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"Can you play B.B. King?" "Yeah, if you put some strings on him, I'll play him" - Yank Rachell, Blues Mandolin Man

Author Topic: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics  (Read 21210 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #75 on: October 29, 2010, 02:31:28 PM »
Quote
Staving, a. and adv. [1621] Big, immense; excessively.

Very interesting, BH.  It makes me wonder if Bracey might be singing "Stavin' jane", though I admit I can't quite grasp what he would mean by that.   ::)

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2010, 03:26:03 PM »
Hi all,
Re-listening to this yesterday, I thought it was possible that Bracey was saying, "She ain't nothin' but a stavin' shame", which would have the advantage of rhyming with the line that follows but one, "I'm scared to call her name".  It is true that Stavin' Chain is a semi-mythical character who exists sort of independent of the slang dictionary definition of "stavin'".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #77 on: November 09, 2010, 10:21:06 PM »
OK, I have a new take on this verse:

   Now these blues, blues ain't nothin'
   Lord, but a doggone hungry spell
   Got no money in your pocket and you
   Barely keep it held

So "held" replaces "here." Better rhyme, more sense, and I think that is what he is saying.
Still working on that "scheming jane" or whatever he says in verse 3. Cheers, Chezz

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #78 on: November 10, 2010, 01:15:05 AM »
I like stavin' shame- it certainly does make some sense.  His relationship with the eponymous good little woman, is a shameful because she's married.  Maybe.

On this verse:

"Now these blues, blues ain't nothin'
   Lord, but a doggone hungry spell
   Got no money in your pocket and you
   Barely keep it held"

My preference has always been for "keep it hid"- as in you've got no job or money, and its all you can do to pretend things are okay.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #79 on: June 16, 2017, 04:20:05 PM »
Hi all,
I realized today that we never transcribed the lyrics to Ishmon Bracey's "Trouble Hearted Blues Take 2" when this thread was really active, a number of years ago.  Bracey accompanied himself out of A position in standard tuning (or at least standard by his standards) and does some of the most striking head tone Country Blues singing you are ever likely to hear on this record.  Apparently Charlie McCoy contributed the spoken asides.  I'd very much appreciate help with the bent bracketed passage in the tagline of the last verse.  Here it is:



INTRO

Down so long, down don't worry me
I been down so long, Lord, down don't worry me

Don't b'lieve I'm sinkin', see what a hole I'm in
You don't b'lieve I love you, Lord, think what a fool I've been

Went to the graveyard (Spoken: Lord have mercy!) fell down on my knees
Hollered, "Lord have mercy, on this lonesome place."

Thousand people (Spoken: Rock church, rock!) 'round the buryin' ground
Just to see them, won't you Lord, let my rider down

Felt so sorry (Spoken:  Good, good, good!) 'til they let her down
Lord, my heart struck sorrow, tears come rollin' down

Love you, mama, 'til the sea go dry
Lord, I love you, rider, Lord, 'til the day you die

Anybody aks you, who wrote this worried song
Anybody aks you, who wrote this worried song
Tell 'em you don't know the writer, he plays to have 'is, have his song

CODA

Edited 6/17 to pick up correction from waxwing

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:04:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #80 on: June 17, 2017, 05:15:17 AM »
Could it be '...he paid to have his habits on'? Don't know what that would mean though?

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Offline islandgal

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2017, 08:38:28 AM »
Could it be: "He paid to have, to have his song."?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2017, 09:03:12 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, Prof and islandgal.  I'm hearing an "l" in the first word after "he" in the mystery section of the line.  The closest I can come phonetically to what I'm hearing is "he placed the hat his habit's on", which does not make a lot of sense.  I'll keep listening.
All best,
Johnm

Offline waxwing

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2017, 09:54:46 AM »

Similarly to Islandgal, I'm hearing him repeating:

Tell 'em you don't know the writer, he plays to have his, have his song

I'm not hearing the plosive "b", more like the fricative "v" on the second, accented "have". It's possible he got ahead of himself, maybe dropping a word or two (like "let you" as an example: he plays to let you have his song), then repeating to end on time? I admit, tho', he sings it with conviction, like he meant it that way.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2017, 12:01:29 PM »
I think you nailed it, Wax, with "he plays to have, to have his song", which matches up phonetically pretty much spot on, and makes sense, too.  Thanks to islandgal for pointing the way, and Prof for getting the ball rolling.  I got stuck on "habits" early on, and it ended up being a dead end.  Thanks!  It makes me happy when we get a tough passage like that, and I never would have gotten it by myself, I know.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #85 on: June 17, 2017, 12:29:46 PM »
Well done Wax! Taking my hearing aids back to the shop tomorrow!

