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Author Topic: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics  (Read 10395 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2011, 09:03:27 AM »
You make a good point, Jeff.  I've always just assumed I knew what that line meant, but it could certainly mean something else altogether.  I know my brother interpreted it the way you just did.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2011, 10:15:06 AM »
Quote
what in the heck does "cold in hand" really mean???

When I was 20 years old, I worked for a while at a VA hospital just outside of Peekskill, NY.  After a few months on the job, I wrecked my car.  With no way to make the long drive to my work place, I rented a room in a spare hospital building until I had the money for another car.  Most of the other guys working there were young African-Americans.  To pass the time, they would often play craps.  I never did - I'm not now and never have been a gambler - but I'd drink, talk, and watch the other guys play.  Common expressions after a few bad rolls were things like "Man, these dice are COLD!" or "My hand is just cold".  So to me, the line has always been pretty obvious - the singer dreamed he was lucky, but the reality is the dice are just not rolling his way. 

(Just an aside - there was one middle-aged white guy working at the hospital and rooming there.  He was a classically trained percussionist.  I guess classical percussion is not one of the world's higher-paying careers!)

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2011, 07:45:25 PM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler recorded "Poor Boy Blues" backing himself with a slide in Spanish tuning.  Like most of his slide blues, it is pretty frenetic and exciting.  The more you listen to him, though, the more you realize just how controlled his playing actually was.  He has some nice variations on common verses here.

   I woke up this mornin', blues all 'round my bed
   I woke up this morning, mama, blues all around my bed
   Thinkin' about the words that my brown had said

   'Cause I'm poor boy here, long ways from home
   Poor boy here, long ways from my home
   Ain't got nowhere, Lord, to lay my head

   Cold frosty ground was my bed last night
   Cold frosty ground was my bed last night
   Thinkin' 'bout the kind words that my Mama had said

   What my Mama told me, honey, done come to pass
   Mama told me, it's done come to pass
   Whiskey and women, poor boy, be your ruin at last

   Now, my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
   My Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
   Reason I tried so hard, honey, get along with you

   So many days, I stoled away and cried
   So many days, I stoled away and cried
   Poor boy's been mistreated, can't be satisfied

   Gonna write a letter, mail it in the air
   Gonna write a letter, gonna mail it in the air
   When that wind blows, blow news everywhere

   SOLO

   Lord, Lord, ain't gonna moan no more
   Lord, Lord (guitar finishes line)

All best,
Johnm

   

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2011, 09:50:12 AM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for "Some Scream High Yellow", and his accompaniment is perfectly amazing; the sheer quantity of invention, and the ferocity of his execution--whew--to say nothing of being able to play what he played while singing.  Moreover, he takes sounding like himself and no one else to a completely different level than other players, even the most original ones.  
I take the tagline to the third verse to mean that he's speaking of a gal who would say, "I ain't got no man.".  As usual, I'm missing some of these lyrics, or have them wrong.  I'd appreciate help.

   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   I can't [ship none, goin'] in this town today

For the third line, I hear:

AND (or possibly LORD) THEY AIN'T SHIPPIN' NO IRON in this town today.

Compare with Peg Leg Howell's Rolling Mill Blues: The rolling mill, baby, done broke down/They're shipping no iron to town.

Quote
  I think I will, travelin' on my mind
   Sometime, I b'lieve, travelin' on my mind
   I ain't got no right to leave, I ain't got no right to change my mind

   Now, did you dream lucky and wake up cold in hand?
   Now, did you dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?
   Then you want to see some good gal, "I ain't got no man."

Is that third line possibly:

Then YOU'LL want to see some good gal, AH, ain't got man

Quote
  Some screamin' high yella, I screams black or brown
   Some scream high yella, I screams black or brown
   'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't tear you down

'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't TURN you down

Not a bad tune.  :D

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2011, 10:00:47 AM »
Thanks so much, for the help, uncle bud, I think those are all dead on the money.  That "And they ain't shippin' no iron in this town today" seems perfectly clear now, as so often seems to be the case after someone figures out the correct lyric.  I like that "ah" rather than "I" in the other verse's tagline--it makes a hell of a lot more sense.  I will make the changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2011, 01:23:27 PM »
Oooh, that is a good one -- that "iron" line had me stumped too.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2011, 04:40:51 PM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson backed himself out of C position in standard tuning for "I'm on My Way to the Kingdom Land".  His accompaniment is probably one of his simplest, and he gets an exciting rhythmic popping effect, starting in the third verse.  He accelerates markedly over the course of the rendition.  I could use some correction/corroboration at one place in the lyrics, and would appreciate help.

