collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Well, he may be old, but he sure will make you whine. - Jimmy Lee Williams, What Makes Grandpa Love Grandma So

Author Topic: Sloppy Henry Lyrics  (Read 5512 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:34:55 PM »
Hi all,
Sloppy Henry's version of "Canned Heat Blues" was recorded in Atlanta on August 13, 1928.  It is included on the Document Peg Leg Howell set (vol. 1), apparently on the basis that Peg Leg may have played second guitar on the session.  The instrumental sound is somewhat akin to Oscar Woods with Ed Schaffer backing him--a guitar duet with slide lead and boom-chang, possibly flat-picked rhythm guitar, though Sloppy Henry's sound is a lot more rough than Buddy Woods's was.  Neither the slide playing nor the back-up sounds much like Peg Leg Howell; his slide sound was a lot cleaner and the rhythm guitarist is not nearly as nifty as Peg Leg was. 
This song has terrific lyrics, and Sloppy Henry sang them with real relish.  He was a great vocal groover, and even in the Blues, great rhythmic singers were not all that common.  After the fourth verse, the song goes into a 12-bar break, holding the I chord, and it is tremendously exciting the way Sloppy Henry sings it.  I couldn't identify a recurring glitch in the accompaniment through this passage until I realized the rhythm guitarist is rocking from a I to a IV chord before each vocal phrase, when he should have been rocking from a V7 chord to a I chord.
This is a terrific number that is really ripe for being picked up and performed by somebody.  Here is Sloppy Henry's performance of "Canned Heat Blues":



   I live down in the alley, full of canned heat as I can be, honey as I can be, oh my baby
   I live down in the alley full of canned heat as I can be
   Look like everybody in that alley sure done got mad with me

   Liza bought so much canned heat, won't sell her no more, won't sell her no more, hear
   me talkin'
   Liza bought so much canned heat won't sell her no more
   She's got the cans and the labels layin' all around her door

   Canned heat whiskey'll make you sleep all in your clothes, lay down in your clothes,   
    hear, babe, I said
   Canned heat whiskey make you sleep all in your clothes
   When you wake up next morning feel like you stayed outdoors

   I say, whiskey, whiskey, many folks' downfall, many folks' downfall, aahooh,
   Whiskey--many folks' downfall
   When I can't get my whiskey, I ain't no good at all

   Walked in my room, the other night, man come in, he wanted to fight
   Took my gun, my right hand, "Hold me folks, I don't want to kill no man."
   When I said that, struck me 'cross my head, first shot I fired then the man fell dead, I
   said,
   Canned heat whiskey drove me to the county jail
   Got me layin' up on my bunk and I got nobody to go my bail

It seems like this one should be on the Juke.  It is definitely worth a listen.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:24:52 PM by Johnm »

Offline blueshome

  • Member
  • Posts: 1378
  • Step on it!
    • Blueshome
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 06:34:03 AM »
John, 
This is indeed a great song. I think we discussed this briefly at EBA Bluesweek - it sound to me like the prototype for Willie McTell's "Bell Street Whiskey", recorded some years later.

Great to see you again at Northampton -really fine classes.

Phil

ajd

  • Guest
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 09:08:47 AM »
John, thanks for the lyrics and info, this was on a long long list of songs I was hoping to learn in the coming months, so all that's left for me now is the easy task of figuring the guitar parts outs.  ;)  The guitar playing might be a little on the "sloppy" side (rough as you say), but his voice and singing style are definitely what makes the song stand out imo.

Adrian

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 09:21:12 AM »
Neither the slide playing nor the back-up sounds much like Peg Leg Howell; his slide sound was a lot cleaner and the rhythm guitarist is not nearly as nifty as Peg Leg was.?

I guess it's included simply because Sloppy Henry was vaguely associated with Peg Leg's gang and someone's making a guess about the guitar player. Eddie Anthony plays fiddle on some of Henry's other cuts. I agree that the guitar playing is difficult to identify as Peg Leg.

