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I heard them bring that old Iron Curtain down on me - Sleepy John Estes visits eastern Europe, The Voice of the Blues

Author Topic: Germany Blues  (Read 451 times)

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Offline harriet

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Germany Blues
« on: January 09, 2018, 08:58:50 AM »
Hi All,



Here's a recent simplified attempt Fred McDowell's Germany Blues in vestapol.  Actually I don't exactly know whether it was mistitled as that on the CD or whether Germany even refers to the country,  but I love the song and the lyrics and the way he weaves through the song - I'm wondering if anyone recognizes the sources for those - that pawn lyric appears in a 1931 version of Leroy Carr's "New How Long Part 2", almost word for word ? Here's the whole lyrics of the Mcdowell.

Lord I'm going away baby, don't you want to go
Lord I'm going away baby, don't you want to go
Lord Im going somewhere babe, I ain't never been before

Lord I see my baby way out on that Frisco Line
Lord I see my baby way out on that Frisco Line
It ain't but the one thing, honey ever grieved my mind

Lord I'm going by the pawn shop put my watch in pawn
Sez I'm going by the pawn shop put my watch in pawn
I don't want nobody tell me how long my baby been gone
Long my baby been...
Long my baby been...
Long my baby been gone...

Lord I know you going to miss me, baby when I'm gone
I know you going to miss me, baby when I'm gone

« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 09:40:14 AM by harriet »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 09:49:09 AM »
Nice job, Harriet!  Your time sounds good and solid and the signature lick is right in the pocket.
All best,
Johnm

Offline harriet

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 09:56:33 AM »
Thanks alot John! I'm kind of focusing on timing the lyrics so as with the McDowell I studied with you there are more careful variations to the lick which he was able to present and you hardly notice until you parse the song -I hope I will be able to do more of that in future attempts without it sounding academic.  Baby steps.  And hopefully  interestingly on the lyric topic I found "It ain't but the one thing that ever grieved my mind" noted in a version of Salty Dog from the 20's.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:17:36 AM by harriet »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 12:03:42 PM »
Great performance, Harriet, with a real authentic feel.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline harriet

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 02:15:08 PM »
Thanks so much Professor Scratchy!

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 03:33:11 PM »
Good one Harriet! :)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline harriet

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 04:14:35 AM »
Thanks Mr. OMuck :)

Offline Stuart

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 10:22:00 AM »
Well done, Harriet. Your playing and singing are spot on--"right in the pocket," as John says.

I believe "Germany" might be a variation of German or perhaps Germantown. IIRC, this was discussed somewhere before.

Sorry for the delay getting to your song, but I'm finally starting to get caught up--which in my case means not falling behind as fast (for now, at least ;)).
 

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 12:13:28 PM »
I believe "Germany" might be a variation of German or perhaps Germantown. IIRC, this was discussed somewhere before.
in relation to Cannon's Jug Stompers, I believe.

Great tone, Harriet! That grooves right along.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 01:10:46 PM »
There's a thread at Mudcat that discusses this. One suggestion is that it refers to Germantown, Tennessee which is close to Memphis. Given that Gus Cannon was active in and around Memphis, the mention of a town close by in the song lyrics is a strong possibility, even if it was mispronounced.

Offline harriet

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 04:35:17 PM »
Hi

Frist to say thank you for the kind words, Stuart and Gumbo

I was of the mind that it was Germantown as well   - the Frisco Line runs through Memphis and McDowell was from Tennessee .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis%E2%80%93San_Francisco_Railway

A second interpretation is that it referred to Germany the country,referring to it after coming back from a successful tour and that was a stop. He also he starts Diving Duck Blues with reference to Germany as "I got a girl in Germany,Lord, I got three in Spain." On this I checked and the record "My Home is in the Delta" and the American Folk Blues Festival  tour were about the same year.

The original promoters of the American Folk Blues Festival were German, if I read correctly and some of the important recording was done in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Folk_Blues_Festival

IMHO there's a  case for either interpretation - I'm assuming they asked him the title and he said "Germany Blues" but if he explained it, the explanation is lost.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 04:55:57 PM by harriet »

Offline Pan

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 05:02:29 AM »
Germany approves! :)

Good job, Harriet!

Cheers,

Pan

Offline harriet

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Re: Germany Blues
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 06:47:48 AM »
Thanks Pan :)

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