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I love blues but I'm not going to let it ruin my life - Steve James, Blueprint interview

Author Topic: The Boll Weevil  (Read 17546 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #90 on: April 02, 2015, 10:33:23 AM »
Hi all,
Here are a couple more versions of "Boll Weevil" I've found recently, one by John Henry Barbee and the other by Black Bottom McPhail.






I went to my merchant, I asked him for some meat and meal
Lord, I went to my merchant, I asked him for some meat and meal
And he said, "Go 'way from me farmer, you've got boll weevils in your field."

Boll weevil, boll weevil, you know you didn't treat me right
Boll weevil, boll weevil, you know you didn't treat me right
You at my cotton in the daytime and you at my corn at night

There ain't but the one thing will turn a boll weevil down
There ain't but the one thing will turn a boll weevil down
That's a sweet potato, it's growin' way down in the ground

Boll weevil told the farmer, 'You can ride 'round in your Ford machine."
Boll weevil told the farmer, "You can ride 'round in your Ford machine.
But when I get through with your cotton, you can't buy gasoline."

Boll weevil took a circle, went all the way 'round the moon
Boll weevil took a circle, went all the way 'round the moon
And he told all the farmers, "Now, I won't be back 'til June."


All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 12:57:36 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #91 on: April 02, 2015, 12:58:43 PM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone knew the personnel on the Black Bottom McPhail cut.  It sounds like it could have been Bill Broonzy on guitar.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #92 on: April 02, 2015, 04:46:44 PM »
B&GR has "Possibly Charlie McCoy" on Black Bottom McPhail's version of Boll Weevil.

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #93 on: April 02, 2015, 05:24:31 PM »
Thanks for the citation, dj.  I think I'll leave it "unknown"; that seems more prudent in such instances.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #94 on: April 03, 2015, 07:27:53 AM »

     Vera Hall's acapella version always knocks my socks off


Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #95 on: April 03, 2015, 09:38:03 AM »
Yes, you're right, Mike, Vera Hall's version of "Boll Weevil" really is a beauty.  It was posted previously in the thread.  I'm realizing in a long thread like this, there is almost bound to be duplication unless a list of the versions that have already been posted to the thread is made available in the thread.  There are other duplications, too, I know.  I'll work on putting together such a list.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2015, 09:52:47 AM »
Hi all,
Early in the thread, Bunker Hill posted lyrics to "Bo Weavil Blues", by Kokomo Arnold, and in checking youtube I found it is up there now.  Despite the title, Kokomo Arnold pronounces the title character "boll weevil" through out the song, and pronounces his own name "Kokimo".  Here is his version, played out of Vestapol with a slide as was most of his repertoire:



Boll weevil, come out of my flour barrel
Boll weevil, come out of my flour barrel
Said, there's boll weevils here, mama, boll weevils everywhere

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

Now Mr. Weevil, how come your bill's so long?
Now Mr. Weevil, how come your bill's so long?
You done eat up all my cotton, started on my youngest corn

Says, the merchant told the doctor, "Don't sell no more C. C. pills."
Says, the merchant told the doctor, "Don't sell no more C. C. pills.
'Cause the boll weevils down here in Georgia done stopped these cotton mills."

Now Mr. Boll Weevil, if you can talk, why don't you tell?
Now Mr. Boll Weevil, if you can talk, why don't you tell?
Say, you got poor Kokimo down here in Georgia, catchin' a lotta hell

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 08:41:56 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #97 on: July 30, 2015, 04:16:08 PM »
Hi all,
One of the earlier recorded versions of Boll Weevil was that of Charlie "Dad" Nelson, who performed the song as "Cotton Field Blues", in 1926, accompanying himself on a 12-string guitar played out of E position in standard tuning, and adding kazoo.  Nelson was a smooth and sophisticated guitar player with a nice touch and lots of neat ideas.  His kazoo playing is notable for its accurate pitch, too; he really made it sound like a musical instrument.  Here is his version of the song:



KAZOO INTRO

"Boll weevil, boll weevil, where did you come from?
Boll weevil, boll weevil, where did you come from?"
"From Beaumont, Texas, I'm gettin' over here on the bum."

KAZOO SOLO

Farmer says, "Boll weevil, don't you know you're doin' me wrong?"
Farmer said to the boll weevil, "Don't you know you're doin' me wrong?
Eat up all my cotton, and eat up all my corn."

Says, I'm goin' to town, buy a little gasoline
Says, I'm goin' to town, to buy a little gasoline
These the worst boll weevils, babe, that I ever seen

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 04:17:48 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #98 on: September 14, 2017, 03:05:06 PM »
Hi all,
It has been a while since I found a previously unheard (by me) version of the Boll Weevil.  I discovered one today by Johnny Shines, joined in this rendition by a bass player and a drummer.  Here is his rendition, and it utilizes a different melody and different lyrics than versions I've heard before:



INTRO

Hey-ey, Mr. Boweevil, man, don't sing them blues no more
Well, oh-ho, Mr. Boweevil, man, don't sing them blues no more
Well, you're Mr. Boweevil here, and I know you're the man everywhere in the world you go

Well, well, Mr. Boweevil, you ate up all of my cotton and corn
Well, ho, Mr. Boweevil, I know that you ate up all my cotton and corn
Well, you done ate up all of my home, whoa, now you got my little sweet girl and gone

Well, Mr. Boweevil, I recognize you everywhere in the world you go
Whoa-oa, Mr. Boweevil, I recognize you everywhere in the world you go
Well, you done wrecked my family, and you tore down my little happy home

SOLO

Well, goodbye, Mr. Boweevil, I hope we'll never meet again
Oh-oh, goodbye, Mr. Boweevil, whoa, I hope we'll never meet again
Well you can bet I can tell the whole round world, whoa, Mr. Boweevil not no farmer's friend

Edited 9/14 to pick up correction from waxwing
Edited 9/15 to pick up correction from lindy

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 11:31:27 AM by Johnm »

Offline waxwing

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #99 on: September 14, 2017, 08:17:42 PM »
Well, it's pretty easy for me to find versions of most any song I've not heard before, but this sure has a strong early electric blues sound. I need to listen to more of Mr Shines earlier work.

I think in the 3rd line of the 1st verse he does include the "in the world" phrase, slurred somewhat, but similar to the 1st two lines in the 3rd verse.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #100 on: September 14, 2017, 10:35:11 PM »
Thanks for the catch, wax, and you are right.  I heard it when I transcribed it, but didn't enter it--doh!  I've made the correction.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline lindy

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #101 on: September 15, 2017, 10:35:37 AM »
John,

In the third verse I hear,

Well, Mr. Boweevil, I recognize you everywhere in the world you go
Whoa-oa, Mr. Boweevil, I recognize you everywhere in the world you go

(or "recognize ya")

Give a listen, see what you think.

Lindy

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2017, 11:32:16 AM »
Right you are, Lindy, thanks.  I have made the change.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #103 on: November 13, 2019, 10:57:26 PM »
Hi all,
After searching on youtube for versions of "Boll Weevil" for the first time in a couple of years I found this version, which was alluded to, but not posted earlier in the thread.  I'll transcribe the lyrics later.



All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Boll Weevil
« Reply #104 on: November 14, 2019, 08:52:37 AM »
Hi all,
Here's a real oddity, "Boll Weevil Blues" by the Arkansas Trio, which included Vernon Dalhart.  It seems to be an instrumental feature with tenor banjo and a kazoo duet and incidental vocals.  Huh!



All best,
Johnm

 


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