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You know I was never interested in making records and I always preferred to live a quiet life; just unknown in my basement - Kokomo Arnold, in Paul Oliver's Blues Off the Record

Author Topic: Furry Lewis Lyrics  (Read 25807 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2007, 11:00:28 AM »
Wow, Uncle Bud, that has to be some kind of record for most song lyrics posted in the shortest time!  Thanks so much.  God, that "Rock Island Blues" is terrific.  One cool thing about Furry is that he has lots of post-rediscovery lyrics, too.  Go ahead on!
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2007, 11:08:17 AM »
Uncle Bud -- I have a couple suggestions on "Kassie Jones" and "Furry's Blues"

On "Kassie":
Lord, the people said to Casey, "You're runnin' over time"
"You'll havin? a collision with the one-o-nine"
Casey said, "This engine's mine
I'll run it in close just to make my time"
Said to all the passengers, "Better keep yourself hid
Natural' gon shake it like Chainey did"
Like Chainey did
I?m natural' gon' shake it like Chainey did
(Natural' short for naturally here)

Number Four stabbed him in the face
(stared makes more sense, but it really sounds like stabbed -- maybe it means the headlight stabbed him in the face)

Killed my father on the first degree

For "Furry's Blues":
If you want to go to Nashville, mens ain't got no fare
(They wouldn't send you to Memphis if you cut your woman's throat, 'cause the state pen's in Nashville)

On "Good Looking Girl" it sounds like he says "Daniel," which of course makes no sense. Maybe he means to say "dangle," as if she's following him around on a leash or something, despite what she says about not wanting him. I'm pretty sure I've heard him sing that verse on another, post-war recording and I'll try to find it, although I haven't had any luck yet.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2007, 11:21:43 AM »
Hi banjochris and Uncle Bud,
I think in "Kassie Jones", Furry actually pronounces the word "collusion", though he is certainly talking about a collision, not plotting. 
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2007, 11:33:15 AM »
Hi John - Yes, he pronounces it "collusion". For transcription purposes, I thought it might make more sense to actually have "collision" in there. An amusing Furryism.

Chris, thanks much for the corrections. Re. "stabbed him in the face". I'd always heard it as this but always thought it odd. I listened over and over and came up with "stared", a non-standard pronunciation of it, but will listen again.

Bunker, yes, I was working from the Yazoo Furry Lewis disc. I do have the other take and will get to it now that you've reminded me of the lyric differences!  :D

« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 11:36:55 AM by uncle bud »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2007, 03:33:37 PM »
Ah this would appear to be the alternative take which first appeared on the Yazoo Lewis compilation (L-1050) the released version as found on Frank Stokes' dream (L-1008) has a line like

"Give my woman so many dollars it broke her apron string"

and totally different final verse which, from memory, runs

What's the need of me hollerin', what's the need of my cryin', woman I love don't pay me no mind.

along with other minor lyric variations.

BH the pedant strikes again.

Here's the released version of I Will Turn Your Money Green:

I Will Turn Your Money Green ? Furry Lewis
In Spanish tuning


When I was in Missouri, would not let me be
I was in Missouri, would not let me be
Wouldn?t rest content until I came to Tennessee

If you follow me baby, I?ll turn your money green
Follow me babe, I?ll turn your money green
I?ll show you more money Rockefeller ever seen

If the river was whiskey, babe and I was a duck
River was whiskey, babe and I was a duck
I?d dive to the bottom Lord and I'd never come up

Woman I hate, I see her every day
Woman I hate, I see her every day
But the woman I love, she?s so far away

Talk about sweethearted, I declare I?m an honest man
Talk about sweethearted, I declare I?m an honest man
Give my woman money so many dollars broke her apron string

All she give me was trouble, I'm troubled all the time
All she give me was trouble, I'm troubled all the time
I been troubled so long, trouble don?t worry my mind

I been down so long, seem like up to me
I been down so long, seem like up to me
Woman I love, she done quit poor me

What's the need in me hollerin', what's the need in me cryin'
What's the need in me hollerin', what's the need in me cryin'
Woman I love, she don't pay me no mind


Offline Chezztone

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2007, 12:57:12 PM »
Maybe the "from" is implied, or mouthed very softly, in the line from Furry's Blues: "If you want to go to Nashville (from) Memphis, ain't got no fare..." Remember that Furry lives in Memphis and is singing to a Memphis audience. Or maybe he is using "Memphis" to mean "people of Memphis": "If you want to go to Nashville, Memphis, ain't got no fare..."

