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Author Topic: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics  (Read 39746 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Moanin' and Groanin' Blues
« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2005, 06:24:56 PM »
Hi John D.,
After one quick listen, I like most of the places where we differed in your version better.  When I get home tomorrow, I will listen several times with headphones, but I think you've pretty much got it.  Good work!  I will post on EBA in Other Events.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2005, 08:06:57 PM »
Great lyrics. Peg Leg sure had some good ones. Verse 3 is just brutal. Tremendous.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Moanin' and Groanin' Blues
« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2005, 10:22:50 AM »
Hi John D.
I listened and made some changes.? Your end to the first line was definitely right.? The second and third lines, I'm still not sure of--I can't hear "trouble" in the second half of the second line.? In the third line I hear a clean break between "hear" and "moanin'".? It is sure hard to hear.? Funny that the second verse with words is so much easier to hear.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 27, 2005, 08:39:55 AM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Moanin' and Groanin' Blues
« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2005, 11:34:57 AM »
Hi John,

Yes, the second verse is clear!

I think you'v got the second line - phonetically it works and it makes sense (whcih I htink may be the most important thing!)  I listened to the third line again and phonetically I hear:

And the reason I worry, is moanin' like I do

..which makes marginal sense... but not an unrealistic phrase.  I think you'll have to go with what you want to sing.

Cheers,

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2005, 11:03:52 PM »
Hi all,
"Broke And Hungry Blues", a fiddle/guitar duet, was recorded on April 10, 1929, at the same session as "Rolling Mill Blues".  "Broke And Hungry" is just about as pretty as "Rolling Mill" and that is saying something.  The recording info from the Document set (vol. 2) suggests that the fiddler on these two tunes may be Ollie Griffin.  Whether it is Ollie Griffin or not, I can't say, but I do believe it is a different fiddler than Eddie Anthony, the fiddler on "Beaver Slide Rag", "The Georgia Crawl", "Moanin' and Groanin' Blues".  The fiddler on "Broke and Hungry" and "Rolling Mill" is a bit more refined sounding than Eddie Anthony, with a less raw-sounding tone, more classical- sounding intonation, and a predilection for the high range on the fiddle.  Whoever did it, the playing is beautiful, and it is matched by Peg Leg every step of the way.  As on "Rolling Mill", Peg Leg is playing in Spanish, capoed way up, and boy, does his guitar sound beautiful.  Lyrics work through a common blues theme.

   Says, I'm sick, broke and hungry, good gal done drove me away
   I'm sick, broke and hungry, good gal done drove me away
   I'm outdoors, mama, ain't got nowhere to stay

   Said, the woman I love, she done put me down
   Said, the woman I love, she done put me down
   It wouldn't worry my mind, but the news all over town

   I got a woman Cincinnati, one in Tennessee, woman in Georgia is good enough for me
   My good gal quit me, like to kill me dead
   I wake up every morning, the blues all around my head

   Can't see why, mama, you treat me like you do (2)
   If you don't want me, sayin' I don't want you

   You 'buked me, dogged me, drove me from your door (2)
   Told me to my face you don't want me no more

   I was standing at the station, waiting for my train
   Standing at the station, waiting for my train
   Outdoors, sleeping in the rain

   Pretty mama, pretty mama, honey what's on your mind?
   Tell me, pretty mama, honey what's on your mind?
   Say, you can't quit me, t'ain't no need of tryin'

Edited 8/25, as per Andrew's corrections.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 08:54:11 AM by uncle bud »

Offline frankie

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2005, 04:47:52 AM »
The recording info from the Document set (vol. 2) suggests that the fiddler on these two tunes may be Ollie Griffin.  Whether it is Ollie Griffin or not, I can't say, but I do believe it is a different fiddler than Eddie Anthony, the fiddler on "Beaver Slide Rag", "The Georgia Crawl", "Moanin' and Groanin' Blues".  The fiddler on "Broke and Hungry" and "Rolling Mill" is a bit more refined sounding than Eddie Anthony, with a less raw-sounding tone, more classical- sounding intonation, and a predilection for the high range on the fiddle.  Whoever did it, the playing is beautiful, and it is matched by Peg Leg every step of the way.

