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Now, the backwater has been dreadful . . . - Walter Davis, West Coast Blues

Author Topic: Tommy McClennan Lyrics  (Read 7039 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2011, 11:15:49 AM »
Hi Chris,
That 3.2 line in "Bottle It Up And Go" sounds the most like this, phonetically, to me.  (Not that it makes any sense!)
   The gait she's chairman just a little too fast
"Chairman" also sounds like it could be "trimmin'".  I'm still some distance away from it making any sense.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2011, 01:08:18 PM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded his version of "Drop Down Mama" on December 12, 1940.  It is so different from Sleepy John's that it barely qualifies as a cover.  Tommy played his version in G position in standard tuning, and it is one of his very strongest numbers instrumentally.  He opens with a solo two times through the form and cements his standing as one of the very best Country Blues players in the key of G.  His lyrics are terrific.  I defy any of the Tin Pan Alley writers or "Blues poets" to come up with anything as strong as the opening of the second verse--that is country and STRONG.  His reference to a "minor" in the tagline to the refrain is the first I've heard in blues lyrics.  For his final verse, Tommy reverts to a conventional AAB lyric format, and the tail end of his tagline is really hard to hear.

   SOLO X 2

   Drop down mama, let daddy see
   You've got somethin' really worryin' me
   REFRAIN: Now my Mama, she don't 'low me, stay out a whole night long
   "'Cause you may be a minor, and you may be treated wrong."

   Now my baby, she got ways soon in the mornin', do like a squirrel
   Get up in the mornin' 'nd grab a limb, cock it on the world
   REFRAIN: My Mama, she don't allow me to stay out all night long
   Say, "You may be a minor, son, and you may be treated wrong." (Spoken: Yeah-heh)

   Now when you get you a woman and she act funny in every way
   Just DB, all right, she be home someday
   REFRAIN: 'Cause my Mama don't allow me, stay out all night long (Spoken: Yeah-heh-heh)
   Yes, "She may be a minor and she may be treated wrong."

   I'm gon' write you a letter soon 'n the mornin', gon' mail it in the air
   You can tell by that, babe, I got a woman somwhere
   REFRAIN: 'Cause my Mama don't allow me to stay out all night long
   And, "You may be a minor and you may be treated wrong."

   Now if you get you a woman, now-now, treat her nice in every way (Spoken: Yes, yeah, uh-huh)
   Oh, if you get you a woman treat her nice in every way
   'Cause when you get in Chicago, these women walkin' 'round here, there'n they're BDs (Spoken: Huh, don't want to say it loud)

   SOLO (Spoken during solo: Yeah, heh-heh, yeah, yes, yeah)

All best,
Johnm 

   
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 11:16:12 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2011, 01:43:26 PM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Black Minnie" at the same session at which he recorded "Drop Down Mama", and like that song, it was played out of G position in standard tuning.  Lyrically, "Black Minnie" bears some similarity to Sleepy John Estes' "Black Mattie", but it is altogether different, musically.  "Black Minnie" is a rarity in Tommy McClennan's recorded repertoire in that it is an 8-bar blues, and a very loosely structured one at that.  Tommy doesn't appear to have had a hard-and-fast notion of how the song should be backed chordally, for he varies his accompaniment quite a lot as the song goes along.  He was in a very high-spirited mood for the take, and is just cracking himself up as he goes along, particularly towards the tail end of the rendition.  The threats of violence in the first and last verse are notably rare in Tommy McClennan's recorded repertoire as a whole.  For his solos, Tommy chose to re-enter with the tagline of a verse to finish up.  His singing on this take is very exciting, pushed to the limit.

   SOLO

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you ain't doin' me right
   But the day you quit me, Black Minnie, I swear, that's the day you die

   Black Minnie, you know I love you, and I love you for myself
   And I'd rather be with you, Black Minnie, than to be with anyone else

   I give you my money, Black Minnie, and everything that you told me you need
   And one time you done come and called me, "Baby, where my BVDs?"

   Now Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I'm gonna give you one more time
   And if you don't suit me I'm gon' try to play the line

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, what in the world is you tryin' to do?
   I b'lieve tryin' to love me, Black Minnie, and my partner, too (Spoken: Uh-huh-huh-huh. Play it now!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-heh!)
   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, what you tryin' to do?

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you don't mean me no good
   'Cause you gwine with the man that lives right above my neighborhood (Spoken: Play that box some!)

   SOLO: (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah-ha-ah!)
   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I swear I'm gettin' through wit' you

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, you know you stays in the dark
   And you know good 'n' well, I ain't gonna never give you my last dollar (Spoken: Yeah-ha-ha!)

   Black Minnie, Black Minnie, I'm gon' try you one more time
   And if you don't do I'm gon' break your neck a-tryin'

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 08:42:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2011, 09:39:24 AM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "It's A Crying Pity" on September 15, 1941, accompanying himself out of D position in standard tuning.  His delivery has a more serious tone than it did on many of his songs.  Instrumentally, he was working a lot of the same territory as "I'm A Guitar King", but he always had a few new bits to offer. 

