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Author Topic: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics  (Read 14251 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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Re: Tell It to the Judge No. 2
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2006, 09:16:31 AM »
What the heck are the bridewells? A Texas jail?
Yes. Nolan Welsh in 1926 recorded The Bridewell Blues which is all about getting busted, being convicted and sent to Bridewell. Welsh was said to have come from Texas. In my mind's eye I can see a discussion of this song in the context of notorious prison regimes....but where?

BH:

Interesting. In TIttJ No.2 FPS seems to indicate that being sent to Bridewell was preferable to being sent to the "pen." for 99.

Alex

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tell It to the Judge No. 2
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2006, 10:03:38 AM »
What the heck are the bridewells? A Texas jail?
Yes. Nolan Welsh in 1926 recorded The Bridewell Blues which is all about getting busted, being convicted and sent to Bridewell. Welsh was said to have come from Texas. In my mind's eye I can see a discussion of this song in the context of notorious prison regimes....but where?
Interesting. In TIttJ No.2 FPS seems to indicate that being sent to Bridewell was preferable to being sent to the "pen." for 99.
The lesson I fail to learn is NOT to rush into print relying soley upon my ageing "little grey cells". The title of the Nolan Welch song is "The Bridwell Blues" (no 'e') and thie prison establishment in his song was situated on 26th St and Calif. Ave in.....Chicago! Duh.

I'll butt out and let normal service continue.

Offline GhostRider

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Honey Blues - FP Smith
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2006, 10:36:32 AM »
One mo' time:

"Honey Blues" was recorded in mid Feb. 1931 along with "Corn Whiskey Blues".

Here are the lyrics.  It's one of my FPS favorites, great beat, alternating bass. It's in Standard tuning, Key of A, starting out on the V chord (E).

Unique (for FPS) but familiar sounding song 16 bar form. FPS sings a line, sings it again, then a third time adding a narrative followup, then concludes each verse with an identical line (Oh sail, oh sailed away, hon').

Six vocal verses, as in all the tunes to date, plus an instrumental break, FPS's first. Sort of grinds a bit in the middle of it.

Warning: the last verse is very single entendre and not for the PC crowd. I would sing it.

Honey Blues
1931
Standard tuning, Key of A
Capo I

Instrumental verse

Spoken: Woo hoo
This is the gal I'm talkin' about.
I cain't beat her

1) Come kiss me honey before I go, (little, listen) honey (x2)
Come and kiss me honey before I go, I'm gonna take a ride on the T & O
Refrain: (Oh) sail, oh sailed away, hon'

2) (Now) Goodbye honey if you call that gone, honey (x2)
Goodbye honey if you call that gone, I'm gonna take a ride in my high brown's arms.
Refrain

3) Me and my baby don't get along so well, honey (x2)
Me and my baby we don't get along so well, she ain't work and have  a chance to raise so much hell.
Refrain

4) Instrumental verse

5) Now the prettiest girl that I ever seen, honey (x2)
You know the prettiest girl that I ever seen was standin' on Franks Streets in New Orlean.
Refrain

 6) (Well, You know) it's often said and I done found out, (listen, honey) (x2)
You know it's often said and I've done found out I ain't but one thing women crazy 'bout.
Refrain

7) Monkey got a tail cut off on the street car line, honey.
Didn't think about his tail until I started twistin' mine, honey.
Run back to the track, laid his head on a rail and lose his head  'bout a little piece of tail.
Refrain

Outro
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 08:56:38 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Slack

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2006, 12:38:19 PM »
Quote
I'ts one of my FPS favorites great beat, monotonic bass. I suspect it's in Standard tuning, Key of A, starting out on the IV chord (D), but I haven't got a guitar in hand

Hey Alex, mine too.  I tried for awhile to figure out what he was doing (I'm pretty sure he is playing out of A) and never could get it to sound like anything other than lame.  :P  So let me know if you figure it out.