Uncle Bud -- I have a couple suggestions on "Kassie Jones" and "Furry's Blues"

For "Furry's Blues":
If you want to go to Nashville, mens ain't got no fare
(They wouldn't send you to Memphis if you cut your woman's throat, 'cause the state pen's in Nashville)

Chris

Offline banjochris

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2007, 06:37:36 PM »
Chezztone --
I don't think there's a problem with the line as it stands -- it's a joke addressed to men in general, "mens" being like "womens" a common dialect plural. He's simply addressing men, saying that if they don't have the bus or train fare to get to Nashville, they should murder their woman, because they'll get a free trip to the Nashville pen courtesy of the state.
Chris

Offline Rivers

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2007, 06:49:50 PM »
Well now I've really got to listen to this one.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2007, 12:54:57 AM »
Right. Chris, it makes sense either way, the thing is, listen to it. I believe I hear "Memphis" in there.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2007, 11:05:25 AM »
"Daniel" it is!
In Furry's "Good Looking Girl Blues," second verse, he says:

Lord my good girl says she didn't want me no more
But she's on my daniel Lord everywhere I go


I have long wondered what he meant by that, and some have speculated on this list that the word was something other than "daniel."
But I was rereading Mezz Mezzrow's Really the Blues recently, and came across a passage about an excited dancer who fell on her daniel. Yep, spelled out, just like that.
Now, I don't know the origin of the expression -- why the proper name Daniel became a term for the human rear end -- but it is clear that it did, and that that's what Furry is saying in that song.
By the way, I highly recommend Mezzrow's book, in case you aren't familiar with it. Despite the title, it is really about the world of early jazz. Mezzrow was a white Jewish musician/pot dealer/protohipster. The book is written in the fabulous slang of that world. Cheers, SC

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2007, 11:15:52 AM »
"Daniel" it is!
In Furry's "Good Looking Girl Blues," second verse, he says:

Lord my good girl says she didn't want me no more
But she's on my daniel Lord everywhere I go


I have long wondered what he meant by that, and some have speculated on this list that the word was something other than "daniel."
FWIW a similar question was posed by Claudio Caponi on Mary Katherine Aldin's prewar discussion group a couple of years back in relation to Dr Clayton's usage "I'm gonna wang your daniel". I haven't got time now to search the member's yahoo interface to find the topic thread and re-post here but I think Chris Smith or Paul Garon came up with some kind of plausible explanation. Any PWB members hereabouts up for the challenge of locating it?   ::)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2007, 11:26:15 AM »
Great find, Chezz. My guess (and it's just a guess) is this usage could be some sort of profane Biblical allusion. Any stories of Daniel feature an ass (the beast, not the butt)? All I know about is the usual Daniel in the lion's den story.

I meant to post awhile back that Furry clearly uses this phrase in a couple of his postwar recordings. I can't remember which ones now -- should have posted at the time! -- but I believe they were on the Shake 'Em On Down record. Will re-listen.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2007, 11:31:59 AM »
Did a quick search. The hypothesis on PWB was that usage might be based on rhyming slang:

Can ---> Dan ---> Daniel, or Fanny ---> Danny ---> Daniel.

I'm still interested in whether the biblical Daniel has any connection to donkeys.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2007, 07:50:57 AM »

I meant to post awhile back that Furry clearly uses this phrase in a couple of his postwar recordings. I can't remember which ones now -- should have posted at the time! -- but I believe they were on the Shake 'Em On Down record. Will re-listen.

Just following up. Furry uses the "Daniel" verse on several postwar recordings I think, but one for sure is on the Blue Horizon session, "Let's Shake Hand in Hand."

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2010, 02:56:09 PM »
Here's "Good Looking Girl Blues". Missing a line in the 2nd verse. Any help appreciated.

Good Looking Girl Blues ? Furry Lewis
in Spanish tuning


Don?t you wish your good girl was long and tall like mine?
Don?t you wish your good girl was long and tall like mine?
Lord, she ain?t good lookin? but I ?clare she takes her time

Said my good girl says she didn?t want me no more
Lord my good girl says she didn?t want me no more
But she?s on my daniel, Lord, everywhere I go

Lord the train I ride is sixteen coaches long
Train I ride is sixteen coaches long
And she don?t want nothin? but chocolate to the bone

I?m worried now, I been worried all day long
I?m worried now, I been worried all day long
Babe, I?m gonna be worried until the day I?m gone

Lord, it?s some say yellow but gimme my black and brown
Lord, some say yellow but gimme my black and brown
When your high brown quit you, your black will run you down

I wanna see, wanna see the girl I?m so crazy ?bout
I wanna see, wanna see the girl I?m so crazy ?bout
I?ll be so glad, I sure can?t help but shout


Revisiting some Furry material and just making a minor correction.

3.1 Lord the train I ride is sixteen coaches long
3.2 Train I ride is sixteen coaches long
3.3 And she don?t HAUL nothin? but chocolate to the bone




 


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