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Author Topic: Blind Willie McTell lyrics  (Read 47552 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2009, 05:22:54 PM »
OK here's what I think. "Arsenic", cosmetic cream to lighten skin. "Lemon", oil for the hair. "Tap it flat", pat the hair down flat on the head. It does make sense, he's tongue-in-cheek talking about dressing up for his woman.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 05:32:44 PM by Rivers »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2009, 05:33:01 PM »
I like it, I like it! True or not! It at least has a plausible narritive.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2009, 05:48:09 PM »
Lemon is also a hair lightner. I reckon he's spoofing his buddies in the 20's who tried to lighten up, cf. Palmer's Skin Success, et al. Weird times, at least McTell saw the funny side. Brilliant.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #78 on: January 22, 2009, 08:15:27 PM »
We have not a single BWM lyric in weeniepedia so here's a place to work them.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #79 on: January 22, 2009, 09:17:16 PM »
Hi all,
I fished out all the McTell lyric threads and put them in here.  Some of the transcriptions are done or very close to being done.  If you can remember having transcribed some McTell songs in these threads, you might want to re-visit and see if you feel like the lyrics are in final form, and thus ready for the move to Weeniepedia.
All best,
John

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #80 on: January 22, 2009, 10:02:03 PM »
Quote
So what might be the deal with arsenic?

According to my research, the following three highly toxic materials were common components of skin lightening creams all the way back to Roman times: Lead, Mercury, Arsenic!

Lead and mercury were recently found in cosmetics being manufactured TODAY!  WTF!? WTF are these people thinking!?

You're getting tap light ? Not Two Ply?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #81 on: January 23, 2009, 04:05:00 PM »
History of the FDA here: http://www.fda.gov/oc/history/historyoffda/default.htm
This book caused a stir in 1933: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100,000,000_Guinea_Pigs

I'm getting 'tap it flat', as in the hair to the head (after applying lemon oil tonic), or maybe a hat.
Oh I see, no, the last bit I think is 'tip light', as in to go lightly, maybe a contraction of 'tiptoe'.
Or maybe 'trip light', as in 'tripping the light fantastic'. That fits actually, sets up a real comic scene and all makes sense.

The phrase was current in the Twenties:

"The phrase is used in the second line of a 1927 song by Billy Murray and Aileen Stanley - 'I'm Gonna Dance Wit da Guy Wot Brung Me' - a comical duet between two New York types using one slang phrase after another in a vaudeville-like routine. The manner in which the phrase is used, suggests that 'tripping the light fantasic' was a not unusual bit of Roaring 20's slang" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trip_the_light_fantastic

So the current theory in play is this:
Can I get arsenic, lemon and tap it flat, and trip light' across your flo'?

Good call merging threads Johnm, thanks.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 06:13:35 PM by Rivers »

Offline onewent

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #82 on: January 23, 2009, 05:01:28 PM »
..with the 'arsenic' interpretation evolving, this phrase is beginning to make some sense!  ..nice work!

I have some McTell lyrics that I was thinking of posting in the McTell wiki...shall I do that, or dump them here for 'dissection'?  ..I've listened fairly carefully w/ Transcribe and phones, so I feel about > 90% or so re accuracy..  Let me know, glad to add what I have..Tom

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2009, 05:13:26 PM »
"Me and Mamie O'Rourke, we tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York"
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2009, 05:56:24 PM »
..with the 'arsenic' interpretation evolving, this phrase is beginning to make some sense!  ..nice work!

I have some McTell lyrics that I was thinking of posting in the McTell wiki...shall I do that, or dump them here for 'dissection'?  ..I've listened fairly carefully w/ Transcribe and phones, so I feel about > 90% or so re accuracy..  Let me know, glad to add what I have..Tom

Tom, I'm sure all weenies would be honored if you'd post them here. They will be well looked after. In the spirit of all things wiki we've always stated we'd be delighted for any content to flow between wikipedia and weeniepedia.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 05:58:26 PM by Rivers »

Offline onewent

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #85 on: January 23, 2009, 06:48:36 PM »
..ok, so I have these in a word doc so I'll just cut/paste here for others to dissect or comment

Scary Day Blues  -- Blind Willie McTell

I want to wait around here baby, until your fried pie?ll get done
I want to wait around here baby, until your fried pie?ll get done
Because I think I got a nickel, I wants to buy me one

I want to cut out find a woman, to do like my last rider done
I want to cut out find a woman, to do just like my last rider done
She kept it all for her daddy, she didn?t give nobody none

Then my baby got a bed, it shines like a morning star
My good mama got a bed, it shines like a morning star
And when I crawls in the middle, it rides me like a Cadillac car

My good gal got a mojo, she tryin? to keep it hid
My good woman got a mojo, she tryin? to keep it hid
But Georgia Bill got something, to find that mojo with

I said she got that mojo and she won?t let me see
I said she got that mojo and she won?t let me see
And every time I start to lovin?, she try to put them jinx on me

   ?Play it a little bit for me Mr. So n So for I know you like it?

Well she shake it like the Central, she wobble like the L&N
I say she shake it like the Central, she wobble like the L&N
Well she?s a hot shot mama, and I?m scared to tell her where I been

Then my baby got something, she won?t tell her daddy what it is
My good mama got something, she won?t tell her papa what it is
And when I crawls in my bed, I just can?t keep my black self still

Well I done got reckless and I broke my mama?s rule  Lord Lord
Well I done got reckless and I broke my baby?s rule 
I?m here wanderin? round in Georgia with these doggone scary day blues
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 02:44:05 PM by onewent »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #86 on: January 23, 2009, 06:51:01 PM »
Great choice, fits right in with Broke Down Engine. Thank the Lord it's Saturday tomorrow and I can spend some time playing guitar and listening. He changes 'snake' to 'self' in the penultimate verse for the recording, thinks I as I was listening to it today. 'Self censorship in the blues', a good topic.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 06:57:21 PM by Rivers »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #87 on: January 23, 2009, 07:01:41 PM »

I want to cut out find a woman, to do like my last rider done


Just from memory, this should be "I wonder could I find a woman..."
Chris

Offline onewent

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2009, 10:54:50 AM »
..good catch, Banjochris, I hear that, too .. just 'cut out' to find a woman always sounded cooler  than wondering  ;-)
tw

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2009, 06:46:59 PM »
I think 'cut out' is correct,

I want to cut out, find a woman, to do like my last rider done
Wanna cut out find a woman, do just like my last rider done

Minor point, I hear 'rides' not ride:

And when I crawls in the middle, it rides me like a Cadillac car
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 07:13:44 PM by Rivers »