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We can hardly get our breath, taxed and schooled and preached to death. Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live? - Blind Alfred Reed, 1929

Author Topic: Sloppy Henry Lyrics  (Read 5510 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2015, 10:08:11 AM »
Hi all,
Any ideas for that last line of the first verse in Sloppy Henry's "Hobo Blues"?  Thanks for any help.
All best,
Johnm

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2015, 05:34:23 PM »
My take on the mystery line is:
Talk it's a heavyweight wheelman with a [marvel] train.

Maybe he means marvelous?

Dave

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2015, 09:48:32 AM »
Thanks very much for the help, Dave.  After listening many times, I'm now hearing:
   Talk it, the heavyweight wheelman with the marv'lous fame
That "marvel" or "marv'lous" was a big help.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2018, 03:36:43 PM »
Hi all,
Sloppy Henry appears to have recorded "The Best Cheap Car in the Market is a Ford" at the same session at which he recorded "Some Sweet Rainy Day", "Jomo Man Blues" and "Hobo Blues", for it shares the same ensemble sound, with piano and cornet backing him, as was used on those songs.  I guess this song qualifies for the old "product placement" thread.  Here is "The Best Cheap Car in the Market is a Ford":



INTRO

VERSE: It was way back in '78
Mister Ford was a mechanic and he never was late
Went to the shop one morning, stood on a board
Praise God, to work, and he invented a Ford

Let the top back now, you can catch fresh air
Now Mr. Ford, he's a millionaire
He's got money, even got gold, he went to
Workin' at the government to give him Muscle Shoals

CHORUS: Best cheap car on the market today is a Ford, I say a Ford
Price is not so high for a poor man to buy, lots of them being sold
Packard and a Lincoln goes from plain to plain, late-model Fords is the runnin' thing
Best cheap car on the market today, I mean, is a runnin' Ford, let me tell you,
Buddy, that's a runnin' Ford

CORNET SOLO

Best cheap car on the market today is a Ford, I say a Ford
Price is not so high for a poor man to buy, lots of them being sold
Packard and a Lincoln goes from plain to plain, late-model Fords is the runnin' thing
Best cheap car on the market today, I say now, is a runnin' Ford, let me tell you,
Buddy, that's a runnin' Ford

All best,
Johnm




Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2018, 02:44:03 PM »
Hi all,
Every few years, I seem to find a number of titles by Sloppy Henry of which I was previously unaware.  "Bobbed Haired Woman Blues" falls into that category; it comes from a Document CD, "Eddie Heywood & The Blues Singers (1923--1926).  I was really surprised in listening to the song to find how closely it tracks the Appalachian murder ballad, "Little Sadie", as recorded by Tom Ashley and others.  Sloppy Henry expands on the story a bit, but many of the verses track Ashley's version almost word for word.  I'm putting up Ashley's version here, too, so you can make your own comparisons.
It must be said, Eddie Heywood was a pretty spectacular pianist.  I should note that Sloppy Henry's singing of "Jellico" in verse two is not necessarily a mistake in hearing on his part of the name "Jericho", as in the Tom Ashley song.  There are towns called Jellico in Tennesse and Texas.  I'd very much appreciate help with any of the bent bracketed passages in "Bobbed Haired Woman Blues".  I apologize if the Sloppy Henry recording is not viewable for non-U.S. weenies.  Here is the Sloppy Henry cut, followed by Clarence Ashley's "Little Sadie":





INTRO

Monday morning the poor boy made his round
Monday evening shot his bob-haired woman down
He wanted to go home, get in his bed, and put a
32.20 right under his head

Early Tuesday morning by the rising sun
Boy got up and all to make his run
He made his run and he run too slow
Then they overtaken the boy down in Jellico

Standin' on the corner, he was readin' a bill
Up stepped a man he called Tector Hill
Says to the boy, "Ain't your name Lee Brown?
Don't you 'member Monday evenin' you shot your woman down?"

"Yes, oh yes,", he says, "They call me Lee.
Got any readin's, please read it to me."
He read, "Kansas City, Kansas, you know best
Come and go with me boy, the judge'll tell you the rest."

PIANO SOLO

That mornin' he's arrested, he was dressed in black
Then the high sheriff carried him back
He had nobody, now, to go his bail
They laid the poor boy, safe, over in county jail

Early that mornin', just at half past nine
He spied the jailer comin' on down the line
He heared the jailer clear up his throat,
He said, "Boy, you get ready for the justice court."

Justice court is now in hand
Introduced to the boy twelve big honest men
Jury do verdict, murder in the first degree
Then the boy cried, "Lord, do have mercy on me!"

He seed the judge pick up his pen
"I don't think you'll kill a bob-haired woman again.
Give him lifetime, pickin' up this ground."
He says, "Run and tell my Mama I'm on my last go-round."