   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm going away to the Judgement Bar
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my brother, "Come and go with me."
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   I'm on my way, I won't turn back
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   I asked my Mother, "Come and go with me."
   'Cause I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way to that Judgement Day
   I'm on my way to Judgement Day
   I'm on my way to that Judgement Day
   Come and go with me, Lord, Lord, come and go with me

   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I wouldn't take nothing for my journey home
   I'm on my way, thank God, I'm on my way

   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way, Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way to the Kingdom Land
   I'm on my way, Lord, Lord, I'm on my way

All best,
Johnm

  

  
  

  
  
 
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 10:35:50 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2011, 07:17:23 PM »
I hear "bar" too, John. On that "shippin' iron" line, Peg Leg Howell sings pretty much the same thing in "Rolling Mill Blues," which I only realized a couple of days ago, but it's another point in favor of it.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2011, 10:35:01 PM »
Thanks for listening, Chris.  I'll consider bar to be correct then.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2011, 10:01:05 PM »
Hi all,
"Pistol Blues" was the first song recorded by Bo Weavil Jackson, I believe.  It starts out as an 8-bar blues in E position, standard tuning, and after the fifth verse switches to a 16-bar form for the remaining three verses.  I think, but am not sure, that this is the earliest recorded version of Crow Jane.  As was his wont, Bo Weavil Jackson accelerated markedly over the course of the rendition, and by the time he got to the end of the song he was really tearing along.  
Lyrically, the song is all over the map, and gives every appearance of getting its verses from a variety of different sources.  This is such a strong performance by Jackson, as were all his recorded renditions.  I find his lyrics on this song particularly difficult to hear, and would really appreciate some help with a few of the troublesome spots.

   Crow Jane, Crow Jane, what makes you hold your head so high?
   Oughta just remember, you got to live so long and die

   I need not write me no letter, don't send me no word
   Cut your head, woman, 'bout the word I heard

   I heard you had a man on the wheeler, had a man on the plow
   Had a big man, swingin' on the Johnson Bayou

   I'm going to carry that woman to the weeping willow tree
   Oughta hear her cryin', "Honey, don't murder me!"

   I'm going to black her face, going to black that woman's eyes
   Going to kill her when she begins to cry

   She said, "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long"
   "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long"
   Said, "Roll on, Jack, Daddy do roll long,
   Like the way you rollin', but you ain't gonna roll so long."

   Ain't but two women, the world can spend my change
   Not but two women, world can spend my change
   Ain't but two women, mama, can spend my change
   That represent Stella and that brown, my Jane

   SOLO

   Lord, Lord, look what my brown said to me
   Lord, Lord, look what she said to me
   Said, Lord, Lord, look what she said to me
   Said, "When I leave this town, gonna carry you back with me."

   SOLO

Edited 10/8 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
  
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 07:33:12 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2011, 04:58:50 PM »
A few suggestions John:

1.2 you gotta live so long and die

3 in the Patton book, this verse is transcribed with "plow" at the end of the first line and "Bayou" at the end of the second, at least in Patton's singing of it. I think I hear "plow" here, but that southern pronunciation of bayou leaves it up in the air I think.

5.1 black her face (typo)
5.2 she begin to cry:

6 -- I think it might be "Roll on, Jack, Daddy, do roll long" each time

7.4 That represent Stella and that brown, my Jane

Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2011, 08:01:53 PM »
Thanks very much for the help, Chris.  This is a song which I think I would have assumed at one point would never have a lyric transcription, and I think with your corrections it is pretty much there.  I really appreciate it, and get a kick out of getting difficult lyrics transcribed.  I'd be stumped in a lot of places, or just wrong, if I had to do it all myself, and the way people help out here is great.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2011, 06:06:27 PM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler backed himself with a slide out of Vestapol tuning for "Heaven Is My View".  For a discussion of his approach to playing slide in Vestapol on his hymns, go to http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=7891.0.  It would be fair to say that his accompaniment is very de-emphasized here in comparison to the extent which his accompaniments to his secular numbers are featured.  
These lyrics were worked through early in this thread, but never exactly finished up.  This is what I am hearing now.  If any of you are hearing things differently, I would be interested to find out what you're hearing.

