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It is a peculiar and individual type of music that goes back for generations - Mamie Smith, to a Chicago Defender reporter 1921

Author Topic: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics  (Read 24497 times)

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Offline jphauser

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #75 on: May 10, 2014, 06:56:48 AM »
When I read Lipscomb's statements about how the workers were treated in the fields and how the bosses carried guns, it helped me to understand Lightnin' Hopkins's "Tim Moore's Farm" and how Moore could "let" one of his workers bury his dead wife "one of these old dinner times."

I got a telegram this morning, boy, it read, it say, "Your wife is dead"
I show it to Mr. Moore, he said, "Go ahead, nigger you know you got to plow old Red"
That white man says, "It's been raining, yes, and I'm way behind
I may let you bury that woman one of these old dinner times"
I told him, "No, Mr. Moore; somebody's got to go"
He says, "If you ain't able to plow, Sam, stay up there and grab your hoe"

Jim

Offline Bent Note

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Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #76 on: November 03, 2014, 04:14:41 PM »
Hi everyone!
First post for me. I'd love some help with the lyrics to this tune, as found on The Best of Mance Lipscomb, 2009. I tried searching on this site, but was unable to find them.
 
Here's what I have, which differs somewhat from what I could find online (it seems most of the lyric sites simply copy each other):

Oh I ain?t gonna give you no more cherry ball
Oh, I ain?t gonna give you no more cherry ball
You got drunk and shared (?showed) your Santa Claus

Little bitty woman, hips just like a snake
Little bitty woman, hips just like a snake
? kind l?il woman baby it really take

Late last night my love come fallin? down
? not any on our last go ?round

Shake shake mama, buy you diamond ring
Oh, shake shake mama, buy you diamond ring
You don?t shake, ain?t goin? buy you a doggone thing

Clutch start slipping, car won?t even sing (I haven't seen this as "car" before but the analogy makes more sense to me)
Oh, my clutch start slipping, car won?t even sing
Losin? compression from my piston ring

Oh rider, you ain?t foolin? me
Look in your eye, you ain?t foolin? me
? You been privy to me all time used to be

I like my babe but I don?t like her teddy bear
Oh I like my woman but I don?t like her teddy bear
I?m gonna buy her a box back never gon' wear


Thanks for your help!

Offline Slack

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #77 on: November 03, 2014, 04:24:48 PM »
Here is another take - many of the same verses, different order. Here are a few

Late last night my love come fallin? down
Late last night my love come fallin? down
Me and my woman on our last go 'round

Oh rider, you ain?t foolin? me
Look here rider, you ain?t foolin? me
You've been slipin' to your all time used to be

Oh I ain?t gonna give you no more cherry ball
Oh, I ain?t gonna give you no more cherry ball
You got drunk and showed your Santa Claus


Offline Lignite

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #78 on: November 03, 2014, 05:01:59 PM »
Here are the lyrics printed on the insert from the original Arhoolie lp from 1960 (this label's first release). Mance Lipscomb; Texas Sharecropper and Songster (1001)

1. Oh! I ain't gonna give you no more cherry ball
(Repeat)
You done got drunk and showed your "Santa Claus"
2. Oh, little bitty mama hips just like a snake
(Repeat)
Come little woman, babe, really takes
3. Oh, late last night my love come falling down
(Repeat)
Me and my baby are on our last go-round
4. Oh, shake shake mama, buy you a diamond ring
(Repeat)
You don't shake, ain't gonna buy you a doggone thing
5. Oh, my clutch start slipping, car won't even sing
(Repeat)
Losing compression from my piston rings
6. Oh rider, you ain't fooling me
(Repeat)
You been slipping (back) to your old time used to be
7. Oh, like my baby but don't like her teddy bear
(Repeat)
I'm gonna buy her box back nitties to wear

(Box back nitties are those long flannel underwear with the flap in the back)

Offline banjochris

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #79 on: November 03, 2014, 11:24:22 PM »
Slack and Lignite's corrections are good -- I'll add that this:

Clutch start slipping, car won?t even sing

car should be coil

Chris

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2014, 09:29:29 AM »
What a great song this is, and his whole delivery -- sure wish I'd gotten to hear him live.  I've heard the "snake hips" verse sung as:
Little bitty woman, hips just like a snake
That's the kind of woman, big men really dig

