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I'm crazy about you baby but I just can't pay the price - Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Kidney Stew

Author Topic: Memphis Jug Band Lyrics  (Read 19946 times)

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Offline Montgomery

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Re: Black Woman's Like a Black Snake lyrics
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2004, 07:41:39 AM »
Good job with these lyrics--I've never been able to figure out more than a few words to this one.  Now I need to go back and re-listen.

Offline Flatd7

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You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2006, 09:39:21 AM »
Lot's of good suggestions in the Jugband thread. I was playing along to this one, last night and couldn't catch the lyrics in the first, fourth and fifth verses. The quotes are on the lines, I'm pretty sure are wrong. This is what I got so far:

You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

My father was a jockey, "left me to ride behind"
You know by that, I got a job every time
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

I walked around the corner to the peanut stand
My gal got stuck on the peanut man
You May go, But This Will Bring You Back

You quit me pretty mama, cause you couldn?t be my boss
But a Rollin? Stone, don?t gather no moss
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Just a nickels worth of "meat, a dimes worth of lard"
Will beat everything "in my backyard"
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

I?m satisfied, satisfied
"My tall long shaker, by my side"
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2006, 10:12:42 AM »
Lot's of good suggestions in the Jugband thread. I was playing along to this one, last night and couldn't catch the lyrics in the first, fourth and fifth verses. The quotes are on the lines, I'm pretty sure are wrong. This is what I got so far:

You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

My father was a jockey, "left me to ride behind"
You know by that, I got a job every time
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

I hear:

My father was a jockey, learned me to ride behind
You know by that, I got a job *any* time
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Quote
Just a nickels worth of "meat, a dimes worth of lard"
Will beat everything "in my backyard"
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Trickier. I'm missing the end:

Just a nickel's worth of meal, a dime's worth of lard
Will feed every Jane? in ??? ??? yard
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Quote
I?m satisfied, satisfied
"My tall long shaker, by my side"
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back

Not sure. I'm hearing something like "tote along shaker". Whatever that is.  :P

I'd also say Charlie Nickerson is singing "This'll" most of the time.

I love this tune. It's great how they just keep looping the instrumental verses in the middle, like they can't get enough of it - or can't get out of it...

Offline waxwing

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2006, 10:43:01 AM »
Listening to the Davies remastered JSP set, I have to agree with McLeod that it sounds like:

"Will feed every Jane in Jeff Burke's yard"

Whoever Jeff Burke was? (Bunker?)

In the last verse McLeod has:

"My toodle-um shaker by my side"

but I agree with UB, sounds more like "tote-along shaker". Take yer pick.

We've got our eye on this song, fer sure.

So check out "I Gots Good 'Taters", by the Piccaninny Jug Band, which was really the MJB with Charlie Burse leading and singing. A similar "chorus line" blues with "I gots good 'taters, honey, dig 'em by myself" at the end of each verse. And Burse says,  "Alright, lets dig some!" before they go into the instrumental verse. It's a crack up.

All for now,
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2006, 11:40:50 AM »
Listening to the Davies remastered JSP set, I have to agree with McLeod that it sounds like:

"Will feed every Jane in Jeff Burke's yard"

Whoever Jeff Burke was? (Bunker?)
McLeod does admit in his footnote that "Jeff Burke is a guess". I only own the complete MJB as two 1971 Roots LPs and from the copy used the final three words are unintelligible.:(
Can't find any mention by Shade of a Jeff Burke but that doesn't mean a lot...will cast my net further.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2006, 12:04:29 PM »
It does sound a bit like "Jeff Burke." "Jeff" seems a little odd to me as a name for some reason, for that time and culture.

Michael Taft has the line as "Will feed every dame in Jack Burse yard" and also indicates Jack Burse is a guess, but obviously playing off Charlie Burse's presence on guitar. Which makes some basic sense. Did Charlie have a brother Jack?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2008, 12:41:10 PM »
Reviving this topic in light of something that just jumped out at me while listening to John Hurt. I have never noticed before the relationship between the Memphis Jug Band's "You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back" and Mississippi John Hurt's "I'm Satisified", recorded in the 1960s. There are both lyrical and musical similarities. The John Hurt song also features the still mysterious shaker word/phrase, which some people have transcribed previously as "total old shaker". However a subsequent verse with the line "I give my 'total-o??' to who I please" -- along with the Memphis Jug Band version -- suggests to me we're looking for another word and the lyrics also suggest someone young, not a "total old shaker". Here are the lyrics for John Hurt's song, from the Today! album. The song is also on D.C Blues, Library of Congress Recordings Vol 2, though I don't know that both verses show up there. So "total-o", "todolo" -- any insights or guesses? And is this a song Hurt transformed or one the Memphis Jug Band (as the Carolina Peanut Boys) transformed? The female perspective in Hurt's verses would suggest this is originating from somewhere else. A version by John Hiatt doesn't help with the mystery word since he sings it exactly as Hurt does - "todolo".

