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Some of these women do make me tired, got a handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged - Sleepy John Estes, Drop Down Mama

Author Topic: Leroy Carr Lyrics  (Read 14931 times)

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Easy Rider

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Leroy Carr Lyrics
« on: October 07, 2005, 04:32:00 AM »
I have learned to play this piece, from Paul K's arrangement of it, which he got from Happy Traum's video, "The Blues Bag", but I have no idea how to sing with it. 

I would love to see the relevant pages, in Happy Traum's booklet.  Does anybody have it?  Can you scan it in and send me a copy?  Can you mail the pages to me?

Thanx

Offline Richard

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Re: ISO: "In the Evening When the Sun goes Down"
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 10:53:45 AM »
If it's the same tune I can probably find you the words via aa Jimmy witherspoon recording if you get really desperate.
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline MTJ3

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Re: ISO: "In the Evening When the Sun goes Down"
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2005, 10:21:32 PM »
I don't know what Traum and Bob K. do to/with the song, but the origin is undoubtedly "When The Sun Goes Down," first recorded by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell in their last session together, which was Leroy's final session, on February 25, 1935, in Chicago, IL.  Also recorded pre-War by Bumble Bee Slim, Libby Holman, Memphis Minnie, Red Nelson, Joshua White, Uncle Bob Ledbetter, Lynch Sisters/The Delta Twins.  Post-war, from Big Bill to Ray Charles and beyond.  Without going into the details, the Carr-Blackwell piece (available on DOCD 5139) is formally a work of sheer genius.  If you're familiar with "Love In Vain," you know how to sing it.  The lyrics are as follows.

In the evening, in the evening,   mama, when the sun goes down
In the evening,   baby, when the sun goes down
Well, ain't it lonesome, ain't it lonesome, babe,
When your lover's not around
When the sun goes down.

Last night   I laid a sleeping,   I was thinking to myself
Last night I laid a sleeping,   I was thinking to myself
Well, wondering and thinking why the one that you love
Would mistreat you for someone else
When the sun goes down.

The sun rises in the east,   and it sets up in the west.
The sun rises in the east, mama,   and it sets in the west.
Well, it's hard to tell, hard to tell
Which one will treat you the best
When the sun goes down.

[Scat verse]

Goodbye old sweethearts and pals,   yes, I 'm going away,
But I may be back to see you again,   some old rainy day.
Well, in the evening, in the evening, babe,
When the sun goes down.
When the sun goes down.

Offline Pan

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Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2006, 09:32:08 AM »
Hi all

I'm attempting to transcribe the lyrics to the Leroy Carr/Scrapper Blackwell song called "Papa's On The House Top", and could sure use some help. Unfortunately I'm on our summer cottage and am unable to produce an mp3 with my laptop at the moment. The song can be found on the "How Long Blues 1928-1935" CD which is on the Juke, or on the Yazoo compilation "The Roots Of Rap". Mary Flower's version can also be found on the Juke on her "Bywater Dance" album.
Here's what I've got so far. Especially the parts in brackets with questionmarks are unclear, but I could have it all wrong practically anywhere :(.

PAPA'S ON THE HOUSE TOP

Mama made Papa be quiet as a mouse,
so Papa climbed on top of the house,
made a lot of whoopee, made a lot of noise,
stood up and cheered with the rest* of the boys.

Refrain:

Baby's in the cradle, brother's gone to town,
sister's in the parlour, trying  on a gown
Mama's in the kitchen messing all around,
Papa's on the house top, won't come down.

instr.

The Blues they've come, the blues they've come,
nobody knows where the Blues come from,
The Blues they've gone, the Blues they've gone,
And everybody's happy when the old Blues gone.

refrain

instr.

Papa saw a chicken out in the yard,
picked up a rock and hit him hard,
hit him hard, killed him dead,
now the chicken's in the gravy and the gravy's on the bread.

refrain

instr.

Hush-a-little baby, don't you cry,
Blues gonna leave you by and by,
Poppa came in, sure was cold,
put the baby in the cradle and the Blues outdoor.

refrain

instr. &  Fine.
                             

* it sounds to me that Mary Flowers sings "best" instead of "rest",here?

To my annoyance the Yazoo compilation "Roots of Rap" don't give any composer credits to the song, so I would appreciate them also very much, if anyone has them. And of course, any information concerning the song is always welcome.

