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Hot dog! People, you know, a gentleman asked me last night what I was doing. I said, 'Well, sir, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I don't do anything'. He says, 'Well, what do you do on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?' I says, 'Why, I rest'. He says, 'You do anything on Sunday?' 'Oh, yes sir, that's my busiest day'. He says, 'What are you doing on Sunday?' I says, 'Getting ready to do nothing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday'. Ha-hah! - Uncle Dave Macon, Wouldn't Give Me Sugar in My Coffee

Author Topic: Fred McDowell lyrics  (Read 5046 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Going Over the Hill - Fred and Annie McDowell
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2017, 06:23:33 PM »
Thanks very much for transcribing these lyrics, Harriet.  My computer has been in the shop the past several days, but I finally got a chance to re-listen, and I think the only place where I hear something different than what you had was in the second verse, where after the fourth line I'm hearing:
   SOUL GOT HAPPY, child, I STAYED down there all day
with the words in caps being the ones I heard differently.  This is such a great song, and I think I'll probably teach it at a couple of music camps this season.  Thanks for doing the heavy lifting in terms of getting the lyrics transcribed.
All best,
John

Offline harriet

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Re: Going Over the Hill - Fred and Annie McDowell
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2017, 04:16:33 AM »
Hi John,

I made the correction.

It's being a great song to work on, thank you for the lesson, and for the opportunity to put my hands where McDowell played the song thanks to your note for note transcription, demonstration and talk through.

I love the delicate and beautiful runs in this piece, the elegant simplicity in which he handles the melody, his bending to the change in lyric and working as part of team with Annie, even down to the bass note at the end of each line which ties it together as a stand alone instrumental, one line flowing into the other. I hope others will enjoy studying it...

The lyrics were a surprise because I studied their "Get Right Church" and she's very understandable in it, as to how difficult she was to understand in this piece, so I'm glad that it was only one line that was flubbed.

Best,
Harriet
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 07:08:34 PM by harriet »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Going Over the Hill - Fred and Annie McDowell
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2017, 07:26:21 AM »
For those who are curious, here is the obscure Joe Townsend's version, recorded live in a north Mississippi church in 1973. (Joe is on vocals, with the mysterious Johnnie Mays on guitar. This recording caused quite a stir when it was first heard in the 70's, with its Son House-style vocals and Delta guitar. Also -- whoever was running the tape machine apparently thought the song had ended at about 2:00!)...




« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 07:31:58 AM by jpeters609 »
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2017, 06:27:02 AM »
Hi all,
I merged Harriet's recent thread on Fred and Annie McDowell's lyrics to "I'm Goin' Over The Hill" into this thread.
All best,
Johnm

Offline jazzbass12

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Letter From Hot Springs
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2018, 02:50:36 PM »
Does anybody have lyrics to Letter From Hot Springs - Fred McDowell?
Great song.


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Offline blueshome

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Re: Letter From Hot Springs
« Reply #50 on: May 26, 2018, 09:57:27 AM »
jb The usual form here is that you post your attempt at the lyrics and the team will come in and help.

Offline jazzbass12

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Re: Letter From Hot Springs
« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2018, 10:15:41 AM »
jb The usual form here is that you post your attempt at the lyrics and the team will come in and help.
Ok thanks and sorry,I didn?t realize that. I will repost once I have some clue as to what I think the lyrics might be. Thanks


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Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2018, 06:54:19 AM »
Hi all,
I merged the recent thread on "Letter From Hot Springs" into this Fred McDowell Lyrics thread, so if anyone wants to re-visit the lyrics to that song, this thread is the place to do that.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2018, 07:15:38 PM »
Here's Letter From Hot Springs, great groove but it's late and I have to get up early. I will get on to it tomorrow but feel free to have a stab at it:

« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 07:27:00 PM by Rivers »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2019, 11:18:42 AM »
Hi all,
"Jim, Steam Killed Lula" is on the Fred McDowell Testament recording, "Levee Camp Blues".  It is a beautiful, trancey piece that Fred McDowell played out of cross-note tuning.  His heavy time here is very reminiscent of that of Robert Wilkins' time on "Nashville Stonewall Blues", which Wilkins similarly played in cross-note tuning.  Here is Fred McDowell's performance:



INTRO

Oh, Jim killed Lula, on a Friday night
Oh, Jim killed Lula, on a Friday, on a Friday night, Lord

Oh, Jim got ninety, Steam got ninety-nine
Oh, Jim got ninety, Steam got ninety, Steam got ninety-nine, Lord

Ten thousand people, at one buryin' ground
Ten thousand people, at one buryin', at one buryin' ground, Lord

