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"Blues" music was created to chase away gloom... The Happy-go-lucky songs of the Southern Negro we call "Blues" - W. C. Handy, 1919. "The Father of the Blues" points out that you've got to be happy if you want to sing the Blues. Quoted by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff in "They Cert'ly Sound Good To Me: Sheet Music, Southern Vaudeville, And The Commercial Ascendancy Of The Blues" in Ramblin' On My Mind, David Evans, ed

Author Topic: Blind Willie McTell lyrics  (Read 48523 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #240 on: September 05, 2018, 10:16:31 AM »
Thanks very much for the catch, Chris, you are certainly right.  I'm in a crazy lyric transcription jag for a couple of book projects I'm going to be doing, and I really appreciate the help.
All best,
John

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #241 on: January 22, 2019, 01:49:19 PM »
Hi all,
"Don't Forget It" can be found on "Blind Willie McTell--Last Session", originally issued on Prestige Bluesville.  Willie McTell accompanied himself out of E position in standard tuning on the song, but sounding in the key of G#, so he was tuned a full minor 6th low--that is low!  I think he must have strung his guitar very heavily, because it is not bottoming out or buzzing in the course of his rendition, despite being tuned so low.  He begins the first verse with a very long lyric break, 15 bars, the last of which has six beats, before finally resolving to his IV chord for the chorus of the song.  The other verses follow a more conventional format.  Here is "Don't Forget It":



INTRO

"Hello Central, give me 289, I wants to talk to that little angel of mine."
"Hello, Sugar Bunch, is this you?  Called you to find out what you're gonna do.
You left your daddy early in the Fall. Don't come back now, don't you come back at all.
I love you, sugar, I swear that's true. Don't want your papa, then the hell with you,
REFRAIN: And don't forget it.  Don't forget it.
Please answer, little angel, tell me what you're going to do."

"I hate to tell it on the telephone, done got tired of lingerin' all alone.
Days are lonesome and the nights get long, ain't had my right lovin' since you been gone,
REFRAIN: Don't forget it.  Don't forget it.
Please answer, hot mama, tell me what you're going to do."

"Sweet and slow, shake me, sugar mama 'til I don't wanta go
REFRAIN: And don't forget it.  Don't forget it.
Please answer, hot mama, tell me what you're going to do."

SOLO (Spoken: Play it)

"You got to put your arms around me like a circle 'round the sun.  Stop and think fast--I want my lovin' done.
Take time, sugar, to ease my misery.  Get right, talk, baby talk to me,
REFRAIN: Don't forget it.  Don't forget it.
Please answer, hot mama, tell me what you're going to do."

You know, this is about the last thing I got to say, hang up the receiver and be on your way.
Hurry home, woman, and love me with a thrill.  If you don't, some other woman will.
REFRAIN: And don't forget it.  Don't forget it.
Please answer, pretty mama, tell me what you're gong to do."

All best,
Johnm






« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 04:29:41 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #242 on: January 23, 2019, 12:23:28 PM »
Hi all,
Willie McTell played "Kill It Kid" on his last sessions out of G position in standard tuning, sounding at B, tuned around a minor 6th low, as he was for that entire session.  The song is a simple, VI7-II-V7-I progression, E7-A-D7-G, but Willie McTell's timing is anything but simple; it is quite asymmetrical, mostly because he is singing with spoken interjections, so that he gets this sort singer and peanut gallery effect rolled into one.  Here is McTell's "Last Session" version of "Kill It Kid":



SPOKEN:  "Kill It, Kid", that come from Miami.  I wrote that for a yankee, and we used to stay in New York.  We used to hang out there in the ser, servant quarters, you know?  And he come in there and he could drink more liquor than two men--and his son was the same way.  Say, what was his name?  Little man, his name was Josh Barbera (chuckle) his name was Josh Barbera.  He would come in there and all the rest of 'em would get to dancin', you know, and carryin' on fun, and he'd holler, "Kill it, kid!", and that's the way I started that song.  Well, I'll play it.