   INTRO

   REFRAIN: Now, Heaven is my view, my journey I'll pursue
   Good Lord, I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   When I was a sinner, loved my pleasures well
   When I come to find out I was on my way to Hell

   REFRAIN: 'Cause Heaven is my view, my journey I pursue
   Good Lord, I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   And when I was a mourner, I mourned through sorrow and tears
   I promised my Lord I would not turn back if I mourned a thousand years

   Good Lord, I never will turn back, if I mourned a thousand years
   Because I promised to not turn back, because Heaven is my view

   My Mother and Father left me in this wide world alone
   I have no home for tomorrow, I am striving to make my home

   REFRAIN: 'Cause Heaven's in my view, my journey I pursue
   I never will turn back, because Heaven is my view

   When I was a mourner, I mourned through sorrow and tears
   I promised my Lord I would not turn back, if I mourned a thousand years

   I'm on my journey home, my journey I pursue
   'Cause, Lord, I never will turn back, 'cause Heaven is my view

   OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 01:41:19 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2011, 04:16:48 PM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler accompanied himself out of Vestapol, playing slide lap-style, for "When The Saints Come Marching Home".  He sings the melody most often associated with "When The Saints Go Marching In" and has a few different verses than are commonly heard today.  The opening makes me wonder if he was ever a preacher; he certainly delivers the spoken introduction in a fine style, and very convincingly.
EDITED TO ADD: Incidentally, I stated in a post in the Washington Phillips thread last week that we were no longer able to post mp3 versions of songs that were being transcribed for all to listen to and contribute to the discussions because the site was running out of memory for such attachments.  I've since found out I was mistaken, so if people working on a lyric transcription want to post an mp3 version to encourage participation in the process of figuring out the lyrics, feel free to do so subject to the limitations on fidelity posted on the site elsewhere.

   SPOKEN: Now I wants all you church members to get right!  I want you all to be just like the saints, when you all come marching home.

   REFRAIN: When the saints go marching home
   Oh, when the saints go marching home
   Good Lord, I wants to be in that number
   Oh, when the saints go marching home

   I had a loving mother
   Now she's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet her
   That's when the saints go marching home

   And when the sun refuse to shine
   And when the sun refuse to shine
   Oh Lord, I wants to be in that number
   Oh, when the sun refuse to shine

   And when the moon drips away in blood
   And when the moon drips away in blood
   Oh Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the moon drips away in blood

   I had a loving father
   Now he's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet him
   That's when the saints go marching home

   REFRAIN: And when the saints go marching home
   When the saints go marching home
   Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the saints go marching home

   Good Lord, I had a loving brother
   Now he's gone on before
   And I promised the Lord that I would meet him
   That's when the saints go marching home

   REFRAIN: And when the saints go marching home
   When the saints go marching home
   Good Lord, I wants to be in that number
   When the saints go marching home

   Gonna meet my mother at the judgement bar
   Gonna meet my mother at the judgement bar
   'Cause I'm gonna be all in that number
   That's when the saints go marching home

All best,
Johnm

  
 

    
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 05:32:15 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2011, 10:56:07 PM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson/Sam Butler recorded "Why Do You Moan?" backing himself out of C position in standard tuning.  Taken in the context of his entire recorded repertoire, the song is certainly an oddity.  It sounds like it might have origins in the Classic Blues tradition or simply Tin Pan Alley.  It does not have one of Jackson's wilder accompaniments, but he nonetheless manages to work up an impressive head of steam as the song goes along.  I feel pretty good about these lyrics, but I generally screw up somewhere, so I would appreciate corroboration/correction for any of the bent bracketed passages.

   I feel bad, always sad, troubles, troubles drivin' me mad
   Good old days of long ago, long ago, to come no more
   That's the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   Mmmmmm, mmmmmmmm, Lawd Lawdy
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   My Mama's dead, my Daddy, too,
   That's the reason why, got these weepin', moanin' blues
   So many days, stoled away and cried, I have been mistreated, I can't be satisfied
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me weep and moan

   I ain't got no friends, I ain't got no home
   And there's no place, mama, I can call my home
   Good old days, long ago, long ago to come no more
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues

   Mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   How my heart aches, soon it will break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues

   Mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm. mmmmmmm
   How my heart aches, soon it'll break
   I'm almost through, what will I do?
   Lord, the reason why you hear me moan these blues
   I mean the blues

Edited 11/22 to pick up corrections from banjochris and uncle bud

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 02:46:13 PM by Johnm »