I definitely agree that the fiddler here isn't Eddie Anthony and I totally agree with your assessment of his playing...  he's definitely comfortable in what sounds like third position to me (on Rolling Mill), although the fiddler on the Memphis Jug Band's "Rukus Juice and Chittlin's" (Will Batts?) sounds equally comfortable up there.  Maybe more so...  and in the same key (D) - who was Ollie Griffin, I wonder?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2005, 08:32:22 AM »
I hear a couple things slightly differently:

I don't hear "throwed" in verse 2, but "put" as in the 2nd line. Also I hear "Said" instead of "Say" and in both lines.

? ?Said, the woman I love, she done put me down
? ?Said, the woman I love, she done put me down
? ?It wouldn't worry my mind, but the news all over town

I don't hear early, but hear every, pronounced e'ry:

? ?I got a woman Cincinnati, one in Tennessee, woman in Georgia is good enough for me
? ?My good gal quit me, like to kill me dead
? ?I wake up every (e'ry) morning, the blues all around my head

You're right, John. Like Rolling Mill, the combination of the Spanish-tuned guitar and the meandering fiddle melodies played under the vocal makes for a really beautiful sound. That fiddler has a real nice vibrato going.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2005, 04:37:17 PM »
Hi all,
Ollie Griffin is shown as playing banjo on the some of the earlier Peg Leg and His Gang cuts, Frank.  I don't know why they think he is a likely candidate for the fiddle on "Rolling Mill" and "Broke and Hungry".
Thanks for the lyric catches, Andrew, they all sound right to me, and I will make the changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #68 on: August 27, 2005, 12:01:33 PM »
Hi all,
Peg Leg Howell played "Doin' Wrong" in G position, standard tuning.  It was his only recorded solo number played in that position.  It sounds like it very well may have been influenced by Lemon's "Got The Blues"; the descending run over the G chord starting at the third fret of the first string is much like what Lemon plays, though Lemon stops his bass behind the run and Peg Leg continues to play bass notes under the run.  Taken in whole, "Doin' Wrong" is not so much like "Got The Blues". 
"Doin' Wrong" is a good candidate for the "Vocal Phrasing--The Long and the Short of It" thread.  Peg Leg is generally long on the first four-bar phrase and short on the second four bars.  He sings the first verse like the last twelve bars in a 16-bar blues, starting his first two lines on the IV chord.  The first line of the last verse is odd.  He sounds like he was distracted and turned his head away from the microphone.

   Take me sweet mama, allow me one more chore (2)
   I swear to the Lord that I won't do wrong no more

   I don't love no woman if she ain't got baby ways (2)
   I'm crazy 'bout my lovin', it's always been my crave

   I woke up this morning, 'tween midnight and day
   I woke up this morning, just before day
   I looked at the pillow where my good gal used to lay

   I hung my head, I cried just like a child (2)
   Says, the way I'm treated, mama, sure ain't satisfied

   If you ever go to Memphis, stop by Jesse's Hall (2)
   You see my picture hangin' on the wall

   I've got the blues so bad, mama, my poor heart is sore
   Got the blues so bad, mama, my poor heart is sore
   Can't rest contented, mama, nowhere I go

   Take me, mama, take me ain't nohow (?)
   Take me brownie, please don't throw me down (2)
   I'm gonna pack my suitcase, I'm gonna blow this town

Edited 1/24/09 to pick up correction from Baird

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 12:45:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2005, 01:42:41 PM »
Hi all,
"Away From Home" is another song on which Peg Leg Howell was paired up with the mandolinist Jim Hill.  Peg Leg sounds to be flat-picking his guitar out of D position, standard tuning, with a boom-chang approach that he delivers very forcefully.  His guitar sounds huge--why did it sound so much better than almost anyone else's guitar recorded in that era?  Peg Leg  often hits the last "chang" in a two-bar chordal phrase lifting the fingers of his left hand and strumming the open strings, a technique used to great advantage by Henry Thomas, too.  Jim Hill is his normal noodly self.  Peg Leg's vocal is very strong, with a bit of a dirty rasp he did not often get.  He may just have been a bit congested or recovering from a cold that day.  I'm not sure about the first two lines of the last verse, so any help would be appreciated.
   
