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If you don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been - Texas Alexander, 98 Degree Blues

Author Topic: Sam Collins Lyrics  (Read 24215 times)

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Offline Slack

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2009, 07:21:29 AM »
Yea, I had to go back and listen as well - wow, to have absolute control over one's vocal chords like that.  It seems that at the beginning of the song he is vocally freely sliding up and down at will, like he is showing off  :D -- and toward the end of the song he settles in.  Fantastic.

Online Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2009, 03:31:16 PM »
Hi all,
Sam Collins recorded "Midnight Special Blues" in C position in standard tuning, and took it at a pretty quick clip.  His approach to harmonizing the melody is unusual and varied and is discussed in some detail in this post:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=707.msg8114#msg8114.  I think I have most of his lyrics, but as usual there is a bent bracketed portion I could use some help with.  Note that in the first full verse, only the words "Lord" and Lordy" are spoken.  Here is "Midnight Special Blues":



   So let the Midnight special Shine your light on me
   Let the Midnight Special shine your ever-livin' lights on me

   Then you get up in the mornin', when the ding-dong ring, Lord-spoken
   You'll make it to the table, see the same old thing
   Ain't nothin' on the table but the forks in the pan, Lordy-spoken
   Ya say anything about it you have trouble with the man

   Let the Midnight Special shine your light on me
   Let the Midnight Special shine your ever-lovin' lights on me

   Yonder come a-little Nora, how do you know?
   I know by the ap'on and the dress she wear
   Umbarella over 'er shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
   Lookin' for some sergeant to release her man

   You get up in the mornin', when the ding-dong ring
   You make it to the table, see the same old thing
   If y' say anything about it, you have trouble with the man

   Let the Midnight special shine your light on me
   Let the Midnight Special shine your ever-lovin' lights on me

   SOLO--2 CHORUSES

   Yonder come a-little Nora, how do you know?
   I know by the ap'on and the dress she wear
   Umbarella over 'er shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
   Lookin' for some sergeant to release her man

   Let the Midnight Special shine your light on me
   Let the Midnight special shine your ever-lovin' lights on me

   SOLO

   Let the Midnight Special shine your ever-lovin' lights on me

   SOLO

Edited, 1/31 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm
   
 
   
   
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 04:36:13 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2009, 12:54:03 AM »
John -- I think it's "forks and the pan."
Chris

Online Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2009, 08:44:02 AM »
Thanks for the help, Chris.  I've made the change.
all best,
Johnm

Online Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2009, 02:20:08 PM »
Hi all,
Sam Collins played "New Salty Dog" out of C position in standard tuning, and it features some exciting hot picking by him.  I find that as I listen to more of his music I'm progressively less bothered by his laissez faire approach to tuning, especially on his non-slide pieces.  As usual, I could use some help with the lyrics--the bent bracketed portion is as close as I could get it phonetically; sense is an altogether different matter.  If he is in fact saying "stuck", he pronounces it"stook", and similarly "dovetails" would be pronounced "doovetails".  He was really terrific on this type of material, and it's quite different from his sound on slide.  I don't know if I can think of another player in the style whose non-slide playing worked such an entirely different sort of repertoire from his slide repertoire.  Here is "New Salty Dog":



   INTRO:

   If-a you don't shake, you won't get no cake, you ol' salty dog
   You old salty dog, now baby, you salty dog

   You gonna keep on hangin' around, you old salty dog
   Gonna keep on hangin' and take into town, you salty dog

   Well, come in here, you shut that door, you old salty dog
   He got shot with a .44, you old salty dog

   SOLO

   Got a brand new pistol and a box of balls, you old salty dog
   Gonna shoot that woman just to see her fall, you salty dog

   SOLO

   You stuck those stitches in the forks and knives, you old salty dog
   He dug those 'tatoes with the pocket knife, you old salty dog

   SOLO

   I'm goin' to town, hurry back, you old salty dog
   I'm gonna show your peoples how to ball the jack, you old salty dog

   She got good jelly and she sells it high, you old salty dog
   I know hit's something that a man can buy, you old salty dog

   SOLO

   Twenty-five cents is her regular price, you old salty dog
   Says, fifty cents you can buy it twice, you salty dog

   She pulls her dress up above her knees, you old salty dog
   She shakes her shimmy to who she please, you old salty dog

   SOLO

Edited 2/4, to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 04:37:12 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2009, 02:37:29 PM »
Hi John,

What I hear so far for this:
   [You stuck dark stitches in the fault sea knife], you old salty dog
   [He dug dovetails with the pocket knife], you old salty dog

is something like:

You/You're stooped down, stitches, in the forks and knives, you old salty dog
Eased up to his table with the pocket knife, you old salty dog

Not exactly an improvement, as far as meaning is concerned!
 

Online Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2009, 03:08:08 PM »
Thanks uncle bud, I think that's quite a lot better than what I had.  At least it seems like it could make some sense with tweaking.  If he is saying "forks and knives" in the first line, I really have a problem recognizing how Sam Collins pronounced "forks", since I missed it in the last song, too.  It's disorienting to be able to understand a singer perfectly well through 90% of a song and be so completely baffled in one place.  Oh well.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2009, 03:31:44 PM »
I think the first line in question is more like:

You [stooked] our [stitches] in the forks and knives...

"Stooked" could be a variant of "stuck".  What I hear as "our [stitches]" could alternatively be a person's name.

