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When I asked Son House to listen to a particular line from a song by Charley Patton that I could not make out, House laughed. He said "You could sit at Charley's feet and not understand a word he sang." - Jeff Todd Titon, Early Downhome Blues

Author Topic: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics  (Read 40720 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2005, 11:45:57 PM »
? ?Now, I had an old hen and had a peg leg
? ?[? ? ??? ? ?] had to have a little egg
? ?The same old egg that I hid around the barn [?]
? ?Another little thing wouldn't do me no harm
FWIW what I can hear in my head is:

Fattest ol' hen that ever laid an egg
lays more eggs than hens around the barn
says 'another lil drink wouldn't do me no harm

with a variant repeated later in the song.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #91 on: November 23, 2005, 09:31:57 AM »
Wow, thanks, Bunker Hill, that's terrific.  Of all the verses, that is the one I was having the hardest time hearing and making any sense of.  It's great, and typical of Old-Time music, that the last line of the verse doesn't pertain to the first three, and is basically apropos of nothing.  You can't get it from context, that's for sure.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #92 on: November 23, 2005, 11:25:01 AM »
Wow, thanks, Bunker Hill, that's terrific.? Of all the verses, that is the one I was having the hardest time hearing and making any sense of.? It's great, and typical of Old-Time music, that the last line of the verse doesn't pertain to the first three, and is basically apropos of nothing.? You can't get it from context, that's for sure.
Well I'm truly amazed. That was from memory of a 1967?Kokomo? LP (A Blues Potpourri K-1001) featuring Texas Alexander, Barbecue Bob, Peg Leg Howell, Lil McClintock and Curley Weaver). Mind around that time I was still playing new LPs until the almost wore white. :) I wish the enthusiasm had been sustained... :(

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #93 on: November 27, 2005, 12:21:37 AM »
A chinkypin, or chinquipin in some spellings, is, I believe a nut or berry, found on a bush.? Maybe somebody who knows the answer better than I can help us out.?
I don't know better but at the risk of being totally boring (you did ask) the Dictionary Of American English (4 vols, OUP, 1960) has four entries for this, but here are the first traced usages:

Chinqunpin. Also chinquepin, chinkapin, chinkopen, etc. [Amer. Indian. See CHINCOMEN TREE.]
1. The small, sweet nut of the dwarf chestnut: (see next).
1676 GLOVER Acc. Va. in Phil. Trans. XI. 629 Beside these [nuts], here is another called a Chincopine, which is like a Chesnut, with a Burry husk, but lesse by far. 1696-8 Mass. H. S. CaU. V. 126 The woods also bringing good store of chesnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, chincopins. 1710 N.C. Col. Rec. I. 740 The Nottoway Indian old men being gone to gather Chinkopens. We deferred the taking their Examinacions till our Return. 1836 C. GILMAN Recoll. (1838) vi. 47 Look at Cornelia's face! It is as brown as a chinquapin. 1861 NORTON Army Lett. 26 In the woods near us we found any quantity of grapes and chinquapins. 1886 Leslie's Mo. XXI. I50/l A mess of chinkapins and hickory nuts. 1904 E. GLASGOW Deliverance 91 He had saved every stray penny from his sales of hogs and cider, of water-melons and chinkapins.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #94 on: November 28, 2005, 12:00:46 PM »
Thanks very much for the information on chinquipins, Bunker Hill.  It's nice to have a much more complete idea of what something is that I have "sort of" known about for forty years.  I guess it is not surprising that lyrics seem richer when the context is more completely fleshed out.
All best,
Johnm

Offline GerryC

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #95 on: February 05, 2006, 09:03:35 AM »
I know this thread's been dormant for a while but I was listening again to Coalman Blues the other day and in verse 5, last line, I think I hear "Run to the door to stop the coal man". 
In the following verse, the last line seems to me to read "Sell it to the nice brown standing in the door", which seems to make more sense, given the open "I want to seduce you, woman!" message of most of the other verses.

Cheerily,

Gerry C
I done seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these...

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #96 on: February 05, 2006, 09:57:04 AM »
In the following verse, the last line seems to me to read "Sell it to the nice brown standing in the door",
FWIW that's how Paul Oliver hears it too in the little he quotes of the song on page 18 in Songsters & Saints.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #97 on: February 05, 2006, 10:53:45 AM »
Thanks very much for the lyric fixes, Gerry C.  I'm always glad to get the correct lyrics.  When I listened, the first one sounded like "stop to tell the coal man".  This is a great song, and I think it is pretty much all there now.  I have made the changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #98 on: August 27, 2006, 11:53:23 AM »
   The worst (?) old worries that I ever had.

I hear the beginning of this line as "I feel so worried."  That would make the line:

I feel so worried that I ever had.

edited to add:  this is the last line of the 13th verse of Coal Man Blues.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2006, 06:42:31 AM by frankie »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #99 on: August 30, 2006, 05:15:00 PM »
Thanks for the find, Frank.  i listened a bunch of times and it sounds right, but it is a hell of a clumsy locution, isn't it?  Sometimes it sounded like he said "feets", but that makes even less sense.  I will make the change--the sound is right on.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #100 on: August 30, 2006, 11:38:45 PM »
i listened a bunch of times and it sounds right, but it is a hell of a clumsy locution, isn't it?

Yep.  I wonder if he had something that flowed better in mind but couldn't get it out, since it seems like he kinda runs out of steam right about there - but who wouldn't after rattling off 12 verses with scarcely any instrumental breaks?  It sounds to me like the first two lines of the 14th verse consist of false starts of verses he's already sung:

Got your....  (maybe "water and gas" from the 8th verse?)
Me and my mama and...  (sounds something like "two," and then mumbles off)

Then he comes up with a bit of one-up-manship based on the 12th verse:

Me and my brown and three or four more
Going up the country, don't you want to go

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #101 on: January 07, 2007, 06:56:32 PM »
Hi all,
I just looked over this thread for the first time in a while and was impressed by how close we are to having all of Peg Leg Howell's pre-rediscovery lyrics transcribed.  There really are just a few missing words or phrases in his long list of songs.  It would be great if we could finish these up, so any and all help is appreciated.  Here are the songs with missing words/lines and where the missing lines occur.  All of these songs are on the Juke.
   
   * "Ball And Chain Blues":  verse five

   * "Papa Stobb Blues":  second verse, third line and last verse, last line

   * "Too Tight Blues":  first verse, one word and second verse, one word

   * "Turkey Buzzard Blues":  first verse, last line and second verse, last line

Thanks for any interested fresh ears!

All best,
Johnm

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #102 on: January 08, 2007, 08:13:11 AM »
John:

If you would post MP3's of these four tunes, I'd be willing to give them a try.

Alex

Offline Baird

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #103 on: January 24, 2009, 12:08:49 PM »
Hi all, I just wanted to propose this lyrical correction for Peg Leg's 'Doin' Wrong'

Take me sweet mama, allow me one more chore (2)
I swear to the Lord that I wont do wrong no more

instead of

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

What do you think?

Thanks,
Michael

Johnm's orig posting:

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 show (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

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peg Leg Howell Lyrics
« Reply #104 on: January 24, 2009, 12:43:00 PM »
Hi Michael,
That sure works for me.  Good catch!  It's great to have a transcription fine-tuned that was done so long ago.  I'll make the change in the thread and in Weeniepedia.
All best,
Johnm