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Author Topic: Blind Willie McTell lyrics  (Read 47551 times)

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Offline onewent

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2005, 06:56:28 AM »
...both sound plausible to me...I'll go listen more closely ... seems BWM had a bunch of nicknames!

Offline moedecker

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2006, 08:39:20 PM »
Great words.
432 HZ

si

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2006, 05:33:22 PM »
I always thought it was "act like an angel in the daytime and mess by the ditch at night"

si

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2006, 05:54:09 PM »
That is real interesting about Willie Mctell clicking his tongue.
Maybe he was using it as a second transmitter for echolocation (the first being cane-tapping)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_echolocation

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2006, 11:58:45 AM »
I'm trying to figure out the lyrics for Blind Willie McTell's Razor Ball, the 1930 version, not the Atlantic sessions version, which is a different song. A lot of words in this one.

Here's what I've got so far and I'm not sure of so much more than what the question marks indicate, so feel free to offer corrections/suggestions for any part of it. I've included the song as an attachment, since it's one people may not have if they don't have the complete McTell.

Razor Ball - Blind Willie McTell

Spoken: All right boys, let?s talk about this razor ball

Down at the razor ball even at the razor hall
Sluefoot Mose and old cross-eyed Joe didn't go in at all
They hung around outside, this is what they spied ? what was it?
A big crap game in the hall, started in to fight
Joe got drunk, that wasn't all, went and turned out the lights
And then Mike took Charlie, shot his automatic twin
Charlie grabbed his gal, and he crawled?? cross ten
Police came and pull the hall?? down at the razor ball
I mean ball
Down around the razor ball

Doin the? shimmy she wobble and shakin? your?
Quit the shimmy she wobble and quit shakin? your hips
Down at the razor I mean ball
Down around the razor ball

Playin? baseball and football and don?t get enough
Playin? baseball and football, and struttin? his stuff
Down at the razor I mean ball
Down around the razor ball

Spoken:
Play it a little bit now
Put a little good stuff in it
How you put that in there
Go ahead, I'm gonna like a good drink of whiskey
Play that thing again

I heard another crap game was in the hall, started in to fight
Joe got drunk, that wasn't all, went in and turned out the lights
Mighty big chief shot his automatic twin
The high sheriff took the couple and double crossed him
Rest of ?em came and got the crowd from down at the razor ball
I mean
Down around the razor ball, shootin? craps
Down around the razor ball, playing cards
Down around the razor ball, they was gamblin?
Down around the razor ball, cuttin? on the corner
Down around the razor ball

Spoken:
Put a little good stuff there now
I know you like it like that, Two Bits
?Cause I?m crazy about it myself, hit it now
I know you crazy about it

Talkin? about the razor ball, I mean
Screamin? ?bout the razor ball

Now there?s another crap game was in the hall, started in to fight
Joe got drunk, that wasn't all, went and turned out the lights
Put the/your lights out Kelly/Callie ?cause fightin's my game
Put me head of the list and don?t forget to call my name
Police came and got the crowd
Down at the razor ball, drinkin? gin
Down around the razor ball, don?t mean football
But down around the razor hall, neither basketball
But down around the razor ball, neither golf ball
But down around the razor ball

Spoken: Spank it a little bit now

I mean that razor ball, where I found you
Down around the razor ball, where they made love
Down around the razor ball, where I left you
Play it now

edited to incorporate corrections from dj, banjochris, doug

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: June 09, 2006, 08:15:57 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2006, 12:25:23 PM »
There's postwar blues recording (by who I can't at present recall) which uses the expression:

Big Chief shot Automatic Slim

Could this be what McTell sings? Just an idea....

Offline dj

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2006, 02:14:29 PM »
Quote
shot his automatic twin

I think this is correct.  The reference, I think, is to a twin-barrelled pistol.

Quote
Police came and pull the hall??

"Police came and pulled the hall"...  i.e. they arrested everyone.

Quote
Go ahead, it?s just?? like a good drink of whiskey

I hear "I'm gonna like it, it's just like a whiskey".

Quote
Put the lights out count?? ?cause the ? ? the game

Tough one!  "Put the lights out and counted 'cause he's ? the game" is as close as I can get.

Online banjochris

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2006, 10:24:29 PM »
I think that last garbled line might be something like:

(I'll) put your lights out Kelly (or Callie) 'cause fightin's my game

Offline Doug

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2006, 07:37:26 AM »
I hear the last line similar to banjochris:

Put the lights out Kelly, cause fighting's the game...

I'm guessing they had some good brawls after the lights had been turned out, and the singer was ready to rumble...

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2006, 08:21:45 AM »
Thanks fellars. Despite no experience with guns, I somehow thought the automatic twin referred to weaponry. :)

I'm not sure about the spoken line about a "good drink of whiskey". Still not hearing either my transcription or dj's suggestion.

In the "I'll) put your lights out Kelly (or Callie) 'cause fightin's my game" line, I'm not sure whether I hear "your" or "the" but do think I hear "my game" as Chris suggests. Thanks for getting this.

Any thoughts about the line "Charlie grabbed his gal, and he crawled?? cross ten" in the first verse? I thought it might be "double-crossed him" as in the later verse, but just don't hear that.

Offline Doug

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2006, 07:38:09 AM »
You picked a good one... some really tough lines to try to figure out....   8)

The "good drink of whiskey" is tough.  When I first listened to it, I thought he was saying something like the singer was going to get a good drink ("gonna want a good drink of whiskey"), so he wanted the instrumental to continue for a bit....  Now, I'm wondering if he's comparing the playing to the good drink ("play it/just like a good drink of whiskey").  Either way it's tough to make out.

What Charlie does after he grabs his gal is tough too...  It sounds like McTell fumbles the line...  I'm thinking it's a negative: "he couldn't cross/crawl/count ten"... imagining that Charlie gets shot (by the automatic twin), rushes to his gal, but is too weak to get very far.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2006, 09:24:05 AM »
Hi Doug -

I lean towards McTell comparing the playing to a good drink of whiskey myself. Could be wrong.

Re. Charlie, "crawl" is definitely a possibility, the way you have characterized it. Maybe "crawled across Tim"? Another name as the last word - though it doesn't sound like "Tim".

Thanks! It's tricky as you say.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 09:26:13 AM by uncle bud »

Online banjochris

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2006, 09:58:59 PM »
I've never heard it, but does Sara Martin's "Down at the Razor Ball" have any helpfully similar lyrics?

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2006, 11:33:08 PM »
I've never heard it, but does Sara Martin's "Down at the Razor Ball" have any helpfully similar lyrics?
Well done. I've been busting my brains attempting to remember who else I had performing that. It's on a 36 year old cassette recorded from a beat up 78 and is the very tune and lyric but with variations. Anybody have access to the Document set of CDs?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2006, 06:38:31 AM »
Dang, I was hoping that the Red Hot Jazz site might have it online at their Sara Martin page. That song is not one of the pieces they feature in audio format though. But this is still great to know and I'll have to track the song down somehow. Thanks for the information!
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 06:39:32 AM by uncle bud »