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When I'd go see him he says 'Whenever I get up, if I live to get up, me and you gonna put out nothin' but gospel music... I done joined the church and don't wanna play no more blues.' I told him 'Okay' but I wasn't lookin' for him to get up - Sam Chatmon, on Lonnie's conversion

Author Topic: The Boll Weevil  (Read 17483 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2009, 12:44:05 AM »
There's been no attempt at a transcription of Kokomo Arnold's 1935 rendition "Bo Weavil (sic) Blues". What follows was transcribed from a 1970s French MCA Arnold compilation so please jump in and amend.

Boll Weevil, Boll Weevil come out of my flour barrel, (x2)
Says there's the boll weevil here mama, boll weevil everywhere.

Says I went to my captain, and I asked him for a peck of meal (x2)
He said, "Leave here Kokomo, you got boll weevils in your field'."

Now Mister Weevil, how come your bill's so long? (x2)
Done eat up all my cotton, started on my youngest corn.

Says the merchant to the doctor, "Don't sell no more C.C. Pills (x2)
Cos the boll-weevil down here in Georgia done stopped all these cotton mills."

Now Mister Boll-Weevil, if you can talk why don't you tell? (x2)
Say, you got poor Kokomo down here in Georgia catchin' a lot of hell.


Offline Rivers

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2009, 09:09:56 AM »
I converted the boll weevil page on weeniepedia to a category so we can index other pages / categories to it. Needs some blurb at the top probably.

http://www.weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Boll_weevil
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 09:20:55 AM by Rivers »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2009, 12:52:11 PM »
It would be a blast if  everyone on weenie recorded and posted a version of Boll Weevil. It would be a communal digital, paralleling realities, asynchronous jam of sorts. To add extra interest the song could include one original verse. Any Takers?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline blueshome

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2009, 01:53:54 AM »
I'll divert from my BB Hawkins project to have a go. Give me a few days to work something up. What the! I've posted, an hour's practice only though!.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 03:26:56 AM by blueshome »

RaggedandDirty

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2009, 04:23:34 AM »
Talk about serendipitous timing.  The Guardian have a "readers recommend" article each week.  Guess who came top last Friday?  (see below)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/may/01/readers-recommend-songs-about-insects

cheers

Mark

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: "The Boll Weevil"
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2009, 09:21:22 PM »
Says I went to my captain, and I asked him for a peck of meal (x2)
He said, "Leave here Kokomo, you got boll weevils in your field'."

Ah, so would this be where the Boll Weavil family hooks up with the Red Cross Store family?  (I'm thinking Fred McDowell; can't think of anyone else off-hand who uses this verse in Red Cross (or Welfare) Store.)

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
Hi all,
This performance was alluded to earlier in this thread, but the lyrics were never posted.  Here are the lyrics to Vera Hall's "Boll Weevil Holler".  If there ever was a singer who was well-equipped to sing a capella, it was Vera Hall!  Everything she sang was just beautiful, and "Boll Weevil Holler" is no exception.  I'll attach a video of her performance, too.  The mispronunciation/misapprehension of the word "native" occurs elsewhere, too, but I can not think of where I heard that word sung that way before.



Hey, hey, boll weevil, where's your nated [sic] home?
"'Way down in the bottom, among the cotton and corn."

Boll weevil here, boll weevil everywhere
Doggone the boll weevil, they's sittin' on the square

First time I seen a boll weevil, he's sittin' on the square
Next time I seed him, he had his family there

Hey, the farmer asked the merchant, 'bout some meat and meal
"'T'ain't nothin' doin', old man, boll weevil's in your field."

"Boll weevil's in your field, boll weevil's in your field
Ain't nothin' doin', man, boll weevil's in your field."

Hey, hey, boll weevil, where's your nated [sic] home?
"'Way down in the bottom, among the cotton and corn
Among the cotton and corn."

