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When he was brought to Europe in 1951 he was a caretaker, a 'mopper', at the Iowa State College, and on his return resumed his menial work as a janitor - Paul Oliver on Big Bill Broonzy, Blues Off the Record

Author Topic: Victoria Spivey Lyrics  (Read 2658 times)

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Offline Cleoma

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Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« on: July 27, 2006, 09:48:05 PM »
Hi all,
I cannot seem to decipher this one verse from Dopehead Blues:

Doggone, I?ve got more money than Henry Ford or John D ever had
??????
And forty doggone stocks went mad (??? Dogs went mad??)

Any suggestions?
I'm thinking of teaching this one in one of my vocal sessions at Blues Week, coming right up!!
Suzy T.

Offline Janmarie

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 10:31:18 PM »
Hi Suzy -

For this verse this is what I'm hearing:

"Doggone, I?ve got more money than Henry Ford or John D ever had" (x2)

I bit her dog like Monday and 40 doggone dogs went mad"

Or maybe  "A bitter dog like Monday and 40 doggone dogs went mad"

What do you think (I'm frequently wrong)? 

I'm heading to the penninsula tomorrow.  See you at camp Suzy!

Jan Hoak

Online waxwing

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 12:34:11 PM »
Hey Suzy,

Well, a lot of us are already up here. If you still don't fell like you have it I can put it in Transcribe when you get here and we can have a group listen.-G-

Maybe "I bit her dog last Monday and 40 dogs went mad"?

See you soon.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Online Johnm

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 10:15:51 PM »
Hi all,
This one was put up a long time ago, but the whole lyrics were never posted.  It has since become available on youtube, Victoria Spivey accompanied by Lonnie Johnson and a pianist whom I don't know.  Here is the song:



Just give me one more sniffle, another sniffle of that dope
Just give me one more sniffle, another sniffle of that dope
I'll catch a cow like a cowboy, and throw a bull without a rope

Doggone, I got more money than Henry Ford or John D. ever had
Doggone, got more money, than Henry Ford or John D. ever had
I bit a dog last Monday, and forty doggone dogs went mad

Feels like a fighting rooster, feelin' better than I ever felt
Feel like a fighting rooster, feel better than I ever felt
Got double pneubonia [sic], and still I think I got the best health

Say, Sam, go get my airplane, and drive it up to my door
Ahh, Sam, go get my airplane, and drive it to my door
I think I'll fly to London, these monkeymen makes mama sore

The President sent for me, the Prince of Wales is on my trail
The President sent for me, the Prince of Wales is on my trail
They worry me so much, I'll take another sniff and put them both in jail

All best,
Johnm

 
 

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 07:14:37 PM »
Thanks John!  I'm pretty sure that Victoria Spivey is accompanying herself on piano.  And, so pleased because I think we are going to be at PSGW the same week (Eric, too!).

Online Johnm

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 07:51:30 PM »
You're welcome, Suzy, and that is great news about PSGW!  It's been a while since we've had a chance to hang out, and it will be great to see and hear you and Eric and get to visit!
All best,
John

Offline banjochris

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 11:43:32 PM »
I'm pretty sure that Victoria Spivey is accompanying herself on piano.

Porter Grainger, according to B&GR.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 05:24:06 PM »
I assume she's singing about cocaine, nothing else I've ever taken would fit the lyric.

Based on my limited and way too enjoyable experiences with coke that is a superb description of the drug. I swore off it very early, around 1973, realizing I would never be able to afford as much of it as I would have liked to become accustomed.

Offline thickpete

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2016, 02:12:57 PM »
Cocaine is a safe bet based on the lyrics and the year. In 1927 it still would have been entirely diverted pharmaceutical cocaine - illegal and scarcer by the year but still relatively plentiful among musicians and jet setters and probably still mostly uncut.

But the lyrics also evoke 30 years of earlier songs about opioid drugs like opium, morphine, and heroin. Many of them feature the same sort of "when I'm high I'm a king"/anything is possible kind of lyrics. It's unlikely she's singing about opioids though because - among other things - in the late 20s relatively few opioid users would sniff their dope.

