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He and Elizabeth Cotten developed a good friendship. He liked her music, too. He told me earlier that if he were to start playing all over again, he would want to play guitar like Mississippi John Hurt - Mike Seeger recalling his interviews with Dock Boggs

Author Topic: Big Bill Broonzy Lyrics  (Read 15500 times)

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gribbon

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Big Bill Broonzy Lyrics
« on: April 02, 2007, 08:43:52 AM »
This song is included on the first disc of the JSP collection "All the Classic Sides". I can post it here if someone tells me how.

I worked out most of the lyrics, but there are a few annoying phrases which i can't hear. It's a fun song I think. Obviously it's mistitled and should have been called "You Can't Do That" or "They're Trying to Tell Me" or something. Appreciate any help...

Lord they all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that
Lord they all, trying to show me,  ??? , why I can't do that
I've been looked up in jail, and you couldn't get booked ( ???)
Then you say, oh well, I'm cooked.

Then the people all, singin and dancin, tell me that you can't do that
That's wrong!
Boy, you can't do that.

Lord they all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that
Lord they all, singing and dancing, tell me that you can't do that
Then they caught me with the spirit,  ??? gallon of mash
Ten gallons of liqour, lord, and... one bowl of hash.

Then they all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that.
No that's wrong!
Tell you that you can't do that

Lord they all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that
They all, singing and dancing, tell me that you can't do that
Then they take me to the jail before they put me in the cell
Hit me so hard,  ???  ???  ???

Then the people all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that
No that's wrong! No.
Boys, that you can't do that

You hear them all singing and dancing, tell me that you can't
You know, they're trying to tell med, boys, that

I was tried by an upright judge
And he give me ten years to serve.

Then the people all, trying to tell me, boys, that you can't do that
No that's wrong!
Tell me that you can't do that
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 07:38:53 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy - They Can't Do That
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 11:15:52 AM »
Wonderful song. About two decades back I attempted to transcribe this song for a little bit of nonsense I was trying to write. Usually I leave both writing and transcription to those better suited to the task but here's what I came up with from a 1985 BBB Matchbox LP using a not so good 78! Maybe between you, I and the rest of the good folk of Weneie Land a definitive transcription will emerge. Be as critical as you like with what follows as I seem to have misfiled the LP in question and unable to relisten.

Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that.
Lord, they all tryin' to show me
Just why they can't do that.
Have you ever been locked up in jail and you couldn't get booked?
Then you say, "Oh, well, I'm cooked."
Then the people all singin' and dancin',
Tellin' you that they can't do that, that's wrong
Why is they can't do that.

Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that.
Lord they all singin' and dancin'
Tellin' me that they can't do that.

Sayin', they caught rne with a still and two-fifty gallons of mash.
Ten gallons of liquor, lord, and one bottle of hash
Then they all tryin' to tell me,
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong
Tellin' you 'bout they can't do that.

Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that.
Hear 'em all singin' and dancin'
Tellin' you that they can't do that
Sayin', they take me to the jail before they put me in the cell.
Kick me so hard until both of us fell
Then the people all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong, though
Why that they can't do that.

Lord, you hear 'em all singin' and dancin',
Tellin' you that they can't do that.
You know, they're tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that.
Lord, I was tried by an upright judge.
And he give me ten years to serve.
Then the people all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong
Tellin' you that they can't do that.

gribbon

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy - They Can't Do That
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2007, 04:01:29 AM »
Thank's a lot. Your transcription cleared up a few things. There's a lot of unimportant descrepancies between it and mine. Mostly things like "why" instead of "boys"...

Funny, I heard him singing "you can't do that", but know i hear it "they can't do that". At least in most places. Guess "you can't do that" made more sense to me.

I agree with the line "Have you ever been locked up in jail and you couldn't get booked".

"Two-fifty gallons of mash" also sound reasonable.

I too hear "Kicked me som hard" now, but I'm not totally convinced it is "both of us fell".

