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During his visit, Fahey succeeded in greatly impressing me by picking out an old blues by Little Hat Jones, and demonstrating Charley Patton's masterpiece, 'Down the Dirt Road', which I subsequently set about copying. In my 19-year-old neophyte's eyes, any guitarist who could approximate a vintage blues accompaniment was a virtuoso; only six or seven players in the entire country applied themselves to such pieces - Stephen Calt on the state of blues guitar in the early 1960s, from A Fahey Memoir (unpublished)

Author Topic: Leadbelly lyrics  (Read 42974 times)

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Offline Rrekydoc

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #150 on: November 21, 2014, 05:02:32 AM »
So, I've been trying to figure out the lyrics and words to this specific recording of "The Gallows Pole", but there are certain parts I just cannot figure out. then I found this website and figured you people seemed more competent than me, so...

If you guys could better identify what I couldn't or come up with something different than me anywhere in the recording, I would truly appreciate it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ye2N_2ce3QE

(Guthrie? Lomax?)
Huddie, sing us the hangman's pole, and tell us all about blowin' easy like you did last night. Explain all about the jail and everything...

(Spoken)
That hangman's pole, that's a hard place... Long years ago... They didn't have no jailhouses at that time...
Just put up some logs, put you in there, you couldn't get out no how... The first man got in jail was a colored
man... And them time, if a colored person could get up the money... Why, they wouldn't hang him if he was
gonna hang three or four days ahead of time... Why this man is in jail, well, I guess what they has done is try
to get some money and get some good jail, and they gotta. Can't get out now... _______ first come to the
jailhouse was his father... When his father walked up to the jailhouse, the boy was climbing all upside of
them logs... Talked to his father trying to get up twenty-five or thirty dollars... And here's what the man told
him when he walked up...

(Musical break)

(Spoken)
Go ahead and do it now, you just got to do it.

Father, did you bring me silver?! Father, did you bring me the gold?!
What did you bring me, dear father?! Keep me from the gallows pole, Lord!

What did you... Bring me? What did you...
What did you bring me, keep me from the gallows pole?

Son, I brought you some silver! Son, I brought you some gold!
Son, brought you a little of everything, keep you from the gallows pole, Lord!

I brought it. Yeah... I brought it.
He would bring me, keep me from the gallows pole!

(Spoken)
Here come his mother.

Mother, did you bring me the silver?! Mother, did you bring me the Gold?!
What did you bring me, dear mother?! Keep me from the gallows pole, Lord!

I brought it. Yeah... I brought it.
You would bring me, keep me from the gallows pole!

(Spoken)
You know how your mother and father thought to bring you everything!

Son, I brought you some silver! Son, I brought you a little gold!
Son, I brought you a little of everything! Keep you from the gallows pole, Lord!

I brought it. Yeah... I brought it.
You would bring me, keep me from the gallows pole!

(Spoken)
Go ahead and talk to me, now.

(Musical Break)

(Spoken)
Do it again.

(Musical Break)

(Spoken)
That's walkin'. That's talkin'.
That's walkin'. That's talkin'.

(Spoken)
Go ahead, I'm gonna go with it.

(Spoken)
___!I'll tell you about a ___!___ at your face and try to shake your hand, but he can't cut your throat!
But when a man got on the inside, all the time on the outside just hangin' around! Comin' around to see___!
But when he got on the inside, ___! Here ___ up to the jailhouse! He didn't think___!

Friends, did you bring me the silver! Friends, did you bring me the gold!
What did you bring me my dear friends?! Keep me from the gallows pole, Lord!

What did you... Bring me? What did you...
What did you bring me keep me from the gallows pole?!

I never brought no silver! I never brought no gold!
I just come up to see you, hangin' from the gallows pole, Lord!

I brought it. Yeah... I brought it.
Come and see me, hung up from the gallows pole!

Offline cru423

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #151 on: December 03, 2014, 10:14:35 PM »
Spoken part near the end: "Now here come the last of the so-called friend. I'll tell you 'bout a so-called friend. He'll laugh and look in your face and try to shake your hand but he came to cut your throat. But when a man got on the inside all the time on the outside just hangin? around. Comin? round to see him. But when he got on the inside, that's just the place he want him. Now he come rockin? up to the jail house. He didn't think to brought him nothin' when he see his sorry face."