To anyone interested in trying out the song, Carr and Blackwell play in the key of E flat (!), the instrumental parts are 12-bar blues with 2 bars of the V chord on bars 9-10, and the vocal choruses are an 8 bar form repeated twice:

[|: I  |  I   |  I   |  I   |

| IV   |  IV  |  V7 | V7 - I :|]

Thank you in advance for all possible help

Yours

Pan

Edited to correct with kind suggestions by Bunker Hill
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 04:11:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Help, Papa's On the House Top!
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2006, 10:08:47 AM »
Ok I'll have a go, what I think I'm hearing is this but happily stand corrected:

The Blues they've come, the blues they've come,
Nobody knows where the blues come from,
The blues they've gone, the blues they've gone,
And everybody's happy when the old blues gone.

Hush-a-little baby, don't you cry,
Blues gonna leave you by and by,
Poppa came in, sure was cold
Put the baby in the cradle and the blues outdoor

PS, I think it's "chicken's IN the gravy".

Offline Pan

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Re: Help, Papa's On the House Top!
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2006, 10:56:54 AM »
Thanks again Bunker Hill!

I'll edit accordingly!

Pan.

Offline Richard

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Re: Help, Papa's On the House Top!
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2006, 11:53:51 AM »
I love this song and used to play the track at ultra high volume until the kids banned it   >:D well at least when they are home from uni  ;D
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Pan

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Re: Help, Papa's On the House Top!
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 04:17:02 PM »
By the way, may I, lyricswise (and music-), recommend the Yazoo compilation: "The Roots Of Rap". The title is a perhaps a little misleading to the CB aficionados, but the CD actually consists of great gospel, blues, ragtime, vaudeville and hokum songs of the 20's and 30's, with the emphasis on the lyrics.
I can't comment this collection from the "rap" point of view, because I'm simply not qualified, but anyone enjoying a set of songs with stunning/hilarious/interesting lyrics should definitely check this CD out.
I'll readily admit that I myself wouldn't have bought the CD, if it weren't for the Pine Top Smith's spoken version of "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out", (recommended in the appropriate thread by Bunker Hill and MTJ3), but it turns out that the rest of the tracks are stellar too (turns out, that the Document's "complete PTS"  seems to be out of print and hard to find).
On top of everything this compilation is produced by Richard Nevins and Don Kent, and remastered by the former.

Yours

Pan

Offline dj

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Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007, 04:05:50 PM »
I just got back from a trip across New York State on family business.  I made the trip by myself, with the first four volumes of Leroy Carr's complete works in the CD player.  After 12 hours of driving with Leroy (and some Al Green  ;)), I've come to believe that his music and lyrics are worthy of more attention than they normally receive.  Unfortunately, I can't provide any biographical information on Carr, as I know absolutely nothing about him other than what's contained in Alan Balfour's short but excellent notes to the Document CDs.

On the four CDs I have, Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell perform three hybrid blues/pop songs.  All three start out as straight 12 bar blues songs, then at some point segue into pop songs.  All three were recorded within a five month span from August 1929 to January 1930.  I've never heard anyone else do a song like this, and would be interested to know of other examples.

The first of these hybrids to be committed to wax was "I Know That I'll Be Blue", which was recorded in Chicago on August 12, 1929.  It's an excellent performance with Scrapper's guitar and Leroy's piano complementing each other in what seem to be well rehearsed parts at the tag of each line of the blues section.  When they reach the pop section, Leroy puts on a crooning voice and Scrapper plays some lovely harp-like arpeggios on the guitar.  Either Carr or Blackwell or their A&R man was apparently fond of sound effects, and this song features a wooden "train whistle" between the lines of the third verse.

The repeated "baby" in the middle of each line of the blues section gives this part a very cohesive sound.   

I'll be so lonely baby, so lonely and so blue
I'll be so lonely baby, so lonely and so blue
'Cause all I have now baby is memories of you

You say you through baby, you want to say goodbye
You say you through baby, you want to say goodbye
All I can do baby is hang my head and cry

I can hear that train a-comin', I can hear that whistle blow (whistle)
I can hear that train a-comin', I can hear that whistle blow (whistle)
I can't bear to leave you baby, I can't bear to see you go

Before you leave me baby, before you go away
Before you leave me baby, before you go away
Just take a minute baby, and listen what I say

I know that I'll be lonely
I know that I'll be blue
I know that there will only
Be memories of you

Before you say goodbye dear
Before you say we're through,
Remember things as I do
Be sad and lonely too

Edited to correct lyrics using MTJ3's suggestion.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 05:00:44 AM by dj »

Offline dj

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2007, 04:16:39 PM »
The second blues/pop hybrid that Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell recorded was "Don't Say Goodbye".  This was recorded in Chicago on January 2, 1930.  Once again, Carr alters his vocal quality to a more crooning sound when he reaches the pop section of the song.

