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Any y'all wanna come to my home and learn how to play guitar - don't be scared o' your money, come on honey. I ain't gonna kill you - Rev. Gary Davis, in concert

Author Topic: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics  (Read 13824 times)

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Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2014, 08:37:49 AM »
Here is a very beautiful song he played in D.  The version on his "At Newport" album  is stunningly good but I've transcribed the version from  "From Blues To Gospel" as I think verse 5, line 3 has to be one of my most favourite RGD vocals and I'm just in love with it.



Transcribed from album: From Blues To Gospel
.........................................

I'll Do My Last Singing


I will do my last singin' in this land, somewhere. Ooh yeah
I will do my last singin' in this land, somewhere
I don't know and I cannot tell where, I may be somewhere singin' in the air
I will do my last singing in this land, somewhere

I will do my last travellin' in this land, somewhere.  Ooh yeah
I will do my last travellin' in this land, child somewhere
I don't know, I don't know and I cannot tell where, just since my Jesus will be with me there
I will do my last travellin' in this land, somewhere

I will pay my last visit in this land, somewhere
I will pay my last visit in this land, child somewhere
I don't know, where will be, just since my good Lord still will be leadin' me
I will pay my last visit in this land, somewhere, Oh yeah

I will take my last journey in this land, child somewhere. Ooh yeah
I will take my last journey in this land, child somewhere
I don't know where will be, I may be out on the ocean, way out on the sea
I will take my last journey in this land, somewhere, ooh yeah

I will do my last prayin' in this land, somewhere
I will do my last prayin' in this land, child somewhere
I may be in the valley somewhere down on my knees, I may be askin' my good Lord to give my conscience ease
I will do my last prayin' in this land, somewhere

I will do my last preachin' in this land, child somewhere.  Ooh yeah
I will do my last preachin' in this land, child somewhere
I don't know, I don't know where will be, I may be somewhere, way over the sea
I will do my last preachin' in this land, child somewhere

...................................
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 04:15:37 PM by Johnm »

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2014, 02:41:08 PM »
"Lord, I Wish I Could See" from the Complete Recorded Works (1935 Ė 1949). In C.



.................................
Lord, I Wish I Could See Ė Complete Recorded Works (1935 Ė 1949)

It was a time when I went blind, it was a time when I went blind
Was the darkest day that I ever saw, was the time when I went blind

Lord, I cried the whole night long, Lord I cried the whole night long
Cryiní ďOh, Lord wonít ya tell me how long am I to be blind always?Ē

Lord I wished I could see again, I wished I could see again
If I could see how happy I would be, I wished I could see again

Lord there nobody knows like me, that the trouble I do see
Iím away in the dark got ta feel my way, Lord there nobody cares for me

Lord itís hard I have to be blind, Lord itís hard I have to be blind
Iím away in the dark and I have to be led, Lord itís hard I have to be blind

Ah thereís nobody knows like me, Lord there nobody knows like me
Since I lost my sight I lost my friends, now thereís nobodyís a friend to me

My friends turned they back on me, my friend turned their back on me
ĎCos I'm away in the dark and I cannot see, yeh they turned their back on me

Lord there nobody cares for me, nah there nobody cares for me
ĎCos I'm away in the dark and I cannot see, now there nobody cares for me

Lord my way is seem so hard, Lord Iím blind I cannot see
Said Iím away in the dark got ta feel my way, Lord my way it seem so hard

It was the time when I went blind, it was the time when I went blind
Was a dreadful day that I ever see, was the time when I went blind

Lord there nobody knows like me, at the trouble I do see
(spoken)
Yíall oughta realize that ya got the good sight, you ought ta know that itís a good thing to have
You can see! Itís the truth, you can see, I mean you can see, you can see everything coming to you!

It was the time when I went blind
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 04:16:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2014, 05:23:39 PM »
I started to transcribe this the other day after reading big joe weem's post on RGD tunings/positions.  Thought I'd get it done fairly quickly...wrong - took forever :)

Completely mad song (or story I guess, it's all spoken word).  Having seen a rather comedy performance of this today and after playing around with it myself it makes sense that he is not using a bottleneck in the traditional way - and possibly not a bottleneck.  When the girl "whistles" he is playing way over the frets towards the bridge.

Left with so many questions. I'd love to know his word for the made-up lady.  All I can hear is something like "Pony-bill child". And who is Barry :O ?




