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Why should I worry about dying? It's not going to happen in my lifetime - Raymond Smullyan

Author Topic: The Boll Weevil  (Read 17285 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2007, 09:13:40 AM »
Hi all,
I just heard the "Boll Weevil Blues" by Oscar Woods and "Boll Weevil Holler" by Vera Hall that Bunker Hill alluded to earlier in this thread.  They are both included on the Lomax "Sounds Of The South" multi-disc set, and are equally outstanding, though quite different from each other.  The Vera Hall rendition has just a couple of verses, but, God, could she sing!
All best,
Johnm

Offline tenderfoot84

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2007, 02:03:11 PM »
hi uncle bud,

the black texicans cd is one of the stronger ones in the deep river of song series i think.

my other favourites on the disk are 'old king buzzard' by arthur armstrong, which is really funny and guitarifically nice to play. it's like a strum in the key of c picking out some melody on the bass strings with one of the best stumble-bass runs i've ever heard.

another cracker is leadbelly's 'western cowboy' which is still one of my favourite tracks of his.

i hope you get as much out of the set as i did.

the only annoying thing is trying to get the complete recorded works of some of the artists in this series. it rips my knitting.
Cheerybye,
David C

Online Johnm

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2008, 11:47:44 AM »
Hi all,
I just found another version of the "Boll Weevil" on Smoky Babe's "Hottest Brand Going" CD, where he calls it "Insect Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 01:19:35 PM »
Hi all,
I just found another version of the "Boll Weevil" on Smoky Babe's "Hottest Brand Going" CD, where he calls it "Insect Blues".
It's such a departure from the norm that I thought I'd supply the lyrics

Boll weevil knocked down all my cotton, whoa peoples, I didn't make no corn, (x2)
Lord, I say my family an' my little wife jus' could not get alon'.

I say the worms cut my greens, we had all in search right away,
I say the worms cut down my greens, we had trouble that year,
When I say me and my wife, family, you know we's all here.

Well, we gotta do better, do better, peoples, I know,
We gotta do better, we gotta do things better, people, I know,
Well, I don't want my wife an' family goin' from do' to do'.

Well, I say now that's all right, things be better after a while,
I say, it's all right, people, things be better after a while,
Say, my wife she's in good health, but I got one pore little afflicted chil'.

I didn't raise me no cotton, I didn't raise no corn, (x2)
It must have been one o' them ole bad crop years, 'cause the boll weevil did come along.

You know I'm talkin' about work now, woh people, that sho' is hard,
I'm talkin' about work now, peoples, you know that sho' is hard,
I'm tryin' to raise my little family, woh man, somethin' got me barred.

My LP is rather the worse for wear so any amendments gleaned from digital media gratefully accepted.
 :)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2008, 05:47:23 PM »
While I'm not about to transcribe them, for those who are interested in Boll Weevil songs, in a completist way, the Document CD "Boll Weevil Here, Boll Weevil Everywhere - Field Recordings Volume 16" has 7 versions of "Boll Weevil", all but one unaccompanied vocal performances. The CD is not very good, of academic interest mostly, but if you get it in one of Document's sales, there's some worthwhile material. The Wilson Jones/Stavin' Chain material is interesting, if rough. The one accompanied Boll Weevil performance, in poor sound, is by Charles Griffin, and is a fairly nifty guitar part, though hard to hear.

Online Johnm

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2008, 07:00:00 PM »
Thanks for the tip, Andrew, and thanks for the lyrics to Smoky Babe's version, Bunker Hill.  I hadn't listened carefully enough to his version to realize that it's about a particular as opposed to semi-mythic infestation.  It doesn't have any of the schadenfreude you sometimes encounter in versions of the song.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 09:24:38 PM by Johnm »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2008, 07:18:18 PM »
The McTell version is truly spectacular, imho. That and the Patton have got this bug covered!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2008, 07:27:34 PM »
Our squash patch was going total gangbusters last year until the frickin' stem cutter worms got in there and wiped us out. So I know how it feels, but squash are cheap at HEB these days. Back then it would have really hurt.

Offline dj

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2008, 12:29:10 PM »
In a slightly different vein, Lee Brown recorded "Let Me Be Your Bo Weevil" for Decca on March 24th 1939.  It's not a boll weevil ballad, rather it uses the boll weevil as a not entirely successful sexual metaphor.  It would seem that it's the fact that the weevil "roots" in the cotton boll that's the idea behind the metaphor.   

Offline waxwing

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2008, 08:29:04 PM »
And his long proboscis, no doubt? -G-

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

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Offline dj

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2008, 01:37:28 PM »
I woke up this morning with boll weevils on my mind, and without too much looking I found one.  Big Bill Broonzy's "Oh Yes", an uptempo 8 bar blues also recorded in 1939, has a pair of verses (on either side of an instrumental break) that use the boll weevil's ability to eat up all Bill's crop as an analogy to his girlfriend's/wife's ability to spend all his money.

Sorry for hijacking this thread away from boll weevil ballads and towards the use of the boll weevil for more symbolic purposes.  I hope at least some readers will find the subject as interesting as I do.   

quentin

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2009, 05:26:05 AM »
a bit late in the day after the last post, but there's an interesting version of Boll Weevil Holler on Davey Graham and Shirley Collins 1964 album Folk Routes New Routes (Decca LP 4652, reissued on CD by Fledgling). Hearing Shirley Collins sing in her very English accent "doggone the boll weevil..." is a bit odd, but lovely.   

Offline Slack

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 09:33:49 AM »
Welcome to WeenieCampbell Quentin.

I'll hijack a bit further only to point out this fabulous photo Rivers found for a WeeniePedia boll weevil page:

http://weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Boll_Weevil


Offline Rivers

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2009, 05:13:40 PM »
Credit goes to Johnm for that find. We are all hoping it fills out a bit with material from this topic. Someone needs to start it off.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2009, 09:50:59 PM »
Oh what the hell......

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

 


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