INTRO SOLO

Down in Miami on Second Avenue, men showin' boys and gals what they can do about
Kill it, kid.  Hot mama, let's kill it, kid

Down on the Avenue, Canfield Hall, you find Kelly is the King of the Ball, (Spoken: Take it easy)
You got to teach 'em how to kill it, kid

You know, Sister Kate took brother Moe, bounced him around across the floor, tryin' to
Kill it, kid.  Tryin' to teach him how to kill it, kid

Set down, gal, take a drink of this pint, Kelly be here directly, to kick the joint, he gonna
Kill it, kid.  Take the floor and kill it kid

Set down, gal, take a shot of this pint, Kelly be here directly, to kick the joint, he gonna
Kill it, kid.  Take the floor and kill it, kid

But you can kick it in the country, won't cost you a dime, you get in town, Buddy, it's a forty dollar fine
Kill it, kid.  Get out of town to kill it, kid

Papa got a Cadillac, Mama got a Buick, Sister got mad because she wouldn't do it
Kill it, kid.  Hot mama, kill it, kid

She was shakin' the Cadillac, rockin' the Ford, do the right jumpin' on the runnin' board (Spoken: Rock hard!)
Don't jump, kill it, kid

I realize you're a little old, eleven years, not too old, gal, to shift them gears (Spoken: And on a wheel)
Quit turnin' and kill it, kid

You know, I'm crazy 'bout your lovin', a fool about you a lot. Don't come crazy 'bout the wobble you got (Spoken: quit switchin'!)
Don't shimmy!  Kill it, kid

Take that trip on the mountaintop, show these Florida women how to Eagle Rock (Spoken: Spread your wings!)
Don't flock!  Kill it, kid

You got to dodge your Ma, dodge your Pa, go to Florida and dodge this Georgia law, then you can kill it, kid
Down there, you can kill it, kid

Sit in the corner, gal, make some toddy, 'Cause we gon' get high and drunk everybody (Spoken: Then we're gonna kill it, kid)
Get loaded, kill it, kid

You don't believe I'll swing you right, take me to your castle, let's sing all night, 'round the table
Getting' mellow, let's kill it, kid

SOLO (Spoken:  Play it!)

Now you're gonna twist it like a tadpole, wobble like a frog, every time I kick it you'll holler, "Got dog!"
Kill it, kid.  Hot mama, let's --

Edited 1/23 to pick up corrections from Dave Kaatz
Edited 3/10 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 10:57:51 AM by Johnm »

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #243 on: January 23, 2019, 03:40:13 PM »
McTell recorded this a few times. I just listened to the version from Atlanta Twelve String and Last Session, the former closely tracks to the lyrics you posted.  No spoken intro though. A couple corrections, that I hear, based on both versions:

You know, I'm crazy 'bout your lovin', a fool about you a lotion't come your life, dog-gone crazy 'bout the wobble you got (Spoken: quit switchin'!)
Don't shimmy!  Kill it, kid

Take that triple and modern trip on the mountain top, show these Florida women how to Eagle Rock (Spoken: Spread your wings!)
Don't flock fly!  Kill it, kid

I don't know about "fly", on one version it sounds like "fly", the other it sounds more like "flock". To me fly makes more sense.

Also, on YouTube there is a version posted with a picture of the Last Session album, but the version is from Atlanta Twelve String.  I found the entire Last Session album on YouTube and listened to it that way.
https://youtu.be/pvcl3_DHJI0?t=526

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #244 on: January 23, 2019, 03:56:29 PM »
Thanks for the help, Dave.  I typed that in really fast when I had to go somewhere soon and I have a spellcheck on my computer that does some really odd things, like "lotion't".  I am hearing "flock" rather than "fly" on this version, and not hearing "doggone".  I made corrections with the rest off what you suggested.  I also edited in the version I transcribed, from McTell's "Last Session".  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #245 on: February 24, 2019, 11:26:31 AM »
Hi all,
Willie McTell recorded "Murderer's Home Blues" for the Library of Congress in 1940, I believe, accompanying himself out of D position in dropped-D tuning.  Incidentally, kudos to banjochris and Frank Basile for the Blind Willie McTell Keys and Positions in the Musicianship section of Weeniepedia.  It was really yeoman's work, great work, made all the trickier in as much as Willie McTell started playing with an octave B string in addition to his octave G string some time around 1940 or a bit earlier, making playing position identifications considerably more difficult than they would have been had he not employed that tuning scheme.  Here is "Murderer's Home Blues":