EDIT: Added MP3 to the first post of this thread, so you can listen to it...
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 04:45:41 AM by gribbon »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy - They Can't Do That (now with MP3)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 09:57:02 AM »
I think this needs a completely fresh pair of ears, I'm just hearing what I want to hear now. ;D

Now's the time for Weenie C's veteran transcribers to bring a bit of common sense and logic to it all. Over to you guys.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy - They Can't Do That
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 01:54:29 PM »
Howdy gents:

I listened to this a number of times (great tune BTW). I agree with Bunker Hill's stuff ex. for a few "boy"s.

I think "bottle of hash" is right as well as "both of us fell"

Here's what I get. My changes from Bunker are in bold.

Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Boy that they can't do that.
Lord, they all tryin' to show me
Just why they can't do that.
Have you ever been locked up in jail and you couldn't get booked?
Then you say, "Oh, well, I'm cooked."
Then the people all singin' and dancin',
Tellin' you that they can't do that, that's wrong
Why is they can't do that.

Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Boy that they can't do that.
Lord they all singin' and dancin'
Tellin' me that they can't do that.

Sayin', they caught rne with a still and two-fifty gallons of mash.
Ten gallons of liquor, lord, and one bottle of hash
Then they all tryin' to tell me,
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong
Tellin' you 'bout they can't do that.

Instrumental break


Lord, they all tryin' to tell me
Boy that they can't do that.
Hear 'em all singin' and dancin'
Tellin' you that they can't do that
Sayin', they take me to the jail before they put me in the cell.
Kick me so hard until both of us fell
Then the people all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong, though
Why but that they did do that.

Lord, you hear 'em all singin' and dancin',
Tellin' you that they can't do that.
You know, they're tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that.
Lord, I was tried by an upright judge.
And he give me ten years to serve.
Then the people all tryin' to tell me
Why that they can't do that, no, that's wrong
Tellin' you that they can't do that.


Alex
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 11:48:09 AM by GhostRider »

Offline Flatd7

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    • Pre War Blues, Country, Bluegrass & Gospel Music
Big Bill Broonzy Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 07:02:00 PM »
This tune is a classic Broonzy / Georgia Tom tune that was also done by Milton Brown. Most of the lyrics are pretty straight forward but a couple are giving me fits. By the way, why the "Eagle Ridin"" of the Hokum Boys versions and the "Easy Ridin'" of the Musical Brownies version?

Every A and B part have different words.

In the fifth verse he sings:

Now If You Like This Tune, Think It's Fine
Set Right Down and Drop A   . . . . . . ?

In the second B part, they sing:

And I'll Declare
You'll Get It There
And if we  . . . . . ?
Sometimes it's  . . . ? Somewhere

And in the next to last verse, he gets saucy but I can't quite make out how saucy.

Now We Ain't Good Lookin' and We Don't Dress Fine
The Way We  . . . ?  It, It's  . . . . . ? Fine

Hmmmmm? Any ideas folks?


Offline banjochris

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Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 09:56:15 PM »
I'd imagine that the Brownies didn't know what "Eagle Ridin'" meant and changed it to something more familiar. I would assume that the eagle in question is a $10 gold piece and the phrase means that they're well-heeled or "sports," as they would have said back then. Here are the words to the Broonzy/Dorsey version:

Listen everybody from here and far,
If you want to know just who we are,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

Now if you like the way we play,
Listen while we try to say,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

All night long,
We sing this song,
If you get this song,
You can't go wrong, and how
We'll make you loose, we'll make you tight,
Make you shake it till broad daylight
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

(instrumental)

Now we never do brag, never do boast,
Played this tune from coast to coast,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

Now if you like this tune, think it's fine
Sit right down and drop a line,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

And I'll declare,
You'll get it there,
And if you have,
Some time to spare, somewhere
Some time we're down your way,
We'll drop in and spend the day
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

(instrumental/scat)

Now some want to know just what we've got,
Got good hokum and serve it hot,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

Now we ain't good lookin' and we don't dress fine,
Way we whip it it's (a) hangin' crime,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

If you see me stealin',
Don't tell on me,
Just stealin' back to,
My used to be, and how,
We never have one gal at a time,
Always have seven, eight or nine,
Eagle ridin' papas, from Tennessee.

