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Author Topic: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song  (Read 2500 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2018, 05:43:33 PM »
Hmmm. Connecting songs by their bar format is often questionable, in my opinion. Alabama Bound and Elder Green have been connected in several places online to Baby Please Don't Go! The tunes bear some similarities but the lyrics do not. Every single strict 12 bar blues ever recorded, 13 billion and counting, is a good example. I just made that statistic up by the way, like all good statistics.

Are we saying that all 12 bar blues are from the same root? Of course not. So why should an 8 bar blues be from the same root?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:47:30 PM by Rivers »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2018, 05:48:31 PM »
I was going by the similarities in the melodies, amongst other things. I hadn't checked the bar format.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2018, 05:54:03 PM »
Bar format limits the melody possibilities. Which is why 8 bar and 12 bar blues tend to sound somewhat similar. For proof, in the realm of 8 bars, see Alabama Bound / Elder Green / Baby Please Don't Go.Entirely different songs that sound similar melodically.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:55:37 PM by Rivers »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2018, 06:02:44 PM »
So Key to the Highway should sound similar, melodically. But the rhythmic movement of the words is different. Alabama Bound and Elder Green sound similar to my ear, both melodically and in the rhythm of the words. So your proof seems more like a theory to me :)

Offline Rivers

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2018, 06:16:57 PM »
I'll extend your argument Gumbo, Trouble In Mind is another one.

You make a good point, within the 8 bar format we have multiple possibilities. The same goes for 12 bars, 16 bars, and so on. That does not mean that songs with melodies within each 'bar group' are related, other than by having been invented/heard and/or stolen, and then refactored for a new song. The fewer the bars, the fewer the melody permutations available.

It might be interesting to try and come up with a brand new melody in 8 bars, or 12 or 16 for that matter. Probably not possible, which is why we are attracted to broken bar formats based on feel rather than strict changes in country blues. Just my opinion.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 06:38:17 PM by Rivers »

Offline mtzionmemorialfund

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2018, 09:23:53 PM »
No, Mt Z, take a chill pill. I may be mistaken, even though you would obviously never experience that state yourself, but I would suggest it's a natural human impulse for sceptics like me that when one's suspicions about the motivations of the 'holier than thou' crowd are confirmed, to laugh out loud. The same goes for the antics of politicians.

I will now stand down from further critiquing your overall thesis. Not to mention critiquing the annoying flaming text highlights and animated smileys. I prefer static smilies, personally. :P

Not one element of the argument I forward is done so outside of the historical context of the period.  Thusfar, based on the historical scholarship of the period, it is quite a reasonable argument.  I never say anything is a "conspiracy," because only conspiracy theorists believe in such nonsense, especially in regards to the social construction of race and how it operates in society.  Moreover, my arguments carry no political agenda.  Historical accuracy, at one time, was not a partisan endeavor and truth knew no political party.  It seems even the simple search for the man's identity can now be enough to brand someone as carrying a "holier than thou" political agenda. 

The outright denial of the very reasonable possibility without a subsequent justification for that denial suggests you may be the one tainted with sentimentality, and your denial is quite a contrast to the spirited nature of the debate over the lengths of bars in a song as an apt determinant.  Maybe one day you will be able to approach both subjects from an objective point of view that is not colored by your politics.

The New Orleans Massacre of 1900 inspired a blues song, The Robert Charles Blues, which over time became too dangerous to perform and was lost.  Jelly Roll Morton recalled the song but not its melody or lyrics.  Here is an article that a friend writes in summary of William Ivy Hair's book Carnival of Fury.  So it has happened in history.  You just have to step outside of the bubble and open your eyes..

http://www.mtzionmemorialfund.org/2018/02/robert-charles-sold-his-soul-for-blood.html
T. DeWayne Moore
Executive Director, Mt. Zion Memorial Fund

Offline Stuart

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2018, 12:54:15 AM »
Thanks for doing the research about Phillip Green and posting what you have so far, DeWayne. It fills in some details about the person who was one historical Elder Green. Definitively tracing the line of transmission (in reverse) back from Charley's song to the specific Elder Green, and including all the steps in that line of transmission, is another matter, of course.

I listened to the song a couple of times and read what the box set had for lyrics. I think that it's open to a few interpretations, depending on what one hears re: "voice." To me it sounds like there are unrelated verses in it, although I also understand how it could be interpreted differently. The question is, "What specifically did Charley have in mind when he put his version together (if, in fact, he did) and sung it?"

Sometimes songs are just songs and sometimes there was a "break" between the actual historical person and what was recorded in a song.

I'm looking forward to what you have to share with us this summer.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 01:08:30 AM by Stuart »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 03:07:59 AM »
And apparently Blind Lemon's is a version of Alabama Bound as well, though it hasn't been found. Is this still true? It hasn't turned up yet?
Patton also uses the line 'don't you leave me here' which was central to Jelly Roll Morton's version of the tune.

here's the article by David Evans and Luigi Monge from 2003
link to pdf

Ah the Blind Lemon version (Elder Green's In Town) looks like it was one of the six unissued sides from the Okeh session in 1927

Offline Rivers

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2018, 08:21:45 PM »
Mount Zion,

My politics? Too funny, I've been a screaming proud liberal my whole 66 years. How about you, Mr Mount Zion Memorial Fund?

Sentimentality? I have zero clue what sentimentality has to do with any of this but I feel sure you will attempt to enlighten us.

My bubble? The irony is spectacular! I am so sorry to have to burst yours. I recommend you stick to the facts. It pains me to say it but a lot of what you posted was interesting and informative. Facts are different from opinions and your dismissive slights to previous posters, not to mention the world at large, was what motivated me to dish it right back at you. Normally I refrain from responding to such tosh but that was worthy of, um, comment.

And by the way, this website is devoted to the discussion of country blues. As such I really feel zero need to apologise for any musical analysis included in my posts. Do you actually play anything? Kazoo maybe?

in other news, I see yet another high ranking clergyman is in court in Oz tonight.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 08:33:31 PM by Rivers »

Offline alyoung

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2018, 04:05:44 AM »
Now you boys play nicely together, or you'll both go to bed without your supper.

Offline big joe weems

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2018, 08:05:19 AM »
Doubtful that these lyrics have anything to do with race.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:57:27 AM by big joe weems »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2018, 09:00:07 AM »
Who will be the next to bring it back on topic?  ???

Offline Stuart

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2018, 09:33:53 AM »
I'm waiting for more specific information about the historical Elder Green who can be identified as the inspiration for the song, the specific facts regarding the original composition of the song (--including the context in which, and also the circumstances under which, it was composed--) as well as the various stages (steps) in the process of the transmission of the song and the information surrounding it (the line of transmission) from one individual (or individuals) to another (or to others), what Lemon and Charley knew about the origin of the song (evidence for and against any specific knowledge on their parts) and what people who sung the song had in mind each and every time they sung their respective versions. This should tell us something.

Hopefully this is not too much to ask.

Offline Slack

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2018, 10:19:18 AM »
Just a friendly reminder of a core Weenie value... which I'll repeat from the "About Weenie" page.  "The name Weenie Campbell is also a reminder that, no matter how much of an enthusiast one might be, it is difficult to adopt an overly serious attitude if you call yourself a Weenie."  Thanks all.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2018, 10:22:59 AM »
Exactly.

 


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