   Standin' at the station, waitin' for my train (2)
   I was outdoors, sleepin' in the rain

   My mama's sick, papa is dead and gone (2)
   Didn't have no lovin' pillow to lay my head on

   A thousand miles, babe, away from home
   I was a thousand miles, baby, away from home
   My mama is sick, my papa is dead and gone

   I asked the operator, "How long this train been gone?" (2)
   "Your train been gone every [sic] since this morn."

   Say the train I ride is eighteen coaches long (2)
   I'm a poor old boy, I'm a long ways from my home

   I'm a poor old boy, I ain't got nowhere to stay
   I'm the poor old boy, I ain't got nowhere to stay
   Says, everybody sure done throwed me away

   I was down in Cincinnati, baby, on the hog
   I'm down in Cincinnati, baby, on the hog
   I'm drinkin' muddy water, sleep in a hollow log

All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2005, 05:34:42 PM »
His guitar sounds huge--why did it sound so much better than almost anyone else's guitar recorded in that era??

According to the list of who played what (not sure where the information comes from) at earlyblues.com, Peg Leg played a Stella.

http://www.earlyblues.com/blues_singers.htm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2005, 10:30:25 PM »
I'm not sure about the first two lines of the last verse, so any help would be appreciated.
(snip)
? ?I was down in Cincinnati, baby, on the hog
? ?I'm down in Cincinnati, baby, on the hog
? ?I'm drinkin' muddy water, sleep in a hollow log

I don't have the record handy to listen to, but that's almost certainly right. According to a dictionary of old hobo slang (at http://www.hobonickels.org/alpert04.htm) -- on the hog means broke. The same phrase is in Darby and Tarlton's first record, "Down in Florida on a Hog," and is sort of there in John Jackson's "Going Down to Georgia on a Horn." I think I remember reading somewhere that a hog was slang for a railroad engine, so on the hog would mean on the bum.

Chris

Offline FrontPage

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #72 on: August 29, 2005, 11:13:36 PM »
In the slang vocabulary used in railroading circles, the engine (term usually reserved for large locomotives) is indeed called a hog, and the engineer is ---- you guessed it, a hoghead. I'm not certain of the origins for these slang terms, but thery are still in use today.
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2005, 11:34:47 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Chris and Bill.  It's nice when what you hear ends up making sense you weren't equipped to decipher at the time.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2005, 11:24:51 AM »
Hi all,
Peg Leg Howell played and sang "Banjo Blues" with fiddler Eddie Anthony.? The song employs a "stammering" phrasing archetype, like William Harris's "Bullfrog Blues", or Teddy Darby's "Built Right On The Ground".? The way that Peg Leg and Eddie sang this song is just great.? They make no attempt either to match up their lyrics exactly or phrase right with each other, and the effect is wonderful, conveying a feeling of tremendous looseness and absolute confidence that they're going to arrive everywhere important at around the same time.? This kind of singing is so much harder to do than the kind in which you work out every nuance of phrasing and try to sing it the same way every time.? This song really communicates how well these two knew each other musically.? Peg Leg sounds like he is flat-picking out of a C position, and Eddie sounds great.
Verse three is pretty hard to beat for sour humor.? Talk about getting hit when you're down!? Any help with the last line of the last verse would really be appreciated, I am really stumped there.

? ?Got the banjo blues and I'm feeling awful, I mean awful, I mean bad
? ?Got the banjo blues and I'm feeling awful bad
? ?And the blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad

? ?I had a good woman but the fool laid down and, I mean down and, I mean died
? ?I had a good woman but the fool laid down and died
? ?Got the banjo blues and I'm too darn mean to cry

? ?SPOKEN:? Play it a long time, boy.? To my gal's in Cincinnati. She's all right with me

? ?Now, give me some cover, honey, I'm getting, I'm getting, I'm cold
? ?Now, give me some cover, I'm getting cold
? ?And the blues ain't hitting you, you're only getting old

? ?Now the Mississippi River so long and deep and, mean deep and, I mean wide
? ?And the Mississippi River so long and deep and wide
? ?And my gal, she's on the Arkansas side

? ?SPOKEN:? Do it for me, boy

? ?And my little babe, she is so tall and, I mean tall and, I mean thin
? ?And my little babe she is so tall and thin
? ?Likes the town's top preacher, but she loves her gin

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: September 22, 2005, 07:58:58 AM by Johnm »

 


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