Offline Flatd7

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    • Pre War Blues, Country, Bluegrass & Gospel Music
Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 12:27:20 PM »
Thanks Chris, but we might as well finish the tune . . . .

We never had one gal at a time
Always had 7,8 or 9
Eagle Ridin' Papa, from Tennessee

Offline banjochris

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Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 01:22:35 PM »
Huh? It's right there.  ;)

Offline Flatd7

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    • Pre War Blues, Country, Bluegrass & Gospel Music
Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 04:37:36 AM »
Huh? It's right there.  ;)


Woooops  . . . . .


Offline fictioneer

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Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2007, 10:44:17 PM »
Change the punchline to "We're the Texas Playboys -- from the Lone Star State" and you've also got Bob Wills' theme song for many years. 

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: Eagle Ridin' Papa - Hokum Boys
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2007, 05:25:42 AM »
Hey,

I resemble that remark.....

That's where I got my online name, I always thought it would be a good name for a band. 

Mike

Offline Papa John

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Beedle Um Bum - Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 07:00:19 AM »
Hello,

Could I have I have your collected assistance with the lyrics to Big Bill Broonzy's version of Beedle Um Bum.  Below is what I have.  The recording I have isn't great, so happy to be corrected if I've gone way off base on any words.  The main trouble I am having is with the 2nd chorus.

Also, I don't have any discography with the recording and would be curious to know who the 2nd man on the track is.


BEEDLE UM BUM

Down in Memphis Tennessee, there's a gal named Simmy
Runs a meat shop on the block, she's always got a gimme
Serves a meal with a tadpole heel, you can't resist by trying
And every time you pass her door, you'll hear Miss Simmy crying

Oh my Beedle Um Bum, come and see me if you ain't had none
Makes a dumb man speak, makes a lame man run,
You'll sure miss something if you don't get some
My Beedle Um Bum, oh my Beedle Um Bum
It's the best Beedle Um that's made in Tennessee

[Instrumental]

Every day at ten o'clock, she'll go down to the station
Soon as the post has come in town, she'll give a little invitation
Every day from noon til night, she's always busy selling
Beedle Um hot and Beedle Um cold, you could always here her yelling

Oh my Beedle Um Bum, come and see me if you ain't had none
Ain't made salt and it ain't made ??, just made up in a [medium fast?]
My Beedle Um Bum, oh my Beedle Um Bum
It's the best Beedle Um that's made in Tennessee

[Instrumental]

Oh my Beedle Um Bum, come and see me if you ain't had none
You don't have to hurry, you don't have to go,
You get a little taste make you want some more
My Beedle Um Bum, oh my Beedle Um Bum
It's the best Beedle Um that's made in Tennessee


Thanks
John

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Beedle Um Bum - Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 07:35:37 AM »
John:

Welcome.


I get:

Last word of first line of second chorus "one", not none
Last word of first line of second chorus "time", not fast


Recorded Feb. 9, 1932.The other guy is Steele Smith on banjo.

Alex

Offline LeftyStrat

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Re: Beedle Um Bum - Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 06:04:22 PM »
Oh my Beedle Um Bum, come and see me if you ain't had none
Ain't made salt and it ain't made ??, just made up in a [medium fast?]
My Beedle Um Bum, oh my Beedle Um Bum
It's the best Beedle Um that's made in Tennessee


On the second line here, I've often heard:

Ain't made tall and it ain't made wide ??, just made up in a medium size

Whether right or not, this version has definitely helped me understand Tampa Red & Georgia Tom's (considerably faster) rendition of this tune.
Stop by and give a listen! :)

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