Transcribed from: Blues And Ragtime.  Same version available on Demons And Angels Volume 3
Different version available (Live concert performance)
DADF#AB tuning with slide
(Spoken throughout)
............................................................................
Whistlin' Blues

I was comin' along as a young man ya know.  Had no been nowhere ya know and I decided I make (?)of my mind I would go somewhere, enjoy my life! Gimme your attention now folks, listen.

I didn't wanna go no short distance I wanted to go a good ways, a long way so I could have some truth to tell.  I decided I'd go to Los Angeles, California just kinda blowin' around every little while, ya know, find out just how I like it.

I done around got money enough to get to California.  Show ya what a green-head man what happens to him.  Spent all my money ya understand? Buy this ticket.  After buyin' this ticket ya know and gettin' to this place when i hit the ground ya know I thought about getting me a pack of cigarettes ya know I didn't have one dime in my pocket you know that was something bad.  I still wouldn't let it worry me.  I all dressed to death and broke to death, too, didn't have nothin'.

I never thought about myself til' i looked up at the sun. The sun was going down nobody could ever meet ya understand they had didn't show any kind of smiles on their faces.  So I went on ya know I kept on stompin' and dancing round there trying' ta liven myself up now didn't have nothin ta liven myself up with.

I walkin' kinda pat ya know.  I happened to look back says I don't know what caused me to look back I looked back and I saw a tall girl come along and she was made-up ya know, ya know when they're made-up good I call 'em pony-builts children, ya understand? She had hair like Mary and I believe she walk just like the Lord.  I kept on looking at her, ya know a man will look at a good-looking woman ya know.

I kept a walkin' pitty-pat I said well, I don't reckon I'll get a chance to talk to her ya know how. She was looking at me I was looking at her.  I got her walking pitty-pat ya know she whistled at me.

I stopped ya know, I see that she wasn't gonna catch up with me. I broke out again and started running, walking, cos sun is going down and I wanna get where i can hear something goin' on if I didn't know nobody, she throw it at me again.

I stopped then ya know and I stayed there she walked up to me, first thing she done she throwed her arm around me gave me a sap in the mouth.  God almighty, ya know and I felt like then I own a million dollars and I didn't have nothin'.  She says come on lets go round here to the liquor store lets us get us something to drink.  She carried me around there ya know she bought a jar, she bought a quart of this here the best kinda whiskey that called, ah.."Rock and Rye". She put a quart of it in her, in her pocketbook and a pint in her bosom.  Says come on lets go round here where the dance is tonight, I got to play around here.  So I got my head bad ya know and my nose twisted and I didn't care.  Didn't know what Im gonna get killed or no, I didn't think of it, didn't have that on my mind.  Ya know that girl sit down there and commence ta playing that thing called the whistlin' blues.  Barry, how ya reckon she done that thing?  She had one arm around me  while she was picking that piano something like this, listenÖ

Said to me now what kind of thing is this I done got in ta?  It was a while she put the bottle to her mouth and then sapped me in the mouth and gimme kiss me and throw the bottle in my mouth I got throw to the place I didn't care.  I said whoop this thing for me miss, she commence ta play it.

God almighty, play that thing!

Then she commence ta singing that thing! ...Uh huh?  (Yeh..Mmis!)

Oh good God almighty ya hear that? ...Ahh....

God knows...
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 04:17:29 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2014, 07:20:04 PM »

Transcribed from album: From Blues To Gospel
.........................................

I'll Do My Last Singing


I don't know, where will be, just since my good Lord still will believe in me

just since my good Lord still will BE LEADIN' in me

Offline frankie

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2014, 07:24:49 PM »
Lord, I Wish I Could See ? Complete Recorded Works (1935 ? 1949)

I?m away in the dark and I have to be late, Lord it?s hard I have to be blind

I?m away in the dark and I have to be LED

Offline frankie

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2014, 07:40:26 PM »
Left with so many questions. I'd love to know his word for the made-up lady.  All I can hear is something like "Pony-bill child". And who is Barry :O ?

I think what he says is "pony-builts." I'm pretty sure that "Barry" is Barry Kornfeld.

I decided I'd go to the North side (?) California

I decided I'd go to LOS ANGELES, California

Show ya what a green-head(?) man what happens to him.

I also hear GREEN-HEAD.

I kept a walkin' to the (?) I said well, only reason I get ta talk ta ya know how. She was looking at me I was looking at her.  I got her walking to the (?) ya know she whistled at me.

In both these places, I hear something like "walking pretty [ ]" - never could make that last word out!