So yeah - she's cokie..... ;)



Offline Suzy T

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 11:27:12 PM »
According to my older (1969) edition of Goodrich and Dixon, it's John Erby on piano.

Offline Pan

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Re: Dopehead Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 06:07:45 PM »
According to my older (1969) edition of Goodrich and Dixon, it's John Erby on piano.

FWIW, the 4th edition of D.G.&R has the OK 8531 recording done in NY, on Friday, 28 October 1927, Porter Grainger on piano.

John Erby, however,  is credited as the pianist on a session of songs done on the previous day!

Pan

Offline Dr Pryor

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Christmas Morning Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 09:56:02 AM »
Dear all,
I'm starting to work on the translation into French of some Victoria Spivey songs. She has many dark humorous songs but when she starts to use the nasal singing style and rolling the r's, it's getting really hard to decipher.
Here's my attempt at Christmas morning blues recorded in New York in 1927 with Porter Grainger and Lonnie Johnson. The charge for murder is tragically topical.

[Spoken introduction]
Male voice - XX woman
VJ - 'Bout what? About a child, a chickenn inna yard (???)

It was at Christmas morning, I went out to get the morning's mail
I woke up Christmas morning, went out to get the morning's mail
A letter sent from Georgia, the postman marked it Atlanta Jail

In a mean old jailhouse 'cause he broke them Georgia laws
In a mean old jailhouse 'cause he broke them Georgia laws
New Year he won't be here, 'cause death will be his Santa Claus

My man's so deep in trouble, the white folks couldn't get him free
My man's so deep in trouble, the white folks couldn't get him free
He stole a hog, the charge was murder in the first degree

I never had a Christmas with trouble like this before
I ain't never had a Christmas with trouble like this before
Sleigh bells is my death bells, and hard luck's knocking at my door

Next Christmas I won't be here to get this bad bunch of news
I won't be here to get this bunch of bad news
Just mark on my tombstone, "I died with Christmas Morning Blues "

Verse 2 would make more sense starting by "My man is in a mean old jailhouse" but I can't her saying anything before "in a mean".

I'm also surprised by verse 3's "white folks couldn't get him free". I was rather expecting "wouldn't get or set him free". Same meaning here or have they tried to free him?

Thanks in advance. Next try will be "From 1 to 12"
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Christmas Morning Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2020, 07:37:03 PM »
I hear it the first verse a little different:

Woke up Christmas morning, went out to get the morning's mail
I woke up Christmas morning, went out to get the morning's mail
A letter sent from Georgia, the postman marked it 'tlanta Jail

In a mean old jailhouse 'cause he broke them Georgia laws
In a mean old jailhouse 'cause he broke them Georgia laws
New Year he won't be here, 'cause death will be his Santa Claus

My man's so deep in trouble, the white folks couldn't get him free
My man's so deep in trouble, the white folks couldn't get him free
He stole a hog, the charge was murder in the first degree

I never had a Christmas with trouble like this before
I ain't never had a Christmas with trouble like this before
Sleigh bells is my death bells, and hard luck's knocking at my door

Next Christmas I won't be here to get this bad bunch of news
I won't be here to get this bunch of bad news
Just mark on my tombstone, "I died with Christmas Morning Blues "

One of my favorites of hers!

Offline Dr Pryor

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Re: Christmas Morning Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2020, 09:55:42 AM »
Thank you Suzy. And do you decipher the spoken introduction?

What's your interpretation of "White folks couldn't get him free"? I mean, if they "couldn't", does that mean they tried to?
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Christmas Morning Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2020, 10:26:18 AM »
Get up from there, woman!

What, without a child or chicken on the yard?

That's what I've always heard. 

As for "the white folks couldn't get him free":  That could mean that they tried to get him free, but it also could mean that even if they had tried, they wouldn't have been able to get him free.

Tags: Victoria Spivey 
 


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