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Offline waxwing

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #86 on: June 17, 2017, 06:06:00 PM »
I agree Johnm, having someone else's suggestion jog your own ear so you suddenly hear something differently is fun. Teaches you not to take your own ear for granted. Chris sometimes hears things that totally change my thinking. Well, I think we will grow old without running out of tricky lyrics to figure out.

You changed what I wrote slightly, from "he plays to have his, have his song" to "he plays to have, to have his song". I think it is the former, sounding like "to have 'is, have his song" (bold showing vocal accent). See what you think.

Wax

 
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #87 on: June 17, 2017, 08:07:04 PM »
Data entry problem, and thanks for the catch, Wax.  I heard it right, but typed it wrong. 
All best,
Johnm

Offline coco

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #88 on: August 21, 2017, 10:40:24 AM »
Hi all,
I have been particularly getting into the music of Ishmon Bracey recently, and one of his great numbers is mistitled "The Four Day Blues"; it should be "The 'Fore Day Blues".  In any event, Bracey recorded two takes of it on August 31, 1928.  The lyrics differ somewhat on the two takes, and I have transcribed the lyrics to Take 1 here. 
Ishmon Bracey played this tune out of A position, standard tuning, though it's a misnomer to describe anything about his tuning as standard.  His A string is noticeably sharp, and yet the over-all effect, for reasons I don't understand, is really strong.  His accompaniment is very originally conceived.  I don't know anyone else who sounded like this in A.  His time is very straight-up-and-down, with an almost jerky quality somewhat like Robert Wilkins's time on "I'll Go With Her" and "Falling Down Blues".  Best of all, to my taste at least, is Bracey's singing, a really fierce and intense headtone placed right behind the bridge of his nose and adenoids.  He's just buzzing!  This is a great track.

   Woke up this morning, mama, 'tween midnight and day
   Woke up this morning, mama, 'tween midnight and day
   I reached for my sugar and the fool had stoled away

   Worried now, mama, and I can't be worried long
   Worried now, mama, and I shan't be worried long
   Mama, 'fore I'd be treated, be on the county farm

   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me
   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me
   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me

   Woke up soon this morning with my face all full of frowns
   Woke up this morning, mama, with my face all full of frowns
   I didn't have no sugar now to squeeze up in my arms

   Mama, that's all right, sugar, that's all right for you
   That's all right, mama, that's all right for you
   Well you know you got me just the way you do

All best,
Johnm


I would like to know the lyrics for: Four Day Blues take 2



This is what I have

up this morning mama with my face all full of frowns
up this morning mama with my face all full of frowns
I didn't have no sugar, to squeeze up in my arms

   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me
   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me
   Wouldn't treat a dog, babe, like you treat me

You ever lied down dreamin fore bout the breakaday
You ever lied down dreamin mama fore bout the breakaday
Mama reach for your daddy, he done stole away?

Said the blues ain?t nothin but a slow killin heart disease
mama the blues ain?t nothin but a slow killin heart disease
work like a?????????..?

worried now sugar now, can?t be worried long
worried now mama and I shan?t be worried long
??????????... on the county farm

mama tell me sugar what, you think you?re tryin to do
tell me sugar what you think you?re tryin to do
I ain?t goin' stay here, I?m sure don?t be with you?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 10:07:32 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Ishmon Bracey's Lyrics
« Reply #89 on: August 21, 2017, 11:06:35 AM »
Coco -- you mostly have it, here's some additions and a couple corrections:

3.1 You ever lied down dreamin' woke 'bout the break of day
3.2 You ever lied down dreamin' mama woke 'bout the break of day
3.3 ?stoled away

4.3 Work like the tuberculosis*, kill you by degrees

5.1 ?shan't be worried long
5.3 'Fore I'd stand your foolish now, I'd rather on the county farm.

5.1 and 5.2 ?you tryin' to do

*Bracey pronounces this like too-bur-cue-low-shus.

Chris

 


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