Henry has a huge voice, overpowering the instruments...

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 04:30:22 PM »
Hi all,
Sloppy Henry recorded "Say I Do It" on the same day he recorded "Canned Heat Blues", and with the same instrumentation.  Like "Canned Heat", "Say I Do It" has great lyrics, though the subject matter is considerably further outside the normal realm of country blues lyrics.  A blues devoted to a tale of cross-dressing and detailed denial of engaging in gay sex, it isn't like anything I had heard in the style before.  The lyrics are very craftily put together.  I find the second break in the chorus, beginning "Your husband is the doctor man"  completely mystifying--what the hell is he talking about?  It seems like the kind of song a burlesque comic might sing, but who knows?  Sloppy Henry sings the hell out of it, as he did "Canned Heat Blues".  I think "Say I Do It" may fairly be described as a one-of-a-kind song in this style.  Any help with the phrase in bent brackets is appreciated.  Here is "Say I Do It":



VERSE:
   Mose and Pete lived on Greenwillow Street in Northwest Baltimore
   Pete run with Mose 'cause he powdered his nose and even wore ladies hose
   Two could be seen runnin' hand in hand in all kinds of weather
   'Til the neighbors, they began to signify 'bout the birds that flock together
   Mose, he began to sigh, Pete yelled out his reply,
CHORUS:
   "Say I do it, ain't nobody seed me, they sure got to prove it 'bout me
   Can't identify a man with his cover over his head, when a crab is cooked, he's bound to turn red
   It's true I use a powder puff and has a shiny face, I wears a red necktie 'cause I think it suits my taste
   I know my voice is tenor, I reduce myself with lace, and when you see me with the gang you'll find me singing bass
   They say I do it, ain't nobody seed me, they sure got to prove it 'bout me, Listen!

   Your husband is the doctor man that told Miss Liza Lee
   They has gotten me a cottage out in the country by the sea
   Turkey's 'bout to recommend my breakfast in my bed
   Make sure that I will get it, he left a check instead
   They say I done it, ain't nobody seed me, they sure got to prove it 'bout me

   Say I do it, ain't nobody seed me, they sure got to prove it 'bout me
   Can't identify a man, cover over his head, crab is cooked, he's bound to turn red
   It's true I use a powder puff and has a shiny face, I wears a red necktie 'cause I think it suits my taste
   They say I done it, ain't nobody seed me, they sure got to prove it 'bout me

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:41:02 PM by Johnm »

ajd

  • Guest
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 09:39:15 PM »
I started working on "Canned Heat Blues" tonight, so if someone could let me know if this sounds right it'd be much appreciated. I'm basically trying to do a solo slide version that combines the two guitars, and? was playing along in vestapol (in open D tuned down 1 1/2 steps to key of B) using these chords: I (000000),? IV (x20120) , V7 (x02345 w/slide hitting the 1st string note). I'm sure there's tons of subtleties I'm missing on the slide parts but for the most part it seemed pretty straight forward (the parts you can hear anyway), just wanted to make sure I'm on the right track with the tuning and chords (progression would be I? IV? I? IV? I? V7? IV? I). Also, when playing along I thought the I to IV rocking sounded better, but then again the V7 to I? sounds more natural(?).. quite confusing.
And uncle bud's right about the overpowering, you have to use your imagination on some parts when he's singing since he just drowns out everything else.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 11:15:20 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2005, 11:01:38 AM »
Hi all,
On "Long, Tall Disconnected Mama", Sloppy Henry is joined by fiddler Eddie Anthony, rather than the mystery slide guitarist who accompanied him on "Canned Heat Blues" and "Say I Do It".  Instrumentally, this song is rough, and I mean rough.  Sloppy Henry sounds to be flat-picking haphazardly in C, standard tuning, and Eddie sounds like he might be tuned a full step low, so that he can finger his fiddle out of D position and have it sound in C.  The contrast between the odd, sort of Show Biz lyrics and the "woken from a sound sleep" accompaniment is striking.  The word "violin" in the lyrics is pronounced "vileen".  The guitar and fiddle sort of erode to a stop at the end of the tune.  Sloppy Henry is really a mystery.  Vocally, he sounds like a complete pro, but the over-all effect of his tunes is so loosey-goosey.  At the very least, you could say they sound under-rehearsed.  Here is "Long, Tall, Disconnected Mama":