Edited 6/26 to pick up correction from Lignite

While I'm at it, here are the lyrics for "Little Sadie", for which Tom Ashley accompanied himself on the banjo out of gDGCD tuning.  It's funny, I've known this song for over fifty years, and I was surprised at how many places Tom Ashley's lyrics differ from my remembrance of them.  The banjo is accorded a surprising amount of solo space in this rendition, and indeed, I would be hard-pressed to think of another recording of an Appalachian ballad that concludes with six consecutive solo passes.

INTRO SOLO

Went out last night for to take a little round
I met a little Sadie and I blowed her down
I gone right home, and I went to bed
A .44 smokeless under my head

SOLO

I woke next morning at half a-past nine
The brothers and the hacks all swarmed in line
The gents and the gamblers standin' around
A-gon' take Sadie to her buryin' ground

SOLO

Why, I begin to think what a deed I done
I grabbed my hat and away I run
I made a good run, just a little too slow
They overtook me in Jericho

SOLO

Standin' on the corner, ringin' a bell
Up stepped a sheriff from Thomasville
Says, "Young man, ain't your name Brown?
Don't you 'member the night you broke Sadie down?"

SOLO

"Oh, yes sir, my name is Lee,
I murdered little Sadie in the first degree.
In the first degree and the second degree
Got any papers will you read 'em to me?"

SOLO

Took me downtown and dressed me in black
Put me on the train and sent me back
Well, I had no one for to go my bail
They crammed me back in the county jail

SOLO

Judge and the jury took their stand
Judge had the papers in his right hand
Forty-one days, forty-one nights
Forty-one year to wear the ball and stripes

SOLO X 6

All best,
Johnm













 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 06:58:13 AM by Johnm »

Offline Lignite

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 06:21:50 AM »
Hey John,
I think in verse 6 Sloppy says "He heared the jailer clear up his throat"

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2018, 06:56:38 AM »
Thanks so much for the help, Lightnin'.  I re-listened and I believe you got it.  Boy, I was absolutely not hearing that.  Had you heard this version before?  Pretty interesting, isn't it?  I'll have to get some more of these Sloppy Henry songs I'd not heard before.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Lignite

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2018, 08:45:57 AM »
No, I had not heard it before. Pretty interesting take on the Little Sadie/Bad Lee Brown ballad.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2018, 10:06:47 AM »
Hi all,
Another Sloppy Henry number for which Eddie Heywood provided the piano accompaniment is "Traveling Blues".  The song has the common AAB lyric phrasing employed by many 12-bar blues, but has a different chordal model that I've not encountered previously.  Eddie Heywood's accompaniment works out like so:

    |   I   I7   |  IV  V7   |  I  V7/II   |  I/III   V7   |

    |   I   I7   |  IV  V7   |  I  V7/II   |  I/III    I     |

    |   I         |    V7      |  I     V7    |   I     V7     |

So it is that Eddie Heywood begins each of the 4-bar phrases with a I chord--it doesn't seem like it should work, but it sure does!  The fact that the song has a pretty melody is undoubtedly a major factor in its success.  The pitch of the recording is compromised, for it rises noticeably over the course of the rendition.  Here is Sloppy Henry's "Traveling Blues":



INTRO

I've been travelin', traveling from place to place
Honey, I've been travelin', traveling from place to place
I ain't never been to Chicago, they tell me that's a great big place

And the brown I love, done caught the train and gone
And the brown I love, done caught the train and gone
And she left me here, singin', honey, this lonesome song

I didn't feel like cryin', 'til, honey, she got on the train
I didn't feel like cryin', honey, she got on the train
Then my heart struck sorrow, tears fell just like drops of rain

SOLO

Wasn't for good corn whiskey, b'lieve I'd lose my mind
Wasn't for good corn whiskey, b'lieve, hon', I'd lose my mind
For the brown I'm lovin', she worries and bothers me all the time

I'm so worried and bothered, I don't know what to do
I'm so worried and bothered, honey, I don't know what to do
I just reach over in the corner and pick up my traveling shoes

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 06:27:22 AM by Johnm »

Offline Thomas8

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2018, 01:55:38 PM »
Wow, Heywood is a MONSTER!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sloppy Henry Lyrics
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2018, 02:33:44 PM »
I know what you mean, Thomas.  He appears to have been able to play anything he could think of, in the moment, and he wasn't short on ideas, either.  Whew!  If you like his playing, he accompanied Texas Alexander on a couple of songs as well.  If you look in Weeniepedia, under Musicianship, then under Piano, then under Piano Accompanists, you'll find all of the songs so far that have been transcribed that Eddie Heywood played on.
All best,
Johnm

 


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