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It's kind of like sex - try it once, realise you can do it, and then you want to do it again the next day - Jed Pauker, on the joys of public performance

Author Topic: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song  (Read 3012 times)

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Offline Gumbo

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2018, 11:56:18 AM »
Thank you Slack :)

As interesting as the discussion of the 8 bar format has been, it seems to be a red herring in relation to the topic. Elder Green and Alabama bound sound melodically similar, to my ear. There is also a similarity in the rhythm of the words.

Also Blind Lemon Jefferson (or more likely Mayo Williams) filed a copy of his unissued recording 'Elder Green's In Town' in 1927, two years before Patton's recording (and two years after Charlie Jackson).

As MtZion points out, Paul Oliver connects the two songs (Patton's and Alabama Bound) in Saints and Sinners.

The lyrics of Blind Lemon's version, from the pdf  previously linked, use both phrases!!

Elder Green?s in town,
Elder Green?s in town,
He?s got it printed all over his old automobile,
he?s Alabama bound.

Don?t worry me,
don?t worry me
When I get drunk and all down and out,
don?t worry me.

I?ve got a high brown,
and she?s long and tall,
Lawd, lawd, lawd, lawd, boys,
she?ll make a panther squall.

Elder Green don?t care,
Elder Green don?t care,
He?s gonna tear down the old Church of God and build a barrelhouse there.

And the lyrics of Papa Charlie Jackson's version

Elder Green's in town,
and he's going around
And he's telling all the sisters and the brothers he meets,
he's Alabama bound

I find it hard to believe they are not related.

Edited to add Jackson's verse.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 12:29:59 PM by Gumbo »

Offline big joe weems

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2018, 12:20:10 PM »
Another song that is related (though much later), and seems to be yet another take on the general theme, is Cat Iron's "Jimmy Bell."
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 12:42:24 PM by big joe weems »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2018, 05:07:49 PM »
The recent weather and accompanying power outages have put us behind schedule here. So I deeply regret I will be too busy to contribute any further to this discussion. I'm sure you will all be devastated by this news.  :P

Offline mtzionmemorialfund

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Re: Question and thoughts about the "Elder Greene" in Patton's song
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2018, 01:50:59 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 07, 2018, 06:32:44 AM by Slack »
T. DeWayne Moore
Executive Director, Mt. Zion Memorial Fund


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