The sense of the line that I'm getting is that the old salty dog stabbed someone who was sitting and eating.  Now if I could only figure out who was stabbed...


Offline Rivers

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2009, 04:43:08 PM »
Man that's a good one. I have a theory it might be a nonsense rhyme about sewing, with crazy stuff. I remember vaguely one that involved cutting hair w/fork & knife, apply that to sewing.

I hear two soft 'z' endings to words in the second line where you have 'dove tails', as in "He [?] 'doze tears wit' the pocket knife". 'Tears', as in clothes, goes with 'stitches in the first line. 'Dug...' could be 'darned' perhaps? sounds more like 'durd', skipping the 'n' sound. So the meaning of line 2 could be "He darned those tears with a pocket knife, you old salty dog".

So what about "stooked [?] stitches"? 'Stook' is a pile of straw, and 'stooked' is the noun 'verbed' in the past tense. From wiktionary:

stook (plural stooks)

   1. (agriculture) a pile or bundle, especially of straw

              * 1958: The wheat, tawny with ripeness, had been cut and stood in tented stooks about the fields, while a few ghostly poppies lingered at the edge of the path. ? Iris Murdoch, The Bell

to stook (third-person singular simple present stooks, present participle stooking, simple past and past participle stooked)

   1. (agriculture) to make stooks

« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 04:58:19 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2009, 05:44:09 PM »
FWIW, Michael Taft has "He dug those potatoes with a pocket knife" in line 2. Plausible, though would be 'tatoes or taters, IMO, if accepted.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2009, 12:02:15 AM »
Agreeing with some of what's been offered, I think it's

You stuck those stitches in the forks and knives
and
He dug those 'tatoes with a pocket knife

The only thing I can offer for the first line -- unlikely, perhaps, but who knows? is that fork and knife is, at least according to the internet, Cockney rhyming slang for wife. I'm not suggesting that Collins used rhyming slang knowingly (that's so unlikely as to be silly, I think), but that this couplet may have originated way back and been transmitted via the good old oral tradition, ending up in a moderately salacious song. If this is the meaning, then it seems to have a sexual connotation, with a needle going in and out to make stitches and the usual potato-digging metaphor.

I think it's also interesting how much Collins sounds like Frank Hutchison on this track, particularly the way he sometimes changes chords unexpectedly early and shifts the accent to the bass.
Chris

Offline dj

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2009, 06:46:24 AM »
I'm wondering if the couplet might be something like:

You's tooked our dishes 'n' the forks 'n' knives, you old salty dog
Eased up to the table with the pocket knife, you old salty dog

Admittedly, what I have as "dishes" sounds more like "stitches", but if Collins actually sings "ours dishes", and pronounces the "dishes more like "ditsches" (which I actually tend to do when I try to sing the line at speed), it pretty much works phonetically.  And the couplet actually makes sense.
   

Online Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2009, 10:45:30 AM »
Hi all,
Thanks for your suggestions.  I'm going to go with banjochris's interpretation, with one tiny change, "the" pocket knife, rather than "a" pocket knife in the second line.  After listening to Sam Collins sing this verse many, many times, I think it is just about an exact fit phonetically, very close to the nonsense I had originally, actually, and I believe the meaning of this verse is going to remain open to interpretation, perhaps until one of us comes across the same usage, "in the forks and knives", in another blues verse where the context makes the meaning more clear.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2009, 09:23:00 PM »
Hi dj,
I've been looking at your transcription of "Lonesome Road Blues", preparatory to putting it in Weeniepedia, and I have a couple of questions:
   * I hear the first word of the eighth verse as "I", rather than "I've"
   * I hear the first line of verse nine as "In eighteen hundred, in that ninety-nine", rather than "In eighteen hundred, and add ninety-nine"
   * The third verse from the end sounds like it may open, "Said, run here mama, fall in your daddy's breast", rather than "fold in your daddy's breast"
I wondered how you were hearing these spots in the lyrics now.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Sam Collins Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2009, 11:25:36 PM »
Hi all,
Sam Collins performed "Loving Lady Blues" with a slide in Vestapol tuning.  It is a song, like his version of "Yellow Dog Blues", that almost seems to show the blues in a formative, still transitional, state as a musical style.  He has a phrasing device he uses here in which he treats the tagline of one verse as the opening line of the next verse, getting a sort of chained stanza effect, like:
   A
   A
   B-A
   A
   B
Occasionally, as in the first verse, he omits the tagline altogether.  Taken in conjunction with his customary omission of the V chord altogether from the progression, you end up with a really different sounding blues from what we have become accustomed to hearing.  Here is "Loving Lady Blues":



   I never felt so worried 'til I found the lovin' lady blues
   I never felt so worried 'til I found the lovin' lady blues

   I can't sleep for dreamin', I can't eat for-hor cryin'
   I can't sleep for dreamin', I can't eat for cryin'
   I laid down last night with that gal all on my mind

   I got nineteen bird dogs, got one old floppy-headed hound
   I got nineteen bird dogs, one old floppy-headed hound
   It just takes them twenty run my fair brown down

   I got a good gal in town but she don't treat me right
   I got a good gal in town but she don't treat me right
   I feel like goin' to the cemetery, layin' right down and dyin'
   Feel like goin' to the cemetery, layin' right down and dyin'
   For I done got worried with that gal of mine

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 04:39:13 PM by Johnm »

 


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