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Run into me, but don't hurt me - Lil Johnson, Never Let Your Left Hand Know

Author Topic: Memphis Jug Band Lyrics  (Read 26123 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: "Tear It Down" Lyrics
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2006, 11:48:43 AM »
Also, I think this could be a variation of Tear It Down - but just called Foldin' Bed:
http://www.youtube.com/w/whistlers-jug-band?v=EYYdyrV_dP0&search=whistler%20jug
I was wondering if we could work out the lyrics...(btw, this is the only known recording of early jug bands!)
I'm sure this has cropped up here before but it is from Movietone news filmed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1931. In the early 70s the entire footage was a favourite with London "arts film" theatres and invariably accompanied a showing of Bessie's St Louis Blues.

WJB recorded Folding Bed for Victor in 1931 so I guess that must be on a Document CD along with all their 1924 sides and Okeh recordings...or even the Juke! :)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #31 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 #32 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 #33 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

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Offline waxwing

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #34 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

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #35 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 #36 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

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Offline arlotone

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #37 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 #38 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."

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #39 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 »

Online Johnm

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2008, 09:16:51 PM »
Thanks for the research, Uncle Bud.  That is terrific work.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2008, 07:43:40 AM »
Thanks for the research, Uncle Bud.  That is terrific work.
All best,
Johnm
Thanks John. Luckily, the core of the research was already done by someone else :)  - see http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9843.

I forgot to include this link to an article entitled "On Toodle-oo, Todalo and Jenny's Toe" published in American Music, which was a response to an article entitled "Jenny's Toe: White Responses to Afro-American Shaking Dances". It's a JSTOR article, so I don't have access beyond the first page. These were referenced in the Mudcat thread mentioned above.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/3448348

« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 07:46:03 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2008, 08:19:08 AM »
Quote
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9A02E3DF1439E333A25756C0A9649C946096D6CF

They don't write reviews like that anymore either! Makes me wish I coulda been there.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline dj

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Re: You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2008, 08:45:11 AM »
Quote
Makes me wish I coulda been there.

You can be there for a bit of it.  The Astaire/Rogers movie "The Story Of Vernon And Irene Castle" contains a recreation of the barber scene (or at least a very similar scene). 

Offline Cleoma

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Memphis Jug Band's "Bottle Up and Go"
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2011, 02:52:11 PM »
I'm trying to decipher these lyrics - here's what I have so far, any suggestions would be most welcome.  Some of this doesn't make sense to me.  I didn't even begin to try to transcribe the scatting.
Thanks,
Suzy



Bottle Up & Go ? MJB

I love my baby and she loves me too
Some people  don?t like what she do
CHORUS:
Gotta bottle it up and go, ah bottle it up and go
Now high-flying mama, daddy got to bottle-o

I wanna tell everybody what it?s all about
She likes water something about a spout?
CHORUS

I don?t drink no whiskey, I?m hanging round your pal
Can?t have no fun until the peanut gal
CHORUS

Scat -  deedle dat do do, oh whoa

I?m gonna tell my ma, tell my pa
I wouldn?t say yes and I can?t say no
CHORUS

I just bought my baby a new V8
 Step on it fellas  Don?t make me late
CHORUS

I?m gonna sing this song
Ain?t gonna sing no more
Looky here baby I?m ready to go
CHORUS

I?m gonna tell my baby where to go last night
Well look here mama why don?t you take your time
CHORUS
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 02:12:51 PM by Johnm »

 


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