That's definitely Alan Lomax and not Woody at the beginning. In another Lomax recording of this tune Leadbelly also goes on a so-called friend rant: "Now here come a so-called friend. So-called friend..the best place he want to see you in...not out...when you out you shake a so-called friend's hand you can't tell what it's all about...but when you get in...that's the place a so-called friend want to see you in...and here's what you ask your so-called friend..."


Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #152 on: December 04, 2014, 05:29:32 AM »
I've been trying to work out the lyrics to one of the lesser known songs, 'Parting Song (When You Smile-o)' recorded in 1949 and, as far as I know, not before or after, nor can I find reference to it anywhere else as a traditional song. I have a partial transcription, but I made it after I lost a better one and reconstructed it at late, stressful panicky hours (one of my worst transcriptions, and not indicative of my usual accent and noise transcending transcription abilities) as I am preparing for a performance in a couple of days. Any help, even just so I can sing verses would be appreciated, if it's not 100% right, but still fits, I still appreciate as I figure it a good song to go with the tone of the event. Youtube link here sorry if there's any grammar errors in my post as well, I don't know what time this will say for you all, but it's 1:24 AM for me!

Here's what I wrote so far:

I?ve come to say goodbye
Just one more parting [?]
Just one more last embrace

Although it grieves me so
Honey I?ve got to go
Come let me kiss your sweet face

Oh let me hear you say
That when I?m far away
You?ll think of me all the while

[Stop] all [your/the] foolish [tears]
[Hurry] up and dry your tears
Come let me see you smile

Because when you smile-o
This world will smile with you
But when you cry [though]
Then you cry alone

[Oh/So] don?t be grieving
Just because I?m leaving
Look [over/up] here honey
And let me see you smile

Oh let me hear you say
That when I?m far away
You?ll love of me all the while

Oh on the darkest day
One loving smile this way
[completely indecipherable]

Now [not to] [?] in pain
I?ll soon return again
Come let me see you smile

Because when you smile-o
This world will smile with you
But when you cry [though]
Then you cry alone

[Oh/So] don?t [be/feel] grieving
Just because I?m leaving
Look [over/up] here honey
And let me see you smile

Because when you smile-o
This world will smile with you
But when you cry [Though]
Then you cry alone

[Oh/So] don?t be grieving
Just because I?m leaving
Look [over/up] here honey
And let me see you smile

Any help is really appreciated  :)
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

Live Acoustic Wollongong - LAW Records

https://www.facebook.com/law.nkjc/

https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/james-r-cooper/id992309035

Offline Johnm

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #153 on: December 04, 2014, 06:39:04 AM »
Hi StoogeKebab,
I'll get as much as I can.  Here goes:
   1.2 Just one more parting SIGH

   4.1 Stop all YOUR foolish tears
   4.2 CHEER UP and dry your tears

   6.1 SO don't be grieving
   6.3 Look UP A-here, honey

   8.3 THAT LOVIN' HEART BEGUILE

   9.1 TRY NOT TO YEARN IN pain

   11.1 SO don't FEEL grievin'
   11.3 Look UP A-here, honey

I think the parenthetic "though" in several stanzas is correct. In the last line of his refrains, I think he sings, "Then you CRIES alone", though it might feel odd to sing it that way.  Leadbelly also inserts a lot of rhythmic "a"s throughout the course of the song, like "Look up a-here, honey".  I hope these suggestions help.
All best,
Johnm

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #154 on: December 05, 2014, 02:47:13 AM »
Thank you so much Johnm, I really appreciate it, the rhythmic a's definitely threw me off a little.

Thanks again,

StoogeKebab
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

Live Acoustic Wollongong - LAW Records

https://www.facebook.com/law.nkjc/

https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/james-r-cooper/id992309035

Offline Pothead

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #155 on: August 04, 2016, 02:45:55 PM »
Hi Guys!

I'm looking for the Lyrics for the Scrambled Eggs Song (C'est Bon, les Oeufs), especially from "Live at the University of Texas" CD.
Well, he is talking most of the Time to the Audience but English is not my native Language so i don't understand that much!
Would really appreciate it
Thx

Greetings, Pothead
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former

Offline stunasty 55

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  • “KAYA AY-WOAH GEE BACKUP!” -Leadbelly
Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #156 on: August 04, 2016, 03:18:07 PM »
This is basically it:

Good, scramble them up.
Good, scramble them up.
Good, good, good.