INTRO

I did all I could, baby, satisfy your mind, when I wake up every mornin', you got me moanin' and cryin'
REFRAIN: Tryin' to send me to the chain gang, back to the murderer's home
I'd've been in a better shape, mama, if I let that reckless woman alone

Now I'll have to give you my number, 4-11-44, I'll be there forever, I ain't got nowheres else to go
REFRAIN: Well, I've got to go to the chain gang, back to the murderer's home
I'd've been in a better shape, mama, if I'd a-left that reckless woman alone

Even the mean old judge, wouldn't give me no fine, only thing gonna relieve me is old Father Time
REFRAIN: I got to go to the chain gang, back to the murderer's home
I would've been in a better shape, mama, if I'd a-left that reckless woman alone

When I was down in the alley, mama, drinkin' that old mean booze and gin, say, "You gotta do your runnin' around, I told you, ain't never gonna do it again."
REFRAIN: 'Cause it leads me straight to the chain gang, down to the murderer's home
I'd've been in a better shape, mama, if I'd a-let that reckless woman alone

Goodbye, everybody, here come the jailer with the key, fare thee well to freedom, I don't want no one to pity me
REFRAIN: I'm goin' to the chain gang, down to the murderer's home
I'd've been in a better shape, mama, if I'd've left that reckless woman alone

So now bye-bye, all you women, this is the last I got to say, says I'm goin' on and make my time, I'll be a free man someday
REFRAIN: But I ain't goin' back to the chain gang, back to the murderer's home
But I would've been in a better shape, baby, if I'd a-let that reckless woman alone

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 09:04:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #246 on: February 25, 2019, 01:18:35 PM »
Hi all,
Another really strong performance by Willie McTell from the Library of Congress sessions in 1940 is "Chainey", for which he accompanied himself out of Vestapol tuning.  The song has a unique 8-bar form with a refrain which he repeats in his intro solo.  Here is "Chainey":



INTRO SOLO

Chainey, Chainey, she dead and gone, left me here to carry this good time on
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody rock like Chainey do

Chainey, Chainey, she's angel above, nobody like her, like the girl I love, oh
Lawd, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

Chainey, Chainey, the poor girl's dead, look over on the pillow where she laid her head
Lawd, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

Chainey, Chainey, she left me here, nothing more that I'll have to fear, but it's
Lawd, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

The poor girl's dead, ain't it sad?  She left me here, now, ain't it sad?  So
Lawd, Lawd, Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody loves me like Chainey do

Chainey, Chainey, the poor girl, she's gone, left me here, now, to weep and moan, oh
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

SOLO

Chainey, Chainey, she's gone down, nobody here now, to take me around, oh
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

SOLO

I even loved her in the Summer, also in the Fall, nobody else, she's my all-in-all, oh
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

Chainey, Chainey, the poor girl's dead, go look on the pillow where she laid her head, oh
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

SOLO

She went and left me this afternoon, let's go look in the poor girl's room, oh
Lawd, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like Chainey do

SOLO

Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd, nobody love me like ol' Chainey do

Edited 3/10 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

 



 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 11:02:43 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #247 on: March 08, 2019, 06:15:13 PM »
John, a few suggestions on "Kill It Kid":

2.1 Kelly IS the king of the ball

In 4&5 I think it?s KELLY (as in verse 2), not Killer.

6.1 BUDDY, it?s a forty dollar fine

11.1 Take that TRIP OUT on the mountaintop

14.1 YOU DON?T BELIEVE I?LL swing you right

And a couple on "Chainey":

4.1 Chainey, Chainey, she left me here, NOTHING MORE THAT I?LL HAVE TO FEAR, but it's

8.2 is ROCK instead of love

last verse sounds like: like OL? Chainey do


Chris
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 06:21:45 PM by banjochris »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Blind Willie McTell lyrics
« Reply #248 on: March 10, 2019, 11:04:29 AM »
Thanks very much for the catches, Chris, I have incorporated your suggestions and made the changes here and in Weeniepedia.  Thanks!
All best,
John