   SOLO

   It's a cryin' pity, low-down dirty shame
   It's a cryin' pity, low-down dirty shame
   Crazy 'bout a no-good woman, 'fraid to call her name

   Now where were you, babe, when I knocked up on your door? (Spoken: That was late last night.)
   Where was you, babe, when I knocked up on your door
   You had the nerve to tell poor Tommy that you couldn't use me no more

   But that's all right, babe, got to reap what you sow
   That's all right, babe, got to reap just what you sow
   But don't forget that night I knocked up on your door

   Now I done some last winter, don't expect to do it no more
   Mmmmmm, done some last winter, never expect to do it no more
   Quit the best woman I had, and I drove her from my door

   But forgive me, baby, won't do wrong no more
   Forgive me, baby, swear I won't do wrong no more
   You can get all of my lovin', but you got to let that black man go

   Now I love you, baby, I don't see why as I should
   Now I love you, baby, don't see why as I should
   'Cause you gwine with the man that live right in my neighborhood

All best,
Johnm

   
     
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 11:45:08 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2011, 11:09:33 AM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Roll Me Baby" at his last session, on February 20, 1942, for which he was joined by Ransom Knowling on bass.  Tommy accompanies himself out of G position in standard tuning, and this is one of his most energetic numbers in that position.  It is also modern-sounding, a harbinger of things to come in the emerging Chicago electric ensemble sound.  Ransom Knowling really played well with Tommy, and Tommy certainly enjoyed Ransom's contribution, but it is darn hard to hear.  There are a couple of places in the lyrics, indicated by bent brackets, that I would appreciate some correction or corroboration.  Tommy's lyric break that opens his final verse is about as explicit as I've heard lyrics get, certainly not bothering to operate in the realm of double entendre.

   SOLO (Spoken: It's not right!)

   Now I said, roll me, roll me, babe, roll me, roll me slow
   Roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I won't want no more, I say
   Roll me over, babe, 'ey, roll me slow
   I want you to roll me, roll me, babe, your daddy won't even want no more

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, she roll a wagon wheel
   The way you roll me, baby, don't know how it make me feel, I say,
   Roll me over, babe, please roll me easy and slow
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, your daddy won't even want no more

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, like you roll a cross-cut saw
   Roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I say, "That's all, that's all."
   Now roll me, roll me, baby, like you roll a cross-cut saw
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, 'til I say, "That's all, that's all."

   You know I like my roll in the mornin', I likes my roll at night (Spoken: Tay, I told you to take your time!)
   You know I likes my rollin', baby, you know I likes it late at night
   You know I'd bury 'bout the time we can make every little thing all right

   Now roll me, roll me, baby, takes you all night long (Spoken: Yeah, man!)
   Roll me, roll me, baby, if it takes you all night long
   I want you to roll me, roll me, baby, shimmy everybody begin to leave home

   Now look-a here, baby, you know I got to go
   'Cause he ain't been bendin', woman, I love you, yes, it's full
   But roll me over, baby, roll me easy and slow
   I done tol' you to roll me, baby, 'til your daddy won't want no more

Edited 12/5 to pick up corrections from Johnm

All best,
Johnm

     
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 04:40:50 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2011, 03:28:04 PM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "I Love My Baby" at his last session.  Ransom Knowling played bass on everything from that session, and Tommy accompanied himself out of G in standard tuning, capoed up, for this number.  He has a different feel on this song than on virtually everything else in his recorded repertoire.  For "I Love My Baby", he's employing a cut time feel, with two "boom-changs" per measure, almost a Western Swing sort of groove.  It's very lively, and Tommy and Ransom speed up noticeably (and together) as the song goes along.  Tommy's vocal is wonderfully expressive, but he really sounds like he's harming himself from time to time.

   Now I love my baby, love her well
   Love my baby, love the way she smell
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   Yes, somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found

   Now I love my baby, way she walk
   Love my baby, love the way she talk
   Ain't seen my baby since the evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that woman can't be found (Spoken: Play the blues, man!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-huh!)
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that woman can't be found (Spoken: Do this one a long time!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-huh!, I'm tryin' talk about  Yeah, man! Be rough!)

   Now a long time ago, had a talk
   This just because couldn't hear her walk
   Ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if that little woman can't be found (Spoken: Long time now!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah, man!)

   Now look-a here, baby, you know you ain't right
   You been out jukin' for the whole night
   I ain't seen my baby, evenin' sun went down
   And it's somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found (Spoken: Long time again!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-ha)

All best,
Johnm

   

   

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: November 30, 2011, 01:57:28 AM »
   Now I love my baby, love her well
   Love my baby, love the way she smell
   I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
   Yes, somethin' bad gonna happen, if my baby can't be found
In about 1939 or so Washboard Sam recorded a jaunty song of this title and melody which was based solely around the repetition of the refrain below.:

Now I love my baby, love her for myself
Don't want my baby for no one else
I ain't seen my baby since that evenin' sun went down
Something gonna happen, if my baby can't be found

I'm not at home but what I can hear in my head is something along these lines being mainly a showcase for (I think) Herb Morand's trumpet solos.