One time, years ago, Eric and I played at a wonderful wedding, two of the waitstaff from Chez Panisse were getting married.  They asked us to play in the ceremony and the songs they requested were "I've Got What It Takes, But It Breaks My Heart To Give It Away" (Bessie Smith) and "Shake Shake Mama" by Mance.  Both songs reference snake hips.  It was a very very memorable wedding, we put together a rootsy dance band with Bradley Williams and Steven Strauss and people danced late, late into the night and of course the food was great, not fancy but delicious and abundant.  I've often remembered it and I hope that Ted and Kat are still happily married.


Offline Bent Note

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2014, 02:05:16 PM »
Thank you all!

Understanding lyrics can sometimes be as difficult, or more, than the underlying music...particularly with variations in recording quality and dialects.

I still favor the word "car" over "coil". I think it better fits the analogy. Also, in listening to Mance speaking on some of the Seattle Folklore Society videos his "a"s sometimes sound like "oi"s.

Interesting that "old time used to be" apparently means "ex-lover". Helps understand the tune!

Offline banjochris

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Re: Shake Shake Mama - Mance Lipscomb lyrics help
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2014, 02:59:44 PM »
I still favor the word "car" over "coil". I think it better fits the analogy. Also, in listening to Mance speaking on some of the Seattle Folklore Society videos his "a"s sometimes sound like "oi"s.

There is a pretty clear L sound at the end of the word each time and the first time he pretty well enunciates the "oi" also.

And great story Suzy!
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #83 on: October 29, 2015, 10:15:16 PM »
Hi all,
Mance Lipscomb's "Freddie" was the first song on his first Arhoolie album.  It's a tremendously driving one-chord song played out of E position in standard tuning.  Here it is:



Now, Freddie's woman, she done something she had never done before
She was in the bed with another man, made Freddie's pallet on the floor
He got mad, he got bad, with his gun in his hand

Freddie's woman saw him comin', went and fell down on her knees
I could hear her cryin', "Now, Freddie, spare my life if you please.
I know you're mad, you got bad, with your gun in your hand."

Freddie meets the policeman with his big gun in his hand
"Freddie, I done heard you killed your woman."  He said, "Yes, I'm lookin' for that man.
He made me mad, I got bad, with my gun in my hand."

Freddie said, "Look-a-here, Judge.  Judge, wouldn't-a you gotten mad,
You'd've comin' home and find your woman, with another man in your bed?
You'd've got mad, you'd've got bad, with your gun in your hand

Freddie say, "Now Mama, Mama, you have to let me go.
'Cause the woman mistreated me, and I had to shoot her, so,
You got mad, I got bad, with my gun . . . ."

Now, Freddie say, he lays down, tried not to pay it no mind
But a while 'fore day, Freddie was woke, heard some springs --
He got mad, he got bad, with his gun in his hand

Freddie's Papa told Freddie, "Son, here's where you done wrong:
When you found out that woman weren't treatin' you right, son, why didn't you let her alone?
You got mad, you got bad, with your gun in your hand."

Freddie said, "Look-a-here, Papa, Papa, wouldn't have you gotten mad,
You done comin' home and found Mama, with another man in your bed?
You'd gotten mad, you'd got bad, with your gun in your hand."

Freddie's Papa said, "Yes, Son, I'll tell you what I'm gon' do:
If the judge give you forty years, I'll have him pardon you.
For bein' a bad, bad, with your gun

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 08:30:10 AM by Johnm »

Offline lindy

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #84 on: November 04, 2016, 06:46:57 PM »
Banjo Chris taught Willie Poor Boy at Port Townsend this summer (great thing about a lot of Mance Lipscomb tunes, it only takes 20 minutes to teach/learn the basic song, then it takes weeks of practice to get at the subtleties and variations). I went looking for lyrics, and I found some that are on a couple of other recordings besides "Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 2."

I've already added them to the original post for this song on this thread, but I'm having trouble logging on to add the lyrics to the WeeniePedia page. If someone could do the honor . . .