I'm satisfied, tickled too
Old enough to marry you
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

I'm satisfied, tickled too
Old enough to marry you
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

First in the country, then in town
I'm a Todalo shaker from my navel on down
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

I'm satisfied, tickled too
Old enough to marry you
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

I pull my dress to my knees
I give my todalo to who I please
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

I'm satisfied, tickled too
Old enough to marry you
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

I'm satisfied, tickled too
Old enough to marry you
I'm satisfied, it's gonna bring you back

edited the lyrics to reflect discussions of "todalo"
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 07:24:45 AM by uncle bud »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2008, 02:13:45 PM »
An email hint led me to this result from google and our own Suzy Thompson (and Eric, and others):

http://www.ericandsuzy.com/todalo.htm

"What exactly is a 'Todalo'? First of all, it's pronounced 'TOE-dah-low.' It's closely related to 'diddy-wah-diddy', and crops up occasionally in obscure old blues songs..."

Other quick searching suggests a dance, and some song titles include:

BALTIMORE TODALO, by Eubie Blake, 1909.

THE DARKEY TODALO: A RAGGEDY RAG, by Joe Jordan, 1910.

TODDLING THE TODALO, by Billy Murray, 1911.

Ellington's East St. Louis Toodle-oo was apparently titled that in error, and should have been "Todalo".

Offline waxwing

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2008, 02:23:03 PM »
Somewhere in the intervening years, I've heard a discussion (perhaps from Suzy T. who is in a band called the Todalo (sp?) Shakers with Eric T., W.B. Reid and others named after this song)[edit - just saw UB's second post so maybe it was on the pre war list?] that this is derivative of "toodle-oo", which is itself derivative of the French "? tout ? l'heure" which means "see you soon". I can't find "toodle-oo" in DARE under that or any other close spelling I can think of (Tootle oo? Too da-loo? Etc.)

Cleoma?

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 02:27:12 PM by waxwing »
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

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Offline waxwing

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2008, 02:38:12 PM »
Found this from Sule Greg Wilson, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, on the yahoo jugband group:

Quote
"Toodle--oo" comes from the French phrase for "goodbye": "A tout d'l'heurs".
[sp]

Applied to a dance step, it means you're really chewing up space with this step;
you're saying "goodbye!" "I'm outta here!", or...."Toodle-oo" ("ah too duh
loors")

Sule Greg Wilson

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2008, 03:29:21 PM »
So maybe the Ellington title is correct.

Offline waxwing

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2008, 03:34:51 PM »
I posted a query at the yahoo pre war group, where they been having an etymological bash lately, so we'll see what develops from that.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline arlotone

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2008, 03:45:59 PM »
Todalo shaker ... I've read elsewhere on the web that the todalo is a kind of a dance, and a todalo shaker is a person who does that dance.

Going further, I wonder if "todalo" was like the current term "booty." That would make sense in the context of shaking it, of giving it, and even of saying goodbye, since that's what you see when someone is walking away!

Anyway, here are my lead sheets for "You May Leave" and "I'm Satisfied":

http://www.humpnightthumpers.com/songs/You%20May%20Leave.pdf
http://www.humpnightthumpers.com/songs/I'm%20Satisfied.pdf

Offline doctorpep

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2008, 06:09:01 PM »
For "I'm Satisfied", what about "I give my total all to who(m) I please"?
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2008, 09:03:28 PM »
It seems the Todalo is pretty clearly a dance, and that this is what Hurt and the Memphis Jug Band are singing, though I agree with Arlo that Hurt could certainly be using it as an equivalent to today's "booty".

Blossom Seeley, a vaudeville performer, dancer, singer, actress, apparently performed a song called "Toddlin' the Todalo" in a show called The Henpecks in New York in 1911, which is the same date as the Billy Murray song.

See here: http://www.gabrielleray.150m.com/ArchiveTextS/BlossomSeeley.html

Here's a quote of the relevant section:

Quote
A native of California, where she was born on 16 July 1891, Miss Seeley was introduced to San Francisco audiences as a 'coon-shouter,' a description shared by a number of other 'ragtime' singers including May Irwin, Sophie Tucker, Stella Mayhew and Elida Morris. Soon afterwards she came to the notice of Lew Fields in New York who gave her a part in his show The Henpecks (Broadway Theatre, 4 February 1911)...

In The Henpecks 'Henella, an aspiring chorus girl, ponders whether to be a first-class actress or a happy wife. She opts for the former: "I'm going to stick right where I belong - close to the music cues," and then climbs up on a table and belts out "Toddlin' the Todalo" in a brassy voice. The exuberant singer was San Francisco-born Blossom Seeley familiar to the Western vaudeville circuits as the Queen of Syncopation, but hitherto unknown to Broadway audiences. Fields had her dance on the table to show off her shapely legs, and she used the platform to launch a dance craze. As an encore to the Todalo, she performed the Texas Tommy, a dance originated by black vaudevillians in San Francisco's Barbary Coast. Theater critics were generally nonplussed by the way she toddled and shook, but Broadway audiences loved it? Soon, New York nightlife was transformed by chic couples clutched in tight embraces, performing barbaric-sounding dances called the turkey trot, grizzly bear, and bunny hug.'
(Armond Fields and L. Marc Fields, From the Bowery to Broadway, Oxford University Press, 1993, pp.284 and 285)

There's a 1911 NY Times review referring to Seeley's rendition of Toddlin' the Todalo here (it opens in PDF format):

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9A02E3DF1439E333A25756C0A9649C946096D6CF

In addition to the Blake, Jordan and Murray songs, James P. Johnson has a piano piece called Toddlin', which may be related.

[edited to clarify what I meant ;)]
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 07:28:03 AM by uncle bud »

 


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