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 07:26:29 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2013, 10:38:15 AM »
Hi all,
Jaybird Coleman's version of "Boll Weevil" was mentioned earlier in this thread, but the lyrics were not transcribed.  Like Vera Hall, Jaybird Coleman was an Alabaman, and I didn't notice until yesterday that they sing the song with the same melody; I think Vera Hall's euphonious tone compared with Jaybird Coleman's raw sound masked the similarities in their respective versions of the song.  Jaybird's version was re-issued a few years back on the first "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of", and the copy of the record used was pretty whupped.  I wonder if it is one of those songs of which there is only one copy in the hands of collectors.  Jaybird, understandably, put a harmonica solo between each verse; I've never heard harmonica playing that I prefer to his here, it's just amazing playing.  I could use some help with these lyrics in one place in particular, and would very much appreciate it.  Here is a video of the performance (the opening solo is truncated):



Boll weevil, boll weevil, you think you treat me wrong
Eat up all of my cotton, you done started on my corn

Done stomped down my cotton, Lawd, found my new-ground corn
If you don't let me have it, down the road I'm goin'

Boll weevils got mustache, boll weevils got hands
Sometimes they're walkin's in the tall canes, just lie a natch'l man

Boll weevil told the farmer, "Needn't push so hard.
I'm gonna eat your cotton, you can't plant it in your yard."

Boll weevil want to stay here, didna wear no clothes
At the end of your cotton patch, take it row by row

Boll weevil went away, Lawd, and left this stand
"Now, I'll pay you back, farmer, soon as you break your land."

Edited 12/16 to pick up addition from Gumbo

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 11:19:01 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2013, 12:45:31 PM »
Hi all,
Blind Willie McTell recorded "Boll Weevil" for the Library of Congress, accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning, sounding in C, as per banjochris's "Willie McTell Playing Positions/Tunings" in Weeniepedia.  Willie McTell sounds very urbane in his singing on this one.

Boll weevil, boll weevil,
Where you get your grand long bill?
"I got it from Texas, I got it from the western hills
I've got it from Texas, I got it from the western hills"

Boll weevil, he told the farmer, says,
"Don't you buy no more pills.
Ain't gonna make enough money to pay your drug store bills
Ain't going to make enough money to even pay your drug store bills"

Boll weevil, he told the farmer,
"Don't you plow no more.
Ain't gonna make enough flour, in your back door
You ain't gonna make enough flour to even put in your back door"

Boll weevil, he told the farmer,
"Don't buy no Ford machine.
You ain't going to make enough money to even buy gasoline
Ain't going to make enough money, even buy gasoline"

Boll weevil said to the farmer,
"Don't buy no more pills.
Ain't going to make enough money to even buy your meals
Won't make enough money to even buy your meals"

Well now, boll weevil, boll weevil,
Where you say you get your great long bill?
"I got it from Texas, out in the western hills
Way out in the Panhandle, out in the western hills"

All best,
Johnm

 

Offline banjochris

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2013, 11:37:06 PM »


Hey, hey, boll weevil, where's your nated [sic] home?
"'Way down in the bottom, among the cotton and corn
Among the cotton and corn."


Mance Lipscomb uses "nated" a lot in "I Say Me for a Parable" and I think the author even talks about the word a bit.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2013, 07:01:38 AM »
Thanks for that information, Chris.  I know the word "nated", as a substitute for "native" was used in a lyric I transcribed, but I'm darned if I can remember which one. 
Do you have any ideas for that missing space in Jaybird Coleman's "Boll Weevil", in verse five?  I'm having a tough time with that place.  Thanks for your help.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Gumbo

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2013, 08:14:38 AM »
Nated is in the Vera Ward Hall a few posts above ;)

is it "didna wear no clothes" in the Jaybird Coleman version?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 08:17:45 AM by Gumbo »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2013, 09:44:18 AM »
Thanks, Gumbo, I believe you've got it!  I think that particular verse must win some kind of prize for the opening line and the tagline being unrelated to each other.  Quite a rendition by Jaybird, huh?  I will make the change.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2013, 10:09:32 AM »
Thanks for that information, Chris.  I know the word "nated", as a substitute for "native" was used in a lyric I transcribed, but I'm darned if I can remember which one. 
Do you have any ideas for that missing space in Jaybird Coleman's "Boll Weevil", in verse five?  I'm having a tough time with that place.  Thanks for your help.

I'm glad Gumbo got that bit in the Jaybird Coleman, it was eluding me. As for "nated," it sounds like Kid Bailey says it in the first verse of "Mississippi Bottom Blues," and I know we were all discussing that one lately.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2013, 10:47:56 AM »
Yup, that's the place I was thinking of, Chris.  I can just hear him singing that in my head.  Thanks.
All best,
Johnm

 


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