   VERSE:  Everything's high, still goin' up
   Women got these triflin' men, compelled to give 'em up
   Man's got the money, he's the boss
   Women gonna have what they want, they don't care what it cost
   You said you's right, partner, but I know you're wrong
   Women ain't gonna put up with no one man the way things is goin' on
   Mice'll play, cats is away
   Happen to some poor married man most ever' day

   CHORUS:  I've got a long, tall disconnected mama, she's all right with me
   I like the way she cooks and stews my cabbage way down in Tennessee
   She's long and tall, look mighty lean, aah, mama, this violin
   I've got a long, tall disconnected mama, she's all right with me

   I've got a long, tall disconnected mama, honey, you all right with me
   I like the way you cooks and stews my cabbage way down in Tennessee
   She's long and tall, and she looks mighty lean,
   [Anthony sings] I've good good cooking in this violin
   [ Henry sings] I've got a long, tall disconnected mama, she's all right with me

   INSTRUMENTAL SOLO
   
   Long and tall, and she look mighty lean,
   [Anthony sings] I've got good picking in this violin
   [Henry sings] I've got a long, tall disconnected mama, she's all right with me

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:42:05 PM by Johnm »

Online dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2655
  • Howdy!
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2005, 08:00:19 AM »
What a coincidence.  I was singing this song in the shower this morning, though it was the Washboard Walter version.  It's a catchy little tune, isn't it. 

   Bruce Bastin, in Red River Blues, states that Waymon "Sloppy" Henry was an "older vaudeville performer".  He surmises this from the sound of his performances and from a picture of Henry in the Chicago Defender in 1925 (in which Henry is wearing a top hat).

   Sloppy Henry recorded 12 other songs in addition to the 4 he recorded in August of 1928 with Peg Leg Howell and Eddie Anthony.  All of these were recorded in Atlanta, accompanied by a pianist - either Eddie Haywood or J. Neal Montgomery.  There is no guitar on any of these 12 songs.  So it's likely that the guitar on Long Tall Disconnected Mama was Peg Leg Howell, Henry Williams, or some other Atlanta guitar player.  One wonders if Henry had ever met any of his accompanists before this session.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2005, 10:14:46 AM »
Thanks very much for the additional information on Sloppy Henry, dj.  I had surmised from listening to "Say I Do It" that he might be a stage performer, but your evidence seems much more conclusive.  The possibility that he was not accompanying himself on the flat-picked guitar parts on these songs had not occurred to me.  Based on the tone and ineptitude of the playing, the guitar accompaniments really don't sound like Peg Leg Howell, but I don't have a strong enough aural impression of Henry Williams's playing to know whether or not it could be him.  I think that your point that the pieces may never have been played by the accompanying musicians prior to the recording session may very well be right on the money, too.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2005, 10:30:17 AM »
Hi all,
"Royal Palm Special Blues" is the last number that Sloppy Henry recorded on August 13, 1928, immediately following "Long, Tall Disconnected Mama".  Instrumentally, it is a considerably tighter rendition than the numbers preceding it in the session, with the guitarist getting off a variety of nifty bass runs in C, many of which Leadbelly also played, but out of the F position.  Eddie Anthony's fiddling sounds great on the tune, too.  Sloppy Henry's vocal is excellent, as usual.  Amtrak may still be running a Royal Palm Special to this day, I'm pretty sure they were as late as the 1980s.  The ending of the tune is odd--Henry goes into an 8-bar break beginning with "I don't want no Northern gal . . . . ", but the song ends instrumentally without a punchline to the break.  Perhaps it was a casualty to little or no rehearsal in preparation for the recording, as dj suggested earlier in this thread. 