The first stanzas are from ?Hear Me Howlin?,? the 50th Anniversary Arhoolie boxed set.

I went down to my true love?s house the other day.
I didn?t go there to stay.
She treated me so nice and kind.
I stayed there half of my day.
Aw me, aw my, aw my,
Do let my savior be.

Some people tell me that a preacher won?t steal.
I caught two down in my cornfield.
One had a shovel, the other had a hoe,
Digging my corn all up by the road.
Aw, aw my, lord do have mercy on me.

Old mule, that old mule,
Can?t get the saddle on that old mule.
Old mule, old mule, old mule
Old mule, that old mule.

------------------

The next two stanzas are from "Texas Songster 2000" (no ?volume? number like the other Mance CDs on Arhoolie):

Well the raccoon up that simmon tree,
And the possum down on the ground.
Well the possum said to raccoon, ?I want you
To shake me some simmons down.?
Aw-me, aw-my, do lord remember me.

I went down to my true lover?s house.
Hadn?t never been down there before.
She fed me out of an old hog trough,
I ain?t going back no more.
Aw-me, Willie Poor Boy
Do let my savior be.

Lindy
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 11:01:03 AM by lindy »

Offline lindy

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #85 on: March 06, 2017, 06:51:45 PM »
I was noodlin' with this song this afternoon and discovered that no one had yet transcribed these lyrics. I play it in Vestapol in D, Chris notes that Mance did it in the same tuning, but in E.

Run Sinner Run

Better run, sinner run, and hunt you a hiding place.
Run, sinner run, and hunt you a hiding place.
?sinner run, better hunt you a hiding place.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

If I was you I would stop right here and pray.
If I was you I?d stop right here and pray.
?was you I would stop right here and pray.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

What you gonna do when death come a-creepin? in your room?
What you gonna do, death come a-creepin? in your room?
?when death come a-creepin? in your room?
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

I?m goin? in the valley, fall on my knees and pray.
Run in the valley, fall on my knees and pray.
Gonna run in the valley, fall on my knees and pray.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

If I was a gambler I would throw my cards away.
?was a gambler I?d throw my cards away.
If I was a gambler, I would throw my cards away.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

GUITAR BREAK

God told Nicodemus that he must be born again.
God told Nicodemus, must be born again.
?Nicodemus that he must be born again.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?

I?m so glad I got my religion in time.
I?m so glad, got my religion in time.
?so glad that I got my religion in time.
Oh my lord, oh my lord, what shall I do?


Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2019, 05:12:41 PM »
Hi all,
"'Bout A Spoonful" comes from Mance Lipscomb's first Arhoolie album, "Mance Lipscomb, Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 1".  It's a ripping piece which Mance played out of A in dropped-D tuning, and it has an unusual 9-bar form (in most verses).  Mance goes to a 12-bar form, more or less, for his second solo.  I love the opening line of the first verse.  Here is "'Bout A Spoonful":



I been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, got the headache now
Yes, I been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, oh Lord, mama, got the head ache now

Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand new daddy 'bout a spoonful?
Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand new papa, oh Lord, mama, 'bout a spoonful?

It late last night, well, come home from gettin' a spoonful
It was late last night, I come home from gettin' a spoonful

Oh Lordy, mama, all our daddys gets a spoonful
All I want, baby, in this world, oh baby, just a spoonful

Eve and Adam was the first two people got a spoonful
Tell me, Eve and Adam was the first two people, oh mama, got a spoonful

Late last night, well, I lay down and got a spoonful
Baby, late last night, I lay down, oh mama, got a spoonful

Oh, drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, got the headache now
I been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, oh mama, got the headache now

SOLO

Tell you, what you gonna do with your brand new daddy 'bout a spoonful?
Oh, what you gonna do with your brand new daddy 'bout a spoonful?

