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Have 25 women in a hotel, just me you and your brother, tell me what time would it be? That's very easy Mama, it'd be 25 after three - Barbecue Bob, Good Time Rounder

Author Topic: Victoria Spivey Lyrics  (Read 2659 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

Offline 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

ďJust because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.Ē
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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

Offline 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!).

Offline 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.

Offline Dr Pryor

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Re: Christmas Morning Blues by Victoria Spivey
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2020, 02:26:44 PM »
Thanx Suzy and sorry for a late reply!

Could you and/or other members help on "From 1 to 12 (Dirty dozen)"

I have many words I can't understand ("X" below):

Lord have mercy, I'm goin' right back to work
Lord have mercy, I'm goin' right back to work
I believe to my soul the good Lord got me under a curse

I had twelve pieces of men, all of them drag me round
I had twelve pieces of men, all of them drag me round
I'm pleading with you women, go and get you a chair and sit down

Number one was a rat that cut me in my face
Number two was a tramp beat me out of my place
Number three was a [thief?] stole my hundred [X] dime
Number four was a hound that gambled all the time

Now I'm tired, girls we don't need no men
But I'd rather be dead in a lion's den

Why number five was a [X], taking all I made
Number six was a bully, but I put him in his grave
Number seven was a stool pigeon, and what a death he died
Number eight was a hypocrite that lied lied lied

Now I'm tired and I don't want to [sin]
Well a time has come when a woman don't need no men

Why number nine was the one that death loved to fight
Number ten run with men, and you know that wasn't right
Number eleven knocked me down in the muddy ditch
Iím gonna try number twelve, he's a lowdown witch

Now I'm tired, girls we don't need no men
Cause the time has come when a woman's another one's best friend
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2020, 04:33:42 PM »
Hi all,
I merged Suzy's earlier thread on Victoria Spivey's "Dopehead Blues" with Dr Pryor's thread on Victoria Spivey's "Christmas Morning Blues" to have a dedicated Victory Spivey lyrics thread.  As you were.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2020, 05:40:45 PM »
Thanx Suzy and sorry for a late reply!

Could you and/or other members help on "From 1 to 12 (Dirty dozen)"

I have many words I can't understand ("X" below):

Lord have mercy, I'm goin' right back to work
Lord have mercy, I'm goin' right back to work
I believe to my soul the good Lord got me under a curse

I had twelve pieces of men, all of them drag me round
I had twelve pieces of men, all of them drag me round
I'm pleading with you women, go and get you a chair and sit down

Number one was a rat that cut me in my face
Number two was a tramp beat me out of my place
Number three was a [thief?] stole my hundred [X] dime
Number four was a hound that gambled all the time

Now I'm tired, girls we don't need no men
But I'd rather be dead in a lion's den

Why number five was a [X], taking all I made
Number six was a bully, but I put him in his grave
Number seven was a stool pigeon, and what a death he died
Number eight was a hypocrite that lied lied lied

Now I'm tired and I don't want to [sin]
Well a time has come when a woman don't need no men

Why number nine was the one that death loved to fight
Number ten run with men, and you know that wasn't right
Number eleven knocked me down in the muddy ditch
Iím gonna try number twelve, he's a lowdown witch

Now I'm tired, girls we don't need no men
Cause the time has come when a woman's another one's best friend


Some suggestions. I'm not entirely sure of the ending of line 3.3 either, but offered a suggestion. The rest I'm reasonably sure of.
Chris

1.1, 1.2 Lord have mercy, I'm goin' FROM BAD TO WORSE


3.3 Number three was a FREAK, stole my [HUNDREDS, FIVES AND DIMES]

5.1 I think she's singing SEA BUZZARD

6.1 sin is right

7.1 Why number nine was the one that JUST loved to fight

Offline Dr Pryor

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2020, 09:19:55 AM »
THat is just great! How can I thank you?
When looking for the meaning of "dragging around", I only can find "going slow". Does that mean that these twelve men have been slowing her down, i.e. keeping her from "getting somewhere"?

Here's my attempt at "Blood Thirsty Blues", almost an easy one but I have doubts within square brackets below, and maybe the whole song needs double check:

Blood, blood, blood, look at all that blood
Blood, blood, look at all that blood
Yes I killed my man, a low down good for nothing [clown]

I told him blood was in my eye, and still he wouldn't listen at me
I told him blood was in my eye, and still he wouldn't listen to me
Yes instead of givin' him sugar, I put blood in his tea

Another thing folks, you can put me down and let me walk
Another thing folks, you can put me down, and let me walk
You know Iím a mighty mean woman, and I wonít stand for no back talk

The only man I ever loved, I [?] him to his ruin
The only man I ever loved, I [?] him to his ruin
Yes I know I'm blood thirsty from wonderin' what my poor manís doing
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2020, 11:29:43 AM »
Hi Dr Pryor,
I think the word at the end of the tagline to the first verse is "cur".  And in the first two lines of the last verse, I believe it is "I DONE SENT him to his ruin".
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:15:01 PM by Johnm »

Offline Dr Pryor

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2020, 07:38:48 AM »
Thank you Johnm! How I like the ways she spells "ru-ine" and "do-ine". It almost sounds like a French accent  :o

Coud you, or other members, help on understanding "dragging aroud" in "From 1 to 12"?

Here is "I canít last long" that hopefully looks correct:

Lonesome, lonesome
Yes I'm sinkin', sinkin', sinkin' down below my grave
Done had a good time, but Lord how I done paid

Cause the rising sun ain't gonna shine no more
The rising sun ain't gonna shine no more
Well it's dark and dreary, no matter where I go

Well the lights in my room even refuse to shine
Oh the lights in my room even refuse to shine
If my baby don't come back, I know I'll be doin' time

Because ooh, I can't stand no more
Hmm, I can't stand no more
Well he quit me for my best friend, and don't come to see me no more

(horn solo)

Tell all my good friends, 'cause I know I can't last long
Tell all my good friends, I know I can't last long
Please don't you wait, for I'll be dead and gone

(Humming and singing)

Please don't you wait, 'cause I know I'll be dead and gone
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

Offline banjochris

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2020, 08:57:13 AM »
Coud you, or other members, help on understanding "dragging aroud" in "From 1 to 12"?

I think, given the context, she means generally treating her poorly, abusing her. Not necessarily physically.
Chris

Offline Dr Pryor

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Re: Victoria Spivey Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2020, 02:10:08 PM »
Hi Banjochris, and thank you for clarifying.
Percolate, Joe! Percolate!

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