   
   Royal Palm's at the station, all steamed up to go (2)
   And the way that train's headed, headed on up the road

   Fireman grabbed his shovel, engineer done toned his bell (2)
   I got a gal that I'm lovin', cryin', "Don't you leave me here."

   I said, blues, pulled me away from home
   Blues pulled me away from home
   I got a brown that I'm lovin', sure makin' me weep and moan

   For this time, maybe another year, I said another year, oh my baby,
   For this time, mama, maybe another year
   If I'm a-livin', woman, God knows I won't be here

   I'm gonna moan, ain't gonna moan no more
   I'm gonna moan, my baby, ain't gonna moan no more
   You gonna miss me from knockin', bangin', woman, all on your door

   I don't want no Northern gal fry no meat for me
   I ain't scared but I'm skittish she might poison me
   I got a gal in Alabama, one in Tennessee
   I got a gal here in Atlanta and she's a fool about me

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 06:36:23 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2005, 12:08:23 PM »
Hi all,
"Royal Palm Special Blues" is the last number that Sloppy Henry recorded on August 13, 1928, immediately following "Long, Tall Disconnected Mama".? Instrumentally, it is a considerably tighter rendition than the numbers preceding it in the session, with the guitarist getting off a variety of nifty bass runs in C, many of which Leadbelly also played, but out of the F position.? Eddie Anthony's fiddling sounds great on the tune, too.? Sloppy Henry's vocal is excellent, as usual.? Amtrak may still be running a Royal Palm Special to this day, I'm pretty sure they were as late as the 1980s.
For those who might be interested in related historical music matters, the Royal Palm was involved in a major collision at 6.40pm on December 23, 1926 at Rockmart, Georgia. 19 died and 123 injured. The accident was the subject of an?enquiry and press coverage; the latter supplying inspiration for a Vernon Dalhart recording? on January 17, 1927 for Columbia - Wreck Of The Royal Palm.

OK got that of my chest, let normal service resume.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 04:18:34 PM »
Hi all,
Since this thread was last posted to, going on ten years ago, some earlier Sloppy Henry titles have surfaced and become available.  For "Some Sweet Rainy Day", he is backed by a pianist and a cornet player.  The song is an especially pretty 8-bar blues of a sort that I have never heard before; indeed, the structure, set-up and pay-off in sound are so rewarding that I'm amazed that many more 8-bar blues following this archetype didn't result.  Here is the progression for the song:

   |    IV7    |    IV7    |   I  V7  |    I    |

   | I  (VI7) |  II7  V7  |  I   V7  | I   I7 |

It is such a cool sound, having the song land on the IV7 chord for the first two bars of the form, and concluding the form on a I7 chord leads right into the next verse, because the I7 functions as the V7 of the IV chord that starts the verse.  It's a treat to hear something so novel and natural happening in this music, and I fully intend to do my own arrangement of this song right away.  Here is Sloppy Henry's rendition of "Some Sweet Rainy Day":



Someday, oh someday, some sweet rainy day
I'm goin' home to my baby, some sweet, sweet rainy day

You can go, you can stay, you come back some old lonesome day
I'm goin' home to my baby, some sweet rainy day

Mississippi River, got so deep and wide, I got a good girl on the other side
I'm goin' home to my baby, some sweet rainy day

I was born in Alabama, brought here from Tennessee
I've got a gal here in Atlanta, partner, she's a fool about me

Some day, 'cause some day, some day, sweet day, some sweet rainy day
I'm goin' home to my baby, some sweet rainy day

I got a girl named Rosie, one named Sadie Mae
And I'm goin' home to my baby, some sweet rainy day

Where was you that mornin', when the Southern, it blowed for town?
Had my head out the window, singin' how I's on my last go-round