Put him in the bed, gonna run him crazy 'bout a spoonful
Put him in the bed, gonna run him crazy, oh Lord, mama, 'bout a spoonful

SOLO

All I want in this wide world is just a spoonful
Baby, all I want in this wide world is just a spoonful

Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand new mama 'bout a spoonful?
Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand new mama, oh Lord, baby, 'bout a spoonful

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm


Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2019, 05:37:18 PM »
Hi all,
Mance Lipscomb recorded "Charlie James" for "Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 2" on Arhoolie.  The song is a very laconic, spooky number that Mance played out of E position in standard tuning.  The first verse sets up the context unforgettably, and so quietly.  Mance pronounced "far" like "fur" or "fir".  He does one of his trademark continuous accelerandos over the course of his rendition, and he's really moving by the time he gets to the end of the song.  Here is "Charlie James":



INTRO SOLO

If you see Charlie James coming down the road
Would you please, don't tell him, which-a-way you see me go

In the morning soon, in the morning soon
Yes, I'm going back to Houston in the morning soon

Had a whole lot of money, one day, one day
Next day, I didn't have a dime

SOLO

Looked down the road, just as far as I could see
And I thought I spied my old-time used-to-be

SOLO

Had a whole lot of trouble, one day, one day
Next day I didn't know what to do

SOLO

Looked down the road, just as far as I could see
And I thought I spied my old-time used-to-be

SOLO

When a man gets in trouble, everybody throws him down
Exceptin' for his friends and they won't come around

Nobody ever knows you, when you're down and out
Ask them for a favor, they will know, it's all about

SOLO

Well, you may go, you may try to stay
But you'll be back, some old rainy day

SOLO AND CODA

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 05:45:45 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2019, 06:06:52 PM »
Hi all,
Mance Lipscomb's version of "Shorty George", played in C position in standard tuning, has an unusually pretty melody, and is a different song, melodically and in its structure from other songs of that title.  Mance always played so many variations, and it's a treat to hear how he changed his accompaniment over the course of his rendition.  I'm not at all sure I have the tagline to the first verse exactly right, and would very much appreciate correction or corroboration.  Here is "Shorty George":



Shorty George, he died on the road
Tell me, Shorty George, he died on the road
He died with a sad, aching heart

If I leave here walking, who's gonna follow me?
If I leave here walking, who's gonna follow me?
If I leave here walking, who's gonna follow me?

Why I love you, babe, just can't help myself
Well, I love my babe, just can't help myself
I'd rather be with you, woman, anybody else

Tell me, babe, where did you stay last night?
Won't you tell me, mama, where'd you stay last night?
You went to come in, home, with your shoes weren't on you right

She says, "Now Daddy, Daddy don't raise no sand.
Look-a-here now, Daddy, Daddy don't raise no sand.
I don't ask you 'bout no woman, don't ask me about no man."

If I feel tomorrow, like I feel today
If I feel tomorrow, like I feel today
Well I won't be here, but somewhere on my way

If I leave here runnin', who's gonna follow me?
If I leave here runnin', who's gon' follow me?
If I leave here walkin', no one to follow me

In the Spring, in the Spring, when the birds begin to sing
It's the only time, you ever gon' dog me 'round

Edited 7/22 to pick up corrections from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 10:16:35 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb Lyrics
« Reply #89 on: July 19, 2019, 06:27:16 PM »
Hi all,
Mance Lipscomb's version of "Ain't You Sorry?" first appeared on "Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 4".  The song is an 8-bar rag (at least in the verses) with a VI-II-V-I progression, holding each chord for two bars.  Mance played it in G position in standard tuning, and he gave it an unforgettably funky rhythm with plenty of the "Spanish tinge".  Here is "Ain't You Sorry?":



INTRO SOLO

Ain't you sorry, to your heart, best of friends, you know, they got to part
Ain't you sorry, sorry that you did me wrong?

Now, me and my girl had a falling out, bet you don't know what it was about
She's sorry, sorry that she did me wrong

Now, go on, girl, needn't flirt, know you done tore your underskirt
Ain't you sorry, sorry to your heart?

SOLO

Well, I'm going up North, ain't goin' to stay, got a girl, chance she's gonna pay my way
Ain't you sorry, sorry to your heart?

SOLO X 4

Ain't you sorry, sorry, to your heart, but the best of friends, you know, got to part
Ain't you sorry, sorry you did me wrong?

SOLO

Edited 7/22 to pick up corrections from banjochris and Johnm

All best,
Johnm






 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 10:20:59 AM by Johnm »

 


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