I said whoop this thing for me miss, she come to the play it.

she COMMENCE TO play it

Then she comes ta singing that thing! ...Uh huh?  (Yeh..Mmis!)

Then she COMMENCE TO singing that thing!

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2014, 05:47:32 AM »
Good catch on those mistakes on "Last Singing" and "Wish I Could See". I've edited those and entered on Weeniepedia.

I'm pretty sure that "Barry" is Barry Kornfeld.

Yeah that makes sense now.

I think what he says is "pony-builts."
Still don't know what it means but you are usually right so it will go in :)

Online Johnm

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2014, 07:02:38 AM »
Hi Laura,
I remember reading, I think it was in Dizzy Gillespie's autobiography, "To Be, Or Not To Bop", that the showgirls/dancers at clubs like the Cotton Club were selected to be on the diminutive side, and were referred to as "ponies".  Maybe that usage had wider currency.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2014, 08:16:28 AM »
A green head man refers to someone not sophisticated, wise to the ways of the world and the demi monde.
A hick, a Greenhorn, a recently arrived person from another country (greenah cusinah) , The journey from ignorance to hipdom is a persistent theme in literature and in the Blues, witness Poor boy Long Way From Home and such lines as "Please don't mistreat me 'cause I'm young and wild, you Must remember baby you once were a child" and the appeal of the orphan, 'My Mama died and left me restless Papa died and left me Wild"
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2014, 01:51:01 PM »
Thanks for that reference, John.  Would be interesting to hear if there are any more examples of this usage in other songs.

A green head man refers to someone not sophisticated, wise to the ways of the world and the demi monde.
These old phrases really fascinate me and I wonder if anyone ever uses them anymore. (Obviously Phil does :P) There must be some kind of dictionary available for this stuff?  It seems like many could have their meanings forgotten in time - and I suppose many already have - which is a great shame.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2014, 07:02:12 PM »
A few more suggestions for "Whistlin'" - most of the places should be obvious:


In the 4th paragraph:
SO I went on ya know

I walkin' kinda PAT

I kept a walkin' PITTY PAT, I said well, I DON'T RECKON I'LL GET A CHANCE TO TALK TO HER, you know. I got to walking PITTY-PAT

She CARRIED me around there?

my head BAD?

It WAS A WHILE she put the bottle to?

I got throw to the PLACE I didn't care

GOD ALMIGHTY, play that thing!

Chris

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2014, 03:23:00 PM »
Thanks very much, Chris.  After seeing those written down they all fit well.  I still can't hear pitty-pat but I absolutely trust your judgement and I'm done listening to this song on repeat - it's truly the stuff of nightmares!

:)

Offline harriet

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2014, 05:02:40 PM »
Here's some reference on 20s slang words that might be of interest - not entirely sure though as I have just started on this topic. Apologies if not,

There was a magazine called "Flapper "in the 20's. One issue  contained a flapper's dictionary. Here's photos of the magazine and the whole list of slang words here: http://www2.huhs.org/blogs/gatsbygazette/a-flappers-dictionary/


Offline banjochris

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2014, 11:18:41 PM »

Thanks very much, Chris.  After seeing those written down they all fit well.  I still can't hear pitty-pat but I absolutely trust your judgement and I'm done listening to this song on repeat - it's truly the stuff of nightmares!

:)

Pitty-pat I'm the least sure of but it seemed like a reasonable possibility. Hopefully someone else will have an idea too.
Chris

Offline Laura

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Re: Rev. Gary Davis Lyrics
« Reply #59 on: March 28, 2014, 03:48:07 AM »
Hi Harriet.  That list was a great find, thanks!  When I was around 12-13 (I believe they call that age "tweens" nowadays) I used to read a magazine called "Just 17". My parents wouldn't let me buy it but a friend would usually bring copies to school.
Looking at a few more articles on "Flapper" magazine I'm convinced they are practically the same publication! Boys, clothes, hair/make-up, girl power - all boxes checked. I do remember there being a section where new and cool words were explained - very much flavor of the month and certainly they weren't used over a long period of time.
I wonder if this is similar to the list you found?  With the exception of a few I don't recall ever hearing or seeing them in any context.  I think we should also keep in mind that this magazine was aimed at (and written by?) young, middle-class, white females who I am assuming did not have much in common with the black bluesmen of the day.

A moderator might think this discussion (reply 48-50 and 53,55) be better moved to a new thread?  Though I can't think how to word the title…

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