Quote
Warning: the last verse is very single entendre and not for the PC crowd. I would sing it.

Gotta disagree -- that is double entendre at it finest. 

 :)

Offline GhostRider

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Corn Whiskey Blues
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2006, 02:53:02 PM »
Jello:

The other song FPS recorded in mid-Feb. 1931 was "Corn Whiskey Blues", a rather mournful tune about drinkin'. Adding to the somber note is the slightly out-of-tune guitar and the turnaround which I really like, E-Am-E.

Only five sung verses, a first for FPS (he sings this one pretty slowly). FPS uses a device in the accompanyment of moving a figure (fretting the 1st and third strings at the same fret simultaneously) up and down the fretboard a la Calvin Frazier (a R. Johnson disciple).

Corn Whiskey Blues
1931
Standard tuning, Key of E
Capo I (F)

Instrumental introduction

1) Ah, bring me that bottle and let's have another drink of boo' (x2)
'Cus I can feel something comin' and it seem something like the blues.

2) I can tell when (I got) the blues is comin', I can't he'p but feel so low down (x2)
Then I wants to get drunk and pitch a booger all over town.

3) When I start drinkin' I'm mean and hateful and (I) won't treat nobody right (x2)
I just keeps on walkin', lookin' for places where they fuss and fight.

4) I'm gonna keep on drinkin' (un)'till I find me a good corn friend. (x2)
And when I cain't find good corn, I'll drink moonshine again.

5) I've got a girl in Texas, she lives four miles from town. (x2)
And on account of moonshine her people don't 'low me 'round.

Outro

Crown Royal anyone?

Alex
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 11:12:16 AM by GhostRider »

Offline GhostRider

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Wiskeyhead Blues
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2006, 11:08:49 AM »
Howdy:

Wiskeyhead Blues was recorded in March 1931, at the start of FPS's second last 1931 recording session. Obviously FPS spells as well as he tunes his guitar.

This tune has been previously discussed in the "Adventures in Crossnote" thread where Unkie Bud determined the tune was played out of Open Em tuning.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=83&topic=648.0

The instrumental introduction has an weird, minor sounding feeling.

If your ever asked to play a song about drinkin', choose this one.

Hopefully Unkie Bud can fill us in on the tricks of playing this.

An .mp3 of this tune is attached to one of the posts in the above referenced thread

Wiskeyhead Blues
1931
Crossnote tuning, Key of E

Instrumental introduction

1) I was woke up this mornin' by taste of gasoline. (x2)
But when I woke up I found out wasn't nothin' but my whiskey dream.

2) I drink so much whiskey, it's a wonder that I ain't dead (x2)
All around in my neibourhood the people call me a whiskeyhead.

3) I'm drunk Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm drunk (Thursday) Friday and Saturday too. (x2)
And on Sunday I'm at church, but that ain't what I want to do.

4) You know how I am, you been known me a great long time. (x2)
You know I like my good lookin' women and I gotta have my moonshine.

5) I wished I had a drink this mornin', I ain't nothin' but a drunken slave. (x2)
Come on boys go bury me, 'cus I'm goin' dig my grave.

6) Now the fool that started me ta drinkin', I hope (that) he's dead and gone. (x2)
I hope to leave him in Whiskey Alley where ain't nothin down there but bottles and bones.

Coda

The last line of Verse 6 is terrific. FPS was a genius, how would one ever come up with stuff like this. A careful study of FPS tunes like this should be Blues Composition 101, IM(not so)HO.

Alex
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 08:56:59 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline GhostRider

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Forty-Five Blues
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2006, 11:41:14 AM »
Greetings:

J.T. Smith recorded "Forty-Five Blues" in March 1931. It's a rather violent, threatening tune done in C, standard tuning. The instrumental accompanyment is similar to his earlier recorded "Heart Bleeding Blues".

The accompanyment is relatively simple. The tune is the first part of a two part story, which is continued in the next song FPS recorded, "County Jail Blues", which uses a completely different accompanyment and a very unusual series of chords in a 16-bar blues format.