Perhaps TMcC reworked that. Anybody in a position to give it give a listen?

Offline dj

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: November 30, 2011, 03:59:30 AM »
Quote
In about 1939 or so Washboard Sam recorded a jaunty song of this title and melody

Right you are.  Recorded in Chicago on May 15, 1939 for Bluebird.  The lyrics were a bit more fleshed out than McClennan's, and the solos were by Buster Bennett on alto sax.

Sam's version was a cover of a version the previous year by Mattie Hardy with Joe Williams & His Chicago Swingers.  I apparently didn't enter discographical information on that track into iTunes, so I can't supply anything further right now, other than to verify that it's the same song.

Bob MacLeod's composer list gives the label composer credit on McClennan's version to Tommy McClennan and on Washboard Sam's version to Robert Brown.  It doesn't contain a listing for the Hardy/Williams version.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: November 30, 2011, 06:40:36 AM »
Thanks for that information, Bunker Hill and dj.  It's always good to get the background on the songs, and there is a lot of Blues from the '30s that I've not heard.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: November 30, 2011, 06:58:52 AM »
Sam's version was a cover of a version the previous year by Mattie Hardy with Joe Williams & His Chicago Swingers. 
I only have the Mattie Hardy on a 1990 RST compilation (Swingin' The Blues) which has a note stating "C-2378-2 I Love My Baby not traced". I guess from what you say DJ it now has, presumably post publication of B&GR (1997) which show it as unissued.

Offline dj

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: November 30, 2011, 07:06:42 AM »
Quote
I only have the Mattie Hardy on a 1990 RST compilation (Swingin' The Blues) which has a note stating "C-2378-2 I Love My Baby not traced". I guess from what you say DJ it now has

Yes, and apparently fairly recently, as it showed up on Document's Too Late, Too Late Volume 13.  I'm away from my CD collection right now, so can't comment on whether the notes mention when/where/how it was discovered.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2011, 07:51:21 AM »
Yes, and apparently fairly recently, as it showed up on Document's Too Late, Too Late Volume 13.   
Ah I gave up with the series at volume 7!

Offline banjochris

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: November 30, 2011, 09:41:33 AM »
BTW, John -- just wanted to mention that I'm still completely stumped on those lines from "Mr So and So" and "Bottle It Up and Go" -- I haven't forgotten about it!
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: November 30, 2011, 12:19:05 PM »
Yup, I'm still stymied, too, Chris.  One of these days . . . .
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy McClennan Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: December 01, 2011, 03:23:10 PM »
Hi all,
Tommy McClennan recorded "Shake It Up And Go" at his last session.  It is essentially a cover of "Bottle It Up And Go", which he recorded at his first session, and like that song is backed out of C position in standard tuning.  Tommy is not quite in the irrepressible high spirits that he was in for his take of "Bottle It Up And Go", but "Shake It Up And Go" is still quite a strong take, and he introduces more variety in his lyrics than might normally be expected in a cover recording.  His singing and playing are still top-notch, and when he takes his first solo, he goes long in the solo in exactly the same way that the vocal does prior to the refrain, flying in the face of the more common practice of straightening out a crooked form for solos.  His final solo goes into stop time, and it is a treat.  He lowers his voice noticeably for the singing of "whip it up and go".

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah-heh!)
   Got to shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Aw, you low-grade women sure got to shake it up and go

   Now my mama bought a chicken, swapped it for a hen
   When she started lovin', was "too bad, Jim"
   Got to sh- up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   All you high-grade women, sure got to shake it up and go

   I done told you oncet, tell you no more
   Next time I tell, I'm gonna have to let you go
   You got to shake it up and go, oh, whip it up and go
   Aw, you low-grade women, sure got to shake it up and go

   Now my Mama told me, Papa sot and cried,
   "Son, you're too young a man to have them women your side."
   You got to shake it up and go, ah, step it up and go
   Now you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   I done told you oncet, tell you no more
   You can get my lovin' if you let him go
   You got to shake it up and go, I mean, shake it up and go
   Aw, you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go (Spoken: Shake it up some, then!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Yeah! Play it a long time!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Yeah! Long time!)
   I'm shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Now you big fat mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   Now look-a here, baby, don't mean no harm
   Mockin' my family 'bout me carryin' on
   Like me to shake it up and go, like me to shake it up and go
   Awwwwwwww, been better, had before (Spoken: Yeah!)

   SOLO (Spoken: Long time)
   Got to shake it up and go, aw, shake it up and go
   Aw, you high-grade mama, sure got to shake it up and go

   SOLO: (Spoken: Yeah! Yes-yeah!)

All best,
Johnm