If you didn't want me baby, why didn't you tell me so?
If you didn't want me baby, why didn't you tell me so?
Why did you make me love you, then pack your trunk and go?

Look at me baby, look at what you've done to me
Look at me baby, look at what you've done to me
You made me love you, now I'm in misery

Hear me pleading baby, see me hang my head and cry
Hear me pleading baby, see me hang my head and cry
Can't bear to lose you, to hear you say goodbye

Don't say goodbye, don't say we're through
For if you leave me, what shall I do?
I'll tell you truly, I love you so
Can't bear to lose you, to see you go

We were so happy in the days of old
But now you tell me that your love is cold
Just hear me pleading, just hear me sigh
Don't say that you're leaving, don't say goodbye
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 02:04:49 PM by dj »

Offline dj

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2007, 04:34:27 PM »
Two songs after "Don't Say Goodbye", Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell recorded "Goodbye Blues".  The pop section here seems to be either a cover of or at least in the style of a Jimmie Rodgers song!  In the second verse, Carr alters the way he accents the halves of the first two lines, which has the effect of bringing out a slightly different emphasis of meaning each time through.  I've tried to indicate this with commas, both of which which fall on the fourth beat of the first measure of the line.  Once again, the guitar and piano parts seem well thought out and rehearsed.  There's a simply beautiful instrumental tag at the end of the song.

The third verse contains some particularly excellent imagery!

(Instrumental verse)

Goodbye goodbye, I'll never enter your door no more
Goodbye goodbye, I'll never enter your door no more
I'm going to leave you now, you don't 'preciate me no more

When I'm gone the blues, will follow you night and day
When I'm gone, the blues will follow you night and day 
Then you will be sorry baby that you didn't beg me to stay

Goodbye goodbye, your tears will be fallin' like rain
Goodbye goodbye, your tears will be fallin' like drops of rain
The river's low right now but your tears will make it rise again

I've got those good 'n' bye blues, those goodbye blues
The kind of blues you never can lose
To my friend farewell, a long farewell
I may be gone for a long long spell
I've got those goodbye blues
The kind of blues you never would choose
I've been a good man but my heart is hurt
Because a low-down woman, she done me like dirt
That's why I've got those so long, farewell, goodbye blues
 
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 02:05:37 PM by dj »

Offline MTJ3

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2007, 07:58:43 AM »
My transcription of that line in "I Know That I'll Be Blue" is: "Remember things as I do, Be sad and lonely too." 

There is surprisingly little known about Carr considering what a major and public figure he was.  I don't recall the specifics of Alan's notes, but Ted Watts and Duncan Schiedt did a lot of digging on Carr in Indianapolis and knocking on doors and such in the late 50s, the results of which can be found summarized in the liner notes, for which Schiedt is given credit, to the "old" Columbia release, and which, I think, have to be viewed as the cornerstone of our knowledge of Carr's life.  (Eschew the chapter on Carr in Charters's The Country Blues, which is nicely evocative, but which contains a lot of inaccuracies.  Well, go ahead and read it, but don't believe everything you read.) I've been doing a lot of digging on Carr for longer than I care to recall, and there just isn't a lot out there.

Offline dj

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2007, 09:18:57 AM »
Thanks for the lyric suggestion, MTJ3.  I think you're right, and I've made the change.

And thanks for the info how much we know of Carr's biography.  I suppose by now I shouldn't be amazed about how little we know about people who were major stars sixty years ago (20 years ago from the time Watts and Scheidt did their research), but it does take one aback a bit to realize that we know vastly more about the surface of Mars than we do about the life of Leroy Carr. 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2007, 10:22:25 AM »
Thanks very much for starting this thread, dj, and for the biographical tips, MTJ3.  I will try to add some lyrics soon.  For someone who was so popular, musically influential and formally inventive, Leroy Carr has been shamefully neglected.  I think the fact that he was a pianist and that he was enormously popular (shudder) have contributed to his otherwise inexplicable lack of recognition from present-day Country Blues aficionados.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Leroy Carr Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2007, 10:50:56 AM »
Thanks very much for starting this thread, dj, and for the biographical tips, MTJ3.  I will try to add some lyrics soon.  For someone who was so popular, musically influential and formally inventive, Leroy Carr has been shamefully neglected.  I think the fact that he was a pianist and that he was enormously popular (shudder) have contributed to his otherwise inexplicable lack of recognition from present-day Country Blues aficionados.
I know that Johnny Parth was dismayed that the "complete works" failed to sell out of the initial pressing despite good press/reviews. But that was 15 years ago, did the Atkinson regime ever put them back into catalogue?