The introduction to "Forty-Five Blues" sounds very Blind Lemony to me.

Forty-Five Blues
1931

Standard tuning, Key of C

Instrumental introduction

1) I feel mean and hateful, I just can't feel satisfied (x2)
I'm goin' out after my woman this mornin' and I'm takin' my '45.

2) My woman quit me last summer and I can't get her off my mind. (x2)
And if she don't come back this mornin', you gonna hear my '45 cryin'.

3) Folks I hate to be mean, but I cain't be good if I tried. (x2)
And when I call my baby this mornin', I'm callin' her with my '45.

4) (Now the) Police got so they 'rest me every time they catch me on the street. (x2)
And tol' me this mornin' they're gonna let me catch you on my beat.

5) (Now) Everybody talkin' and tellin' me why (I) don't (I) let that no good woman be. (x2)
'Cus she may show me that she didn't want me but I don't got sense enough to see.

6) Soon as I do what I want to do, then I'll be satisfied. (x2)
That's kill my woman and walk to the police and hand them my '45.

Outro

The sentiment reminds me of some Ice-T like gangsta rap (except the turning into the police part).

Alex
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 09:00:08 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline GhostRider

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County Jail Blues
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2006, 10:12:32 PM »
All Rise:

"County Jail Blues" is the sequal to "Forty-Five Blues", recorded at the same session (March 1931).

This is an unusual 16 bar blues as was discussed in this thread.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=83&topic=733.15

FPS uses many of the licks he uses in his other tunes in C ("Heart Bleeding Blues", "Forty-Five Blues")

FPS's singing is very strong on this tune.

County Jail Blues
1931
Key of C

Instrumental introduction

1) Come on all you people hear me tell my (sad) tale (x2)
I?m through with all of my worries, and I don?t even want no bail
I killed my woman, I?m in a hurry, I?m going to the county jail

2) Judge here I am this mornin? and here?s my ?45 (x2)
Here I am, Judge, this mornin? and here is my ?45
I shot my woman on the other corner and I don?t know whether she?s dead or live

3) (Now) Don?t ask me no questions, Judge about how our troubles begin (x2)
Judge don?t ask me no questions ?bout how our trouble begin
Just have it printed in you paper, little trouble ?tween women and men

4) Mmmmm (Oh Lord) I heard that (old) judge say 99 (x3)
And it?s one thing I wish I had this mornin? and that?s that ?45 of mine.

5) (Well) I?m gonna lay down in jail like I used to  lay down (way,out) on Calumet. (x2)
I?m gonna lay down like I used to lay down way out on Calumet.
Maybe good luck to you ?cus I haven't forgot you yet.

Outro

Alex
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 01:09:38 PM by GhostRider »

Offline GhostRider

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Hungry Wolf by Funny Papa Smith
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2006, 06:25:06 AM »
Greetings:

FPS recorded "Hungry Wolf" as the first tune of his final session from which recordings were released, July 10, 1931, almost exactly 75 years ago.

"Hungry Wolf" is the last of FPS's five "wolfy" tunes, and is in D Standard, and certianly by far not his worst. In this take he enters the mind of the wolf more, without the sexual stuff that in some ways dominates the others. This is one of my favorate FPS tunes, a toe-tapper.

As usual the verses are wordy and FPS's vocal phrasing is masterful. The guitar playing, virtually the same accompanyment he used for his "Good Coffee Blues" earlier,  adds new elements and to my ears has more "swing". This piece includes his second recorded instrumental break, smoother than the one in "Honey Blues".

My favorite is verse 3. His laid back delivery and great lyrics are perfect.


Hungry Wolf
1931

Standard tuning, Key of D, pitched at D#

Intro

1) I'm that hungry wolf, in the ground is where I dug my cave (x2)
I leave prowlin' just at dark and get back in the mornin' just awhile 'fore day.

