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Author Topic: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics  (Read 58109 times)

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #210 on: February 18, 2009, 11:03:42 PM »
I'm still bothered by that last verse of "Tell Me How 'Bout It." I'll listen to it in the car, only half paying attention, and think I hear something, and then go back and listen and it's all gibberish again.  :o
Chris


Offline dj

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #211 on: February 19, 2009, 04:38:03 AM »
I'm substantially in agreement with Chris on his comments, though I hear the second line of the fourth verse as "These old boys told Miss [Ruth] to get THEY'S lunch."

I've always heard the last line of the chorus as "We wrote this song, this's our own compose", with "our" drawn out to two syllables - "ow-er".

Offline dj

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #212 on: February 19, 2009, 05:45:15 AM »
Quote
I'm still bothered by that last verse of "Tell Me How 'Bout It."

"Sam Mann and Henry run jams on the truck, "Mann's State Wide" 'n' they haul people's stuff" is how I hear that.  "Jams on the truck", I assume, is trucks jammed with stuff.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #213 on: February 20, 2009, 08:30:50 AM »
Hi dj,
Thanks very much for the help with the lyrics on "Don't You Want to Know".  I agree that Sleepy John says "they's lunch".  I think, too, that he draws out the word "our" in the way you and banjochris suggested--it's that soft "v" sound in there that had me confused.  I guess you just run into stuff like that. 
As an unrelated pronunciation aside, I remember being baffled by Country singers, when I was a kid, pronouncing "never", "nelver".  Mike Seeger still does this.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #214 on: March 12, 2009, 08:00:29 PM »
I was listening to "Street Car Blues" in the car today and something occurred to me about the first verse, which we have here as
Because they heard of Poor John, was strollin' 'round a 'lectric car

In a '60s recording he sings this as
Now they heard of Poor John got struck by a 'lectric car

Clearly that isn't what he sings on the original, but I think maybe the line in the '30s version should be:
Because they heard of Poor John, was 'stroyed by a 'lectric car.

Also, going back and looking for the "Street Car" lyrics, I came across the words here to "Stone Blind," and I think I can offer some suggestions for the gaps:


   Now, when you lose your eyesight, your best friend gone (3)
   Your [   ?   ],  just people want to fool with you wrong
...
   Now, I was standin' on the corner, close 'side the wall (2)
   Now, I was standin' on the corner, I was close 'side the wall
   Only way I c'd tell my friend I had to catch [these   ?    ]

The last line of that first verse is "Your own dear people won't fool with you long"
and the last verse, based on listening to the '40s version and a couple of versions from the '60s, ends I believe with "catch the exhaust."
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #215 on: March 13, 2009, 08:57:25 PM »
Thanks, Chris, for re-visiting the lines in the Sleepy John Estes songs that I was unable to hear when I was transcribing his lyrics.  I am away from home for several days but will give a listen when I return.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #216 on: March 14, 2009, 05:53:56 AM »
I've always heard the last line of the chorus as "We wrote this song, this's our own compose", with "our" drawn out to two syllables - "ow-er".

I've always heard it as "it's of our own compose."  I can make myself hear "this," but I can't make myself not hear "of" -- and "this of our own compose" falls short of the sense made by "it's ..."  Seems like everybody's satisfied with "this," though, so maybe I should just hear it that way to myself.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #217 on: February 28, 2010, 09:19:46 PM »
Thought I would bump this because I was listening to Sleepy John in the car and suddenly heard something differently that I think clears up a line in "Lawyer Clark" -- I believe the first line ends with "70 road," not Century or Shelby. US 70 runs right through the middle of Brownsville (and is the town's East Main Street).
Chris

Offline maddoggirl

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #218 on: March 02, 2010, 12:01:44 PM »
Thought I would bump this because I was listening to Sleepy John in the car and suddenly heard something differently that I think clears up a line in "Lawyer Clark" -- I believe the first line ends with "70 road," not Century or Shelby. US 70 runs right through the middle of Brownsville (and is the town's East Main Street).
Chris

I really like this idea and it does seem very likely. It also sent me off on a little Google Maps tour of Brownsville, where I got a tremendous kick out of finding both Wilson and Bradford Streets, as mentioned in Fire Department Blues. Some of the streets mentioned appear to either no long be there or to have been renamed, but I suppose that's to be expected.
rambling about movies, from 1930 on up at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com/

Offline maddoggirl

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #219 on: March 02, 2010, 12:33:31 PM »
This whole topic, by the way, has prompted me to do a little research/essay procrastination  ;)

On a Tennessee genealogy forum I found the following:

"John Clark married Mary Ann Alford in Haywood Co, Tn Jun 1, 1851. They had multiple children - the one I descend from is John Peter Clark - born in Wellwood, Haywood Co. He married Georgianna Holmes Nov 22, 1874 in Wellwood. Georgianna was born in Wellwood in 1856, daughter of Jesse Wells Homes of Shelby Co, TN, and Martha Elizabeth Cobb. John Peter Clarke was issued a license to practice law in Haywood Co in November 1878"

Now, Wellwood is about 7 or 8 miles away from Brownsville, and such a small town that it seems conceivable that he might have had his practice in the larger town of Brownsville.

Also, possibly a coincidence, but you know that line "Out on 70 road/ Got a nice little lake/ Right inside the grove'?
Guess what the area around the strip of Hwy 70 which connects these two towns is called? ... Willow Grove.
Just a thought.
rambling about movies, from 1930 on up at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com/

Offline banjochris

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #220 on: August 07, 2010, 12:30:34 AM »
OK, bumping this one again. I think between dj, who suggested the last line of the verse last year, and myself, I think we finally have a plausible last verse for "Tell Me How About It." See what you think -- John is really swallowing his consonants and singing fast on this one. I think it's

Sam Mann in th' engine room, James on the truck,
Mann's Statewide and they haul people's stuff.

Chris

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #221 on: December 11, 2010, 06:39:32 AM »
On Floating Bridge Blues I think that he was not laid across any version of blanket but rather a SINK perhaps pronounced somewhere between SINK & SANK. ;=}
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #222 on: December 11, 2010, 09:17:19 AM »
Hi Phil,
I think you're right--I've never been happy about that "blanket".  A sink makes sense, too, he was drenched.  I will re-listen and make the change.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #223 on: December 11, 2010, 11:15:31 AM »
And he proceeds to bring up a gallon & a half of water!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline blueshome

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Re: Sleepy John Estes Lyrics
« Reply #224 on: December 11, 2010, 11:31:53 AM »
I always heard "bank".

 


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