Correction 11/17/16

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:20:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline CF

  • Member
  • Posts: 887
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2015, 06:20:17 PM »
Great tune! New to me & can't help notice its similarities to Patton's POOR ME. Looks like this one was recorded first.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 09:09:02 AM »
Hi all,
"Jomo Man Blues" was probably recorded at the same session as "Some Sweet Rainy Day" for it utilizes the same accompaniment, cornet and piano.  The subject matter of the song is interesting, and Sloppy Henry sings it with real verve, but the accompanying musicians switching back and forth between straight time and double time get a little disorganized after a while.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Jomo wrecked my home one morning, made my woman move
Jomo Man wrecked my home one morning, made my woman move
Got me so worried and bothered 'til I don't know what to do

Jomo Man, Jomo Man, don't do me this-a-way
Jomo Man, Jomo Man, don't do me this-a-way
Look-a-here, Jomo Man, Jomo Man, please don't do me this-a-way

Hey, engineer blowed his whistle, fireman toned the bell, gal I'm lovin' cried, "Don't leave me here."
Jomo Man wrecked my home one morning, baby honey, and I must go
If times don't get no better, you won't see me here no more

SOLO

Hey, pretty mama, done all I could do, all I could do and, if you hear my honey
Done all that I could do
Look like you a woman that I'm lovin', and I can't get along with you

Eh, you toted your lodestone, John the Conquer', too, sprinkle your goo-goo dust, made my woman move
Jomo Man, Jomo Man, you done broke up my home
I've got me here, sure makin' me weep and moan

All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:21:54 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11048
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2015, 10:25:39 AM »
Hi all,
Another track that Sloppy Henry seems to have recorded at the same time as he recorded "Some Sweet Rainy Day" and "Jomo Man Blues" is "Hobo Blues", because it has the very same instrumentation, cornet and piano, and by the sound of it, the same players as were used on those two songs.  "Hobo Blues" is an exceptionally cool version of "Casey Jones", cool in that Casey is never referred to familiarly, by his first name, but is called throughout the rendition "Mr. Jones", by Sloppy Henry.  Sloppy Henry sounds like quite the hipster, and he had great style and attitude.  The song has a melody very similar to that used by Peg Leg Howell, another resident of Atlanta, for his "Coal Man Blues".  This version of "Casey Jones" may very well have supplied Furry Lewis with his "ramblin' woman, got a ramblin' mind" verse.  I'd very much appreciate corroboration/correction on the bent bracketed phrase at the end of the tagline to the first verse.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Look out, you hobos, I want you all to hear
Story was told 'bout a brave engineer
I know Mr. Jones was the rider's name
Talk it, the heavyweight wheelman with the marv'lous fame

Mr Jones was a man, you know
B'lieved in good times and always had the dough
"Why don't you hobos be like me,
Have you a good-lookin' woman, let your Crow Janes be?"

Walked in the shed just about five o'clock
He told his fireman, "Get the boilers hot."
Fireman says, "Yes, Jones, we oughta been gone.
I know I feel like ridin' if it's all night long."

Just as the fireman got his load
Then the conductor hollered "All aboard!"
Yonder come another hobo, runnin' with his beer,
Cryin', "Sweet Mr. Jones, don't you leave me here."

On this train sat Miss Alice Frye
"I'm gonna ride Mr. Jones' train or die.
I ain't good-lookin', but I takes my time,
I'm a ramblin' rider, I got a ramblin' mind."

Jones says now, "I don't feel right.
Dreamt my gal was talkin' to a man last night.
Quick as you get enough steam let's ride,
I got the L & N blues and can't be satisfied."

The last place I gettin' to sing this song
Hobos got 'rested last Sunday morn
The judge told me I'd better leave town
Doggone my black soul, I'm Alabama bound

Edited 6/19 to pick up correction from davek and Johnm

All best,
Johnm


 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:23:15 PM by Johnm »

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal