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Author Topic: Bo Carter Lyrics  (Read 30149 times)

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Offline thickpete

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #75 on: June 07, 2013, 05:59:39 PM »
Search on "Laurence" and maybe other variants too..... There's a "St. Laurence Avenue" in El Paso - maybe elsewhere...But Bronx and policy might make sense too - maybe Bo just got around!  ;)

Also - whole neighborhoods disappeared in some cities with "urban renewal" - you may need to search pre-war map indexes....  :(
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 06:01:49 PM by thickpete »

Offline banjochris

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Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #76 on: June 07, 2013, 06:37:00 PM »
There's a St Lawrence Lane in Memphis.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #77 on: June 07, 2013, 07:19:59 PM »
Also, many Memphis city directories are online at http://register.shelby.tn.us/ -- I looked in a couple and couldn't find Bo, either under Chatman, Chatmon or Carter, but in the 1943 (I only looked in '43 for these) I found Lonnie Chatman, Peter Chatman, Walter Vinson, 3 Walter Lewises, Frank Stokes, about 20 Thomas Johnsons (none listed with wife Maggie!), Robert Wilkins and Booker White. Fun to dig around in.

Offline mr mando

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2013, 02:39:08 AM »
Did he record in Wisconson?

Bo Carter recorded in New Orleans, New York, Atlanta and San Antonio. With the Mississippi Sheiks, he might also have recorded in Grafton, Wisconsin.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 02:59:04 AM by mr mando »

Offline banjochris

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Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2013, 09:15:16 AM »
I think it was just Lonnie and Walter at the Grafton Sheiks session, at least based on just listening to those records.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #80 on: June 09, 2013, 04:42:46 PM »
Banana In Your Fruit Basket
From document 5078 (vol.1) and the Yazoo LP named for the song.
further to the discussion here
http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=237.msg80412#msg80412



there's one line I don't get in the last verse


I got a brand new skillet, i got a brand new lead
all I needs is a woman just to burn my bread
then I'm telling you baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

Now I got the washboard, my baby's got the tub
we gonna put em together gonna rub rub rub
then I'm telling you baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

mmm go an' let my banana spoil now
mmhm let my banana spoil now
I can see the way you're carryin on
you don't want my banana no how

Now I got the dasher my baby got the churn
we gonna churn churn churn until the butter comes
then I'm telling you baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

Now my baby's got the cloth, and I got the needle
we gonna stick stick stick till we both will feel it
then I'm telling you baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

mmm go an' let my banana ruin now
mmm go let my banana ruin now
I can see the way you're carryin on
you don't want my banana no how

Now my baby got the meat and i got the knife
I'm gonna do her cutting ??? sit down and solve my life, the balance of my life,
then I'm telling you baby
sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

edited to pick up correction from banjochris, below and edited again to add version info.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 09:57:41 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #81 on: June 09, 2013, 07:04:46 PM »
Gumbo -- I think that line is "the balance of my life"

Also, I would suggest in all the choruses that instead of "I sure ain't going tonight" Bo is singing "I sure ain't gonna 'ny it" (i.e. deny it).

Chris

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #82 on: June 10, 2013, 04:06:52 AM »
thanks for the the "to 'ny it", chris I put that one in. The 'balance of my life' i can hear that it could well be that, but it doesn't make much sense, whereas all the other couplets in other verses add to the humour. Mine doesn't either. I have a feeling it might still be something else. Anyone else have an idea?

Offline dj

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2013, 04:36:54 AM »
Gumbo, at least in parts of the US, "the balance" is a colloquial term for "the rest, the remainder".  So "I'm gonna do her cuttin' the balance of my life" would mean "I'm gonna do her cuttin' the rest of my life", which makes sense in the context of the verse.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #84 on: June 10, 2013, 09:01:06 AM »
Thanks, dj. That does make sense, just not in a humorous way.
I have another suggestion, if we can drag this out a bit longer ...

Sit (or set) down and saw all my life.

EDIT that's saw as in 'cut with a repetitive forward/backward motion'
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 02:33:47 PM by Gumbo »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2013, 09:12:21 AM »
Gumbo, at least in parts of the US, "the balance" is a colloquial term for "the rest, the remainder".  So "I'm gonna do her cuttin' the balance of my life" would mean "I'm gonna do her cuttin' the rest of my life", which makes sense in the context of the verse.

That's how I read it, too.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2013, 01:28:57 PM »
That "balance of my life," or whatever, has puzzled me for years -- thanks for all the ideas on it. I am still not sure what he says there. I agree that "balance of my life" doesn't really seem to fit as a lyrical statement, even if it "makes sense." Let's all keep listening and thinking about that line!
As for St. Lawrence Avenue -- I don't think Carter recorded in Grafton. But even if he did pass through that town to record, I don't think he would have immediately learned the geography of a different Wisconsin city and included directions for a bookie to get to his "house" there in one of his songs.
I love the idea of looking in old city directories for streets that might not exist anymore (or have been renamed), though, thanks for that suggestion! And while Carter lived in Memphis in his old age, that was post-recording. My guess is that the St. Lawrence Avenue we (and his policy man) are seeking was in Jackson, Miss. I'll check with long-time residents and old city directories there and see if I find a St. Lawrence Ave. Cheers, Ch.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #87 on: July 05, 2013, 04:40:47 PM »
Looks like it is Chicago's St. Lawrence Avenue that Carter sings about in "Policy Blues."
By asking a librarian there to look at old city directories and maps, I found out that there never was a St. Lawrence Avenue in Jackson, Miss. (a city I know Carter lived in for years, the closest city to his birthplace in Bolton, and a city he mentioned in another song, therefore my first guess as to where "Policy Blues" would be set).
The nearby cities of Memphis and New Orleans, which Carter also was familiar with, also lack St. Lawrence avenues past or present, per librarians in those cities.
Chicago does have an avenue of that name. I originally did not consider that one as a possibility, since I didn't think Carter ever lived or spent much time there.
But it turns out the St. Lawrence Avenue in Chicago is in the heart of that city's "Bronzeville," which was a thriving African-American business district from the 1920s on, with 94.6 percent black population by 1930. Here is a description:
Grand Boulevard became the hub of ?Bronzeville,? the name the Chicago Bee gave to Chicago's South Side African American community. A thriving center of successful black businesses, civic organizations, and churches, Bronzeville was in every way ?a city within a city.? The large number of black intellectuals, politicians, sports figures, artists, and writers who made their homes in Bronzeville made it a cultural mecca, the central institution of which was the famed Regal Theater located at 47th and Grand Boulevard.
That is exactly the kind of neighborhood that would have a policy game. And St. Lawrence Avenue was not the main drag, which makes sense -- Carter wants the policy man not to dally on Grand Boulevard, but to "cut across on St. Lawrence Avenue" to deliver his winnings promptly.
As for how Carter would be familiar with Chicago and decide to use a Chicago geographical reference in a song -- the Mississippi Sheiks, probably including Carter, toured from 1930-35 to various places including Illinois. They may have stayed in Bronzeville long enough to become familiar with its streets and hear people talking about the policy game. Maybe that is where Carter became familiar with the policy game, which might not have existed (at least not in such an organized fashion, with runners who come to your house) in the South. And sharp businessman that he was, he certainly was aware that a lot of his record buyers lived in Chicago, and may have inserted the reference for their benefit.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2013, 03:51:29 AM »
Nice work, Chezztone - that's some interesting background info too.

There are two versions of Banana. Here is the later one from Document 5079 vol2. It doesn't help much with the mystery line, but does have a different last verse.

Banana In The Fruit Basket

I got a brand new skillet, i got a brand new lead
all I needs is a woman now just to burn my bread
and it's mmm baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

Now my baby got the dasher and I got the churn
we gonna churn churn churn until the butter comes
and it's mmm baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
just let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

mmm gonna let my banana spoil now
mmhm gonna let my banana spoil now
I can see the way you're actin baby
you don't want my banana no how

Now my baby got the cloth, and I got the needle
we gonna stick stick stick till we both will feel it
and it's mmm baby
I sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

Now my baby got the meat and i got the knife
I'm gonna do her cutting  sit down and saw all my life or the balance of my life ?
and it's mmm baby 
sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satisfied

mmm gonna let my banana spoil now
mmhm gonna let my banana spoil now
I can see the way you're actin baby
you don't want my banana no how


You got the dairy, and i wanna milk
coz your cows is just as soft as silk
and it's mmm baby 
sure ain't going to 'ny it
let me put my banana in your fruit basket
then I'll be satis-fi-fi-nfi-fi nfi-fi fied

Offline bird to whistle

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Re: Bo Carter Lyrics
« Reply #89 on: August 16, 2013, 07:14:11 PM »
Same Thing The Cats Fight About




Boy you know I laid down last night trying to rest my mind
and I couldn't rest with them old cats fightin all the time.

I just had to get up and compose me a song about those cats.


I laid down last night trying to rest my mind.
I couldn't rest with cats fightin all the time,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Me and my gal had a fight.
We fussed and we quarreled all last night,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Because I love women and she loves men,
That's the way this battle began,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Even now the old men will fight about that.

Uncle Jack was old his hair was white,
but he still tryin to fight,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Even down to the horses will fight about that.

There is horses in the stall,
trying to kick the other one through the wall,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Most all men gettin jealous of mine,
You can find them fussing and squabblin all the time,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.

Most all women now is doing the mess around man.

Most all women doing the mess around,
you can find them doing it all over town,
about the same thing the cats all fights about.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 11:46:19 AM by Johnm »

 


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