2) I stroll through dark places, threatenin' to do my part. (x2)
With blood in my eyes and malicing in my heart.

3) (And) Places I used to go I ain't been there, I've been blowed out by the wind. (x2).
I did think one more time that I just 'bout come to my end.

4) I can howl like a wolf and then I can bark just like a dog. (x2)
I can prowl and do good 'cus I sleeps in a hollow log.

5) instrumental break

6) Most times when I'm hungry, I'm like a (drunk) man actin' a clown. (x2)
Then my eyes start to jump and then I'm dangerous as a doggone lion.

7) You gobblers keep on gobblin', you roosters watch your settin' hen. (x2)
Your wolf is hungry now, I'm gonna do most everything since God knows when.

Outro

Alex

Note: edited to reflect dj's comment below.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:10:55 PM by GhostRider »

Offline dj

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2006, 06:31:09 AM »
I think the phrase in question is "I'm dangerous as a doggone lion", but "dangerous" is contracted so it ends up being pronounced "danj'ous".  Though even the "j" isn't sounded all that much.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2006, 07:49:19 AM »
DJ:

Thanks, I'm sure your right. I'll make the change.

Alex

Offline Johnm

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2006, 10:04:04 AM »
Hi all,
That line "my eyes start to jump" reminded me of a story Nick Perls told me about the relocated Texas bluesman, Tom Shaw, who recorded an album for Blue Goose entitled "Blind Lemon's Buddy" that can be heard on the Juke.  Anyhow, Nick and Tom were having dinner in a pretty dark restaurant and Tom was wearing sunglasses.  Nick asked him if he wouldn't like to remove them so he could see better in the dark room.  Tom replied that he didn't want to remove them because if he happened to get angry, his eyes would shoot sparks, and he didn't want to alarm their fellow diners!
All best,
Johnm

Offline GhostRider

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Hoppin' Toad Frog
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2006, 06:51:10 AM »
Hello again:

For "Hoppin' Toad Frog" FPS moves to a different family of the animal kingdom and back to the double entendre side of things.  This tune was recorded during FPS's last session in July 1931.

The accompanyment is strummy, with single note work behind the vocals.

Six verses, no instrumental break and one "list verse" (verse 5), FPS's favorite form.

Get your fins on....

Hoppin' Toad Frog
1931

Standard tuning, Key of G
Capo I (G#)

Intro

1) I'm harmless as I can be, I stays out of all peoples way. (x2)
I'm just a little old toad, I'm gonna hop back to my home someday.

2) I'll hop down in your basement, don't mean to harm a single soul. (x2)
I'll shake all of your ashes, then shovel you in some brand new coal.

3) I don't have no friend, by myself I'm always on the road. (x2)
Just let me hop for you one time mama and you'll keep me for your little old toad.

4) Mama would you let a poor little old toad frog hop down in your water pond. (x2)
I'll dive down and come right out and I won't stay in your water long.

5) I ain't no bottle stopper, I ain't no police copper, I ain't no cradle rocker, you know I ain't the baby's papa.
But I know for my self, in your front yard is where I get my load.
Well you talk you like my hoppin', why don't you keep me for your little toad.

6) Mama do you know one thing, your water tank is just deep enough. (x2)
I can dive down to the bottom, take my time and then tread right back up.

Outro

What can I say?

Alex
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 12:32:01 PM by GhostRider »

Offline Rivers

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2006, 11:47:22 AM »
Re. Honey verse 2, I hear : "Goodbye honey if you call that gone, gonna take a ride with my high browns on", as in boots.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: J.T."Funny Papa" Smith's Lyrics
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2006, 11:31:09 AM »
Hey Rivers:

Re. Honey verse 2, I hear : "Goodbye honey if you call that gone, gonna take a ride with my high browns on", as in boots.

I listened to this passage about 5X, and I still hear "in" at the beginning and "arms" at the end pretty clearly. What do the rest of you think?

Alex