson treatment :-).

About Howling Wolf Blues #3
Verse 3
When I prowl at night I want meat thats all I crave...

I know it sounds like "my crave"
at least crave rhymes with cave.
Maybe "my crave" is archaic?

Verse 4
But the she-wolf has got me now (friend)  and won't let me prowl no more.

Verse 5
(UknowI) get blue and start howlin' and the hellhound gets on my trail.

Possibly Plausible? Will keep listening

Joe

Offline GhostRider

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Howling Wolf Blues - No. 4
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2006, 09:17:54 AM »
What's up:

"Howling Wolf Blues No. 4 was the last of the Howling Wolf series, although he did apparently record the tune again in 1935 but it was never released.

No. 4 reveals less bravado, apparently his wolfly persona was wearing thin with the ladies.

I've always wondered if the sixth verse of this tune plus the hell hound reference in "Howling Wolf Blues No. 3" were inspration for Robert Johnson. I have noticed a couple of other musical similarities between the two, but that's for another time.

Howling Wolf Blues No. 4
1931
Standard tuning, Key of A
Capo 1 (Bb)

Instrumental introduction
Spoken: Well, it looks like the last of the old Howlin' Wolf

1) My feet are almost frozen from prowlin' on the frozen ground (x2)
And the she-wolfs got so they don't want me no more 'cus I done prowled my fool self down.

2) When I first started howlin' all the women fell for my line (x2)
Now they got so they keep me prowlin', hide from me all the time.

3) When I get hungry I prowl and prowl and don't stay in no one place long (x2)
When I get lonesome I howl and howl all around my she-wolf's home.

4) They used ta call Wolf in to howl, but they get so now they close their doors (x2)
They found out I don't do nothin' but prowl and they don't want me in no more.

5) When you hear a strange voice you know it don't mean no one no harm. (x2)
Why I've keep on howlin' 'cus I've been prowlin' so long.

6) (Now listen) Can't you hear somebody callin' their hounds out with their horn (x2)
Let me get up and get prowlin' 'cus they get on my trail 'fore long.

Coda

Alex
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 09:21:26 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2006, 10:30:09 AM »
Kalihiwai:

Thanks for your corrections of Howling Wolf Blues No.3. I agree with them all and have corrected the post above.

Alex
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 10:32:47 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline GhostRider

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Tell It to the Judge No. 1
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2006, 10:58:27 AM »
What's up:

"Tell It to the Judge", recorded in mid-January 1931, marks another of FPS's two part tours de force in A Standard. This piece contains all the now standard FPS licks in A along with more bass work/runs.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that John Millar has done a (really good) audio lesson of "Tell It to the Judge" that I highly recommend:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=83&topic=455.0

"Tell It to the Judge"  is a two part vocal duet between FPS and Dessa Foster. In the first part Dessa gets arrested for possession of liquor. In the second part she faces the judge. Dessa sings verses 1, 3 and 5.

A couple of trouble spots remain. Can any Weenies help? .mp3 attached.

Tell It to the Judge No.1
1931
Standard tuning, Key of A
Capo

Instrumental introduction

Spoken introduction (with guitar playing behind in parts)
Dessa: Who is that knockin' on my door?
FPS: Police officer. Open this door 'fore I shoot the knob off.
Dessa: Wait man, I'll let you in.
FPS: Where's that booze at?

1) I'm tellin' you this mornin', I'm tired of you searchin' my house (x2)
I have a notion this mornin', of beatin' you up and throwin' you out.

2) (Mama) You can lose your temper (mama), but please don't lose your head. (x2)
I'm gonna search this shack this mornin', come on and hear this search warrent read.

3) The hell with the search warrent, go look and see what you can find. (x2)
You ain't never found no liquor and you've searched my house two or three times.

4)Last time I searched this shack (you know) I found a half a pint of gin (x2)
Now whats the meanin' of all this here liquor, call the wagon 'cus I'm going to run you in.

5) (Please) Give me a break, don't make me pay no fine (x2)
That judge'll darn now lynch me, 'cus I been here so many times.

6) You've had lots of breaks Betty  but here's what I'm gonna tell you before you go. (x2)
You'd better get on your knees and ask for mercy 'cus the judge ain't givin' breaks no more.

Coda


The trial follows....

Alex

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 10:56:42 AM by GhostRider »

Offline GhostRider

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Tell It to the Judge No. 2
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2006, 02:33:34 PM »
Yo Weenies:

In the concluding episode Of "Tell It to the Judge" Betty goes before the court to see what her punishement will be for sellin' 'shine.

Interestingly (at least to me) FPS begins this tune with an instrumental intro which is out of his tune "Honey Blues", which he will record four weeks after "Tell It to the Judge". He and Dessa then do a bit of vocal banter then he starts into the instrumental intro more typical of "Tell It to the Judge". Slight brain cramp.

Dessa sings verses 2, 4 and 6, a continuation of the alternation in TIttJ No. 1.

The spoken asides are spoken by the one not singing that particular verse.

One trouble spot remains. Please help me out if you can.

What the heck are the bridewells? A Texas jail?

Tell It to the Judge No. 2
1931
Standard tuning, key of A
Capo

Instrumental intro ("Honey Blues" style)

Spoken intro (TIttJ-style guitar backing in latter part)
Dessa: Good mornin' judge, how do you feel this mornin'?
FPS: Why hello there Betty, why here you come back up here again, didn't ya.
Dessa:No judge, I didn't come, they brought me here.
FPS: I'm sorry Betty.

1) They got you charged with handlin' liquor (now, Betty) tell me what is your plea? (x2)
You know I've been givin' you a many breaks but the breaks this mornin' belong to me.

2) I'm guilty kind old judge, please, treat me nice and kind
spoken: yea, 200 and costs.
I'm guilty kind old judge, please, treat me nice and kind
spoken: I did that Betty already.
For I'll send home and try my best to get money to pay my fine.

3)Well you's a pretty good woman and livin' in a nice neighborhood
spoken: Thank you, judge!
I know you's a pretty good woman, Betty  and you live in a mighty nice neighborhood
But I think 100 and costs and 30 days in the Bridewell will do you good.
spoken: Oh, me!

4) I never seen a judge as mean as you before (x2)
Sendin' me, a poor woman, and lettin' everybody else go.
spoken: Well, I had a right to let them go, Betty.

5) Don't get back at me Betty, 'cus I'm liable to change my mind. (x2)
And change your sentence from the Bridewell's, send you to the pen for 99.

6) You can do as you please, 30 days won't make me cry. (x2)
spoken: I didn't think it would make you cry, Betty.
When I come back I'm gonna gamble and sell moonshine all my life.
spoken: Well, you'll have a break, Betty.

Coda



FPs's accompanyment to verse 4 reminds me of the last verse of "Good Boy Blues" by Arthur Pettis.

Alex

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 01:41:38 PM by GhostRider »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tell It to the Judge No. 2
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2006, 11:52:05 PM »
What the heck are the bridewells? A Texas jail?
Yes. Nolan Welsh in 1926 recorded The Bridewell Blues which is all about getting busted, being convicted and sent to Bridewell. Welsh was said to have come from Texas. In my mind's eye I can see a discussion of this song in the context of notorious prison regimes....but where?

 


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