Bring them along, good, don't squash them,
Bring them along, good, don't squash them,
Bring them along, good, good

- According to Leadbelly's translation, that's what he is singing lol. Love it!

-Stu


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 03:21:11 PM by StuNasty 55 »

Offline Pothead

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #157 on: August 05, 2016, 01:03:40 AM »
Thanks

Any Chance to figure out what he is saying all the time before he starts singing?

Greetings, Pothead
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former

Offline afbach

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #158 on: July 27, 2017, 08:49:19 AM »
Hope this is okay - Josh White's "T.B. Blues" from Josh White Sings the Blues vol 1 & 2 - I left in "Deadville" but it sure sounds like "Denver"

It's too late, too late, too late, too late, too late
It's too late, too late, too late, too late, too late
I'm on my way to Deadville and God knows I can't hesitate

And it's on my feet, couldn' even but walk down the street[2]
Where the men a-lookin' at me, from my head to my feet
But it's late now, that T.B.s killin' me
You know I'm like a prisoner, always workin' this chain

T.B.'s alright to have if your friends'd treat you so low down
T.B.'s alright to have, friends'd treat you so low down
Don't you ask 'em for no favors, they'll stop comin' around

Mmmmmm... the T.B.'s killin' me
Mmmmmm... the T.B.'s killin' me
I wish I was dead and buried in the deep blue sea.

T.B.'s alright to have if your friends'd treat you so low down
T.B.'s alright to have, friends'd treat you so low down
Don't you ask 'em for no favors, they'll stop comin' around

Mmmmmmmmmm, the T.B.s killin' me
Holler lord, T.B.s killing me
I've got a-too-bercolosis, consumption is killin' me

Offline Johnm

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #159 on: July 19, 2018, 11:34:38 AM »
Hi all,
Leadbelly recorded "Old Riley" at his "Last Sessions", accompanying himself out of D position in standard tuning.  As he begins singing the song, he sounds uncharacteristically wan, but he was dying of ALS at the time.  He gains momentum as he gets into the song.  I love his performances of this kind of material.  Here is the performance:



Old Riley walked the water (Spoken:  Riley was a man, Rattler was a dog.)
Old Riley, he walked the water
In them long hot summer days

Old Riley he's gone, gone
Old Riley, he's gone, gone, gone
Like a turkey through the corn (Spoken: He called Rattler.)

Here, Rattler, here, Rattler, here, Rattler, here
Here, Rattler, here, Rattler, here, Rattler, here

Old Riley's gone, like a turkey through the corn
Here, Rattler, here
Old Riley's gone, like a turkey through the corn
Here, Rattler, here

Old Rattler come when I blow my horn
Here, Rattler, here
Old Rattler come when I blow my horn
Here, Rattler, here (Spoken: Bring it home!)

Too-too-too
Here, Rattler, here
Too-too-too
Here, Rattler, here

Old Riley walked the water (Spoken:  July and August)
Old Riley, he walked the water
In them long hot summer days

Edited 7/19 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 02:07:13 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #160 on: July 19, 2018, 12:07:53 PM »
Hi all,
Leadbelly did a beautiful version of "Easy Rider" on his "Last Sessions", accompanying himself out of E position in standard tuning, though pitched quite low.  Here is his performance:



INTRO

Easy rider, see what you done done
Easy rider, see what you done done
You made me love you, now your man done come
And it's hey, hey, hey, hey

If you catch me stealin', please don't tell on me
If you catch me stealin', please don't tell on me
I'm stealin' back to my old-time used-to-be
And it's hey, hey, hey, hey

If I was a catfish, swimmin' in the deep blue sea
If I was a catfish, swimmin' in the deep blue sea
I would start all you women, divin' after me
And it's ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo (Spoken: Yeah!)

SOLO X 2 (Spoken: Yes!)

Easy rider, hear me callin' you
Ooo, hear me callin' you
Know you're three times seven, know just what you want to do
And it's ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo

All best,
Johnm








Offline banjochris

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #161 on: July 19, 2018, 01:36:31 PM »
Old Riley walked the water (Spoken:  July is over (?))
Old Riley, he walked the water
In them long hot summer days

For what it's worth, I think he says "July and August" here, although I'm not sure it has anything to do with the song!
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Leadbelly lyrics
« Reply #162 on: July 19, 2018, 01:59:56 PM »
Thanks for the help, Chris.  I re-listened, and you are sure right.  I think maybe he was clarifying what "long hot summer days" he was singing about.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

 


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