Just to see undertaker, let poor Lula down
Just to see the undertaker, Lord, let poor Lula, let poor Lula down

Well the church bell ringin', hearseman drivin' slow
Well the church bell ringin', hearseman drivin', hearseman drivin' slow

I hate so bad, Lord, see poor Lula go
I hate it so bad, see poor Lula, see poor Lula, Lord

Edited to catch title correction by Harriet, 9/19

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 01:07:26 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2019, 11:58:32 AM »
Hi all,
"My Baby Has Eyes Like An Eagle, Take 2" comes from Fred McDowell's album "Levee Camp Blues", on Testament Records.  It is very trance-inducing, with a great signature lick answering every vocal phrase from beginning to end.  It sounds improvised, or at least, very loosely organized, with two-line stanzas at the beginning of the rendition eventually switching to three-line verses as the song goes along.  Here is Fred McDowell's rendition:



INTRO

I believe, darlin', I believe I'll go back home
Lord, I believe, baby, I believe I'll go back home

Lord, I'm gonna acknowledge, tell my Daddy I done wrong
I'm gon' tell my Daddy, Lord, I know I done wrong

Lord, my baby's eye like an eagle, she watches me all the time
My baby's eye like an eagle, she watches me all the time

Lord, it was late at night, baby, when I first lay down
I ain't gwine no higher, darlin', baby, it's no lower down
I ain't gwine no higher, baby, it's no lower down

I ain't gonna bear no quittin', baby, either no jumpin' down
I ain't gonna bear no quittin', darlin', honey, it's no jumpin' down
I'm gon' stand right here, my whiskers drag the ground

Lord, I ain't gon' marry, baby, either settle down
Lord, I ain't gon' marry, either settle down
I'm gon' drink good whiskey, run the women down

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:35:30 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2019, 01:06:15 PM »
Hi all,
It has been pointed out to me by Harriet that the correct title for the Fred McDowell song two posts back in this thread is, in fact, "Jim, Steam Killed Lula", since Jim and Steam were two different people, which makes sense out of the verse two lyrics.  There is another version of the song on youtube, where Fred McDowell makes this information clear via a spoken introduction.  Thanks, Harriet, for the correction.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2019, 01:25:22 PM »
Hi all,
Also included in the program of "Levee Camp Blues" is "Will Me Your Gold Watch And Chain", which Fred McDowell played out of Spanish tuning, without a slide.  Fred employs a four-bar signature lick for the song, making for very long verses; verse one is thirty-four bars long!  This is one of those songs, like several of Booker White's and other songs by Fred McDowell, in which all of the singing is done over the IV chord.  The instrumental response is the signature lick, which is played a variable number of times, as Fred felt it to be right.  Here is Fred McDowell's rendition of the song:



INTRO

Should happen to go to the Army, baby, won't you will me your watch and chain?
Should happen to go to the Army, will me your watch and chain
You have to promise to me, baby, you won't fool around with no other man

Just like a soldier, babe, out on the battlefield
Just like a soldier, darlin', honey, out on that battlefield
You know by that, honey, you know just how I feel

I've got my questionnaire, baby, they need me in the war
Got my questionnaire, darlin', they need me, baby, in the war
Got a questionnaire, darlin', need me in the war

Yeah, darlin', baby, don't you weep and moan
Yeah, darlin', honey, don't you weep and moan
When that war is over, your daddy'll be back home

Hey, baby, don't you crowd your mind
Hey, little girl, don't you crowd your mind
Hey, little girl, please don't you crowd your mind

All best,
Johnm


Offline Johnm

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2019, 01:35:46 PM »
Hi all,
Fred McDowell recorded "Won't Be Worried Long", accompanying himself in Vestapol with a slide, on "Levee Camp Blues".  The song seems to be modeled on Frank Hutchison's "Worried Blues", and uses the same melody and many of the same licks.  After the first verse, Fred gave up on going to the V chord, and after that just sang the first line of each of the remaining verses.  Fred's version of the song from "Levee Camp Blues" is not available on youtube.

INTRO SOLO

I'm worried, mama, I won't be worried long
Worried, mama, and I won't be worried (slide finishes line)
I'm wo- (slide finishes line)

I ain't got nowhere to lay my worried head

Well the train come down, tracks all out of line

Well the train come down, tracks all out of line

Well you keep me worried, bothered all the time

All best,
Johnm

Offline harriet

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Re: Fred McDowell lyrics
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2019, 05:54:19 PM »
Hi John and all,

Thanks for the honorable mention On the Jim, Steam.

Here's the Worried - the whole album is up on this channel.  It's a great album, IMHO and thanks for posting the lyrics.


Harriet
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 06:03:23 PM by harriet »

Tags: Fred McDowell war